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Fiction

The Old Cicada

By Can Xue
Translated from Chinese by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping
From one of China's best-known experimental writers, a tale of music, loneliness, and the search for self.

A heat wave rolled into the city, and reports of elderly heatstroke victims streamed in continually. Sirens wailed, and pet dogs lay panting in the shade.

It was much better in the suburbs, where tall poplars and willows provided shade. All day long, cicadas sang in the trees. After it rained, toads chimed in with their bass voices. The numerous sparrows and magpies leaped lightheartedly among the branches and in the thickets. All of them affectionately shared their food, with only occasional brief clashes. Magpie couples were living on the crowns of a few old sky-skimming poplars. A little lower was the cicadas’ paradise. Not far away were picturesque multi-storey buildings. The cicadas sang continuously, never interrupted by the glum people going in and out of these buildings. Their loud singing was proud, intense, and aggressive, filled with the high spirits prompted by the summer heat.  It’s true that some people were deeply annoyed by these singers. They glared with hatred at the old poplar tree above the bicycle shed. But what could they do? Year after year, the cicadas had a symbiotic relationship with the poplars and willows. The cicadas could be destroyed only if you cut down all the large trees. And if you did that, the temperature of the residential district would rise many degrees. The cicadas didn’t know this. They sang from an excess of enthusiasm—because of love, because of the urge to procreate. They drank their fill of the sap generously provided by the large trees and found the blazing heat wonderful. Especially when the humidity rose, the thickening layers of clouds hinted at a certain ancient memory, and they burst into song. Their leader was generally the elderly cicada squatting on the highest branch. The other cicadas admired him greatly, and even the magpie couples listened attentively to his song. Before long, the chorus rose like surging waves and occupied the sky above.

The old cicada, whose body was both dark and bright, had sturdy wings, but seldom used them. He always stayed in the same place—the strong branch a little below the magpies’ nest. He was a loner, immersed in memories. He had stayed underground for a long time—precisely eight years, according to the magpie couple. Everyone knew he was very old. Still, his energy hadn’t diminished. But why was he so solitary? Was he was still living in his memories, sensing neither the fellows all around nor the vast blue sky? Cicadas seldom live underground for eight years. That time had completely shaped his character.

He was an old bachelor who’d never had a love life. After eight years, he had emerged from under the ground, climbed up the tree, and assumed his present form. Everyone felt that he was extraordinary.

It was an extremely hot and humid day. Even in the suburbs, people were sweltering. Air conditioners buzzed, and people were light-headed. Going outside was like plunging into a huge oven. The corner of the bicycle shed on this side was cooler, but because of the intense sunlight and the still air, these large trees still seemed tense, and the old bachelor just stayed where he was. His thoughts entered a place beyond his colony. He felt a little sentimental and a little distracted. He quietly lifted his right leg, and suddenly heard a jumble of singing all around. The racket surprised him a little, because he had never paid attention to this singing. He lowered his head and thought. And then, faltering and stumbling, he began to sing. He thought that his song was a little different this time. Everyone else stopped singing. His voice seemed strange even to him, yet he went on with even less restraint. As soon as he stopped singing, the chorus between heaven and earth rose. The old bachelor almost fainted. Of course he didn’t feel ill. Quite the opposite: he was extremely moved and joyful.

This was how he became the cantor. And although he was the cantor, he was still a loner. He didn’t talk with anyone and closed himself off from anyone else.

He knew that some of the residents here wanted to get rid of him. Some people lingered at the foot of the tree for a long time, eyeing his branch. And a young kid always aimed a precisely calibrated slingshot at him. The pellets had whizzed by him many times—and each time, the old bachelor felt empty inside. He didn’t know how to avoid humans’ hostility, for he had never avoided anything. He was still calm as he led the chorus. It was only when a pellet flew by that he suddenly stopped for a second. Then, once more, he continued. There were so many of his kind, and all of them listened respectfully to him and followed him. How could he slack off? When he thought of the colony, his golden legs and belly emitted dazzling white light, and he would grow very excited. At such times, people would mistake him for a meteor.

There were so many cicadas in back of the courtyard in this apartment complex, and people didn’t welcome their singing. But they felt entitled to sing under this beautiful sky. They wouldn’t change for humans. Trees—both large and small—were immersed in this passionate singing. These trees voluntarily provided the cicadas with food; they loved these little living things. Although the old bachelor didn’t interact with his congeners, he felt anxious about their future. From his highest perch, he scanned the area and saw their silhouettes in the massed green leaves. He felt that they trusted this secular existence and were content with it. Yet, this was precisely his greatest worry. But he had no way to transmit his greatest worry to the others. Singing was the only way he could communicate with them. From the very beginning, he had been strict and cautious, never talking with anyone. He was stately, admired by the younger ones. His branch was his alone. From the time he began leading the chorus, everyone loved him, but none dared approach him, much less discuss anything with him.

From that branch, he could see in all directions. He had been aware of the spider for a long time, and this discovery certainly didn’t make him happy. In the corner of the bicycle shed, this spider had spun a large web between the eaves and an old wall. On the other side of the wall was a storage room heaped with blurry indeterminate gray things. Most of the time, the old spider hid behind the storage room’s wooden window frame. When his quarry was caught in the web, he pounced like lightning and did away with the victim in fewer than thirty seconds. Insect remains were scattered under the gloomy gray web. Inside the victim were flies, ladybugs, grasshoppers, and other insects. Occasionally, there were cicadas, too. The old bachelor had already seen one of his congeners murdered. He would remember that as long as he lived. He was depressed for two days. He even flew to the willow tree next to the shed and looked carefully at the remains on the ground. While he was doing that, he thudded to the ground. Then he stood up and slowly circled the pile of things. It was like mourning, and it was like a search. When he flew away, the air he fanned echoed heavily—like a small whirlybird. The spider behind the wooden window frame inclined its head, thinking about this mystery, and reached no conclusion.

The old toad finally died at the hands of the kid with the slingshot. It was raining a little that day. Beneath its large stone, the toad poured out its memories of love. This disturbed the entire apartment complex most of the night. At sunrise, the toad was still filled with so much ardor that it actually jumped to the foot of the tree. Three pellets in a row hit and killed it. The youngster cheered and took away its carcass. The cicadas could not comprehend why, though they had heard of people eating toads. Even so, the old bachelor didn’t think the toad’s fate was a sad one. Someone who had been so passionate all night long must have experienced genuine blessings. The cicada’s song became clearer and lighter. The other cicadas were a little surprised, and then they cheered up. After the rain, the chorus was irresistible.

The spider’s huge web caught two more cicadas, inexperienced young explorers.  The old bachelor watched the spider deal with them like lightning. But the victims couldn’t have suffered too much, since the spider’s poison was very strong.

The old bachelor. made strange, broken sounds in the direction of his fellow cicadas. But he remained aloof. His congeners could understand only his singing, so no one responded. A young female cicada fell into the web; the old bachelor heard her brief, distinct moans, and fell into a trance for days: What did her moans really mean? Sometimes, he thought it was suffering; sometimes, he thought it was not only suffering, but also a certain kind of extreme excitement. Could the female cicada have sought her own destruction? He felt numb all over. He saw the leering youth approach. He dodged, and the pellet whizzed past him. When he’d encountered this in the past, he’d been calm. But this time he agonized.

Why was he drawn to the slingshot? Had he felt this temptation in the past or had it come upon him just now? He tried to call out. Once, twice, three times—his voice was stiff and dry. Not one person noticed this. Even the youth with the slingshot was only briefly distracted, and then he walked away indifferently. The old bachelor was ashamed. In order to understand the temptation, he stopped singing for three days and let himself drift. He slept and awakened, awakened and slept, and he always heard the call of the toad that the youth had killed. Its calls were shockingly loud. Each time he opened his eyes, he saw dazzling light flashing between heaven and earth. It made him dizzy, and he had to close his eyes. Ah. How could toad be so strong? When he closed his eyes, he even saw the old toad approach him, as if it wanted to pass on to him a mysterious affection. Its protruding eyes seemed extremely eager. When he opened his eyes, the toad had vanished.

It was raining. Still dazed, the bachelor didn’t hear the thunder, nor was he aware of the heavy rain falling on him. He didn’t know how much time had passed when the southeast wind carried the indistinct sounds of the old toad and his fellow cicadas’ singing. It was strange, he thought, that the two different songs could harmonize. It was even stranger when he considered that it hadn’t stopped raining, so where were they singing? As he listened more attentively, he thought the singing was coming from between deep layers of clouds. When he looked through the curtain of rain, he saw that the old spider on the wooden window frame was also absorbed in looking at the rain.  He seemed to see himself in the old spider’s manner.

The remains under the spiderweb attracted the residents of this complex. The old bachelor’s remains were quite unusual. Although they had already broken into four pieces, if you reassembled the pieces, it was still a complete cicada—and his body was twice the size of ordinary cicadas. But his head had vanished. What sort of fierce fight had taken place?

The spider had vanished, too. The youth had seen the spider, and he looked for it behind the wooden window frame, but found no trace of it. He thought to himself: Could they have died together? Where had the cicada’s head gone?

The cicadas’ chorus rose again. The young cantor’s voice was jerky and faltering. He sang hesitantly for a short while and then stopped, and the whole chorus slumped into silence. Then this unusually prolonged silence was broken abruptly by an enthusiastic chorus like the surf. It had never been silent before. Was this silence an awakening? All the cicadas turned their gaze toward that high branch. A grotesque old cicada stood in that familiar place. Everyone saw the gigantic head and the disproportionately small body. It was he: he had struggled to come back. He had grown another body and was in the midst of his idiodynamic body-developing. His fellow cicadas knew that if he put his mind to it, he would succeed.

Then what was the significance of his body breaking apart? Maybe in those split seconds, he was demonstrating this to his opponent, and letting the sense of ultimate emptiness deflate its arrogance? Or the opposite: Was he regarding the spider as his witness, and would he reveal to it the secret of rebirth? Some young cicadas inspected below the spider web. They were thinking to themselves that no matter what kind of fight it was, it veiled a frightening suicidal instinct. They thought it was heroic and moving, and they also found it quite stimulating.

The old cicada didn’t have time to complete growing his new body before the season changed. He squatted unmoving on the branch all day long. He dreamed of tender leaves, of flower petals, of the tadpoles in the ditches and the water lilies in the mountain ponds. Since he had lost his amplifier, he had no way to communicate his ardor to the other cicadas, but in the last days before the chill of autumn, he sensed an unusual happiness every day. He could see whatever he wanted to see. Without even turning his head, he saw the newly arrived pair of magpies cavorting in the small garden. Sometimes, he would also think of the spider, and when he did, his new little legs would exude some poisonous juices, and he would weakly call out. He was murmuring: “Who is the spider? Isn’t it simply me . . . ?”

He became cemented to that branch.

The autumn wind destroyed the spider web and blew away the old cicada’s remains. At last the sweltering heat subsided. The lonely poplar leaves took on a nostalgic yellow color. Now only the magpies and sparrows were still singing. They sang brokenly, off and on, artlessly, forgettably. What those old poplars remembered was the majestic, splendid chorus. Sometimes when the chilly wind blew in, they couldn’t help humming a little, but—startled by their own voices—they returned to their silence and their daydreaming. The youth with the slingshot passed by under the poplars, his expression complicated by his bizarre thoughts.


© Can Xue. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping. All rights reserved.

Read About Bios

A heat wave rolled into the city, and reports of elderly heatstroke victims streamed in continually. Sirens wailed, and pet dogs lay panting in the shade.

It was much better in the suburbs, where tall poplars and willows provided shade. All day long, cicadas sang in the trees. After it rained, toads chimed in with their bass voices. The numerous sparrows and magpies leaped lightheartedly among the branches and in the thickets. All of them affectionately shared their food, with only occasional brief clashes. Magpie couples were living on the crowns of a few old sky-skimming poplars. A little lower was the cicadas’ paradise. Not far away were picturesque multi-storey buildings. The cicadas sang continuously, never interrupted by the glum people going in and out of these buildings. Their loud singing was proud, intense, and aggressive, filled with the high spirits prompted by the summer heat.  It’s true that some people were deeply annoyed by these singers. They glared with hatred at the old poplar tree above the bicycle shed. But what could they do? Year after year, the cicadas had a symbiotic relationship with the poplars and willows. The cicadas could be destroyed only if you cut down all the large trees. And if you did that, the temperature of the residential district would rise many degrees. The cicadas didn’t know this. They sang from an excess of enthusiasm—because of love, because of the urge to procreate. They drank their fill of the sap generously provided by the large trees and found the blazing heat wonderful. Especially when the humidity rose, the thickening layers of clouds hinted at a certain ancient memory, and they burst into song. Their leader was generally the elderly cicada squatting on the highest branch. The other cicadas admired him greatly, and even the magpie couples listened attentively to his song. Before long, the chorus rose like surging waves and occupied the sky above.

The old cicada, whose body was both dark and bright, had sturdy wings, but seldom used them. He always stayed in the same place—the strong branch a little below the magpies’ nest. He was a loner, immersed in memories. He had stayed underground for a long time—precisely eight years, according to the magpie couple. Everyone knew he was very old. Still, his energy hadn’t diminished. But why was he so solitary? Was he was still living in his memories, sensing neither the fellows all around nor the vast blue sky? Cicadas seldom live underground for eight years. That time had completely shaped his character.

He was an old bachelor who’d never had a love life. After eight years, he had emerged from under the ground, climbed up the tree, and assumed his present form. Everyone felt that he was extraordinary.

It was an extremely hot and humid day. Even in the suburbs, people were sweltering. Air conditioners buzzed, and people were light-headed. Going outside was like plunging into a huge oven. The corner of the bicycle shed on this side was cooler, but because of the intense sunlight and the still air, these large trees still seemed tense, and the old bachelor just stayed where he was. His thoughts entered a place beyond his colony. He felt a little sentimental and a little distracted. He quietly lifted his right leg, and suddenly heard a jumble of singing all around. The racket surprised him a little, because he had never paid attention to this singing. He lowered his head and thought. And then, faltering and stumbling, he began to sing. He thought that his song was a little different this time. Everyone else stopped singing. His voice seemed strange even to him, yet he went on with even less restraint. As soon as he stopped singing, the chorus between heaven and earth rose. The old bachelor almost fainted. Of course he didn’t feel ill. Quite the opposite: he was extremely moved and joyful.

This was how he became the cantor. And although he was the cantor, he was still a loner. He didn’t talk with anyone and closed himself off from anyone else.

He knew that some of the residents here wanted to get rid of him. Some people lingered at the foot of the tree for a long time, eyeing his branch. And a young kid always aimed a precisely calibrated slingshot at him. The pellets had whizzed by him many times—and each time, the old bachelor felt empty inside. He didn’t know how to avoid humans’ hostility, for he had never avoided anything. He was still calm as he led the chorus. It was only when a pellet flew by that he suddenly stopped for a second. Then, once more, he continued. There were so many of his kind, and all of them listened respectfully to him and followed him. How could he slack off? When he thought of the colony, his golden legs and belly emitted dazzling white light, and he would grow very excited. At such times, people would mistake him for a meteor.

There were so many cicadas in back of the courtyard in this apartment complex, and people didn’t welcome their singing. But they felt entitled to sing under this beautiful sky. They wouldn’t change for humans. Trees—both large and small—were immersed in this passionate singing. These trees voluntarily provided the cicadas with food; they loved these little living things. Although the old bachelor didn’t interact with his congeners, he felt anxious about their future. From his highest perch, he scanned the area and saw their silhouettes in the massed green leaves. He felt that they trusted this secular existence and were content with it. Yet, this was precisely his greatest worry. But he had no way to transmit his greatest worry to the others. Singing was the only way he could communicate with them. From the very beginning, he had been strict and cautious, never talking with anyone. He was stately, admired by the younger ones. His branch was his alone. From the time he began leading the chorus, everyone loved him, but none dared approach him, much less discuss anything with him.

From that branch, he could see in all directions. He had been aware of the spider for a long time, and this discovery certainly didn’t make him happy. In the corner of the bicycle shed, this spider had spun a large web between the eaves and an old wall. On the other side of the wall was a storage room heaped with blurry indeterminate gray things. Most of the time, the old spider hid behind the storage room’s wooden window frame. When his quarry was caught in the web, he pounced like lightning and did away with the victim in fewer than thirty seconds. Insect remains were scattered under the gloomy gray web. Inside the victim were flies, ladybugs, grasshoppers, and other insects. Occasionally, there were cicadas, too. The old bachelor had already seen one of his congeners murdered. He would remember that as long as he lived. He was depressed for two days. He even flew to the willow tree next to the shed and looked carefully at the remains on the ground. While he was doing that, he thudded to the ground. Then he stood up and slowly circled the pile of things. It was like mourning, and it was like a search. When he flew away, the air he fanned echoed heavily—like a small whirlybird. The spider behind the wooden window frame inclined its head, thinking about this mystery, and reached no conclusion.

The old toad finally died at the hands of the kid with the slingshot. It was raining a little that day. Beneath its large stone, the toad poured out its memories of love. This disturbed the entire apartment complex most of the night. At sunrise, the toad was still filled with so much ardor that it actually jumped to the foot of the tree. Three pellets in a row hit and killed it. The youngster cheered and took away its carcass. The cicadas could not comprehend why, though they had heard of people eating toads. Even so, the old bachelor didn’t think the toad’s fate was a sad one. Someone who had been so passionate all night long must have experienced genuine blessings. The cicada’s song became clearer and lighter. The other cicadas were a little surprised, and then they cheered up. After the rain, the chorus was irresistible.

The spider’s huge web caught two more cicadas, inexperienced young explorers.  The old bachelor watched the spider deal with them like lightning. But the victims couldn’t have suffered too much, since the spider’s poison was very strong.

The old bachelor. made strange, broken sounds in the direction of his fellow cicadas. But he remained aloof. His congeners could understand only his singing, so no one responded. A young female cicada fell into the web; the old bachelor heard her brief, distinct moans, and fell into a trance for days: What did her moans really mean? Sometimes, he thought it was suffering; sometimes, he thought it was not only suffering, but also a certain kind of extreme excitement. Could the female cicada have sought her own destruction? He felt numb all over. He saw the leering youth approach. He dodged, and the pellet whizzed past him. When he’d encountered this in the past, he’d been calm. But this time he agonized.

Why was he drawn to the slingshot? Had he felt this temptation in the past or had it come upon him just now? He tried to call out. Once, twice, three times—his voice was stiff and dry. Not one person noticed this. Even the youth with the slingshot was only briefly distracted, and then he walked away indifferently. The old bachelor was ashamed. In order to understand the temptation, he stopped singing for three days and let himself drift. He slept and awakened, awakened and slept, and he always heard the call of the toad that the youth had killed. Its calls were shockingly loud. Each time he opened his eyes, he saw dazzling light flashing between heaven and earth. It made him dizzy, and he had to close his eyes. Ah. How could toad be so strong? When he closed his eyes, he even saw the old toad approach him, as if it wanted to pass on to him a mysterious affection. Its protruding eyes seemed extremely eager. When he opened his eyes, the toad had vanished.

It was raining. Still dazed, the bachelor didn’t hear the thunder, nor was he aware of the heavy rain falling on him. He didn’t know how much time had passed when the southeast wind carried the indistinct sounds of the old toad and his fellow cicadas’ singing. It was strange, he thought, that the two different songs could harmonize. It was even stranger when he considered that it hadn’t stopped raining, so where were they singing? As he listened more attentively, he thought the singing was coming from between deep layers of clouds. When he looked through the curtain of rain, he saw that the old spider on the wooden window frame was also absorbed in looking at the rain.  He seemed to see himself in the old spider’s manner.

The remains under the spiderweb attracted the residents of this complex. The old bachelor’s remains were quite unusual. Although they had already broken into four pieces, if you reassembled the pieces, it was still a complete cicada—and his body was twice the size of ordinary cicadas. But his head had vanished. What sort of fierce fight had taken place?

The spider had vanished, too. The youth had seen the spider, and he looked for it behind the wooden window frame, but found no trace of it. He thought to himself: Could they have died together? Where had the cicada’s head gone?

The cicadas’ chorus rose again. The young cantor’s voice was jerky and faltering. He sang hesitantly for a short while and then stopped, and the whole chorus slumped into silence. Then this unusually prolonged silence was broken abruptly by an enthusiastic chorus like the surf. It had never been silent before. Was this silence an awakening? All the cicadas turned their gaze toward that high branch. A grotesque old cicada stood in that familiar place. Everyone saw the gigantic head and the disproportionately small body. It was he: he had struggled to come back. He had grown another body and was in the midst of his idiodynamic body-developing. His fellow cicadas knew that if he put his mind to it, he would succeed.

Then what was the significance of his body breaking apart? Maybe in those split seconds, he was demonstrating this to his opponent, and letting the sense of ultimate emptiness deflate its arrogance? Or the opposite: Was he regarding the spider as his witness, and would he reveal to it the secret of rebirth? Some young cicadas inspected below the spider web. They were thinking to themselves that no matter what kind of fight it was, it veiled a frightening suicidal instinct. They thought it was heroic and moving, and they also found it quite stimulating.

The old cicada didn’t have time to complete growing his new body before the season changed. He squatted unmoving on the branch all day long. He dreamed of tender leaves, of flower petals, of the tadpoles in the ditches and the water lilies in the mountain ponds. Since he had lost his amplifier, he had no way to communicate his ardor to the other cicadas, but in the last days before the chill of autumn, he sensed an unusual happiness every day. He could see whatever he wanted to see. Without even turning his head, he saw the newly arrived pair of magpies cavorting in the small garden. Sometimes, he would also think of the spider, and when he did, his new little legs would exude some poisonous juices, and he would weakly call out. He was murmuring: “Who is the spider? Isn’t it simply me . . . ?”

He became cemented to that branch.

The autumn wind destroyed the spider web and blew away the old cicada’s remains. At last the sweltering heat subsided. The lonely poplar leaves took on a nostalgic yellow color. Now only the magpies and sparrows were still singing. They sang brokenly, off and on, artlessly, forgettably. What those old poplars remembered was the majestic, splendid chorus. Sometimes when the chilly wind blew in, they couldn’t help humming a little, but—startled by their own voices—they returned to their silence and their daydreaming. The youth with the slingshot passed by under the poplars, his expression complicated by his bizarre thoughts.


© Can Xue. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping. All rights reserved.

Definitions

cantor: The person who leads the singing in a synagogue, cathedral or church.

 

congeners: People or things of the same kind—in this case, other cicadas.

 

whirlybird: Helicopter.

 

idiodynamic: Independently active.

Can Xue

Can Xue (残雪), meaning “dirty snow, leftover snow,” is the pseudonym of Deng Xiaohua. She was born in 1953 in Changsha City, Hunan Province. Her parents were sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, and she only graduated from elementary school. Can learned English on her own and wrote books on Borges, Shakespeare, and Dante. Her publications in English include Dialogues in ParadiseOld Floating CloudThe Embroidered ShoesBlue Light in the Sky and Other StoriesFive Spice Street, and Vertical Motion. In 2015 she won the Best Translated Book Award for The Last Lover. Her new book, Frontier, is due out in 2017.

Karen Gernant (translator)

Karen Gernant, professor emerita of Chinese history at Southern Oregon University, translates contemporary Chinese fiction in collaboration with Chen Zeping. Among their translations are: Can Xue, Blue Light in the Sky and Other Stories (New Directions, 2006); Can Xue, Five Spice Street (Yale University Press, 2009); Eleven Contemporary Chinese Writers (Turnrow Books, 2010); Can Xue, Vertical Motion (Open Letter Books, 2011); Zhang Kangkang, White Poppies and Other Stories (Cornell East Asia Series, 2011); and Alai, Tibetan Soul (MerwinAsia, 2012).

Chen Zeping (translator)

Chen Zeping, professor of Chinese linguistics at Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China, has written more than thirty articles and papers for professional journals and international conferences, and has also published numerous books in his field. He has also taught at Southern Oregon University and at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan. In 2005, he received a fellowship from the Japan Foundation for the Promotion of Science to present a series of lectures in Japan. He returned there to present lectures in early 2008.

Since 1999, he has also collaborated with Karen Gernant in translating contemporary Chinese fiction into English. Their translations have appeared in ConjunctionsManoaturnrowChinese LiteratureBlack Warrior ReviewNinth Letter, and Words without Borders.

English Chinese

A heat wave rolled into the city, and reports of elderly heatstroke victims streamed in continually. Sirens wailed, and pet dogs lay panting in the shade.

It was much better in the suburbs, where tall poplars and willows provided shade. All day long, cicadas sang in the trees. After it rained, toads chimed in with their bass voices. The numerous sparrows and magpies leaped lightheartedly among the branches and in the thickets. All of them affectionately shared their food, with only occasional brief clashes. Magpie couples were living on the crowns of a few old sky-skimming poplars. A little lower was the cicadas’ paradise. Not far away were picturesque multi-storey buildings. The cicadas sang continuously, never interrupted by the glum people going in and out of these buildings. Their loud singing was proud, intense, and aggressive, filled with the high spirits prompted by the summer heat.  It’s true that some people were deeply annoyed by these singers. They glared with hatred at the old poplar tree above the bicycle shed. But what could they do? Year after year, the cicadas had a symbiotic relationship with the poplars and willows. The cicadas could be destroyed only if you cut down all the large trees. And if you did that, the temperature of the residential district would rise many degrees. The cicadas didn’t know this. They sang from an excess of enthusiasm—because of love, because of the urge to procreate. They drank their fill of the sap generously provided by the large trees and found the blazing heat wonderful. Especially when the humidity rose, the thickening layers of clouds hinted at a certain ancient memory, and they burst into song. Their leader was generally the elderly cicada squatting on the highest branch. The other cicadas admired him greatly, and even the magpie couples listened attentively to his song. Before long, the chorus rose like surging waves and occupied the sky above.

The old cicada, whose body was both dark and bright, had sturdy wings, but seldom used them. He always stayed in the same place—the strong branch a little below the magpies’ nest. He was a loner, immersed in memories. He had stayed underground for a long time—precisely eight years, according to the magpie couple. Everyone knew he was very old. Still, his energy hadn’t diminished. But why was he so solitary? Was he was still living in his memories, sensing neither the fellows all around nor the vast blue sky? Cicadas seldom live underground for eight years. That time had completely shaped his character.

He was an old bachelor who’d never had a love life. After eight years, he had emerged from under the ground, climbed up the tree, and assumed his present form. Everyone felt that he was extraordinary.

It was an extremely hot and humid day. Even in the suburbs, people were sweltering. Air conditioners buzzed, and people were light-headed. Going outside was like plunging into a huge oven. The corner of the bicycle shed on this side was cooler, but because of the intense sunlight and the still air, these large trees still seemed tense, and the old bachelor just stayed where he was. His thoughts entered a place beyond his colony. He felt a little sentimental and a little distracted. He quietly lifted his right leg, and suddenly heard a jumble of singing all around. The racket surprised him a little, because he had never paid attention to this singing. He lowered his head and thought. And then, faltering and stumbling, he began to sing. He thought that his song was a little different this time. Everyone else stopped singing. His voice seemed strange even to him, yet he went on with even less restraint. As soon as he stopped singing, the chorus between heaven and earth rose. The old bachelor almost fainted. Of course he didn’t feel ill. Quite the opposite: he was extremely moved and joyful.

This was how he became the cantor. And although he was the cantor, he was still a loner. He didn’t talk with anyone and closed himself off from anyone else.

He knew that some of the residents here wanted to get rid of him. Some people lingered at the foot of the tree for a long time, eyeing his branch. And a young kid always aimed a precisely calibrated slingshot at him. The pellets had whizzed by him many times—and each time, the old bachelor felt empty inside. He didn’t know how to avoid humans’ hostility, for he had never avoided anything. He was still calm as he led the chorus. It was only when a pellet flew by that he suddenly stopped for a second. Then, once more, he continued. There were so many of his kind, and all of them listened respectfully to him and followed him. How could he slack off? When he thought of the colony, his golden legs and belly emitted dazzling white light, and he would grow very excited. At such times, people would mistake him for a meteor.

There were so many cicadas in back of the courtyard in this apartment complex, and people didn’t welcome their singing. But they felt entitled to sing under this beautiful sky. They wouldn’t change for humans. Trees—both large and small—were immersed in this passionate singing. These trees voluntarily provided the cicadas with food; they loved these little living things. Although the old bachelor didn’t interact with his congeners, he felt anxious about their future. From his highest perch, he scanned the area and saw their silhouettes in the massed green leaves. He felt that they trusted this secular existence and were content with it. Yet, this was precisely his greatest worry. But he had no way to transmit his greatest worry to the others. Singing was the only way he could communicate with them. From the very beginning, he had been strict and cautious, never talking with anyone. He was stately, admired by the younger ones. His branch was his alone. From the time he began leading the chorus, everyone loved him, but none dared approach him, much less discuss anything with him.

From that branch, he could see in all directions. He had been aware of the spider for a long time, and this discovery certainly didn’t make him happy. In the corner of the bicycle shed, this spider had spun a large web between the eaves and an old wall. On the other side of the wall was a storage room heaped with blurry indeterminate gray things. Most of the time, the old spider hid behind the storage room’s wooden window frame. When his quarry was caught in the web, he pounced like lightning and did away with the victim in fewer than thirty seconds. Insect remains were scattered under the gloomy gray web. Inside the victim were flies, ladybugs, grasshoppers, and other insects. Occasionally, there were cicadas, too. The old bachelor had already seen one of his congeners murdered. He would remember that as long as he lived. He was depressed for two days. He even flew to the willow tree next to the shed and looked carefully at the remains on the ground. While he was doing that, he thudded to the ground. Then he stood up and slowly circled the pile of things. It was like mourning, and it was like a search. When he flew away, the air he fanned echoed heavily—like a small whirlybird. The spider behind the wooden window frame inclined its head, thinking about this mystery, and reached no conclusion.

The old toad finally died at the hands of the kid with the slingshot. It was raining a little that day. Beneath its large stone, the toad poured out its memories of love. This disturbed the entire apartment complex most of the night. At sunrise, the toad was still filled with so much ardor that it actually jumped to the foot of the tree. Three pellets in a row hit and killed it. The youngster cheered and took away its carcass. The cicadas could not comprehend why, though they had heard of people eating toads. Even so, the old bachelor didn’t think the toad’s fate was a sad one. Someone who had been so passionate all night long must have experienced genuine blessings. The cicada’s song became clearer and lighter. The other cicadas were a little surprised, and then they cheered up. After the rain, the chorus was irresistible.

The spider’s huge web caught two more cicadas, inexperienced young explorers.  The old bachelor watched the spider deal with them like lightning. But the victims couldn’t have suffered too much, since the spider’s poison was very strong.

The old bachelor. made strange, broken sounds in the direction of his fellow cicadas. But he remained aloof. His congeners could understand only his singing, so no one responded. A young female cicada fell into the web; the old bachelor heard her brief, distinct moans, and fell into a trance for days: What did her moans really mean? Sometimes, he thought it was suffering; sometimes, he thought it was not only suffering, but also a certain kind of extreme excitement. Could the female cicada have sought her own destruction? He felt numb all over. He saw the leering youth approach. He dodged, and the pellet whizzed past him. When he’d encountered this in the past, he’d been calm. But this time he agonized.

Why was he drawn to the slingshot? Had he felt this temptation in the past or had it come upon him just now? He tried to call out. Once, twice, three times—his voice was stiff and dry. Not one person noticed this. Even the youth with the slingshot was only briefly distracted, and then he walked away indifferently. The old bachelor was ashamed. In order to understand the temptation, he stopped singing for three days and let himself drift. He slept and awakened, awakened and slept, and he always heard the call of the toad that the youth had killed. Its calls were shockingly loud. Each time he opened his eyes, he saw dazzling light flashing between heaven and earth. It made him dizzy, and he had to close his eyes. Ah. How could toad be so strong? When he closed his eyes, he even saw the old toad approach him, as if it wanted to pass on to him a mysterious affection. Its protruding eyes seemed extremely eager. When he opened his eyes, the toad had vanished.

It was raining. Still dazed, the bachelor didn’t hear the thunder, nor was he aware of the heavy rain falling on him. He didn’t know how much time had passed when the southeast wind carried the indistinct sounds of the old toad and his fellow cicadas’ singing. It was strange, he thought, that the two different songs could harmonize. It was even stranger when he considered that it hadn’t stopped raining, so where were they singing? As he listened more attentively, he thought the singing was coming from between deep layers of clouds. When he looked through the curtain of rain, he saw that the old spider on the wooden window frame was also absorbed in looking at the rain.  He seemed to see himself in the old spider’s manner.

The remains under the spiderweb attracted the residents of this complex. The old bachelor’s remains were quite unusual. Although they had already broken into four pieces, if you reassembled the pieces, it was still a complete cicada—and his body was twice the size of ordinary cicadas. But his head had vanished. What sort of fierce fight had taken place?

The spider had vanished, too. The youth had seen the spider, and he looked for it behind the wooden window frame, but found no trace of it. He thought to himself: Could they have died together? Where had the cicada’s head gone?

The cicadas’ chorus rose again. The young cantor’s voice was jerky and faltering. He sang hesitantly for a short while and then stopped, and the whole chorus slumped into silence. Then this unusually prolonged silence was broken abruptly by an enthusiastic chorus like the surf. It had never been silent before. Was this silence an awakening? All the cicadas turned their gaze toward that high branch. A grotesque old cicada stood in that familiar place. Everyone saw the gigantic head and the disproportionately small body. It was he: he had struggled to come back. He had grown another body and was in the midst of his idiodynamic body-developing. His fellow cicadas knew that if he put his mind to it, he would succeed.

Then what was the significance of his body breaking apart? Maybe in those split seconds, he was demonstrating this to his opponent, and letting the sense of ultimate emptiness deflate its arrogance? Or the opposite: Was he regarding the spider as his witness, and would he reveal to it the secret of rebirth? Some young cicadas inspected below the spider web. They were thinking to themselves that no matter what kind of fight it was, it veiled a frightening suicidal instinct. They thought it was heroic and moving, and they also found it quite stimulating.

The old cicada didn’t have time to complete growing his new body before the season changed. He squatted unmoving on the branch all day long. He dreamed of tender leaves, of flower petals, of the tadpoles in the ditches and the water lilies in the mountain ponds. Since he had lost his amplifier, he had no way to communicate his ardor to the other cicadas, but in the last days before the chill of autumn, he sensed an unusual happiness every day. He could see whatever he wanted to see. Without even turning his head, he saw the newly arrived pair of magpies cavorting in the small garden. Sometimes, he would also think of the spider, and when he did, his new little legs would exude some poisonous juices, and he would weakly call out. He was murmuring: “Who is the spider? Isn’t it simply me . . . ?”

He became cemented to that branch.

The autumn wind destroyed the spider web and blew away the old cicada’s remains. At last the sweltering heat subsided. The lonely poplar leaves took on a nostalgic yellow color. Now only the magpies and sparrows were still singing. They sang brokenly, off and on, artlessly, forgettably. What those old poplars remembered was the majestic, splendid chorus. Sometimes when the chilly wind blew in, they couldn’t help humming a little, but—startled by their own voices—they returned to their silence and their daydreaming. The youth with the slingshot passed by under the poplars, his expression complicated by his bizarre thoughts.


© Can Xue. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping. All rights reserved.

老蝉

城市里热浪滚滚,不断传来老人们中暑而死的消息,救护车穿城而过,发出震天惊叫。那些宠物狗呆在背阴处,伸长了舌头喘着气。

郊区的情况比市中心就要好得多。这里有一个很好的住宅小区,高大的杨柳成荫,蝉们在树间终日歌唱。如果是雨后,就有老蛤蟆来用男低音加入大合唱。这里麻雀和喜鹊也不少,自由自在地在树枝间和草丛里跳来跳去,友爱地分享着食物,偶尔也有激烈的争执。争执发生时,这些民歌歌手们就失去了一贯的风度。不过终究是杯水风波,结局总是各自飞去。

在伸入云霄的几棵老杨树的树冠顶上,居住着喜鹊夫妇。再往下一点,就是蝉的乐园了。虽然不远处就是错落有致的低层楼房,虽然那些楼房里不断地有脸色阴沉的居民出出进进,蝉始终不管不顾地唱着。那歌声激越、豪迈,挑战性很强,充满了炎热带来的高昂情调。的确有些人恶狠狠地瞪着自行车棚上方的老杨树,他们内心对这些歌者满是阴毒的怨恨。可是有什么办法呢?一年又一年,蝉和杨柳互生互长,蝉总是消灭不了的,除非你将大树全部伐倒。那样的话,整个住宅区的温度起码上升3度。蝉们不知道这些事,它们歌唱是因为内心激情扬溢,因为爱,因为生殖的冲动。它们喝饱了大树慷慨提供的汁液之后,便感到这炎热的气候是如此的惬意。尤其是空气中的水份增大时,上方那些来来往往的变厚的云层就会反复向它们暗示某种远古的回忆,歌唱就会情不自禁地开始。领唱者往往是那只蹲在高层的长者。它的声音粗犷而奔放,带一点怀旧的意味,令众蝉肃然起敬,就连喜鹊夫妇也侧耳倾听。不一会儿大合唱就起来了,如巨浪滚滚,占据了上方的天庭。

浑身黑亮的老蝉虽然生着强健的翅膀,却很少运用自己的翅膀。它总是待在同一个地方——喜鹊巢下边一点的粗枝上。它生性孤僻,似乎每时每刻处在回忆之中。从前它在地底呆得最久,据喜鹊夫妇说有8年。它是一只年老的雄蝉,大家都知道。它的能量并不因为年老而减弱,它作为群体的首领当之无愧。可它为什么那么孤僻呢?莫非它对周围的同胞,对这广阔的蓝天并无感觉,仍然生活在地下的回忆之中?的确,很少有蝉在地下度过8年黑暗时光的。那段时光全面地塑造了它的性格。

它是一个老单身汉,从未有过爱情生活。它在8年之后从地下钻出,爬上树干,变成了现在这个模样。大家觉得它与众不同。

那是一个人们称之为“桑拿天”的日子。虽然是住在郊区,这里的居民也感到身上的毛孔排泄不了体内的汗。空调嗡嗡嗡地响着,人们晕头晕脑的。一旦走出家门,就如同进入了大火箱。自行车棚这边的这个角落当然相对来说要阴凉得多,可是因为阳光的肆虐,因为没有一丝风,这些大树仍然显出紧张兮兮的神态。老单身汉当时就呆在它的老地方。它的思维进入了某个它的群体难以达到的层次。它有点伤感,有点恍惚,它轻轻地抬了抬它右边的腿子,忽然就听到了周围杂乱无章的歌唱声。那种杂乱无章令它有点惊奇,因为它以前并没有注意到周围的歌声是什么样的。它低下头想了一想,然后就有点踌躇地、断断续续地唱起来了。他觉得自己的这一次的歌唱有点异样,有点偏离大家的风格。果然,大家都停下来了,只有它的声音在唱。它的声音连自己也听着陌生,却越来越奔放了。它的歌声刚一停,大合唱就响起来了。那是天地间的大合唱,老单身汉听了之后差点晕了过去从枝头掉下来。当然不是难受,而是无比的激动与欢乐。

它就这样成了领唱者。它虽成了领唱者,还是独来独往,沉默而封闭。

它知道住宅里有人把它看作眼中钉。有人会在树下久久地驻留,打量它所栖身的树枝。还有一个半大的顽童,总是用一把结实精致的弹弓瞄准高枝上的它。他射出的子弹好几次从它擦身而过。每当这类情形发生,老单身汉的内心就变得一片空白。它不知道要如何样躲开人类的阴谋,它也从未躲避过任何事物。它还是坦然地领唱,只是在子弹从旁边飞过时会忽然停顿一瞬间,然后又继续了。它有这么多同类,它们全都聆听它,追随它,它又怎能懈怠?当它想到群体的事情时,它那金色的腿子和腹部就会一阵一阵地发出耀眼的白光,它的整个身体会亢奋不已。这时候,如果有人从下面看见它,就会误认为有一颗流星挂在那里。

小区的院子后面有这么多的蝉,它们的歌声并不为人们所欢迎。可是在这个美丽的天空下,它们觉得自己有权利歌唱,于是它们就唱了,它们才不会为人类的眼色而改变自己呢。大树小树都沉浸在这热情的歌唱之中,这些树自愿地为蝉提供食粮,它们热爱这些活泼的小生灵。老单身汉虽然不和这些个体来往,对于自己的同类的前途却有着深远的忧虑。它从它那个最高的处所放眼望去,看见绿色树叶丛中的它们的身影,它觉得它们对这现世的生活无比信赖,也很满足,而这,正是它的最深的隐忧。可是它没法将自己的隐忧传达给它的同类,除了歌唱,它无法以另外的方式同它们交流。它的行为古板谨慎,严守着沉默的原则,而且它长相威严,小辈们看了它就肃然起敬。今天这种局面也不是一天两天形成的,从一开始就这样,从一开始大家就默认了他所栖息的那个枝头是它独自的领地。从它领唱以来,大家都从心里爱它,可它们当中还是没有任何一个敢于接近它,更谈不上同它商量什么事了。

它从那树枝上可以眼观八方。它已经发现那只老蜘蛛很长时间了,这个发现并不令它愉快。这只蜘蛛在自行车棚的一角结了一个很大的网,那深灰色的网挂在棚檐和一面旧墙之间,墙内是一个杂房,房里堆着蒙灰的、难以判断其性质的物品。平时老蜘蛛就躲在杂房的木窗后面,一旦猎物被网住,它就如闪电般地冲过去,不到半分钟就将牺牲品解决了。那张阴森的灰网下面散落着一些昆虫的残骸。牺牲品里头有苍蝇,瓢虫,蝗虫等等,偶尔也有蝉。老单身汉已经目睹过一次同胞遇难的情景。那对它来说是一次刻骨铭心的经验,它整整两天闷闷不乐。它甚至飞到自行车棚旁的那棵柳树上,用它迟缓的目光仔细打量了一番地上的遗骸。在它打量时,它让自己“砰”地一声掉到地上,然后站稳,慢慢地绕着那堆东西走了一圈,像是哀悼又像是寻找什么。它飞起来时被它扇动的空气发出沉重的回响,如同一架小直升飞机起飞。木窗后的蜘蛛歪着头,对这件不可思议的事想了又想,没有得出结论。

老蛤蟆终于死于弹弓少年的手中。那天下了一点雨,它在它栖身的大石块下面叫得格外起劲,它那苍老的声音诉说着关于遥远的爱情的回忆。于是小区的整个夜晚都染上了它的色情的烦恼——它叫了大半夜。太阳出来时,它还处在情不自禁的激动之中,居然就跳到了树下的草地上。连续到来的三粒子弹射杀了它。少年欢呼着跑过来,捡走了它的尸体。他要那尸体干什么?所有的旁观的蝉都觉得不可理解,虽然它们也听到过人类食蛤蟆的传说。尽管如此,老单身汉并不认为蛤蟆的命运是悲惨的。一个经历过那样的激情高涨的夜晚的家伙,必定品尝过了真正的幸福。这种思想闪现在它的脑海中时,它的歌声就增添了几许明朗,几许轻盈。它的同胞们听了之后有点诧异,继而又欢喜。雨后的大合唱势不可挡!

蜘蛛那张巨网始终挂在车棚那里。一段时间以来,又有两只蝉成了牺牲品。它们是年轻的、不知天高地厚的探险者。老单身汉在高处看到了搏斗的场面。蜘蛛收拾它们的过程就像闪电一样,旁观者还未来得及弄清是怎么回事搏斗就结束了。但可以推测到牺牲品并不特别痛苦,因为它似乎是在第一瞬间就失去了知觉,蜘蛛向它注射的毒汁太厉害了。

老单身汉开始焦虑,为了传达自己的情感,它向同胞们发出了一些断断续续的,奇怪的声音。可是它一贯封闭,除了歌唱,同胞们并不能听懂它的另外的语言。所以没有任何一个同胞回应它。然而又有一只年轻的雌蝉落网了。在她的身体消失之前,老单身汉分明听到了短促清晰的呻吟。一连好多天,它始终在恍惚中冥想:那种呻吟到底是什么性质的?有时它觉得那是痛苦;有时又觉得那不仅仅是痛苦,而是包含了——怎么说呢?应该说是包含了某种极度的兴奋。它想到这里吓了一跳,难道雌蝉是有预谋地自取灭亡?当这种念头到来之际,它的全身一阵发麻,眼睛短暂失明。就在这时候,它瞥见那个狞笑着的少年朝它靠近了,它感到那把闪闪发光的弹弓充满了诱惑。它不由自主地偏过身体,那子弹就呼啸着飞过去了。以前遇到这种情况时,它是坦然的,这一次却生出了一种疑虑。

它想,为什么那弹弓对它产生了诱惑?这种诱惑对它来说是以前就存在,还是突然产生的?想到这里,它就试探地发出叫声。一声,两声,三声。它的声音又刻板又干巴巴,没有任何生灵注意到。就连拿弹弓的少年也只是愣了一下,就神情漠然地走开了。老单身汉很羞愧。为了真正弄清那种诱惑,它一连三天停止了歌唱,让自己处于一种恍惚的状态中。它睡了又醒,醒了又睡,总是听到蛤蟆叫。是同一只蛤蟆,被少年射杀的那一只。那种叫声惊天动地,它只要一睁眼就看见天地间白光晃动,眩晕又使得它马上闭眼。啊,世上怎么会有如此强有力的蛤蟆?当它闭眼时,它甚至看到老蛤蟆在靠近自己,似乎有种秘密的情感要传达给它,那双外凸的老眼显得额外急切。它一睁眼,蛤蟆又不见了。

下雨了,老单身汉还在发愣,他没有听到雷声。大雨淋在它身上,它一点感觉都没有。不知过了多久,它在东南风里隐隐约约地听到了老蛤蟆和它的蝉类同胞们的大合唱。两种不同的歌竟会巧妙地和谐起来,令它感到奇怪。更奇怪的是雨并没有停,它们是在哪里唱?它听了又听,觉得歌声是从厚厚的云层间传过来的。它的视线穿过雨帘,看见老蜘蛛也在木窗那里聚精会神地观雨,它仿佛从老蜘蛛的神态里看见了自己。

蛛网下的遗骸吸引了小区里面的居民。老单身汉的遗体很特别,虽然已经解体成四大块,如果将它拼起来,还是一只完整的老蝉,它的身体比普通的蝉要大一倍。但是它的头部不见了。那会是怎样的一场恶斗?居民们都在思考这个问题。

蜘蛛也不见了,少年见过蜘蛛,他到那木窗后面去寻找,但找不到它的踪影。他在心里想:难道是同归于尽?那么,蝉的头部又到哪里去了?

众蝉的大合唱又响起来了,年轻的领唱者声音生涩而踌躇,犹犹豫豫地唱了一声就没了下文,全体陷入沉默。然后,这拖得过长的沉默突然被海浪般热烈的合唱打破。以前从未有过沉默,这种沉默是不是觉醒呢?所有的蝉都把目光转向那高处的树枝,在它们熟悉的地方,一只怪模怪样的老蝉站在那里。大家全都看到了那巨型的头部和不成比例的细小的身子。是它,它挣扎着回到了那里。它又长出了身体,它正在集中意念让自己的身体发育。同胞们心知肚明:如果它有意念,它总能成功。

那么,它先前分解自己的躯体的行为具有什么样的含义呢?也许,在那几秒钟的闪电似的运动中,它在给它的对手做出示范,让突如其来的虚无感挫败它的傲气?抑或相反,它只不过是将老蜘蛛当看客,要在它面前展示重生的秘诀?一些年轻的同胞们到蛛网下来巡视过了。它们都在心里暗暗地想,不论当时交战的情况如何,这里头隐藏了一种可怕的自杀的意志。真是可叹可泣,却也让它们隐隐约约地感到振奋。

在气候整体变化之前,老蝉不可能让它那小小的身躯发育完全了。它成天一动不动地蹲在枝头。它梦想着嫩叶,梦想着花瓣,梦想着野沟里的小蝌蚪和山潭里的荷花苞。失去了扩音器,它已无法再传达自己的激情给同胞们,可是在秋凉之前的这段最后的日子里,它每天都感到一种异质的幸福。只要它想看,它就什么都能看到。比如说,连头也不用转过来,它就看见了那对新来的喜鹊情侣在那边的小花园里追逐嬉戏。有时它也会想起蜘蛛,当它这样想的时候,它的新生的细腿上就会分泌出一些粘乎乎的毒汁来,它就会发出极为细弱的叫声,这叫声的意思是:“蜘蛛是谁呢?不就是我吗……”

它凝固在那枝头上了。

秋风吹破了蛛网,也吹落了老蝉的遗骸。大地上的炎热终于消退了。寂寞的杨树的叶子呈现出怀旧的黄色,现在只有喜鹊和麻雀唱歌了。喜鹊和麻雀的歌断断续续,过于散漫,听过了也就忘记了。老杨树们记得的,只有那种雄伟壮丽的大合唱。有时西风来了,它们会忍不住哼哼几句,但它们马上就被自己的声音吓着了,于是沉默,于是向那蓝天白云托梦。拿弹弓的少年从树下经过,脸上的表情被奇思异想弄得很复杂。

Original text provided courtesy of Can Xue.

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