My knees crack as I kneel before my mother, father, and their tomb guardian. I must make haste.
The mingqi accompany brittle bones in the name of balance. As I feel my body bow, they remind
me of my solitude. We will all be erased.
The woman taps her feet as I navigate the stone path. She’s stolen your house. Believes she’s replaced
you. For many years, I found companionship in a fish with large golden eyes. He was enchantingly kind
and spoke to me as plucked napa leaves. One morning I awoke in haste—
I heard his crimson fins beating wildly against the edges of his shallow pool. I clutched my waist.
There was no time. The house-thief was standing over him, dagger drawn. The metal cursed and whined
as this monster woman thrust it through my old friend’s heart. She forced him to become erased.
She did not openly gloat but she knew I had witnessed her crime. Her supper complete with his taste.
I am hollow. I would take to my heels if this wasn’t my home. How could a single person be so unkind?
There is pure contempt between us. I work in silence and careless haste.
What could you do for me now, old friend? What good was the patience you embraced?
Will you join the mingqi protectors in the gardens or leave me behind?
I’m afraid my memories of you are almost erased.
Dear Yeh-Shen, ponder no more. Wandering minds are a waste.
In death, as in life, I will serve as your protector. Just do as I say. Find
my bones and whisper your greatest desires. Quick! Make haste.
Before the chance for your freedom is forever erased.