”Only the dead can bear to remain in this land”.
Ah Ai said. As if talking to the squashed grass behind him. A Pian can clearly feel the muscles of A Ai’s neck turning under his hands, so clearly that A Pian can accurately guess every word A Ai says without listening to her ears. Leaning to the right or left or covering the deep socket in the middle of the collarbone, Ah Pian’s hand pressed her pulse, the sound of swallowing saliva, and the rush of heat, followed the every move of the vitality hidden in A’ai’s body. The rhythm of the pulse beating hidden under the pale skin was smooth and smooth. During this period of time, the calm and steady rhythm made Ah Pian desperate. Ah Ai is definitely pregnant, her pulse is messed up, and she will be stranded on the shore of the salt water with the baby.
The sun was still watching the cemetery just now, but it soon became blurred. When A Pian swayed rhythmically on A Ai’s body, it cast a shaking shadow on her body. Cold and darkness do not hesitate to take over whatever the sun has just left behind. After spending many afternoons in the cemetery, A Pian discovered that the night on the salt water bank originated here, and the darkness flowed from the cracks of hundreds of graves. Those weedy and criss-crossed brick cracks are the doors for underground souls to enter and exit. This idea made A-Pian jump up and block the cracks with his back. Thinking of the ghosts below stomping their feet angrily, he couldn’t help laughing. There are several ghosts in the stone tomb who met A Pian when they were still alive.
Recently, Ah Pian stopped teasing those ghosts. He couldn’t let go of the dead. Just like Ah Ai struggling back and forth but unable to escape. A Tan silently agreed, and he was lying right under the field where A Pian and the others were entangled. For seven years, Atan has been lying here quietly. He was born into a wealthy family and died of a brain tumor. At the age of fourteen, Atan brought an unacceptable paradox to the people on the shore of the salt water: rich but dead, small but big grave. To make up for his short life, people built a magnificent tomb for him: painted eaves, tiles around the tomb, tombstones made of granite, and the foundation of the tomb is enough to accommodate dozens of people here.
Among those people of the same age as A Pian, A Tan was the only one who was sober. He was not restlessly planning to leave this piece of termite mound-shaped land that seemed to be forgotten by the mainland, ready to dedicate himself to the sea at any time, and separated by the mouth of the river. . The rest of the young people lie on the dirty road every night, listening to the car horns, thinking of some distant place, and they will go to that place in the near future.
And Ah Ai is about to be swallowed alive by a distant place that feels hopeless just thinking about it.
Ah Pian wasn’t sure if he had said this sentence, or if it was just a passing thought. Ah Ai didn’t seem to hear it. If she had heard it, then this matter had been decided long ago, and Ah Pian would have no chance to intervene in this decision. Then, very simply, just inform.
”The men over there eat betel nuts,” A’ai’s voice was emotionless, and she rubbed her big toe against the soles of his feet.
Ah Pian thought of the red tongue, red teeth, and red mouth. One day, they will explore A’ai’s whole body, and let her skin and flesh be covered with the spicy taste of betel nut.
”Let’s go together.” A Pian said, his eyes quickly turned to the end of the cemetery—the place where his mother lay, densely packed with cemeteries. It is difficult to see the crude grave hidden in the dead wood. At the last moment of her life, this impoverished woman gradually loosened her grip on the hem of Ah Pian’s clothes, and she murmured, “Don’t leave mother behind.” Every time he lured Ah Ai to escape, Ah Pian always felt that his mother was talking in her sleep, and he didn’t think those words were last words. But the girlfriend never thought his idea of leaving together was serious, and she laughed dryly before she pouted.
”Where are you going?”
”I’ll talk about it later. Anywhere is fine.”
Ah Pian didn’t have any plans.
”You have to go out to find out.” He tried hard to suppress the deep bitterness in his gums.
But, is everything going well together, A Pian thought as she pressed her face to A Ai’s neck. It was the only place he hadn’t bitten in those desperate moments. A Pian found that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t integrate the two into one. Her pale skin kept slipping away, sliding away. A Pian suspected that this was because the marble inlaid on the tomb was too slippery, so he clamped Ai with his legs on the cracked cement or brick tomb. He tried every means to keep Ai, but he still felt that she was drifting away he.
Throughout her nineteen years, A Pian was only busy with one thing: keep A Ai by her side. He instigated the children to spread the news that he and Aai were together in the village, and he marked his “territory” with false words, such as inadvertently revealing his girlfriend’s fragrant navel and mole at the end of the tailbone when drunk. The boys in the village gradually alienated Ai. And Ah Ai’s own thoughts only vaguely appeared at the moment when Ah Pian roughly took his girlfriend’s slender and fair neck with his hand. His hands never stopped, guarding the girl in a state of obsession that was almost detached from his body.
When he dropped the purple suitcase that Aai asked him to carry when he came back from the market, his hands hid his despair.
”I don’t know what to put in the box to fill it up.” The girl sighed.
Putting the suitcase on top of his head, Ah Pian found that everything was so clear, that it was no longer his feeling that Ah Ai was going to leave.
”I still have to buy a pair of shoes that look good.” When Ah Pian hurriedly peeled off Ah Ai’s clothes, she stretched her neck to look at the crimson rectangle on the foundation of the tomb. They didn’t have time to take their feet home.
Thinking that there was still time to plant a child into A Ai’s stomach, A Pian clamped her between his feet again. As usual, he’s still the one who burns out first. A’ai is still pale and calm, even though there are a few more bite marks on the original teeth marks on her body. Exhausted, she lay naked and limp like this, with her blurry eyes closed, as if waiting for a certain voice from the village to penetrate the cold twilight of the cemetery. Even the faint cry of a child at this time is unbearable. Ah Pian’s hands were wrapped around her lotus neck, she ignored his restless hands.
Aai was silent, stretched lazily, and changed her posture to the left. The shadows in the dead wood became thicker and became one. The trees are desolate. The wind blows and there is no movement at all, the ruined flowers and leaves are hard to identify, and the four seasons only present a senseless and miserable appearance. At first, people grew these plants to make fences, and now they are popping up in a mess, everywhere. Behind a line of dry fence-lined, featherweed-covered sand, a house is known to have once stood there. The owner of the house has moved away, leaving only a fence around the empty house.
The beach caved in, the sand loosened, the clams disappeared, there were no more tourists on the pier, and the waves lapped violently against the steep east bank. People on the shore of the salty water left one after another. It seemed like a near-death solution. Those night buses that pick up people from Jiuqiao have long been accustomed to the scene of passengers rushing to carry luggage. Unable to uproot the house and take it away, they left it in the wet and salty wind. Those who stayed, with the slightest respect for those who fled, waited until the termite colony had overrun the corner before rushing in to tear down the dilapidated houses and bring them home for firewood.
Occasionally, those who fled will return to bring their bright future to life, empowering fearful, indecisive young people. There was a woman who had been away for a long time, and her whole person changed drastically. At the end of the rainy season, she suddenly lost her shape and seduced A Pian’s girl to a place where he could not go with her. Needless to say, her bejeweled appearance has already convinced Ah Ai.
”It’s so easy to make money that way.” She laughed amidst the tinkling of jewelry.
The people of the Saltwater Shore knew about the place from a very old movie that was shown on TV – a deserted village where a blind man lives with a child abused by his stepmother and a formerly ostracized woman Together, there is a crazy girl. The whole movie, even the songs in it, are lifeless, totally.
”Only the dead stay in this land.” A’ai sighed. Hearing a gust of air flow down her throat, Ah Pian wanted to argue, but he felt lonely. The graves in the cemetery stood on the side of the girl, who was dressed and tied up her messy hair by now.
”Who knows what to put in to fill it up?”
A’ai said, stretched her feet to the side of the suitcase, and walked away with drooping hands. Ah Pian carried the empty box and trotted to the end of the fence. At most, it can only go to the gate of A’ai’s house. He was not welcomed by A’ai’s family, they did not forget the golden age of the salt water shore, people were beaten several times for fighting for clams, and A’Pian’s father mercilessly left three or five scars on their bodies.
The night has overflowed the other side of the beach. A Pian followed behind A Ai, and she could no longer see clearly the dimple of her neck behind her listless hair, and the red mole on her waist. A’ai is also completely hidden in the darkness like those dead trees, making it impossible to distinguish. If it weren’t for the thick or light sweat smell from A’ai blowing out with the wind, A’Pian would have thought she was lost.
Beyond this darkness is tomorrow. The time for Ah Ai to leave is getting closer and closer. Tomorrow, Ah Pian will still wait for customers at the pier, listening to the old man selling sugarcane juice lamenting that now he no longer remembers what the tourists look like, whether they have four or three legs. Throughout the year, Ah Pian sat blankly beside the faded motorcycle, trying to convince Ai and her family, including himself, that he had a very good job. The sweet potatoes planted in the garden dozens of miles away are bearing fruit, and his house can withstand another ten years of wind and rain before it needs to be repaired.
Now Ah Pian knew that there was another meaning to sitting on the pier, because the fact is that only the dead would stay on the shore of the salt water. Ah Pian began to think about this matter, extremely serious.
”Only the dead can bear to remain in this land”.