It's that time of year again. The seventh lunar month of traditional Chinese calendar marks the month of ghost. For the whole month, the gate of Hell are sprung open for the world of spirits to access the world of men (or to fret your pants wet).
But seriously, the world of spirits , according to the Chinese, is many ways the same to that of ours: as in this life, it is impossible to live without eating. Hence, sharing below is a silvia-inducing extract from the story A Gang of Ghosts from Xi Shan "西山一窟鬼".
This horror story is probably the most read one in China, dated all the way back from Sung Dynasty. Apparently it's the kind of ghost tale that teahouse audience would enjoy because it's so built-up that, toward the end, not only his wife, but a whole bunch of people the protagonist have ever run into are revealed one by one as ghosts -- the matchmaker, his mother in-law, the maid, the temptress (so is her mother!) -- all to the graveyard keeper!
"The fish, fresh from the brook was unsurpassable, and the warm wine caressed the throat and made him relaxed inside, Wu felt very happy.
"What did you do to the fish?" he asked.
"Nothing," replied Li-hwa (edit. the temptress), very simply.
"There is magic in it. I swear I never tasted carp like that before."
"What did I tell you?" said the mother. "Did I not tell you the truth about my daughter? But you would believe the words of a professional matchmaker."
Wu resented the insinuation and said with obvious annoyance, "What is wrong with my wife?""