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Geng Shiba

5 de dic. de 2023
4 min de lectura
Historias Extrañas de un Estudio Chino

Geng Shiba, a man from Xincheng, was seriously ill and knew that his time in this world was limited. On his deathbed, he said to his wife, 'We will soon be separated forever. After I die, it is up to you to decide whether to remarry or remain a widow. Please let me know your plans.' His wife remained silent upon hearing this. Geng Shiba insisted on her response, saying, 'Being a widow is certainly fine, and it is only natural to remarry. Let's clarify this while I am still alive. What's the harm in that? If you choose to remain a widow, I will find solace in that. If you decide to remarry, I will no longer worry about it and can put this matter to rest.' His wife sadly replied, 'Our family is so poor that we can barely afford to eat while you are still alive. After you die, what is there for me to remain a widow for?' Geng Shiba, upon hearing this, grabbed his wife's arm and said with resentment, 'You have a heart of stone!' He then took his last breath, but his hand remained tightly gripping his wife's arm, causing her to scream in terror. The family rushed over and had to forcefully pry Geng Shiba's hand off his wife's arm.

Unaware that he had already died, Geng Shiba walked out of the house. He saw several small carriages in front of the door, each carrying ten people. The names of each person were written on a piece of paper and pasted on the carriages. One of the carriage drivers saw Geng Shiba and urged him to get on the carriage quickly. Geng Shiba boarded the carriage and saw that there were already nine people inside, making it a total of ten. He noticed that his name was written last on the list. The sound of the carriages was creaking and harsh. He had no idea where they were going.

In the blink of an eye, he arrived at a place where he heard someone say, 'This is the place of longing for home.' Hearing this name, Geng Shiba was puzzled. He overheard the carriage drivers whispering to each other, 'Three people were beheaded today.' Geng Shiba became even more frightened. Listening carefully to their conversation, he realized they were talking about the underworld. It suddenly dawned on him, and he muttered to himself, 'Have I become a ghost?' He immediately thought that there was nothing worth missing at home, except for his elderly mother who had no one to take care of her after his wife remarried. Thinking of this, he couldn't help but shed tears of sadness.

As he walked, he suddenly saw a tall platform ahead with many visitors. They had disheveled hair, wore shackles, and cried out as they went up and down the platform. It was said to be the 'Platform of Longing for Home.' Everyone got off the carriages and scrambled to climb onto the platform. The carriage drivers whipped them, forbidding them from climbing up. Only when it was Geng Shiba's turn, they urged him to go up and take a look. Geng Shiba climbed dozens of steps in one breath and reached the top of the platform. Looking up, he could see his own courtyard and house as if they were right in front of him. However, the interior was unclear, as if shrouded in mist. Geng Shiba was overcome with emotions, feeling a deep sense of sorrow and discomfort. When he turned around, a man dressed in short clothes stood beside him and asked for his name. Geng Shiba told him the truth. The man introduced himself as a craftsman from the East Sea. Seeing Geng Shiba's sad expression, he asked, 'Is there something you can't let go of?' Geng Shiba told him the whole story. The craftsman and Geng Shiba discussed and planned to escape by jumping off the platform. Geng Shiba was timid and afraid of being chased by little ghosts. The craftsman reassured him that there was nothing to worry about. Geng Shiba was also afraid of falling when jumping off the platform, so the craftsman taught him how to do it and took the lead. Geng Shiba followed suit and landed safely, feeling relieved that no one noticed them. Seeing the carriage they had ridden still parked below, the two of them hurriedly ran away. After running a few steps, Geng Shiba suddenly remembered that his name was still posted on the carriage. Afraid of being discovered and caught, he quickly returned to the carriage, moistened his finger with saliva, and wiped off his name. Only then did he feel at ease and ran away.

The two of them ran until they were out of breath and didn't dare to stop. After a short time, they arrived home. The craftsman escorted Geng Shiba into the house, and Geng Shiba suddenly saw his own corpse. He immediately woke up, feeling exhausted, with a dry mouth and tongue, desperately calling for water. The family was shocked and quickly brought him water. Geng Shiba drank a whole bucket in one breath. Then, he suddenly stood up, bowed and paid his respects, and then bowed outside the door. After returning to the room, he lay down on the bed motionless. The family was bewildered by his strange behavior and suspected that he was not truly alive. However, upon closer observation, they didn't find anything unusual. When they approached him and asked, he clearly recounted the whole story. They asked him, 'What were you doing outside?' He replied, 'I went to bid farewell to the craftsman.' They asked him, 'Why did you drink so much water?' He replied, 'First, I drank, and then the craftsman drank.' The family fed him soup and rice, and in a few days, he recovered his health. After this incident, Geng Shiba despised and looked down upon his wife, and they never shared a bed again.

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