The turtle was still moving, but I knew that it was already dead.
Twenty days ago, Fatty made a small part of our yard into a feng shui array. He made mountains out of sand and connected them to a pipe to represent water. He then made a counterfeit of the corpse ground written in “The Book of Burial” (1) and created a curse cave in the womb of the dragon veins. A turtle later died in a pond at home, so Fatty buried it in the cave.
“Forty-nine days,” Fatty said to me. “If the turtle doesn’t rot in forty-nine days, it means we can successfully raise zombies here.”
“What are you trying to do?” I asked him.
“I want to raise a zombie turtle. Hey, do you think this zombie turtle will end up jumping or walking?”
“Why are you raising a zombie during the New Year season?”
“Because travel is restricted. I need something to keep my mind busy or I won’t be able to control myself and will end up harming society.” Fatty burned some incense, walked in a circle around the yard, and stuck the incense on top of each “horn” of the dragon vein. Our yard wasn’t that big in the first place, so after he changed the layout, we couldn’t even walk around properly.
From that day on, Fatty was like a kid whose family had just bought a goldfish. He would lie on the threshold every day and look at the cemetery he had built in the yard. He wasn’t afraid of the cold, so he always kept the house door open. As a result, no matter how high we turned the heater up, it was always cold inside. I ended up installing a camera for him, but he never used it.
For twenty days, the camera worked 24/7. Until today. Since half of our old house was considered public property, the neighborhood committee came over to inspect whether we were following disinfection protocols. When a few staff in white protective suits came in and saw our yard, they immediately ordered Fatty to remove the grave because it might lead to health problems.
So, Fatty removed the grave. When he dug the turtle up, he found that it was already withered and its skin had turned dark purple. But not only did the turtle not decay, it was even moving.
The turtle’s eyes were shrunken, but one of its legs was still moving. Fatty put it in a glass cabinet, and then the two of us stared at each other, completely speechless.
“It worked!” Fatty said. “This is our first zombie turtle, so let’s hurry up and name it. I’m the dad and you’re the mom, so should we join our two surnames together? Oh wait, there’s also Little Brother to think about. How about Wang Wuzhang?”
I cringed. “You might as well just call it Frankenstein.”
Did he really make a zombie? I asked myself.
“What are you going to do now?” I asked Fatty. “If you can’t handle this thing, it might become a curse.”
“You’re not seeing its value. It’ll be a great help to us in fully understanding our opponents. We need to take this opportunity and understand the nature of this phenomenon,” Fatty said. “Come on, let’s do a Tik Tok video first and gain some fans.”
Right after Fatty finished speaking, the turtle’s legs moved again. The turtle moved a few inches forward and then its head suddenly fell off.
But even though the zombie had been decapitated, it still kept crawling forward.
Fatty and I looked at each other in dismay. I poked the turtle’s decapitated head with a chopstick and found that it was all dried up. But its hind legs continued moving with increasing vigor.
“He can really dance,” I said.
Fatty showed a puzzled expression and then flipped the turtle over. At this time, Poker-Face woke up and saw us playing with the turtle. I suddenly had a feeling that he might be the one moving it, so I immediately gave him a questioning look. Poker-Face raised a finger, made a shushing gesture, and headed into the bathroom with a blank look on his face.
I immediately understood. This guy gets quite mischievous every three or four years. Didn’t he recently get selected as a representative to attend the community meeting? Maybe some of the old aunties taught him how to have fun in life.
Wait, maybe he just thinks we’re being too noisy and wants us to keep our voices down.
Fatty was still observing the turtle when suddenly, a black line crawled out of the base of one of the turtle’s legs. “Horsehair worm?” Fatty clicked his tongue a little dispiritedly. “It’s not the legs that are moving, it’s just a worm.”
I found it a little strange because I knew that horsehair worms didn’t infect turtles. I looked back at Poker-Face and saw him make another shushing gesture as he brushed his teeth.
If it’s a prank, it certainly wasn’t taught by the old aunties, I thought to myself.
Yvette’s notes: Are you all interested in knowing more about DMBJ’s signature songs and the fan community? I’m also more than happy to translate Xu Lei’s interviews and Q&A sessions, but wasn’t sure if anyone was interested in knowing these things.
Translated by: Yvette
Edited by: merebear226