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"A Pragnant Ghost"


Chapter 1
Pregnent Ghost

By Goodadvicechan

In the middle of the night, I felt someone tapped my shoulder and whispered "Tom. You awake?"

"Go away." I whispered.

Someone pushed me and I pushed it back. The tapping and pushing persisted.

"Stop it." I whispered.

The tapping and pushing me did not stop. I reluctantly opened my eyes, saw a bride sitting on the side of my bed, wearing a red traditional Chinese wedding dress embroidered with golden thread to show patterns of a dragon and a phoenix design, and a golden necklace and golden bracelets of the similar design.

"Who are you?" I said.

She turned around. Lightning flashed and thunder exploded.

I saw a corpse. My eyes widened, and I fell from my bed onto the floor. While I lay on the floor, I pinched my face to ensure what I saw was real.

Lightning struck again and thunder sounded. Her features turned into a beautiful face. She cried and her tears turned into blood pouring down her cheeks like two rivers.

I ran into the bathroom and closed the door. Breathing deeply, I washed my face with cold water. I stared into the mirror. The bride with the corpse face appeared. I rushed back to my bedroom, seeing her sitting on my bed. She saw me, stood up, and walked towards me. I stepped backwards a few steps, and ran to the living room.

All of a sudden, the door bell rang repeatedly. I rushed to answer the door hoping someone was coming to save me. I opened the door. She stood before me. She held me tightly and kissed me. I pushed her away.

" What is going on?" she asked.

I blinked.

It was Mary, my girlfriend. I drew her to me and would not let her go. She pushed me away, "I can't breathe."

I led her inside the apartment and sat her on the sofa. I grasped her hands in mine. I hadn't recovered from the shock, and I refused to scare her with what I'd seen.

"Why are you here? We're supposed to meet tomorrow after your morning church service."

"You didn't answer my call, so I came by to check on you." She frowned. "Do you have a girl in the apartment?"

" Yes," I said, "I mean no."

"Yes or no?" Mary's voice raised. She started to get annoyed. "I'm checking the bedroom."

I stopped her. "No. She may still be on the bed."

She got rid of my hand and slapped my face. "How dare you?"

"It's not what you're thinking."

"Look at what you're wearing." She said.

I glanced down. I was wearing a black brief. "At least I'm not naked."

She slapped me again and rushed into my bedroom. I saw the bride still sitting on my bed.

"Where is she?" Mary said.

Was Mary blind?

"I don't know. She was here before."

Mary opened all the closets and found no one. She walked to the bathroom, and I blocked the door.

I ran to stop her. "Don't go in there. She's in the mirror." She shoved me onto the floor.

I screamed, "I have a ghost in the house."

***

Next day, the weather was not too bad for an outing to a river village. My project required me to write an article on water villages for a local magazine.

Mary and I took a bus to the Zhou Zhuang River Village, about an hour and a half bus ride from Shanghai.

While we were in the bus, Mary handed me a book. "Do you remember this one?"

"Of course," I said. "This book is our matchmaker. I found it in our local library. I put my hand on the book, you put yours on top of mine."

Mary laughed and rested her head on my shoulder.

"Thanks for coming last night. I was so scared."

"I don't believe in ghosts," said Mary.

"I am a Buddhist." I said.

"Let's forget about it." Mary closed her eyes and continued to rest on my shoulder.

I opened the book. There were many beautiful pictures of narrow river sceneries. I found the stone arch bridge over a narrow river extremely beautiful. The book has a short article with pictures describing a famous mansion as a historical site called Shen's Mansion. The Residence comprised of 7 rows of houses, five arched gateways and more than 100 rooms arrayed along a 100 meter long central axis. The residence featured a typical layout of ceremonial halls in the front and living chambers in the rear.

Before I finished reading the book, the bus reached our destination.

Mary and I started our tour of the village. We stopped at the first arch bridge and took pictures. She pointed to the roof of a house. "Would you snap a picture of that roof?"

"What is it that you like about it?"

"I find the clothes hanging on bamboo stands flying in the air interesting," she said.

"Really?"

"Yes. In the city we use dryers."

I took a few pictures before we entered the village market place. The road was so narrow that we were forced to walk single file.

Most of the shops were two stories tall, and the ground floor was about 600 square feet. One of the owners told us the lower floor was used as shops and the upper floor as residences. As we walked along the streets, some shops sold handicrafts; and others dried seafood. Mary covered her nose.

We stepped inside a small gallery called "Chung Hing Gallery." The artist introduced himself as Au Chung Hing and escorted us around the gallery.

He gestured to a painting. "This is a taxi boat. It carries a small flag here which shows it's a transportation boat." He moved onto another painting. "People on this one sell vegetables and fruits."

I wasn't too much into his art work but tried to get more information about local culture. Au Ching Hing was very knowledgeable and knew quite a bit of the local history. He told us the House of Chow was the biggest residential house in the village. He said it had a beautiful garden. They used to open it to the public, but it was closed since their daughter passed away.

As we approached the right hand corner in the gallery, a picture hanging there scared me. This was a large rectangle scroll painting. In the background set a garden pavilion with a willow tree on the left side. In the middle of the pavilion was a round table and four chairs. A tea pot and a few cups on a plate were placed on the round table.

A young girl about eighteen years old sat inside the pavilion. She wore a black see-through silk scarf over her head to cover her face. Her hair was combed up high like a hat decorated with gold jewelry pins and a big ivory head pin consisting of a string of pearls. Four of them were white and the fifth one was black. The black pearl glittered at me.
She was the ghost I'd seen in my bedroom. I didn't sense the horror from last night.
I saw a hidden sadness in her eyes, and sadness washed over me. The more I looked at her, the more the eyes of the girl in the picture were telling me she wanted me to take her home.

I turned to Mary. "Look at that girl in this picture."

Mary didn't appear interested, but she peered at it for a few seconds. "She is pretty." She moved on, studying some more pictures.

Wherever I walked in the gallery, the eyes of the bride followed me. Even when I looked at other pictures, she appeared in them saying to me, "Tom, take me home." Such chilling feelings frightened me. I whispered to Mary. "Let's get out of this gallery."

As soon as I took the first step to leave, a soft and sad voice whispered to me, "Tom, take me home." I took a few more steps and left the shop. The voice non-stop echoed in my ears asking me to take her home. I shook my head and whispered. "No, no." I thought I could get rid of the illusion, but the more I shook my head, the more vividly the bride reappeared in my mind. Fear seized me. I walked faster and the bride walked faster. She was always behind me.

Mary noticed my weird behavior. "Anything wrong?"

I didn't know what to reply, but something inside me took over my voice. "I want to buy the picture."

"Silly man, if you want it, I'll buy it for you." Mary said.

"No, I don't need it."

"Come on," Mary said, "I won't be jealous of the girl."

"But I really don't need it."

Mary grabbed my hand and walked back to the gallery. She beckoned to the shop owner. "Mr. Au, we're interested in buying this picture." He shook his head. "Sorry, this one is not for sale. Can I interest you in something else?"

"Please, Mr. Au, my boyfriend likes this one very much. I want to get it for him."

Mary tried extremely hard to convince the owner to sell it, but he was equally strong not to sell.

A woman about age 30 carrying a basket of vegetables entered the shop. She turned to the owner. "Big Brother, we need the money. Mama is sick, and the medicine is expensive."

"You don't have to remind me, Sister," the shop owner said.

"My dear brother, it is time for you to let go. It has been 5 years already."

She turned to Mary, "For a good price, I will sell it to you."

The shop owner's eyes moistened, and a tear flowed down his face.

"Name your price." Mary said.

"3000 yuan."

The bride's voice echoed in my ears. "Tom, take me home."

"Mary, I really don't need it."

Mary gave 3000 yuan to Mr. Au's sister who took the money and disappeared to wrap the picture for us.

Someone tapped my shoulder and I turned around. The ghost stood behind me smiling.

"Tom, are you happy? I let you bring a pretty girl home." Mary said.

***

Author Notes The above is my opening chapter of my book. I intend to make it a novel.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Philip Chan
www.good-advice-book.blogspot.com


Chapter 2
Pregnant Ghost - Chapter 2

By Goodadvicechan

Chapter 1 - Tom bought a picture of a bride.

Chapter 2 - Found a father for my son

Lying in bed and looking at the painting hanging on the wall, I felt excited having a beautiful girl in my bedroom. The more I looked at her, the more fantasies I had. I wished she could come out and be with me.

When the lights were off, I saw no girl in the picture except the black pearl glittering, and the white pearls shining like stars. Strangely, the shiny stars did not bother me but made me more sleepy. I slept peacefully.

Someone tapped me, "Tom, time to wake up."

I opened my eyes and saw a bride walking out from the pavilion in the picture towards me. I rubbed my eyes, saw her walking towards me, and sat on my bed.

She leaned over and put her body over me, whispering over my ear. "I want you to be the father of my son."

All of a sudden, she turned her features into the skeleton of a corpse. I pushed her away with all my mighty strength; nothing could move her.

I struggled hard, turning off the bedside lamp and she was gone.

The same terrifying experience repeated on the second night. On the third night, I kept all the lights on. While sleeping, a voice said,"Tom, wake up. The lights are off."

I opened my eyes, screamed aloud, seeing a corpse next to me, and fell onto the floor.

The bride from the picture said passionately, "Don't be afraid. I won't harm you. I am looking for a father for my son."

"Why me?"

"Because you have the power of seeing ghosts."

"What do you mean?"

"I'll explain to you later. Come with me."

She helped me get up from the floor. I pushed her hands away. "I won't harm you."

She grasped my hand tight, led me into the picture, and walked through a beautiful garden.

The place was deserted with a covered well. There was no people in the garden but there was a willow tree. We came to a gazebo with a round table and four chairs. She sat me down.

With a black scarf covering her face, I could see tears flowing down her cheeks. I was scared, and did not know what to do.

"Tom, you are the father of my son."

"Oh, no.."

"God of Mercy sent you to be the father."

"No. It couldn't be true. God made a mistake."

"Be calm and listen to me. My name is Chow Siu Feng and I grew up here. I had a childhood sweetheart. His name was Ho Sue Ming."

"Excellent. Siu Ming can be the father."

" Yes, he was the father."

"Good, then I can go now." I stood up. Siu Feng pushed me down.

"Siu Ming is dead." Siu Feng said. "You are the father now."

"Oh. No."

"Be kind and patient. Let me tell you the story of my life." She started crying.

Snow started to fall heavily. Another girl came, handing a handkerchief to Siu Feng and said. "Miss Siu Feng, stop crying. You've been crying for years. You should be relieved now that you found the father for your son."

"Who are you?" I said.

"I am Tsoi Tsoi, Miss Siu Feng's servant. I live here near the well." She replied.

"Tsoi Tsoi, you can leave. Let me talk to Mr. Tsang alone," Siu Feng said.

"Please don't cry anymore." Tsoi Tsoi left.

Siu Feng wiped her tears, turning her face to me, and telling the following story.

When she was twelve, she liked picking wild flowers near the bank of the river. One day while picking up flowers, a dog ran towards her. She was terrified, ran away as fast as she could, hit a rock, and fell on the floor. The dog jumped over her. She thought she would die. The dog licked her face and she screamed. A boy showed up and said, "Stop scaring this lovely girl."

The dog wagged its tail, welcoming her.

He turned to her, helped her get up, and said,"I am Ho Siu Ming. My dog, Lucky, is friendly."

Ho Siu Ming held her hand to stroke the dog gently and mischievously talked to the dog, "My little beloved dog, can you be our witness? I already fell in love with this beautiful girl. When I grow up, I will marry this pretty girl." He turned around and kissed her on the face.

She pushed him away, the dog barked and ran away, wagging its tail. Siu Feng started running away.

Siu Feng discontinued the story, and started crying.

"What happened after that?" I said.

Tsoi Tsoi came back, let Siu Peng cry on her chest, and offered to finish the story as follows.

Siu Ming and Siu Feng started dating. They spent a lot of time along the bank throwing balls for Lucky to catch. This went on for 6 years till Siu Feng reached 18 and Siu Ming 21.

Siu Ming followed the Village culture. He dressed up as a groom with red top and black bottoms, sitting on a chair being carried by four people. Following him were a match maker, four people carrying traditional marriage proposal gifts such as rolls of silk, jewelries, dried mushrooms, abalone, sharks fins etc., and a band of 4 playing various Chinese musical instruments walking from his house to the House of Chow to propose marriage to Siu Feng.

When they arrived at the house, Siu Feng's parents refused to let them in. The match maker bribed the doorman, allowing her to get in.

When she came out, she told Siu Ming that Siu Feng had arranged marriage and the wedding was to take place in a month.

Tsoi Tsoi could not finish the story but cried and Siu Feng joined her crying.

Snow got heavier and the wind got stronger, blowing snow onto my face. I widened my eyes and found myself lying on the floor in my bedroom.

"What had happened?" I asked myself.

***

Next day, Mary was back from a business trip. I told her what happened to me in her absence.

"I don't believe in ghosts."

She held my hand and dragged me to the bedroom. Pointing at the girl in the picture, she said. "Don't tell me, this girl woke you up and seduced you. Right?"

"Um... " I had nothing to say.

"Or did you bring someone home while I was away."

"No, how could you not trust me?" I got angry.

"Do you want me to believe your story? Am I stupid?"

"You are not stupid, but I am angry you don't trust me. I myself found it hard to believe what happened yesterday, but it was true."

"O.K. That's easy to deal with. Let's get rid of the picture. "

"Don't."

"Why not?"

"There might be something strange about the picture. I am interested to find out more. Maybe I could find a story for my magazine."

"But I am not interested in her story."

"Don't you want to me to make some money? Perhaps we could go back to the gallery. Mr. Au might have something to tell us."

"Forget about her story. I came here tonight to share something important with you."

"Come here." I padded my bed. "Sit down and tell me what it is."

Mary sat down next to me. I put my hands on her shoulders. She moved them down but sat face to face to me holding my hands. I looked at her eyes. She looked at mine without saying anything.

"Tell me."

"I am pregnant." She said it with a low voice.

I was speechless but excited. I kissed her.

"Stop. I just got a promotion. This is not the right time. I plan to get rid of it."

"No. We should get married immediately and start a family."

All of a sudden, the roof was full of shining stars. I turned around, noticed the black pearl in the picture glittered, the eyes of the bride widening and her feature turning into an angry face.

Mary said, "I don't feel comfortable to see the picture in this room."

"No problem. I'ill take it down."

I went to remove the picture and could not take it down. The picture was firmly glued to the wall.

Mary said, "I'll help you."

Suddenly there were thunder and lightning. All the lights in the room were off. All I could see was the glittering of all the pearls turning into stars, and flying all over the room.

The bride jumped out of the picture, face to face to Mary. "The baby is mine. You can't get rid of it. "

Mary screamed, hit the bedside table and fell on the floor. She was unconscious and blood was flowing out from her head.

***

Mary's grandma, Veronica opened the door, walked to me and said, "Where is Mary?"

"She's in the operating room."

"What happened?"

"It was an accident. Mary tripped over, hit her head on the bedside table, and hurt herself."

A nurse and a doctor came in the room. Behind them, an assistant pushed a movable bed; sleeping on it was Mary. He transported Mary onto the bed and left.

The doctor said. "We removed all the broken pieces of glass from Mary's head. The stitches will dissolve by themselves. She is unconscious. It could be the result of being shocked by what happened."

"When will she wake up?" Veronica said.

"At this moment, we are sorry we have no idea when she will wake up. We need to observe her for another twenty-four hours."

"Thank you, Dr. Henderson." I said.

The doctor and the nurse left the room. Veronica sat down next to Mary's bed, holding Mary's hand. "Baby, what happened?" She started crying.

I comforted her. "Grandma, she will be fine."

"Tom, don't hide anything from me. Tell me what happened. Did you two have a fight?"

"Fight over what?"

"Does her pregnancy have anything to do with this?"

"No, yes."

"Yes or no?"

I told her the whole story.

"Tom, this is no joke. Mary must be possessed by a ghost. I have to do something about it."

"What can we do? Mary doesn't believe in ghosts."

"I don't care what Mary believes. I'll get an a monk to catch the ghost and send her back to hell."

"Grandma, I don't believe such things."

"I don't care. I will find one to help us." She insisted.

We argued for a while and ultimately I gave up. "If she does not wake up on the third day, we will do something."

*****

On the third day at about midnight grandma came to visit me with a monk.

He introduced himself. "Hello, Mr. Chow. My name is Monk Kong. I have at least close to 10 years of experience. I have seen all sorts of ghosts. Some of them are more fierce than others. But I have never failed to catch anyone."

"That's good to know. Now, what do I have to do?"

"You don't have to do anything. Your grandma has told me all the details. Let me catch her and send her back to hell. Just show me where the picture is."

I led him to my bedroom. He looked at the picture and immediately said, "This one is difficult to catch."

"Why ?"

"She looks like she has a lot of hidden pain. She hides in the picture for a purpose, most probably too stubborn to leave."

"How can you tell?"

"One of the pearls already turned black."

My grandma interrupted, "Tom, ask no questions. Let Monk Kong do his job."

He started sticking small yellow paper banners on the front door and my bedroom door.

I said, "What are these?"

"These are written prayers to stop the ghost from running away while I capture her, send her to hell. Open the window please."

I opened the window.

Monk Kong said, "Make sure you keep banners sticking on for 49 days so that the ghost cannot enter the house again. Tonight, after I leave, close the window and put on these sticker banners. Burn the picture."

He handed me some banners, set up an altar table in front of the picture and put a bowl of ashes for burning incense, a bowl of rice, a bottle of water, a bell, a triangulate paper banner of 3 colors with special characters.

Grandma put some fruits, and a chicken with both the head and the tail on the altar table. She knelt down and said some prayers.

Monk Kong put on a new yellow gown and an ornate crown of 5 strips of gold and red ribbons.

He asked me to kneel down, burn three pieces of incense, and follow word for word what he said. I did that.

After that, Monk Kong rang the bell and said his prayers. He raised his banners and walked around the altar table, round and round again, threw the rice, practicing his sword.

I had no idea how many rounds he made before he stopped, burned a bunch of incense, and sprayed water over them. Fire came out from the burning incense. He raised a wooden sword and started saying something.

I had no idea what he said. To me, he danced and used his sword to kill a ghost or whatever.

At that particular moment, thunder and lightning struck, and the lights of the whole house were off. All the banners were blown away flying all over the house. The pearls became stars shooting all over the monk.

The bride from the picture jumped out and chased the monk around the alter table. The monk ran out of my apartment and grandma followed him.

I was frozen and lost my speech.

***


Next morning, while I was driving to the hospital, my phone rang, I answered, "Hello."

"Tom, it's grandma."

"Are you OK?"

"Listen carefully. Monk Kong said the ghost was very strong in her spirit. She would not leave the picture until she accomplished what she wanted."

"What am I suppose to do? Shall I burn the picture."

"No, no, no. You must 't do that. The ghost is now in Mary's body." Veronica
started crying.

"Grandma. I'ill get the best doctor to help Mary. Talk to you later. Take a good rest. Bye now. Love you."

I parked my car, walked to Mary's room, and saw Dr. Henderson.

"Good morning, Dr. Henderson."

"Good morning and good timing. I was about to give you a call. Mary hasn't woken yet. Her temperature is weird. During the daytime, it was normal but after midnight it could go up to 103. I had an order to take her temperature every two hours after midnight."

"Any clues what happened?"

"We just got hospital approval to form a special investigation team. We will contact you once we found out the reason."

"Thank you. Dr. Henderson, I would appreciate it if you could call me for any updates?'

"Sure." Dr. Henderson and the nurse left the room.

I sat next to Mary, holding her hand. "Mary, I love you. Wake up for me."

Veronica came to see Mary, "How is she doing?"

"She's still unconscious."

"What did the doctor say?"

"They have a special team to look after this case."

Veronica kept on crying.

I saw Mary turning her face into the face of the Bride.

****

Author Notes In the remote suburb city, people have local traditions and generally they still follow those traditions.

The older generations still believe in ghosts and they also believe there are ways to communicate with the ghosts.


Chapter 3
Pregnant Ghost -Chapter 3

By Goodadvicechan

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.

Chapter 1 : Mary bought Tom a picture of a beautiful girl dressed in red Chinese Wedding gown.

Chapter 2. The girl in the picture was a ghost. She attacked Tom's girlfriend, Mary, causing her being unconscious. Monk Kong ( Ghost buster) failed to capture the ghost.

Chapter 3 Meeting parents of Siu Feng (ghost) and her boyfriend, Siu Ming (ghost)

***

While I was driving to the hospital, my phone rang, I answered, " Hello."

"Tom, it's grandma."

"Are you OK?"

"Listen carefully. Monk Kong said the ghost was a young female. The ghost's spirit was very strong. She would not leave the picture until she accomplished what she wanted."

"What am I supposed to do? Shall I burn the picture?"

"No, no, no. You mustn't do that. The ghost has possessed Mary's body. We need to get the ghost out of Mary's body first." Veronica started crying.

"Grandma. I'll get the best doctor to help Mary. I arrived at the hospital now. Talk to you later. Take a good rest. Love you."

I parked my car, walked to Mary's room, and saw Dr. Henderson.

"Good morning, Dr. Henderson."

"Good morning and good timing. I was about to give you a call. Mary hasn't woken up yet. Her temperature was weird. During the day time, it was normal but after midnight it could go up to 103. I had written an order to monitor her temperature every two hours."

"Any clues what happened?"

"We just got hospital approval to form a special investigation team. We will contact you once we found out the reason."

"Thank you. Dr. Henderson, I would appreciate it if you could call me when there is any update?'

"Sure."

Dr. Henderson and the nurse left the room.

I sat next to Mary, holding her hand. "Mary, I love you. Wake up for me, please."

Veronica came to see Mary, "How is she doing?"

"She's still unconscious."

"What did the doctor say?"

"They set up a special team to look after this case."

Veronica started crying softly.

I felt completely useless. I could do nothing except staring at Mary. I wanted to burn the picture but Veronica warned me not to. What could I do to get the ghost out of our lives?

Veronica shouted. "Mary moved."

"Where?"

"Her lips."

"Oh, yes. She's sitting up, talking to me."

"What are you talking? She is lying on the bed. She just moved her lips."

I heard the ghost talking to me. "If you want me to come out of Mary's body, you must do what I tell you to do."

"Tell me. I'll do it."

Veronica said, "Tom, whom are you talking to?"

"The ghost."

"You listen to me. If you don't, Mary will never wake up. Now, meet me at home."

"Where is your home?"

I could see the ghost no more, instead I saw our doctor and his nurse coming to see Mary.

Veronica said, "Doctor, Mary just moved her lips."

*****

I waited until midnight and stood in front of the picture for almost one hour waiting for Siu Feng, the ghost to appear. She was nowhere to be seen.

I moved to sit down at my desk going through the pictures I took at the water village. I went through one by one till I found a picture of me and Mary standing in front of Chung Hing Gallery. My mind was puzzled why we went in this gallery. Why did Mary buy that picture? Was the ghost really inside Mary's body? Why did Mary get involved?

I had no answers to all these questions, feeling super tired, and falling into sleep on the desk. I dreamed Mary and I had our wedding ceremony in Hawaii. Our wedding place was by the beach. It was a sunny day with light breeze. I stood under the middle of an arch decorated with multiple colors of flowers, wearing a colorful Hawaii T-shirt.

Veronica escorted Mary coming down from a specially designed ramp fully decorated with blue and white flowers. Mary wore a ring of flowers on her head. She did not cover her face. Her dress had a long train; extra long for this occasion. She could be awarded for the best pregnant dressed woman of the year. I was full of happiness watching her walking down from the top of the ramp, like an angel coming to deliver a baby to me.

When Veronica was about to hand over Mary's hand to me, Mary fell onto the floor. Siu Feng stepped on Mary's train of her dress, and yelled at me at the back. "You are going to marry me."

Someone tapped on my shoulder and woke me up from my dream. I saw Siu Feng standing in front of me.

"How long have you been here?" I said.

"Does it matter?"

"What do you want?"

"Let me ask you first, what do you want?"

"I want to burn your picture."

"It's YOUR picture. You can do anything you like. But don't forget what you promised me."

"I promised nothing."

She held my hands tightly and dragged me into the picture to the pavilion.

Tsoi Tsoi was waiting for us. She had prepared a few appetizers: peanuts, small dried fish and marinated cucumbers.

I wasn't hungry, only wanting to get out of the garden.

Tsoi Tsoi said, "I want to finish the story."

"Please be quick."

Siu Feng said. "Relax. Drink some tea and eat some peanuts."

She poured me a cup of tea and Tsoi Tsoi told me the following story.

About one week before the wedding day, she arranged with Siu Feng that she would stay in her bedroom, pretending to be sleeping, and Siu Feng would go to see Siu Ming. They could then run away and start their new life.

I interrupted and said, "That would work."

Tsoi Tsoi started crying like pouring rain running down a river. Siu Feng joined her crying.

"Hey, stop crying and tell me what happened."

Siu Feng said, "I was worried that my parents would beat Tsoi Tsoi to death. Even they did not do that, my fiancé would have done it."

Tsoi Tsoi said, "Miss Siu Feng, you shouldn't come back. I could take care of my self."

"I didn't see how you could take care of yourself. You jumped into the well and committed suicide."

Tsoi Tsoi cried more. Siu Feng held her in her arms. They both cried softly.

I said, "Why did Tsoi Tsoi commit suicide."

Tsoi Tsoi said. "You aren't here to hear my story. Let me have a cup of tea and then finish the story."

Siu Feng said, "Tsoi Tsoi, take your time to drink your tea. Let me finish the rest of the story."

Here was the rest of the story that Siu Feng told me.

On the wedding day, the arranged marriage groom followed Chinese tradition of having firecrackers, loud gongs, and drums to mark the start of the procession from the groom's home to the bride's house. The groom sat on a horse and led his procession, accompanied by a match maker and child (to symbolize future sons). Attendants with lanterns, as well as banners, musicians, and a dancing lion followed. While the whole street was full of wedding music, Siu Feng's house had a ceremony of hair combing.

Her mother combed her hair four times. The first time she combed and said ( May your marriage last a lifetime); second time (May you be blessed with a happy and harmonious marriage until old age); third time ( May you be blessed with an abundance of children and grandchildren); and fourth time (May you be blessed with longevity).

After the ceremony, they dressed Siu Feng with a beautiful red wedding gown. Her mother put on golden bracelets and necklaces on her. Relatives did the same as gifts. Siu Feng returned her thanking to each one with kneeling down serving a cup of tea.

When the groom finally arrived at the bride's house, the groom's party were met by the bride's friends, who haggled with the groom or his representatives. They made him perform stunts or tricks, and not "surrender" their friend until they were satisfied with red packets of money.

Then the groom collected Siu Feng and put her inside a carrying carriage. Red curtains were used covering the four sides and the top of the carriage. Four men carried the carriage to the groom's house. The dancing lion danced all the way with loud wedding music. The groom rode a horse waiving his hands to the street onlookers.

The groom's family already laid down a red carpet for the bride to walk on while entering the house. When the bride arrived the groom's house, the groom kicked open the curtain, as part of the Chinese tradition symbolizing he was the master in the house. He found Siu Feng committed suicide. There was blood all over the carriage. The groom was angry, screamed, yelled, and sent the dead body back to Siu Feng's house.

When I heard of this story, sadness covered my whole body.

Tsoi Tsoi jumped in, "Mr. Tsang, this is not the end of the story."

"What else happened?"

"On the third day after Miss Siu Feng's death, Mr. Ho Siu Ming came to ask permission from Miss Siu Feng's parents to bury Siu Feng as his wife in his family graveyard. Mr.and Mrs. Chow were angry at Mr. Ho for seducing their daughter. Mr. Chow beat Mr. Ho and drove him out of the house." Tsoi Tsoi was so sad and upset that she could not continue the story.

Siu Feng continued. "Next day, we found Siu Ming hanging himself on the tree outside our house."

"He too committed suicide?"

They both nodded and cried.

Siu Feng said, "When we met before my wedding, I gave my virginity to Siu Ming, and we had a son now."

"O.K. I am not the father of your son."

"No, you are."

"How come?"

"You are Buddhist. You know incarnation. My baby was born underground with an unwanted spirit wandering around for some time to look for a place to settle down, and he finally found a home in Mary's pregnancy. I wanted you to talk to my parents and Siu Ming's parents to allow us to get married so that we could have a grave with me as wife and my baby as son to Ho Siu Ming."

I was speechless.

Tsoi Tsoi said, "Mr. Tsang, can you do that?"

*****

Meanwhile My grandma found a way to beat the Devil. Personally I did not believe in it but I was given no choice.

"Grandma, are you sure this works?" I asked.

"Yes. Did you get everything ready?"

"Yes"

"Tell me what you did."

"I already wrote the name of he ghost on the paper figure you gave me."

"Good. What else have you prepared?"

"I got everything done according to the list you gave me."

"What were they? I wanted to make sure you didn't miss anything."

"In addition to the paper figure, I had a yellow paper tiger, incense, Chinese wine, white rice , a piece of pork, one of Mary's slippers, a brick and a basin."

"Where were they?"

"I put them in the balcony. You told me the ceremony would be done in the balcony. Were you sure this would kill the ghost?"

"This's called beat-the-devil. After she was beaten badly, she should leave Mary's body. If she didn't leave, we could do this over again and again until she left Mary alone."

Grandma Miu Miu arrived about 10 minutes before midnight. I took her to the balcony. By mid-night, she started burning some incense to worship the Divine, muttered a few words (mantra), put the paper figure on the brick, patted it vigorously with the slipper, then turned the slipper over, and continued to beat the paper figure.

While beating the paper figure, she cursed every part of the body of the devil. She started with the head, saying. "Beat your head, and you don't have any strength to breathe."

She repeated the process with the rest of devil's body parts, saying:

Beat your face, and you will have no face to face anyone.
Beat your ears and you will have zero power to hear anything.
Beat your eyes and you will mistake money for toilet paper.
Beat your mouth and you will never talk to your partner.
Beat your stomach and you will have diarrhea.
Beat your hand and you will earn nothing.
Beat your feet, you have no shoes to wear.

Grandma Miu Miu repeated the whole process seven times. I was told this was the way to get rid of the Devil.

Then she put the paper figure already written with the ghost name on the tiger's mouth and touched it, as if to scare the ghost. Then she wrapped the paper figure with the yellow paper tiger and touched around the raw pork a few times, symbolizing the tiger enjoying the devil as a piece of meat. She then sprinkled white rice and put the paper figure in the basin. She burned it along with the paper tiger.

All of a sudden, burning of the paper figure and the paper tiger became big flames. The ghost jumped out of the fire and started to attack Grandma Miu Miu who was quick in running out of the apartment.

Grandma was so scared that she fainted.

Siu Feng turned to me saying. "Why did you do this to me? I would have killed Mary if she wasn't carrying my baby."

"It wasn't my idea."

Siu Feng walked towards me and put her hands on my neck, trying to kill me.

"Please. Please, don't do that. I'll go to see your parents."

*****

The next day, I followed Siu Feng's instructions, rolling up the painting, and tucking it inside an oil coated paper umbrella to protect the ghost from the sun. I was told that was the only way I could carry her spirit with me during the day time.

By the time we got to the Village station, sunset started. As soon as getting off the train, I opened the umbrella, Siu Feng jumped out to accompany me walking about a mile to the Zhou Village. She took me through a narrow road along part of the river bank and crossing one arch bridge before we got to her house.

The Chow family belonged to a high class society. The front entrance had a staircase of five steps. Across the top of the main door sat a board painted with golden words of "House of Chow" There were two poems written on both sides of the door. The left poem read, "Friends first time visit here." The right read, "Our house here welcomes you."

The wooden door was painted in red. The door had two big bronze lion head on them. I used them to knock on the door a couple of times. No one came to open the door.

Finally I used my hand banging heavily on the door, within a few minutes a man came out to open the door.

"Excuse me, whom are you looking for?" The man asked me politely.

"I am representing Miss Chow to deliver a message to Master Chow." I replied politely.

The man repeated the same question again in horror. I repeated the same answer with confidence.

"Excuse me Sir. You must be in the wrong place. Our Miss Chow passed away years ago. There was no way you could deliver a message on her behalf." He began to close the door. I put my hand on the door to stop him closing it.

"Siu Feng, say something." I whispered.

"They could not see me and could not hear me."

The man pushed my hand and said, "You are in the wrong house."

Siu Feng took over my voice and said, "Ah Fook, it's me."

"How do you know my name?" The man said. "You must be a cheater."

A woman came out and yelled at the man. "Don't waste your time. Close the door. We have a lot of work to do."

"Hello Ah Kiu. You are the wife of Ah Fook."

"Who are you? I have never seen you before."

"But I always enjoyed the chrysanthemum cake you made."

Ah Fook and Ah Kiu looked at each other in horror.

"Hey, I have important messages from Miss Chow to your master." I said with my normal voice.

They whispered between themselves and then invited me to enter the house. I still held up the oil paper umbrella to protect the gohst. Walking through the front yard, I noticed the flowers were elegantly taken care of. The pavilion looked the same as the one in the painting. Even the willow tree looked exactly the same. They asked me to sit in the pavilion to wait for their return.

After about 15 minutes, Ah Kiu came back and led us entering the main living room. I closed the paper oil umbrella and put down the painting on a chair. Ah Kiu served me with tea.

Mr. and Mrs. Chow came out to greet me. The first thing they asked me was how I got to meet Siu Feng. I told them the whole story and opened the painting to show them. As soon they saw Siu Feng in the picture, Mrs Chow cried loudly.

I could see Siu Feng crying and trying to comfort her mother.

Mr. Chow looked at me and said, "How much money do you want for this painting?"

"I ain't coming here for the money."

"You are no different than any other people. Name a price."

I felt hurt and angry. I took the painting and left. Siu Feng stopped me.

Mrs. Chow said to her husband, "Ah Fat, let me talk to Mr. Tsang. Mr. Tsang, please be seated."

I sat down.

Ah Kiu came out with a plate of fruits. She put it on the table next to my seat.

Mrs. Chow said, "Mr. Tsang, help yourself with some fruits."

I was hungry after walking for a mile. I helped myself with some and said, "thank you."

Mrs. Chow continued, "Why are you here?"

"I won't consider myself lucky to have met your daughter. Because of her, my girlfriend is now unconscious in the hospital."

"I am sorry." Mrs. Chow said.

Mr. Chow said, "So you are not selling the painting but negotiate for a lump sum compensation."

I got angry, picked up the painting, the umbrella and left the house.

*****

I missed the last train and stayed in a local hotel. The ground floor was a restaurant. There were two rooms for rent on the second floor. Inside each room, there were a double bed, a small wardrobe, a small round table and two stools.

There were no toilets and no bathroom on the second floor. There was only one public bath house within 300 ft and a public toilet room adjacent to the bath house, shared between men and women. The front part was for men and the back was for women. Being a city boy, I wasn't used to it. I was glad that I supposed to leave the village on the next morning.

In the middle of the night, I had to go down stairs to use the toilet. I understood why urinals existed. I should have asked for one. There was no street lights. Although it was a cloudy night, I found the toilet room without any problem.

While I was urinating, I saw a man standing next to me. I turned my head around, within a few seconds he was gone. I got a chilling feeling, and walked quickly back to the hotel. I could not open the door which was not supposed to be locked. I tried and tried, and couldn't get it open. I banged the door with both hands a couple of times, no one came to rescue me.

I figured there might be a door at the back entrance leading to the kitchen. I walked to the back. It wasn't fun to walk around at this hour. There were a lot of weird sounds. I had no idea what they were. They could be sounds of animals or insects. Most probably they were crows. Although the sounds scared me, what was more scaring for me was the feeling of someone following me. Who could be here at this hour? Could this be the person I saw inside the toilet room earlier?

I walked as quickly as I could to the back door. As I got closer to the door, I heard noises in the kitchen, and saw shadows inside the kitchen. They might be hungry ghosts looking for food. I wasn't brave enough to go in there. I turned around and went back to the front door.

This time, strangely I could open the door without any problem and found a man sitting alone inside the restaurant. I thought I was the only one living here.

"Hey" I whispered and dashed upstairs. The man followed me. I ran inside my room and locked the door.

I sat down and he suddenly appeared sitting in front of me. I stepped backwards a few steps, trembling and said, "Who are you?"

"Mr. Tsang, I ain't going to hurt you."

"How do you know my name? Get out of my room else I scream for help."

"You are the only guest in this hotel. No one would hear your scream."

"What do you want?"

"Sit down. I am Ho Siu Ming."

"Oh no. One Siu Feng is more than I can handle. I don't want to have anything to do with you."

"Please sit down. I have a request."

"No, I don't want to hear your request. Go away." I yelled again, "Go away."

Siu Ming moved towards me, I stepped backwards till my back reached the wall. Siu Ming used one hand pushing me against the wall and said, "I wanted you to go to see my parents and convince them allowing me to marry Siu Feng."

"It's not going to work. The Chow family already said no."

"But if my parents said yes, they might change their mind."

"I don't care. I have done enough."

He put his hand under my chin and raised me.

"Let me down."I said.

"If you don't do it, I will get inside your body. I still can be a couple with Siu Feng while possessing Mary's body."

"No. no, no..."

Siu Ming dropped me on the floor and jumped inside my body.

*****

Next morning, I went to Mr. Ho Siu Ming's house. Mr. Ho and Mrs. Ho's house was not as big as Mr. Chow's house. The living room was comparable. There were three sets of two chairs with a table in the middle. One set was placed at the mid-end of the room, one set on the left, and another one on the right. The Ho couple sat on the middle set chairs. I sat on one of the chairs on the left.

I said, "Mr. Ho, I have a message for you."

"What was it?" Ho Siu Ming's father said.

"Your son requested your approval to marry Miss Chow Siu Feng."

"This is ridiculous. They both are dead."

"I agree this may sound ridiculous."

"Then why are you here?."

"I apologize. You son did ask me to request you to allow him to marry Miss Chow Siu Feng."

I had no idea why I knelt down. I bowed to Ho Siu Ming's parents.

Mr. Ho lowered himself, raised my hand, and said, "Please, stand up."

A voice inside me over-ruled what I wanted to say and replied. "Dad, I am Siu Ming." A tear dropped on my face.

Mrs. Ho said, "Please stand up and tell us why you said you are our son."

"Mom, it's me. Do you remember I locked myself crying in my room on my seventh birthday?"

"Of course, you were a little bit silly."

"No, I wasn't silly. I was upset. It was Chinese tradition to cook a red egg for the birthday boy and you forgot."

"I didn't forget your birthday egg. That was the year I switched to offer you birthday cake instead of a red egg."

Mr. Ho said, "Please stand up Mr. Tsang."

Mrs. Ho said. "Mr. Tsang, how do you know the story."

I stood up and said, " Dad and Mom, I am Siu Ming in Mr. Tsang's body. You can test me."

Mrs. Ho asked. "Who was your kindergarten teacher?"

"Auntie May, your sister. Where is she now?"

"She is now teaching in Beijing."

"Dad, Mom, can I have your approval to marry Siu Feng?"

Mrs. Ho said. " Siu Feng's parents rejected your proposal in the past. And you hung yourself. You didn't know how much I was hurt and how I hated their family."

Siu Ming knelt down again. "Dad, Mom, I was wrong."

Mrs. Ho and Siu Ming started to hold each other crying.

A servant came in and whispered something to Mr. Ho.

Mr. Ho said. "Send them in."

Mrs. Chow came in with another old woman. She said, "Good afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Ho."

"How are you, Mrs. Chow?" Mr. Ho said.

Ah Kiu came out to serve tea.

Mrs. Chow said, "We are here to catch Mr. Tsang before he returns to Shanghai. I have something important to discuss with him."

Mrs. Chow turned to me. "I apologize on behalf of my husband. After you left, we realized we were a bit rude, not listening to you. Today I bring grandma Ling with me. She is the best dead people communicator in town. She can invite our daughter to come up from the ground, talk to us and we want you to be there."

Grandma Ling walked towards me and said, "Mr. Tsang, you are possessed."

I stepped backwards and said. "Leave me alone. I have nothing to do with you. I'm done and I am going home."

Mrs. Ho said, "What's going on, Grandma Ling? Why do you say Mr. Tsang is possessed?"

She then turned to me and said, "So, it's true. Siu Ming, it was you talking to us."

Siu Ming took over my voice and said, "Yes, Mom."

Mrs. Ho held onto me and fainted.

*****

Author Notes In the Chinese tradition, people call old woman Grandma and old men Grandpa even they are not related. Same applies to auntie and uncle. Servants address their young master Mr. and young mistress Miss including their name like Miss Siu Feng.

Chow Siu Feng is the pregnant ghost and Ho Siu Ming, his boyfriend.
Tsoi Tsoi is Siu Feng's personal servant.

Monk Kong is the ghost buster.


Chapter 4
Pregnant Ghost

By Goodadvicechan

Chapter 4

Tom Tsang : a journalist
Mary : Tom's girlfriend
Chow Siu Feng : Pregnant Ghost
Ho Siu Ming : Siu Feng's boyfriend
Mr. and Mrs. Chow: Siu Feng's parents
Mr. and Mrs. Ho: Siu Ming's parents
Tsoi Tsoi : Siu Feng's close Servant
Veronica: Mary's grandmother
Grandma Miu Miu : Beat the Devil Specialist
Grandma Ling : Ghost Communicator
Monk Kong : Ghost Buster
Ah Fook : Male Servent
Ah Kiu : Female Servant
Ghost Number 12 : Siu Feng's Grandfather

Note: Chinese name, surname first

Chapter 1 : Tom bought a picture of a beautiful girl dressed in red Chinese Wedding gown. The girl came out of the picture and talked to Tom every night.

Chapter 2. The ghost attacked Tom's girlfriend, Mary, causing her to become unconscious. Monk Kong ( Ghost buster) failed to capture the ghost.

Chapter 3. Parents of Siu Feng and Siu Ming disapproved their requested dead person marriage.

Chapter 4

The Chow graveyard was on a small hill behind the House of Chow. There were about 13 graves; each one marked with a number. The number was engraved on the ground. Siu Feng's grave was marked number 13. It was a simple tombstone while others had more fancy decorations. Some of them had a pavilion with the grave in the center. There was a common burning area for burning paper money and any other paper material things; cars, houses, furniture, hand bags, clothes, etc.

When our group of Mrs. Chow, Mrs. Ho, Grandma Ling, I and six male servants and Ah Kiu arrived, an alter table with a chair was already set up. On the alter table were a container with three pieces of big incense, three cups of wine, three cups of tea, and three plates of fruits. The chair was reserved for Grandma Ling.

There were additional chairs about six feet away from the alter table reserved for Mrs. Chow, Mrs. Ho and me. We sat down and Grandma Ling walked forward, asking us to think of Siu Feng and quietly recite the following spooky sentences: "Spirit show yourself, spirit reveal, spirit come to me so I know you are real!"

Meanwhile the servants lit the red Chinese candles located around the alter table. I guessed this was to trap the Ghost within the circle. Mrs. Chow whispered to me. "Mr. Tsang, Siu Feng will be in Grandma Ling's body. If you have questions, ask her. "

"I don't see Siu Feng."

"What?"

"Nothing."

After telling us what to do, Grandma Ling walked around the alter table throwing round paper money with a square hole in the middle symbolizing coin money of the olden days. She then started burning the incense, sitting down on the chair, sprinkling some salt around the circle of candles, chanting, "I summon you, Chow Siu Feng, born on the seventh day of the seven month, to here. I command you stay in my circle of safety. I summon you so your mother can ask you questions."

Black clouds brought darkness as they crept over the moon. Grandma Ling screamed and non stop quivered, her eyes widening and turning into green.

Mrs. Chow said. "Are you Siu Feng?"

Grandma Ling said nothing but continued shaking her body. I looked around, I didn't see Siu Feng but saw a few other ghosts busy walking around.

Mrs. Ho said. "Miss Chow, tell us it's you."

"Mrs. Ho, I am carrying Siu Ming's baby. Please approve our marriage." Grandma Ling said.

Mrs. Ho was scared, shocked, and said nothing.

"Siu Feng, mama missed you a lot. Tell me what can I do for you?"

"My body was separated from my spirit. Mama, you have to find my body."

"Where's your body?"

" I have no idea."

"Poor baby." Mrs. Chow cried and Mrs. Ho put her hand on Mrs. Chow's hand to comfort her.

I didn't know what to say but noticed Grandma Ling's green eyes becoming brighter.

All of a sudden, lightning struck Siu Feng's grave and broke her tombstone into pieces. Grandma Ling woke up, walked towards Mrs. Chow, and said, "What did Miss Siu Feng say to you?"

"Her body was separated from her spirit."

Grandma Ling whispered something to Mrs. Chow, grabbed her hand and walked towards the broken grave. Mrs. Ho, I and the rest of the group followed.

The ground was broken open and we could see the dirty coffin. Grandma Ling said, "Miss Siu Feng's body is gone. There's is nothing inside."

Mrs. Ho said. "What? How could that be?"

"She told me so." Grandma Ling replied.

I looked around for Siu Feng but couldn't see her.

Grandma Ling said. "If no one believes in me, let's open the coffin." She then whispered something in Mrs. Chow's ears.

Mrs. Chow said, " Ah Fook, get the tools ready and get some help from the others. Open the coffin."

Mrs. Ho was shocked and speechless.

Ah Kie said,. "Mrs. Chow, do we need to discuss this with Master Chow?"

"No."

The male servants opened the coffin and found no dead body; only a red silk scarf. They handed it to Mrs. Chow. Mrs Chow said. "It was Siu Feng's wedding scarf."

A strong breeze blew away the scarf. Mrs. Chow chased it, tripped on the ground and lost consciousness. Ah Kiu rushed to carry Mrs Chow back to the house. Mrs. Ho followed.

I continued to chase the scarf. Halfway up the hill, I bumped into a ghost.

"I'm sorry."

"Don't worry, young man. That doesn't hurt. But you have to come back and I'll tell you who took Siu Feng's body. I am number 12. Here is the scarf you are looking for." He then disappeared.

I looked at the scarf, remembering Siu Feng wearing a black scarf, and wondered why it wasn't black.

My phone rang and Veronica on the line. "Tom, Mary moved her lips. She struggled to tell me something but I didn't understand what she said. But a nurse heard two words -- find me. You better come back now."

"I'll come home as soon as possible. How is Mary doing?"

"She calmed down, sleeping now."

"I'll see whether I can catch the last train else see you tomorrow. Good night."

*****

Mr. and Mrs. Chow requested me to stay behind and help them to look for Siu Feng's body. I had no interest in any part of it but wanted to go back to Shanghai to see Mary.

The last train had left and I had no choice but to stay at the haunted hotel. Again I was the only guest. This time I asked for a urinal.

I had an early dinner before I retired to my room. I made a call to Veronica and told her that I would take the earliest train home next day. She said Mary had no further progress but still unconscious.

In the middle of my sleep, someone knocked on my door. I ignored it. Who would come to see me at this late hour? The knocking continued. I opened the door but found no one. I went downstairs. There was no one there either.

I went back to my room and saw Siu Ming sitting in my room.

"You are not welcome. Why are you here?" I said.

"I don't care whether I'm welcome or not. I'm here and you can't do anything about it."

"What do you want?"

"I want you to help look for Siu Feng's body."

"Why can't you do it?"

"I did but couldn't find her body."

"Um... If you couldn't find it, what makes you think I can?"

"You can go back to the graveyard now and talk to Siu Feng's relatives. One of them might have seen who took the body."

"Why didn't you talk to them?"

"I did. None of them liked me. They blamed me for Siu Feng's death."

"No. I'm not going to do that. I'm going home tomorrow."

Siu Ming knelt down to beg me to do it. I turned my back towards him and said, "No, no, no..."

Someone hit my head from the back, and I fell on the floor unconscious.

*****

When I woke up, my head was covered with a bag, my mouth was taped, and both my hands and feet were tied.

I struggled to get myself free but could hardly move. I found myself being tied to a post.

"There is no use to move." I heard a somewhat familiar voice. I was convinced I have heard of this voice before. It wasn't Siu Ming's. Who could he be? What could he want from me?"

"You are a trouble maker. Our town is quiet and peaceful. Since your arrival, the whole town is disturbed by the news that you are the matchmaker for Siu Ming and Siu Feng. Why do you want to do that? Both of them are already dead."

I could say nothing; my mouth was taped.

"Let me tell you where you are. You are now in a temporary mosque while a new one being built. You could ask the corpses to save your life. Good luck."

I heard him leave the place. I was scared and the darkness frightened me. I wanted to yell for help but I couldn't. I tried to kick my feet. That didn't help. I rubbed the hands tied at the back against the post. That bruised my hands and blood transpired into drops falling on the floor. I was so scared of the unknown that I started wetting my pants. I banged my head on the post. A voice said. "Can I help you?" I had no way to answer the voice but continued banging my head till I fainted.

*****

Author Notes Many Chinese marriage culture and ghost communication practices took place in this ghost story.

In general, Chinese address old men as grandpa and old women as grandma even though they are not related.

PS: Sorry Book Name should be Pregnant Ghost


Chapter 5
Pregnant Ghost Chapter 5

By Goodadvicechan

Chapter 1 : Tom bought a picture of a beautiful girl dressed in red Chinese Wedding gown. The girl came out of the picture and talked to Tom every night.

Chapter 2. The ghost attacked Tom's girlfriend, Mary, causing her becoming unconscious. Monk Kong ( Ghost buster) failed to capture the ghost.

Chapter 3. Parents of Siu Feng and Siu Ming disapproved their requested dead person marriage.

Chapter 4. Siu Feng's grave was struck by lightning and the coffin was empty. Siu Feng's deceased body was gone. Tom was attacked in a haunted hotel.

Chapter 5.

I had never been so frightened in my life. I was frozen inside a bag, hands and feet tied, mouth taped. I opened my eyes and everything was pitch black. My soul had left my body. I still felt the cold breeze from outside and the wetness of my pants. Someone was scratching my bag. I prayed a human person came to rescue me. I didn't care who he or she was. I didn't mind even if it was a corpse. I wanted to get out of this bag badly.

All of a sudden, a few little creatures ran over my body. So it wasn't any human body scratching my bag. It was these horrible creatures. One of them ran over my left hand and bit me. I was certain it was a mouse. I was shaking with fear. I wasn't sure how many but at least three or four if not more. I couldn't hold myself any more, and further made my pants wetter. I wanted to die instead of being attacked by the mice.

My tears dropped down my face to my chin. I turned left and then right trying to get rid of the mice from my body. That didn't work. Some landed attacking my hands. I shook my fingers to get rid of them. The more I used my fingers to push them away, the more they attacked my hands. Some of them continued to bite me. I felt the bruises and little drops of blood dripping.

I closed my eyes and prayed to God of Mercy. God might have heard my prayer. The mice bit off the rope and set my hands free. The first thing I did was to remove the tape from my mouth. I finally could breathe like a normal person. I then untied my feet.

I searched for an opening to get out and found a hole in the bag. I tore open the hole, big enough to let me out.

When I got out of the bag, I found myself in an old morgue. The place was empty, only two coffins. I barely saw any light except the light from the moon. I was so frightened that I tore out to the street and ran as far as I could.

"Wait, wait..." I heard a voice, I ignored it, and ran faster. A cold and sharp wind blew my neck. My whole body contracted and my heart was pounding. The voice didn't stop and I continued running. Finally the head of a man blocked me from running, his eyes were red, glowing with fire. I didn't see the body. I tripped on something and fell on the ground, face down, some minor bruises.

"Please, leave me alone," I pleaded with fear.

A cold hand raised my head but I didn't see it.

The red eyes looked at me. "Don't be afraid. I need your help."

"Please, I can't help you. I can't even help myself."

"Listen."

"Please, let me go," I cried.

"Young man, I am not a good ghost but I am not a bad one either. Believe me. I am not going to harm you if you help me."

"I can't."

"Yes, you can. Also I can help you get out of your mess."

"How?"

"I can take you to the nearest police station."

"Really?"

"Sit up and I'll tell you what to do."

I sat on the ground, trembling. The wind got stronger and the weather got colder. The street was foggy and I only saw his burning red eyes and his mouth talking.

"I'll take you to the police and you tell them I was murdered and ask them to investigate my case."

"They may not believe in me."

"They will and I know they will as long as you repeat what I tell you."

I opened my eyes and looked at the head closely. The face seemed like an honest one, full of sadness though.

"What am I going to tell the police?"

"Tell them my name is Ah Wong and my partner killed me and my wife."

"What else?"

"That's it. The police will do the investigation themselves."

The head started to move forward and I followed it. The police station wasn't too far away. When we got there, it was almost sunrise. The fog slowly disappeared. So did the ghost head.

The station was small, only one person on duty. He was a young man, aged about 25. He introduced himself as Officer Tung. He gave me a wet towel, a blanket and a cup of hot tea.

I cleaned my face and my bloody hands with the wet towel. I covered myself with the blanket. The tea was a life saver. I told him about my story. He took notes of everything.

"I'll send you to the main station in the morning. The officers there will take good care of you. They'll find the person who kidnapped you and charge him with murder. Meanwhile, you can take a good rest."

"Thank you."

" Anything else?"

"Nothing."

"Are you sure?"

"Oh... I have a question."

"What's it?"

"Are there any ghosts in this neighborhood?"

"If you believe in it... Yes. But if you don't believe in it... No. Any more questions?"

"No."

"Then, I'll wake you up when the pick up car arrives tomorrow."

*****

The main police station was within walking distance from the train station. It wasn't a big place. Only two people worked there. An officer greeted me.

"Mr. Tsang, good morning, I apologize for what had happened to you. I am Officer Tung Senior. The young man whom you met last night is my son. When I retire, I'll transfer him here to replace me. Our town is a small place and it's very safe here. I can't believe what had happened to you. I'll get to the bottom of it."

He handed me a cup of hot tea. I needed it.

"Officer Tung Senior, you need to charge the person who kidnapped me."

"Of course. I know your background already."

"Really?"

"Mrs Chow reported her daughter's body missing yesterday and she mentioned your name. We are investigating her case now. Unfortunately we cannot locate the caretakers. One of them, we call him Ah Wong. He and his wife were dead. His partner is out of town."

"What was the name of the deceased caretaker again?"

"Ah Wong."

"I saw him."

"Not possible. He's dead."

"He told me his partner killed him and his wife."

"Um... You really saw him?"

"Yes, sir. I only saw his head without body."

"Really? That's scary."

"It scared me to death."

"Mr. Tsang, what else did he tell you?"

"Nothing much."

"Did he tell you when he was killed?"

"No."

"Did he tell you where and why he was killed?"

"No."

"Did you see his wife?"

"No."

"How do you know Ah Wong?"

"He chased me from nowhere and showed me the way to your son's station."

"Should I believe in your words?"

"What I told you is the truth."

"Did the mice save you?"

"Yes, that's true too."

Officer Tung Senior turned to his partner. "Officer Chan, what do you think?"

"I've recorded everything."

"Do you believe it's true?" Officer Tung Senior said.

"I'm recording everything you say."

"Listen, everything I said is the truth." I interrupted.

Officer Chan said. "I'll record this sentence."

"Officer Chan, show Mr. Tsang the item we found in Ah Wong's house." Officer Tung Senior changed the subject.

Officer Chan opened a safe, brought out something and put it on a tray, and showed it to me.

"Have you seen this?" Officer Tung Senior turned to me.

I recognized it was the pin with five pearls; one black and four white pearls.

Officer Chan said. "Mr. Tsang, please answer. I need to record it."

"Oh... Yes." I nodded my head.

Officer Tung Senior said. "Where did you see it?"

"Miss Chow Siu Feng was wearing it."

"Do you know Miss Chow?"

"No. Um... Yes."

"Yes or no?"

"Yes. Um... No."

"Yes or no?"

Officer Chan answered. "I already put down no yes and yes no."

"I am not asking you, Officer Chan. I am asking Mr. Tsang."

"I saw Miss Chow wearing it in a picture."

"Where is the picture?"

"I don't know. I lost it. The last time I had it was in the haunted hotel."

"Let me ask you one more time. Do you know Miss Chow well? Yes or no."

"Yes and no."

"Officer Chan, lock up Mr. Tsang now for further questions later. I think he might be involved in a big theft." Officer Tung Senior got tired of my answers.

"What theft? I need a lawyer... and a phone call."

Officer Chan locked me in a prison cell adjacent to the police station. I was the only prisoner.

***

Author Notes Chinese name: Surname first followed by first and middle initial unless the person has an English name, the they put English name before the surname.
The format is (English name) (Surname) (First name) (Middle Name).

In general, they address elderlies as Grandpa and Grandma even they are not related.

Tom Tsang: a Journalist
Mary: Tom's girlfriend
Chow Siu Feng: Pregnant Ghost
Ho Siu Ming:Siu Feng's boyfriend


Chapter 6
Pregnant Ghost Chapter 6

By Goodadvicechan

Chapter 1 to 5.

Mary bought a picture of a Chinese bribe for Tom. One night the bride came out from the picture, attacked Mary, and forced Tom to arrange for her, a marriage ceremony with her deceased boyfriend.

On the way to see the bride's parents, Tom stayed in a haunted hotel and he met a ghost who threatened him to catch the person who killed him.

Tom went to the police station asking for help. Instead of being helped, he ended in jail.

Pregnant Ghost - Chapter 6

The prison was an ugly one story brown building, appearing beaten down and baked by the sun. It stood in the middle of an empty abandoned lot, about three hundred feet away from the police station.

The inside of the building looked like it had not been properly maintained for years. There was one conference room and two prison cells. Inside the conference room was a table with three chairs. Each prison cell had one twin bed, one small desk, one chair, a washing basin and a toilet separated by half wall. The toilet was the most primitive form of nothing more than a hole dug into the ground, over which people would squat.

The officer handed me a pillow and a blanket, put me in the corner cell, and then he left. The place was disgusting. Dust was everywhere and it smelled like rotten fish and over-ripe fruits. I held my breath or used a piece of toilet paper to cover my nose.

The night was a bit chilly. It was noticeably dim and gloomy. I tried to sleep but I couldn't. Through the bars of the dusty window, the only light was the moon, with dark clouds moving. The weather was expected to eventually evolve into storms and lighting.

Since I didn't like any of the prison food, I skipped two meals and by now I felt extremely hungry. I could hear a sound of my stomach like someone hitting a drum. I screamed for help hoping to get something to eat. I could hear the echo of my voice but no one came.

The heavy rainfall finally came, gradually turning into lightning and storm. The wind whipped my cheeks and my fingers were numb. Every time, lighting flashed in the sky, I saw Ah Wong's head, eyes wide-open, bloodshot, staring directly at me, and shouted at me in a scary voice, "you betrayed me. You deserve to starve to death."

"Ah Wong, please get me out of here. I'll do anything for you."

He grabbed me by the neck, raised me up with his hand but I didn't see it. I felt like I was floating and being choked to death.

I screamed, "don't kill me. I'll tell the police what you told me."

He dropped me on the floor and said, "you better."

The lightning struck the building and within a second, he disappeared.

I dared not drink the water from the sink. My hunger made me sick. I wished I could see Siu Feng and ask her for help but she hadn't shown up for the last couple of days. I worried about Mary. I had no way to find out what Siu Feng might have done to her. The police kept my phone, so I couldn't contact Veronica.

I felt so sick that I was about to faint. Someone tapped over my shoulder. I turned around and saw Siu Ming.

I didn't want to see him and certainly I didn't want to talk to him. He was the last person I wanted to see at this hour. He said if I listened to him, he would get me out of the prison cell.

"How?" I said.

"Talk to the police at dawn and ask to see my mother to bail you out of here but you must promise me to go to the Chow Graveyard."

"Why?"

"Siu Feng's relatives might have seen what happened to Siu Feng's body."

"No, I won't go back there. I had seen enough ghosts, enough of this nonsense."

"I won't let you go home without Siu Feng's body, and I won't let you starve to death. Now, you must eat something to keep yourself alive."

"There is no food here."

"What are these?" He pointed to the running cockroaches.

"Are you nuts?"

Siu Ming caught one, walked towards me, forced it into my mouth and said. "Eat it."

"No." I pushed him away and he was motionless. His body didn't move at all. Timidly I stepped backwards till I reached to the toilet. I could not move any further otherwise I would fall into the hole. He forced me to sit on the half wall and pushed the cockroach into my mouth. I spit it out but his hand closed my mouth forging me to swallow it.

"Eat some more." He picked up another one from the floor.

"No. You can't do this to me."

"Yes, I can." He jumped into my body, and possessed me. He started to pick up more cockroaches one by one and put it in my mouth. I tried all my might to spit it out but failed.

I wanted to vomit but I couldn't. Sir Ming took over me and kept on eating until there was no more cockroaches. He then forced me to close my eyes and sleep.

*****

The next morning, Officer Chan came, and said. "You have a visitor. Come to the conference room."

To my big surprise and relief, Mary was sitting in the conference room waiting for me.

"Mary, get me out of here. I don't want to die here."

" Sit down." Officer Chan said.

"Glad you are out of the hospital. How are you feeling?" Instead of being told to sit down, I moved towards Mary, hoping to hug her.

Officer Chan stopped me and said, "Mr. Tsang, sit down."

I sat down and stretched both of my hands to hold Mary's.

Mary said, "I bought you breakfast. You didn't eat your dinner. You must be hungry."

I looked at the food, a coffee and a ham and egg sandwich. To me, it was a meal of royal food.

"I bought this from the train station. There weren't many choices."

"This is heavenly food." I drank half of the coffee at one go to wash down what I had last night, and then finished the sandwich in no time.

"I made a deal with Siu Feng."

"What deal? I don't want you to get involved with her anymore."

"I promised to keep the baby and help find her body."

"I'm glad you agreed to keep the baby. It's our baby. But, you shouldn't get involved in finding her body."

"I don't think we have a choice. What she did to me in your absence scared Veronica so much that she would soon become insane if we don't do something."

"So, what are we going to do? I can't stay here any longer otherwise I am the one who is going to be insane. Are you bailing me out?"

"I can't. They require a local reputable person to be your guarantor. Unfortunately Mr. Chow refused to do it. He insisted you were a cheater and blackmailed him by selling the picture."

"Totally ridiculous."

"The police are talking to Mr. Ho to be your guarantor. There is a chance he may agree to do it."

I remember what Siu Ming said last night. Hopefully he would have done something to make it happen.

Office Tung Senior came in and said. "Good morning everyone. Good news, Mr. Ho agreed to be your guarantor. His wife is on the way here to sign some papers."

He sat down to join us. "Mr. Tsang, I need to ask you some more questions."

"I already told you everything." I was a bit annoyed.

Mary said, "Officer Tung Senior, I'll make sure he'll answer your questions. Go ahead."

His questions included; where I bought the picture? why I was here, and what exactly happened since my arrival? I stayed calm and answered all his questions although I already told him the answers more than once.

He handed me the picture and said, "someone from the hotel turned it in this morning. Is this yours?"

"Yes, the girl in the picture is Miss Chow Siu Feng."

"This is a small town, I recognized her in the picture . She was a pretty girl. Look at all the jewelry she was wearing. They were gone with the body."

"What happened?" Mary asked.

"When the Ho family returned the dead body to the Chow's house, Mrs. Chow decided to bury her as is."

Mary interrupted, "why?"

"Mrs Chow said these were her dowry. They preferred her wearing her wedding dress and taking the jewelry with her. It is a symbol of no return in a marriage."

Mary looked at me, recognizing these jewelry must worth a lot of money and I looked at her in disbelief. We both had nothing to say to each other for a few seconds.

Then Mary said, "what do we do now?"

I said,"Officer Tung Senior, please look into Ah Wong's case first."

"I know what I'm doing. Let's walk back to the main office. By now, the Ho's family should be here."

*****

Part of the bail out agreement was to have us stay behind to help the police investigation for a maximum of 30 days. I was so happy that Mrs. Ho offered to let us stay at her house. I really didn't want to stay in the haunted hotel.

The design of the Ho's house consisted of a square court yard in the middle with rooms around it on all four sides. Flower pots with different kinds of flowers were scattered around the court yard. There was a small pond in the center with fish in it.

Mrs. Ho was very kind to arrange two bedrooms for us, offering a female servant for Mary, and a male one for me. Mary wasn't pleased with the idea of two bedrooms but I was. I was positive that at least one of the ghosts would come to see me. I didn't want Mary to interact with them given what I've been through. I had no intention to tell her what Siu Ming did to me. This was Siu Ming's house, a high possibility that he would visit me at night.

I was right. He came while I was sleeping.

*****

Author Notes I apologize for the spelling of the book title. I have tried but can't correct it.

Cockroach as Food and Medicine in China:

Cockroaches when dried are for use in Asian medicine and in cosmetics.

Research is underway in China (and South Korea) on the use of pulverized cockroaches for treating baldness, AIDS and cancer and as a vitamin supplement.

Restaurants around cockroach farms offer fried cockroaches seasoned with salt on the lunch menu.

*****

Tom : a journalist
Mary : Tom's girlfriend
Chow Siu Feng : Pregnant Ghost
Ho Siu Ming : Siu Feng's boyfriend
Mr. and Mrs. Chow: Siu Feng's parents
Mr. and Mrs. Ho: Siu Ming's parents
Tsoi Tsoi : Siu Feng's close Servant
Veronica: Mary's grandmother
Au Chung Hing : owner of a gallery
Monk Kong : Ghost Buster
Grandma Miu Miu : Beat the Devil Specialist
Grandma Ling : Ghost Communicator
Ah Fook : Male Servant
Ah Kai : Female Servant
Ghost Number 12 : Sue Fang's Grandfather
Ah Wong: a Ghost ( caretaker)
Officer Ting : a police officer Tung Senior : a police officer
u Chan : a police officer


Chapter 7
Pregnant Ghost Chapter 7

By Goodadvicechan

Pregnant Ghost Chapter 7 (Sorry Book Name wrong Spelling)

Chapter 1 to 6

Mary bought a picture of a Chinese bride for Tom. One night the bride (Siu Feng) came out from the picture, attacked Mary, and forced Tom to arrange for her, a marriage with her deceased boyfriend (Siu Ming).

On the way to see the bride's parents, Tom stayed in a haunted hotel and got involved in a murder case. At the same time Siu Feng's dead body was stolen.

Siu Ming took Tom to the Chow Graveyard to look for Siu Feng's body.

Chapter 7

The Chow Graveyard was busy with dead people, most of their feet not touching the ground walking in air. The moon was at its waning crescent, making the place pitch dark and creepy. The outer fear was worse than my inside unknown fear.

The breeze was strong, blowing the willow trees. Shadows of the willows looked like more ghosts floating in air. Light rain fell, following the direction of the arrow of the wind, on their journey to the ground. Sounds of ravens came from nowhere and the birds landed on top of gravestones.

The ghost I met earlier told me to look for him in grave number 12 if I wanted more information about Siu Feng's stolen body. Siu Feng's grave was number 13. I thought 12 would be next to 13, but I was wrong. The left side was numbered 18 and right side 37.

Siu Ming explained to me that the number was assigned at the time of application for a slot. The buyer could choose any available sites in the hill. The price depended on the size and the location.

"Siu Ming, I don't think we'll ever find number 12. The gravestones are everywhere over the hill. You don't expect me to walk over the whole hill to look for it. Do you?"

"If we can't find it tonight, you'll come during the day to look for it. Then, we meet at night to see ghost number 12."

"Why don't you ask your dead friend here?"

Siu Ming was annoyed by me and walked away. I took the opportunity to sit down on the ground. Someone pushed my back, saying, "This is my area. Go away." I stood up, bowed to apologize, and walked down the hill for a few feet. Then I stepped on something like a snake. I immediately ran down hill as fast as I could, but tripped a piece of rock and fell, rolling down the hill till my head hit a gravestone. Blood trickled down my forehead, both my hands and feet were bruised, and parts of my pants were torn.

Sounds of steps were running towards my way and stopped in front of me. I raised my head. I was shocked and became speechless. Mary stood in front of me. She helped me to get up. She cleaned the blood on my forehead and my bruises. She put some bandages on my cut.

"Mary, why are you here?"

"I committed to Siu Feng to find her body. She took me here."

Siu Feng appeared out of nowhere, standing next to Mary, waiving to me.

"How do you know I am here?"

Siu Feng said, "You can't hide anything from me."

"OK... Since when did you and Mary become friendly?"

"It isn't important. Just find my body and you can go home."

"Where is gravestone number 12?"

"This is it." Mary said.

I was happy that I was at the right grave. I knelt down, closed my eyes, raised and pressed my hands together, and started praying for seeing number 12.

Number 12 didn't show up. Ravens made noises around us. Strong winds added music for the night. I told Mary I wanted to leave.

Siu Ming shouted at me, "You cannot leave."

Number 12 came out unexpectedly from his grave.

Siu Feng and Siu Ming walked closer to the old man and Siu Feng said,"Grandpa Sing, I know you don't like Siu Ming, but I love him."

Siu Ming said, "Grandpa Sing, we love each other. Ours is true love."

"Grandpa Sing, I am Tom and she is Mary. Please accept Siu Feng and Siu Ming. They sacrificed their lives for love."

"Young man, I know what to do. Why are you here?"

He sounded difficult to please but didn't look like a scary ghost. He wore a long black Chinese robe with a pair of black pants. He had a kind face and seemed to be approachable.

"Grandpa Sing, I am here to ask you for help." I replied.

"We are looking for Siu Feng's body." Mary said.

"Come with me."

He led us to a pavilion, next to the burning station. Inside the pavilion was a porcelain table and chairs. We all sat down.

Grandpa Sing said, "Every year on the 15th day of the seventh month, we had a party here. Our living loved ones would burn incense and put on this table: tea, wines, rice, dumplings, cooked vegetables, chickens, even roasted pigs. It was a big feast for us."

Mary asked, "Why on this day?"

"Young lady, you should learn some of our cultures. This day is called the Hungry Ghost Festival. It is one of several important days in a year to deal with ghosts and worship our ancestors. People burn paper money and paper cloth for us to use in our underground society."

"Why is it called the Hungry Ghost Festival?"

"In the seventh month of each year, the gate of heaven was open, so we could travel. The gate was closed on the last day of the month. During the month, we all came out to receive gifts from our living loved ones. In here, they delivered their parcels and burned them in the burning station."

"Mary, I once wrote a journal about postal service between the living and the dead. The parcel is a large white paper bag with a blue sticker placed in the middle with the name of the dead person. Inside the bag, people put paper money and paper cloth. The deceased can tailor-make their own clothes from the paper cloth."

"Tom, am I pronouncing your name correctly?" In response, I put my thumb up.

Grandpa Sing continued, "You are right about the postal service. On that night my silly sisters were arguing and fighting about their parcels."

"What were they arguing about?" Mary asked.

"In general we had five or six kinds of money. They were paper coins, Ming banknotes, fake foreign money, death money in round shape, and silver or gold paper folded in shapes of ingots used as currency. My second younger sister, Ching Ching, has always been jealous of our youngest sister, Ping Ping. She said Mama loved Ping Ping more than her and gave her more foreign money. Ping Ping would say Mama gave Ching Ching more Ming banknotes."

"Why do you have so many currencies?"

"We have dead people over 200 years old. Their market uses old money like ingots as currencies..."

I was more interested to find out more information related to the loss of Siu Feng's body.

I interrupted Mary's conversation. "Grandpa Sing, did your sisters see what happened to Siu Feng's body?"

"No, they didn't. I was counting on having some food and a drink with them. After all we only saw each other once a year. Because of the money argument, they both left, leaving me alone with my neighbors. Our world was no different than yours. Some of my neighbors were nosy and liked to gossip. They wanted to know what happened to my sisters. I found an excuse and walked away towards Siu Feng's grave."

"What happened then?"

"The sun is about to rise now. Come back tonight and I'll tell you more."

Grandpa Sing disappeared.

*****

Author Notes I apologize for the typo of my book name. I appreciate it if someone can tell me how to change it.

Tom Tsang : a journalist
Mary : Tom's girlfriend
Chow Siu Feng : Pregnant Ghost
Ho Siu Ming : Siu Feng's boyfriend
Mr. and Mrs. Chow: Siu Feng's parents
Mr. and Mrs. Ho: Siu Ming's parents
Tsoi Tsoi : Siu Feng's close Servant
Veronica: Mary's grandmother
Au Chung Hing : owner of a gallery
Monk Kong : Ghost Buster
Grandma Miu Miu : Beat the Devil Specialist
Grandma Ling : Ghost Comminicator
Ah Fook : Male Servent
Ah Kiu : Female Servant
Ghost Number 12 : Siu Feng's Grandfather
Ching Ching and Ping Ping : Ghost No. 12's sisters
Ah Wong: a Ghost ( caretaker)
Officer Tung : a police officer
Officer Tung Senior : a police officer
Officer Chan : a police officer

Traditional Chinese names are written as Last name first followed by First and Second names.


Chapter 8
Pregnant Ghost Chapter 8

By Goodadvicechan

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.

Pregnant Ghost Chapter 8

Chapters 1 to 7

Mary bought a picture of a Chinese bride for Tom. One night the bride (Siu Feng) came out from the picture, attacked Mary, and forced Tom to arrange for her, a marriage with her deceased boyfriend ( Siu Ming).

On the way to see the bride's parents, Tom stayed in a haunted hotel and got involved in a murder case. At the same time Siu Feng's dead body was stolen.

Tom was accused of stealing Siu Feng's dowry, ending in jail. Siu Ming's parents bailed him out and now he and Mary went to the Chow Graveyard to look for Siu Feng's body.

Chapter 8

Mary and I saw two ladies, in their fifties, sitting inside the pavilion at the Chow Graveyard. One of them approached us and introduced herself as Grandpa Sing's sister, Ching Ching and her twin sister, Ping Ping. She was wearing a white Chinese gown with a golden Phoenix pattern in the front. Her dress had white feathers on both shoulders, making her look like she could fly like a bird. Her long hair was elaborately arranged and combed to the top, with a golden Phoenix pin, making her look like a royal family member of the ancient dynasty. She smiled at us and said, "I made this cheongsam myself. What do you think, Mr. Tsang?"

"Anything on you looks good." I replied.

"Ha... Ha. I got you. Live people lie. Dead people don't. Ping Ping said I look weird."

Mary and I looked at Ping Ping. She was wearing a white cheongsam with tiny pink flowers. She appeared to be a gentle, polite, caring and considerate person.

Ping Ping said, "Ching Ching is joking. I've learned not to comment on her clothes anymore. We came to tell you that in case our brother couldn't help you find Siu Feng's body, we might be able to help you."

"That'll be great. Thank you."

"How?" Mary asked.

Ching Ching answered, "We might know who stole the body."

"Who?"

Ping Ping said, "Sister, we need to go. I saw our brother is coming," She grasped Ching Ching's hand and ran.

"Where can we find you?" I shouted.

"Grave number 99." One of them replied.

I turned around and Grandpa Sing already sat down.

"My sisters are nosy." Grandpa Sing said with a little bit of annoyance. "Ching Ching is a fashion maniac. She always runs around showing off her new dress."

Mary said, "She looks pretty tonight."

"Really?" Grandpa Sing replied.

I didn't want to waste any time but said, "Grandpa Sing, please tell us where we can find Siu Feng's body.

*****

This was the story told by Grandpa Sing.

Grandpa Sing saw Siu Feng's coffin was open and two men were removing all Siu Feng's jewelry and putting them into a bag. As soon as they saw Grandpa Sing, one of them ran away with the bag. He took a narrow back lane along a small stream home. Grandpa Sing followed him.

As soon as he got home, his wife already prepared some food for him. After dinner, his wife went cleaning the dishes. He dug a hole underneath a dinner table and buried the bag of jewelry.

Grandpa Sing then returned to the graveyard, trying to catch the other man, but he had left.

I told Officer Tung Senior what Grandpa Sing told me. Within a day, surprisingly I was summoned to appear in the court room. I couldn't believe the time they chose to start the proceedings. I passed the letter to Mary.

After reading, Mary said, "The court starts at midnight."

I nodded my head.

*****

The courthouse was located near the train station. It was an ugly looking, two-story brick building with only one courtroom on the first floor. The second floor was used for offices.

Inside the courtroom were three rows of five chairs on each side, a big table made of rosewood with a chair at the end of the room, reserved for the judge. On the right side of the table was a smaller one with a chair, reserved for the clerk. The floor was covered with tiles in black and white.

The river village was a small and safe town with almost no criminal cases. Since no lawyers lived in town, usually no lawyers were present in the courthouse.

The courthouse allowed a maximum of seven observers and two reporters. The town considered this case of a stolen dead body and the murder of a couple as breaking news. People came early lining up, hoping to get a seat in the courthouse.

There were no street lights. The place was dark. It was a windy night. Luckily the moon was full, and it shone on the building. The shadow of the building and the movement of the leaves of the trees on the pavement scared Mary.

I opened the door of the courtroom and noticed it was a full house. Mr. and Mrs. Chow were already sitting on the front left row. To my surprise, Grandma Ling was sitting next to Mrs. Chow. I introduced Mary to them and they greeted us with a smiling welcome. Then we sat down on the front right row.

Officer Tung Senior walked in and stood in front of us, apologizing, "Sorry to ask you to come in at midnight, because we have dead people as witnesses."

Mary was frightened and held tight onto my arms when she heard the words of dead people.

"It's no issue for me. I get used to dealing with the dead after midnight." I was still angry at him for locking me up. I would never forget my horrible meal in the prison cell. The thought of eating cockroaches made me vomit.

Mary signaled me to control my anger.

"Thank you for your understanding." Officer Tung Senior sat down behind the Chows.

The court proceeding started at 12:15am. A clerk brought in a copper basin and placed it in the center of the courtroom. Mary was curious about what it was used for. I had no idea either.

A judge walked in and sat down. Instead of wearing the court dress, he wore a Tang style, black long straight-cut robe. The formal court dress was not used in this trial involving dead people who might be intimidated by the robe and the wig.

The clerk stood up and said, "Silence. This is our first court case in this year. Mr. Chow filed a claim for missing the body of her deceased daughter, Chow Siu Feng and the theft of her dowry. Related to this case, Ah Wong, a caretaker, accused Ah Ying of killing him and his wife."

The first accused, Ah Ying, a caretaker, was called to appear in court. He was the partner of Ah Wong.

Officer Tung Senior questioned him about the theft of Siu Feng's dowry. He denied the allegation of both stealing the body and the dowry.

Officer Tung Senior then asked Grandma Ling to bring Ah Wong, the deceased to appear as a witness.

Mary's face turned pale when hearing a ghost was asked to appear.

Grandma Ling burned a few yellow banners, one of them had Ah Wong's name on it, in the copper basin. After she finished saying prayers, she then said, "I summon you, Ah Wong, to be here and stay in my circle of safety. Show yourself, reveal yourself and come to tell us the truth."

All of a sudden, Grandma Ling screamed and shook her body, her eyes widening and turning green.

Ah Wong's head came out from the basin, his eyes wide open and red as fire.

I covered Mary's mouth, worrying she might scream. She closed her eyes with her hands and buried her head on my chest.

Officer Tung Senior said, " Ah Wong, did you steal the jewelry and the body of Chow Siu Feng?"

"I didn't steal the body. I lost the bag of jewelry. Ah Ying didn't believe me. He killed me and my wife."

Officer Tung Senior said. "Ah Ying, tell us what happened."

Ah Ying said, "Ah Wong and I grew up here together. I admit that we both stole the jewelry but Ah Wong took it all. I didn't kill him and his wife."

Ah Wong interrupted, "That's a lie." His head flew around the courtroom yelling "He's lying." Ah Ying trembled and fainted on the floor. Some of the observers ran out of the courtroom.

Despite of my hand over Mary's mouth, she screamed...

****

Author Notes This story took place in a small town in China. People follow the traditional Chinese customer. They call elderlies as grandma and grandpa.

Tom Tsang : a journalist
Mary : Tom's girlfriend
Chow Siu Feng : Pregnant Ghost
Ho Siu Ming : Siu Feng's boyfriend
Mr. and Mrs. Chow: Siu Feng's parents
Mr. and Mrs. Ho: Siu Ming's parents
Tsoi Tsoi : Siu Feng's close Servant
Veronica: Mary's grandmother
Au Chung Hing : owner of a gallery
Monk Kong : Ghost Buster
Grandma Miu Miu : Beat the Devil Specialist
Grandma Ling : Ghost Communicator
Ah Fook : Male Servent
Ah Kiu : Female Servant
Ghost Number 12 : Siu Feng's Grandfather
Ching Ching and Ping Ping : Ghost No. 12's sisters
Ah Wong: a Ghost ( caretaker)
Ah Ying: (caretaker)
Officer Tung: a police officer
Officer Chan: a police officer
Officer Tung Senior: a Senior officer


Chapter 9
Pregnant Ghost Chapter 9

By Goodadvicechan

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.

Chapters 1 to 8

Mary bought a picture of a Chinese bride for Tom. One night the bride (Sie Feng) came out from the picture, attacked Mary, and forced Tom to arrange for her, a marriage with her deceased boyfriend ( Siu Ming).

On the way to see the bride's parents, Tom stayed in a haunted hotel and got involved in a murder case. At the same time Siu Feng's dead body was stolen.

Tom was accused of stealing Siu Feng's dowry, ending in jail. Siu Ming's parents bailed him out and now he and Mary went to the Chow Graveyard to look for Siu Feng's body. They discovered two caretakers stole Siu Feng's dowry.


Chapter 9

I woke Mary up to have breakfast. She looked more like a human being this morning and recovered from being frightened by Ah Wong's ghost head in the courtroom.

We had a traditional Chinese village breakfast; white rice porridge, salted peanuts, preserved vegetables, preserved boiled salted eggs, and fried Chinese donuts.

After breakfast, we headed to the Dragon Temple, praying for advice about whether we should continue to get involved in Siu Feng's case or not.

The temple was located about 20 miles on a hillside with north-south axis. North-south was considered to bring good luck for worshippers.

Farther up there were a pagoda, a shrine for general services and another one for tablets (a common praying area whereby an ancestor's spirit is transferred to a wooden tablet). The two shrines were of similar size. They were connected by a covered bridgeway. The tiled roofs were green and sat atop eaves, which were decorated with religious figures. The roofs were supported by magnificently carved and decorated beams, which in turn had intricately carved dragon stone pillars.

Chinese from the older generation traditionally believed that the heavens were round and the earth was square. This pagoda, which was like a tower, had five stories with windows, a hollow structure made of bricks. It had a square base rooted to the ground, but an octagonal plan on each story so it looked round when viewed by the gods above in the sky. There was a staircase that connected to each story, all the way to the top.

In front of the pagoda stood a big Buddha of mercy (Guanshiyin Bodhisattva). Guanshiyin was one of the four great bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism. According to legend, his name means "the one who listens to the world and weeping." This Buddha was known as a compassionate and saving god. When people were faced with all kinds of sufferings and horrors, they prayed with a sincere heart and their pain and sufferings would be relieved.

The place wasn't crowded. There were some people lighting bouquets of smoking joss sticks, saying prayers, leaving jade orchid blossoms as offerings, throwing sheng bei (fortune-telling wooden blocks) and donating ghost money to a variety of ancient gods in return for things like good scores for children on important exams, good marriages and good businesses.

We made a quick tour of the pagoda and climbed to the top. The scenery was beautiful. There were houses surrounded by acres of land. A few horses were running on the grass. We could see the river at a long distance.

Then we went to the shrine to perform our throwing sheng bei. We knelt and shook a container of fortune-telling wooden blocks. We continued shaking the container until one block came out. Mary asked for the safety of her baby. She got wooden block number six. I wanted to know the result of finding Siu Feng's body and I got number sixty two.

We paid a service person to explain what the numbers meant. Each number was associated with the life story of a known person in history. In summary, Mary's baby would be fine. Mine wasn't as smooth as I would like it to be. I had to go through a lot of hurdles before it would work out. I was advised to tell Siu Feng's parents to perform a ghost chanting ceremony.

*****

At midnight, we went back to the courtroom. Mary thought she could handle it, but was more scared than last night when Ah Wong came out with a head, two fire eyes and two hands carrying his wife's head. His wife had no eyes, but two holes with blood stains on her face.

Ah Ying continued his story and said. "I asked Ah Wong for half of the jewelry but he said he lost the bag on his way home. I didn't believe him. We grew up together in this town and became partners as caretakers. I knew he had a greedy character. I searched the house. He stopped me and kicked my right leg. I fell on the floor. He went to the kitchen and grasped a knife."

Ah Wong interrupted again, "It wasn't me holding the knife."

Officer Tung Senior said, "Ah Wong, stop interrupting, otherwise I won't be able to help you."

Ah Ying continued, "I got up and kicked his left leg, throwing him off balance. His knife fell out of his hand. He himself fell onto the curb side of the kitchen door. Blood came running down all over his face. A five-foot ladder nearby fell onto his legs. He couldn't move. Ah Wong's wife came out from the bedroom to help him to remove the ladder. I grabbed the kitchen knife and threatened Ah Wong that if he wouldn't tell me where the jewelry was, I would kill his wife."

Ah Wong flew in front of Ah Ying and raised his wife's head, yelling, "You killed her."

Grandma Ling raised her voice and prayed. Ah Wong's head withdrew from Ah Ying. Officer Tung Senior asked Ah Ying to continue.

Ah Ying said, "Ah Wong grabbed my leg with two hands and pulled me so hard that one of my shoes fell off. I lost balance and fell onto his wife and the knife stabbed her chest. Ah Wong lost too much blood and died. The whole event was an accident."

Ah Wong flew around Ah Ying shouting with tears, "You killed us both." Ah Ying was speechless.

Fire came from Ah Wong's eyes and blood came out from his wife's eyes. Mary covered her face and put her head on my chest.

Grandma Ling started praying and holding a wooden sword to control Ah Wong's emotion and silence him.

Officer Tung Senior called another witness. "Can you bring Grandpa Sing up here."

Grandma Ling burned a few more yellow banners and said her prayers. Grandpa Sing came out from the basin. He was about five feet four, wearing a long black gown. He had a kind face, looked like over eighty with long silver hair.

"Grandpa Sing, did you tell Mr. Tsang, you saw Ah Wong bury the jewelry under the dining table."

"Yes, I did."

Officer Tung Senior asked the clerk to bring out exhibit 1; a jewelry bag.

Mr. Chow was asked to confirm that the jewelry inside the bag was Chow Siu Feng's dowry. Mr. Chow confirmed it was.

"Ah Wong, this jewelry was found under your dining table. Now tell us where is Siu Feng's body?"

"I have no idea. When I left the graveyard, the body was in the coffin."

Officer Tung Senior asked for the second exhibition. It was the right side of a pair of shoes and a kitchen knife. He asked Ah Ying to put on the right shoe.

"Does it fit you?" Ah Ying nodded his head. "Is this shoe yours?" Again he nodded his head. "Please answer yes or no." Ah Ying said yes.

Officer Tung Senior turned to Ah Wong. "Do you recognize the kitchen knife? Is this yours?" He was emotionally disturbed and said yes, with a pair of hating eyes.

"How do you know it was yours? "

"It was marked June 13; the date we got married."

Officer Tung Senior confirmed the correct date was carved on the knife.

"Now, please bring out the exhibit number 3."

It was the left side of a pair of shoes.

"Ah Ying, now put on the left side of the shoes."

With the right side already on, the left side made one perfect pair. They both fitted Ah Ying's feet.

Officer Tung Senior, with great confidence, said his conclusion statement. "The jewelry was found under Ah Wong's dining table, so Ah Wong stole it. We can't sentence him in this court but God of Heaven will punish him."

Officer Tung Senior continued, "We concluded Ah Ying was one of the jewelry thieves. He also murdered Ah Wong and his wife.. We found one of his shoes in Ah Wong's house and the other one, plus the knife, in his own house. He'll be sentenced by our judge here."

He turned to Ah Ying and said. "Ah Ying, meanwhile we will lock you up in my prison."

Ah Wong looked fiercely at Ah Ying one more time before he and his wife disappeared.

Grandpa Sing said, "Where is the body?"

Officer Tung Senior replied, "The case is still open until we find the body."

Grandpa Sing turned to me, saying, "Young man, I'll help you find it."

Mary said. "How?"

"I'll organize a Ghost party and give a big prize to whoever can provide clues to find the body." After saying that, he disappeared through the firing basin.

Author Notes Tom is anxious to leave the water village and go back to Shanghai...

Tom Tsang : a journalist
Mary : TomĂ¢??s girlfriend
Chow Siu Feng : Pregnant Ghost
Ho Siu Ming : Siu FengĂ¢??s boyfriend
Mr. and Mrs. Chow: Siu FengĂ¢??s parents
Mr. and Mrs. Ho: Siu MingĂ¢??s parents
Grandma Ling : Ghost Communicator
Grandpa Sing : Siu FengĂ¢??s Grandfather
Ah Wong: a Ghost ( caretaker)
Ah Ying: (caretaker)
Officer Tung Senior: a Senior officer


Chapter 10
Pregnant Ghost Chapter 10

By Goodadvicechan

Chapter 1 - 9

Tom tried to get two parents of Siu Feng and Siu Ming to agree to marry the two deceased.

Siu Feng's body was stolen. There would not be any marriage if the body was not found. Two caretakers were caught stealing the dowry but not the body.

Tom and Mary went to a local temple to ask for advice from the Buddha of mercy (Guanshiyin Bodhisattva) on what to do.

Chapter 10

Mary reminded me that we asked Mrs. Chow to perform a ghost Chanting ceremony for Siu Feng. We took a rickshaw to visit Mr. and Mrs. Chow.

The Chow family was one of the top wealthy families in the village. They offered a traditional feast of 10 dishes to welcome our visit.

The feast included:
- roasted sucking pig platter,
- two appetizers: seafood bird nest and roasted dove,
- grilled vegetables with mushrooms,
- shark fin soup,
- beggar's chicken,
- steamed fish,
- fried rice and fried flat noodle,
- red bean desert soup

After dinner, they invited us to sit in the pavilion in the garden, serving rice wine, a fruit plate and tea.

Mr. Chow apologized for accusing Tom of selling Siu Feng's picture for money. He then told us about the benefits of arranged marriage. He and his best friend were school mates and agreed their children would get married when they grew up. The boy went to Beijing to study arts when he was twelve. Prior to that, the kids played together and were like brother and sister.

Mr. Chow said, "I remember there was one instance when my daughter fell on the ground while flying a kite. The boy let go of his kite immediately and ran to help my daughter to get up. I heard him say: 'I'll protect you and marry you.' My daughter pushed him aside and ran away."

Mary jumped into the conversation, "Mr. Chow, that might be puppy love. Obviously Siu Feng was not in love with the boy but in love with Siu Ming."

"Love can be developed. I saw my wife's face the first time on my wedding night," said Mr. Chow.

"Weren't you scared how she might look?"

"Listen, young lady. I trusted my parents. They took care of my interest. They raised me, they knew my character. Obviously they would find someone good for me. In my case, Mrs. Chow is the best thing I've ever had in my life."

Mrs. Chow further endorsed her marriage, "I have had no problem with my parents-in-law. They loved me, otherwise they wouldn't arrange the marriage. Since both parents knew each other, my parents trusted my parents-in-law would treat me well."

Mary reluctantly said, "That may be true."

Mr. Chow said, "Not may be, but actually is true. Also if we ever had any argument, I went to see our matchmaker and complained to her. She was responsible to match us up again."

Mrs. Chow said, "Hey, old man, that only happened once."

Mary said, "May I ask...?"

Mr. Chow interrupted, "No more discussions on arranged marriage. I don't see anything wrong with it."

Mrs. Chow pleaded, "Please help us find Siu Feng's body."

All of a sudden a strong wind blew off all the candle lights and torches in the garden. The place became dark. The willow trees were swinging making screaming sounds. Mary jumped onto my lap and held me tight.

Mary screamed as she saw Siu Feng and Siu Ming kneeling before Mr. and Mrs. Chow.

I whispered to Mary saying these ghosts were no harm. Mary moved back to her seat.

Siu Feng was wearing her wedding dress. Siu Ming had a black hat, a red top and a long red skirt underneath. He had a big red ribbon with a big bow tied in the chest.

Siu Ming opened his mouth first, "Mr. and Mrs. Chow, I am Ho Siu Ming. I love your daughter. May I have the pleasure to ask your permission to let me marry your daughter?"

Mrs. Chow looked at Mr. Chow. Both said nothing. Mary raised her head and looked at me.

Siu Feng started to cry, "Dad and Mom, please find my body. I am a floating soul. Please hang my picture in my bedroom. Temporarily I can stay in the picture."

Tom said, "Mr. Chow, I am not selling the picture but more than happy to give it to you."

Mr. Chow said, "Thank you for your generosity."

"Thank you, dad."

Mrs. Chow said, "Poor baby, is there anything else we can do for you?"

"Dad and Mom, please approve our marriage. You'll have a grandson." Siu Feng pointed to Mary, "Mary is carrying it. It is your grandson's reincarnation."

Mrs. Chow's tears ran down her cheeks. Mr. Chow's eyes turned wet and red.

"Siu Feng, you should not commit suicide on your wedding day," Mrs. Chow continued talking with tears running down her cheeks. "Siu Ming, this is the first time I meet you. You look like a smart guy. You should not hang yourself too."

Siu Feng and Siu Ming both kowtowed three times acknowledging their wrong doings.

I said, "Siu Ming, it is your father who objected to this marriage."

Siu Ming had always been nasty to me. I never forgot how he forced cockroaches into my mouth. He replied, "Tom, I'll convince my parents. Now, I request the blessing from Mr. and Mrs. Chow to approve our wedding."

Mrs. Chow said, "You must follow our Chinese tradition. Once we found Siu Feng's body, your parents should send a matchmaker here to propose on your behalf to marry Siu Feng. She should come with our full range of traditional engagement gifts."

The full range included 12 items. They were:

- big Han-pie: to thank the wife's parents for their kindness,
- boxes of cakes as wedding flavors
- Mixiang biscuits meaning "marrying a good husband",
- a pair of dragon and phoenix candles used to pray for a happy marriage,
- dried longan representing the eyes of the bride to keep the bridegroom's eyes no longer looking at other girls,
- gold jewelry: wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings,
- four-color candies symbolizing the sweet love between the new couple,
- two dozens of good wine, allowing the bride to worship her ancestors,
- noodles: symbolizing the couple to grow old together,
- a whole roasted pig to be shared among all wedding guests,
- a big red envelope containing a large sum for the bride's parents to buy dowry,
- Happy Flower pins for both parents and other relatives to wear.

Siu Ming replied, "My father will make it happen. Tom will be our witness and help my father to deliver the promise."

I wanted to object to the offer but Siu Ming already took over my speech by saying one word - yes.

Siu Feng stood up and hugged her mother with tears. Mr. Chow raised his hands to signal Siu Ming to get up.

Mrs. Chow said to Siu Feng, "Tomorrow I'll arrange the Ghost Chanting Ceremony. This will erase all your sins and make you free of regrets. Your sufferings will be relieved."

"Thank you, Mom."

I didn't have the good feeling that Siu Ming's father would agree to the marriage.

*********

Author Notes This story happened in one of the many river villages, about 120 miles away from Shanghai, China.

Tom Tsang : a journalist
Mary : Tom's girlfriend
Chow Siu Feng : Pregnant Ghost
Ho Siu Ming : Siu Feng's boyfriend
Mr. and Mrs. Chow: Siu Feng's parents
Mr. and Mrs. Ho: Siu Ming's parents


Chapter 11
Pregnant Ghost Chapter 11

By Goodadvicechan

Chapters 1 to 10

Mary bought a picture of a Chinese bride for Tom. One night, the bride ( Chow Siu Feng) came out from the picture, attacked Mary, and forced Tom to arrange for her, a marriage with her deceased boyfriend ( Ho Siu Ming).

Siu Feng and Siu Ming both committed suicide to protest against Siu Feng's parents to arrange a marriage for her.

On the way to see the bride's parents, Tom discovered Siu Feng's dead body was stolen and Siu Ming's father strongly objected to the dead people marriage.

Tom's challenge was how to convince Mr. Ho to agree to the marriage.

Chapter 11

Mrs. Chow was a Buddhist. She believed a person's actions during one's lifetime resulted in karma that determined in what form one's spirit would be reborn-- whether as a human, an animal, or various forms of spirits, including angels, demons, gods, or ghosts.

She chose "Fighting the Devil for Seven Days" as the Chanting the Ghost Ceremony at the Dragon Temple. It was said that after the ceremony, Siu Feng's soul would be purified, her sins would be forgiven, and she would be born in the land of Amitabha and be protected by all the Buddhas.

I, on behalf of Mrs. Chow, invited Mr. and Mrs. Ho to join this ceremony and the Chow family was willing to add Siu Ming's name in the ceremony.

Mr. Ho was very angry, "My son had committed no sin. It was Siu Feng who seduced my innocent son."

"You can't say that... They were in love." I said.

"In love... in love. What's love?"

I had nothing to say.

"Love didn't have to commit suicide. Love didn't have to be together. They still could love each other even though they were separated. Am I right, Tom? You tell me."

"Mr. Ho, you have a point. But it is too late now."

"Nothing is too late," Mr. Ho continued, "Siu Feng wasn't a good girl. She shouldn't date my son if she was engaged. According to my father's house rule, he would put her in a basket and tie her with rocks and dump her in the river."

"You can't do that now."

"But I can hire a matchmaker tomorrow to look for a dead girl for Siu Ming."

"Siu Ming won't agree."

"I am his father. I am entitled to find him a wife. I'm going to have a big wedding feast for the marriage. I may even consider having a bigger Ghost Chanting ceremony for the newlyweds."

"Siu Ming won't agree."

"How do you know?"

"He hung himself. That was enough to say that he was strongly in love with Siu Feng."

"You don't have to convince me. Go to bed now. Come and join me tomorrow to choose a good wife for Siu Ming."

*****

Mary had no idea I had a conversation with Mr. Ho. I didn't want her to worry about anything. I wanted her to relax and take care of her pregnancy.

I couldn't come out with any idea how I could stop Mr. Ho looking for a wife for Siu Ming. Perhaps Mrs. Ho could stop him, but was unlikely because he was the master of the house. Could Siu Feng help? Mr. Ho hated her. What about Siu Ming? I didn't trust him. He might have had no choice but to listen to his father. If so, what would Siu Feng do to Mary?

All these thoughts drove me crazy. I needed the rice wine to keep me sane. After I finished two bottles, I heard someone knocked on my door. The door then opened by itself. I saw a row of brides in red wedding gowns with a piece of scarf over their heads. There were three of them. They walked towards me, saying together, "Siu Ming, marry me."

Although I couldn't see their face, I thought they might be pretty. Yet, they were ghosts. I didn't want to see the face of any one of them. I stepped backwards and they stepped forward towards me, until I reached my bed and fell onto it. They jumped on top of me; one after another. They all removed their scarf to show me their skeleton heads. I screamed.

Someone put his hand over my mouth. The brides were gone. I opened my eyes and saw Siu Ming.

I said, "I can't breathe."

He let go of his hand but lifted me up and then threw me back on the bed. "What did you tell my father?" He said it with anger.

"Why are you always violent to me?"

"You deserve it. You asked my father to get a wife for me."

"I didn't."

"You told him I was in love with Siu Feng. He hated that sentence."

"Why?"

"Because I argued with him many times saying I was in love with Siu Feng."

"No wonder he got angry with the word love."

"He told me sickness didn't kill me but love did. Love was like a spark. It only lasted a second but it could set fire onto my body and make me insane. Was my father right or wrong?"

"There isn't any wrong or right in being in love. It is a feeling."

"I'm deeply in love with Siu Feng. I'll be nice to you for a change if you can find a solution to stop my father finding a wife for me. Do you have a solution?"

"No."

"I have one for you. You marry one of those whom you saw earlier."

"Are you kidding?

"No kidding... I am sure your girlfriend, Mary might not mind. She couldn't be jealous of a skeleton ghost. Could she?

"Please... be serious."

"Tomorrow I borrow your body and you leave it to me."

***********

I could feel Siu Ming was inside me. I never liked black egg but this morning, I chose the black egg over the salted egg for breakfast. When I took the second one, Mary looked at me with her eyes wide open.

After breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Ho asked us to join them to choose a wife for Siu Ming, Mary was surprised. I signaled her to keep quiet.

A lady at the age of about fifty, wearing a two piece black traditional Chinese outfit, with her hair combed to the back with a bun, came in with a big smile. She carried a three-layered red basket. She liked to be called Grandma matchmaker.

She immediately said, "Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Ho for arranging a marriage for your son. I bring the details of three qualified girls for you to choose."

Mr. Ho introduced us to her as a friend visiting from Shanghai.

She took out the first layer from her basket and put it on the table. Inside the layer was a piece of red paper with the word "double happiness" written on it. She removed the paper, took out the portrait of a young girl and a piece of folded paper covered by hard covers on both sides. This letter could be opened as a fan. On it was written the lady's dowry.

Grandma matchmaker said, "This lady's name is Ma Tin Kiu. Her father owns a vineyard in our adjacent village. She has a gorgeous dowry including a piece of the vineyard with the condition that all the harvest be sold back to her father."

Mary said, "That was generous. She is pretty too."

I asked, "How did she die?" I had no interest but It was Siu Ming inside me said that.

Grandma matchmaker answered, "She died of an accident."

I said, "I knew the story. I used to go there for wine tasting. Tin Kiu was called 'the screaming lady.' She was famous for screaming and yelling at her servants. She died of screaming."

Mary asked, "Tom, there is no way you knew it."

I replied, "I am a journalist. She was screaming at her dog while she was eating chestnuts. She swallowed the nut in the wrong way and died of suffocation."

"Oh, that was horrible..." Mary commented.

I objected, "I don't want someone screaming and yelling at night in my bedroom."

Mr. Ho said, "I don't care about the dowry. This one is out."

Grandma matchmaker took out the second layer and put the details on the table.

"She was a very nice girl and well educated girl, she knew ten English words. Her father is the head of our neighboring village. This is his second term."

"What are the ten English words?"

"Good morning, good afternoon, good night ..."

"Only six words," I said.

"Also... Hello, how are you?"

Before anyone had a chance to say anything else, I jumped into making a loud objection, "This one is definitely no good."

"Why?" Grandma matchmaker asked.

"She is too fat."

"Fat girls are good and lucky. They bring good luck to their husbands."

"Look. Her left cheek is much fatter than the right cheek," I replied.

"What?" Grandma could hit me any minute.

"Tom, what did the black egg do to you?" said Mary.

It wasn't me saying; it was Siu Ming.

"Mr. Tsang, I appreciate your help. Let's look at the last one."

"I'm sorry but I know Siu Ming won't approve it."

Grandma put the third layered box on the table. Before she had the chance to lay out the details, Mr. Ho said, "I trust Grandma matchmaker. She was my matchmaker. I don't need to know the details, Grandma Matchmaker, let's settle on the third one and you go to them to arrange a date and work out the details with Mrs. Chow."

Mr. Ho left the room. Grandma matchmaker thanked Mrs. Ho and left.

This was a shock to me and I fainted...

*****

I had no idea how long I had been unconscious. It was extremely tiring to fight with Siu Ming inside my body. I couldn't control what he said and I had no speaking power.

Mary was happier to share a piece of good news with me than seeing me recovered from my unconsciousness.

Grandma told Mrs. Ho, not a single family from our town was willing to let their daughters marry Siu Ming except Siu Feng's parents. That was why the first two were from our neighboring villages. The third one was Chow Siu Feng.

*******

Author Notes Sorry it takes so long to post this chapter. I was stuck in finding a solution how to resolve the conflict between Tom and Mr. Ho.

I hope you like the solution.


Chapter 12
The Carnival Festival

By Goodadvicechan

The Carnival event took place in the Central Garden of the Chow River Village. In the middle of the garden, there was a round pool full of red and white lotus flowers. On the north side, there was a river. Along the banks were rows of willow trees and benches where people could sit down and watch the ducks swimming.

A big stove was set up for burning offerings to the deceased. These included money, houses, cars, servants, handbags and clothes. A platform was set up for the monks to say prayers.

People were excited about the festival. Many street stalls were set up to sell different kinds of Chinese dumplings, noodles, desserts, and fruits dipped in sugar coating.

Mary found an interesting hard boiled tea leaves egg stall. She tried one and liked it.

Tom liked the stall that sold curried food like fish balls, pig skins and cuttlefish. Mary didn't like any of the curried food.

Many couples came to float lotus lamps on the rivers to wish themselves good luck in their dating or marriage. The beautiful scenery of rows of lighted lamps floating on the river was beyond description.

Fortune tellers set up their tables, offering services for people to find out their fortune related to romance, business growth, and career opportunities.

The fortune tellers, based on the names and the birth dates of their customers, invited a swallow from a cage to come out to pick up a fortune card. After handing the card to the teller, the swallow returned to the cage. The card had a short story of an ancient hero. Based on the story, the fortune tellers forecasted the future destiny.

Mary and Tom managed a booth interviewing people who might have leads to trace Chow Siu Feng's body.

At the end of the day, they analyzed the interviews they conducted and came to three possibilities.

The first one was provided by a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Au They saw a group of ghosts in their neighborhood. They thought it was worthwhile to chat with those ghosts. They might know something.

The second one came from a young man, Ah Tsun. He said his deceased mother told him in his dream she knew where the body was.

The third one was a retired servant, Ah Fook, who said he saw something that might relate to why Chow Siu Feng's servant committed suicide.

*****

Shortly after midnight, Tom, while sleeping, thought he put his hand on Mary's shoulder. Mary pushed his hand away, and he opened his eyes. He was scared to see Ho Siu Ming lying beside him. Before he could say something, Siu Ming lifted him up and said, "Get changed and let's go."

"Go where?"

"Don't ask!" shouted Siu Ming.

Tom yelled back, "Why do you always treat me like an enemy?"

"Siu Feng chose you, not me. I never had the confidence that you could make things happen. Up to now, you haven't convinced my father to allow me to marry Siu Feng. I need to control you to make things happen."

"It wasn't my fault," said Tom.

"Shut up." Siu Ming grabbed Tom's throat. The next moment Tom realized he was in a dark forest.

"Why am I here?" Tom asked Siu Ming.

"This is the place Mr. Au told you today. You shouldn't waste any time. Go and talk to all the ghosts. I 'll keep an eye on how you're doing." After that, Siu Ming was nowhere to be seen.

Tom was lost what to do. He raised his head and saw a child with blood flowing down his cheek. He immediately ran as fast as he could.

Accidentally he hit a rock and fell on the ground. As soon as he got up, he faced a female ghost in white. Her legs did not touch the ground. Tom screamed and fell backwards onto the ground.

"I am not a bad ghost," said the white ghost. "Why are you here?"

Tom could not utter a single word. It was Siu Ming inside him who told the white ghost why.

"Come with me. I'll take you to the gossip group. They may know something."

Tom could not move as he saw a snake slithering on his pants. He unbuttoned the waist of his pants, thinking to let go of the pants with the snake on top of it, but he hardly moved an inch. Siu Ming appeared out of nowhere and caught the snake and pointed it towards Tom's mouth.

Tom begged Siu Ming, "Don't make me eat that snake. It was bad enough you forced the cockroaches into my mouth the last time."

"The blood of the snake will make you brave," said Siu Ming.

Tom fainted. Siu Ming grabbed hold of Tom and ran after the white ghost.

Tom was completely unaware where he was. His soul and body were being taken over by Siu Ming. Siu Ming chatted with a group of seven ghosts, two males and five females. He questioned every ghost one by one to find out more about Siu Feng's body but got no concrete information where her body was.

The night went quickly and the sun rose and the ghosts disappeared one by one.

Tom was left in the forest, tired and lying unconscious on the ground next to a grave marked: "To my mother, Leung Kiu... from Ah Tsun with love."

******************

Author Notes Notes:

Tom: a journalist
Mary: Tom's financee
Chow Siu Feng: pregnant ghost
Ho Siu Ming: Siu Feng's deceased boyfriend.


Chapter 13
Chow Siu Feng's Request

By Goodadvicechan

Chapter 13

Tom and Mary were concerned about whether they would ever be able to find Chow Siu Feng's body. They wanted to go back to Shanghai to live their own life. They discussed the possibility of leaving the village with Mrs. Chow.

Mrs. Chow begged them to stay. She said that she had a fortune teller from the Buddha Tower saying her body couldn't be found without the help of Mary, since Mary was carrying Siu Feng's reincarnated baby.

Tom was not happy with that excuse and also very frustrated about the fact that he was tormented by Ho Siu Ming. He really wanted to fight with Siu Ming but that was beyond his capability. He drank a lot that evening to ease his anger and eventually fell drunk, ending falling into sleep on the ground.

Mary was about to remove Tom from the ground and put him onto his bed, Chow Siu Feng in her wedding gown jumped out of nowhere and appeared in front of Mary. Behind Siu Feng were two ghosts, one with a cow's head and the other with a horse face. That scared Mary to death.

Chow Siu Feng said, "don't worry about them. They won't harm you. They are my angels while my soul is weak. Without them, my soul may disappear completely like smoke in the air."

The cow and horse ghosts looked at Mary without any expression. Mary din't know whether they were nice or not. Siu Feng continued, "tonight, I'm here to ask you to help me find my body."

Mary answered, "Tom and I had already tried our best, especially Tom."

Siu Feng said, "I know... Siu Ming has a temper. He most probably upsets Tom and other ghosts. With him around, it's unlikely we can get any good information from any ghost."

"Believe me. We've done all we can. Besides, we may not be able to convince Mr. Ho to approve the marriage even if we find your body." Mary replied.

"If you don't help me find my body in time, I may not be able to even survive in my underground world."

"What can we do now?"

"I want just you and me to go and see Leung Kiu alone. She may be willing to offer us help without Tom's and Siu Ming's presence. We'll leave them behind."

"Let me go to the kitchen and see what I can find to present to Leung Kiu to show our respect." Mary got something from the kitchen and Siu Feng took her to Leung Kiu's tombstone.

*****
Leung Kiu wasn't buried in a graveyard. Her tombstone was in a deserted forest. On the way walking through the forest, there were bats flying, crows screaming, and black shadows walking. All these noices and the fear of the unknown trumbled Mary's mind.

Mary was so scared that she held tight onto Chow Siu Feng's hand. The cow and horse ghosts followed them. Mary had heard story that these ghosts captured the soul of live persons. She was terrified to walk in front of them. Siu Feng had to drag her to move forward.

One of the bats followed Mary. At times, it circled above Mary's head; at other times, it flew across Mary's face. When it did that, Mary fell onto the ground and cried. Mary couldn't move her legs. This gave Siu Feng no choice but jumped into Mary's body to continue the journey.

When they reached Leung Kiu's grave, Siu Feng left Mary's body. When Mary regained conscience, she did not see Siu Feng but left alone with the cow and horse ghosts, she screamed. Siu Feng re-appeared and comforted her saying bats brought luck.

Mary then calmed down and laid in front of the grave, a cup of wine, four oranges and a lettuce. She kowtowed three times to pay respect and at the same time asking for help to find Chow Siu Feng's body.

Siu Feng murmured something to the tomb. A butterfly flew out from the grave. It circled over the head of Mary.

Mary was trembling and could not open her mouth to speak a single word.

Siu Feng held Mary's hand and told her not to get scared. Mary continued trembling. Siu Feng held her hand tighter signaling her not to worry.

The butterfly turned into a female ghost. She wore a traditional Chinese black top and a pair of black pants. Mary looked at her and found her having a kind and honest face. So she was a little bit relieved.

Siu Feng said, "Madame Leung Kiu, I am Chow Siu Feng and this is Mary."

"I'm expecting you two to be here, but not them," Leung Kiu turned her head to look at the cow and horse ghosts, and continue saying, "I know where Siu Feng's body is."

Chow Siu Feng pleaded with tears, "Please, please, please... tell us."

"If you can fulfill my request, I promise to lead you to where Siu Feng's body is."

"Tell me what it is. I'll do it." Mary replied.

"I don't feel comfortable to be with them," Leung Kiu looked at both the cow and horse ghost. "Come back to see me on full moon night with my daughter."

"We only met your son once. Where can we find your daughter?" Mary wanted clarification.

"You met Tsun at the carnival. He'll come with my daughter. She is my only child in the village."

Mary was more confused that Leung Kiu had only one child and she was a daughter, but Tsun was a boy. Leung Kiu disappeared before Mary could get to the bottom of the mystery.

*******

Author Notes Notes:

Tom: a journalist
Mary: Tom's financee
Chow Siu Feng: pregnant ghost
Ho Siu Ming: Siu Feng's deceased boyfriend


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