Stories with a hole in it 热风 Julie Curates China

“The Holy Words” won Jury Prize for 2018 Wechat Flash Fiction

The Holy Words

by Anonymous      Translated from Chinese by Julie O’yang

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Since I became the leader of the Company, I no longer dared to say anything spontaneously.

Last month when I moved into my new office, I met our cleaning lady Aunt Li who was cleaning the floor. I greeted her politely and told her: “I feel embarrassed to let you work for us at your age!” The next day my secretary fired Aunt Li immediately and hired a younger woman as our new cleaning lady.

Half a month ago my driver brought some slight damage to the Company’s gate when he drove past. I tried to comfort him and told him:”It’s not your fault. The gate is too narrow.” Three days later the head of the Construction Department organized a million yuan funding to build an entirely new gate.

Last week Mr. Li from the Finance Department and I enjoyed a meal together at our canteen. When I saw he ate three steamed buns with gusto, I was impressed and remarked: “Dear old friend, you really have a good appetite!” In the same evening he sent me every penny of all the bribery he had received over the years and begged me to spare him.

The most annoying thing was when my two-year-old son had been too unmanageable one day, I ignored him. At last he came to me and called me: “Daddy! Daddy!” As I was still mad at him, I told hm: “I am not your dad!” Then suddenly my wife fell to her knees and said: “Please forgive me, Husband!”

My marriage broke up just like that because of a few words I spoke! Who said being a leader was easy?

一把手的金口

自从当上单位的一把手,我轻易不敢讲话了。       

上个月我刚搬进办公室,看到保洁李婶拖地,我客气地说:“哎呦您这么大年纪还为我们服务,实在不好意思”。第二天,秘书就辞退了李婶,换了个少妇保洁员。        半个月前,我的司机开车把单位大门蹭了,我安慰他说:“不怪你,是门太小了”。三天后基建科长就斥资100万重建了个大门。        上个星期,财务科的李科长陪我食堂吃饭,我看他吃了3个馒头,随口感叹道:“老李,你胃口不小哇”。当晚他就退回了贪污款并求我放过他。        最可气的是两岁的儿子,因为太调皮,我一天都不理他。 他跑过来讨好我一个劲地叫:“爸爸,爸爸。”我余气未消,说:“我不是你爸!”         谁知老婆扑通一声跪下:“老公我错了。”[呲牙]       多说一句话就弄得妻离子散,你以为当领导容易吗?[呲牙]

julie 超辣

Determined dreamer. Published author in English, Dutch, and Chinese. Former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) captain turned artist entrepreneur and screenwriter. She survived the Cultural Revolution as a baby. In the 1990’s she left for London and has lived and worked in free exile ever since. Her work covers a wide spectrum. As journalist, she creates content covering a range of topics on contemporary China from an insider perspective. In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, she hosted a 5-episode talk show TV China for Netherlands’ national broadcaster and discussed China’s media landscape with media stars and experts from both China and the Netherlands. From 2013-2016 she was the Editor-in-Chief of the English/Chinese bilingual magazine XiN 新, focusing on today’s China shaped by consumerism. O’yang contributes a weekly column to Hoje Macau on contemporary Chinese art and culture. Her English language book titles include: Butterfly, a historical crime love story set in the Second World War. Since May 2016 O'yang has been collaborating with Flemish photographer Filip Naudts on an art project, which has resulted in the photo novel The Picture of Dorya Glenn. Julie works from the Netherlands and Denmark.

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