A Guest in a Ghost House - Chapter 16

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Chapter 16 Pimp, My New Occupation
I was stunned by those two conditions . Since when had it become two conditions?n Two conditions? I know the first is burning the paper money, whats the other condition? Also, what’s the promise?
Sister Hua pretended to be shocked, Oh, my . Great wits and short memories . You promised Xiao Lingdang to find something for her .
It all made sense now . Glancing at Xiao Lingdang expectantly, I nodded, I will . Absolutely! Um, I will find it .
Now, about that promise . Sister Hua said, What do you think of the Fan House?
Fan house? I was puzzled for a moment before I realized it was the name of the ghost house . So I said hastily, Good, it’s very good . It’s nice .
Sister Hua was surprised at my decisive answer . She giggled Excellent . You can work here . The ghost house lacks a waiter .
I felt my whole body grow cold . I was paralyzed, my mouth had involuntarily dropped .
Sister Hua giggled again, Dont worry . I still need you to burn paper money for us . It has been a long time since I bought new shoes . ”
Sister Hua’s words made me feel more at ease . Even still, I was not so brave that l could live in the ghost house . Moreover, elderly people believed we shouldn’t trust the words of ghosts . But I had to agree with her at first, to save Xiaoru . I would never come to Kaoshan Street again and neither would she .
Sister Hua must have known what was on my minds . Her voice became bleak, You should keep your promise .
My heart was bleeding, but I still nodded, If you let He Xiaoru go, I will keep my promise .
Okay . Said Sister Hua slowly .
Darkness came over my eyes . I fell down like a bag of bricks . The resplendent and magnificent scene disappeared . There was now only a flashlight revolving on the floor .
Wu Jian also fell down . However, he quickly jumped up, picking up the flashlight to shine all around . The light fell upon the prostrate figure of a person in the distance . When I shone a light on the face of the figure slumped on the floor, I screamed out, Xiaoru!
Huang Xiaolong stood up painfully and yelled, Hurry!
The word woke Wu Jian and me up . Wu Jian stepped forward and picked up He Xiaoru . Lets leave here immediately!
After we stumbled out of the ghost house, Huang Xiaolong looked at his watch . Unbelievable, it’s only one minute past twelve .
We had gone in at ten minutes to midnight . Although we had stayed in the ghost house for a long time, it was now only one minute past midnight . I felt a little scared at the time distortion . There was a lot we didn’t know about ghosts .
Looking back at the closed gates of the courtyard, I left Kaoshan Street with He Xiaoru, Wu Jian, and Huang Xiaolong in a hurry .
When we brought her to the hospital, the doctor said He Xiaoru had just fainted . I felt relieved . It was close to one oclock now . It seemed that there had been a traffic accident and there were many people in the hospital . I calmed down as time passed and ev erything seemed to go back to normal .
There was a cigarette in Wu Jian’s mouth, but he didnt light it under the angry glare of the nurse . Meanwhile, Huang Xiaolong kept chattering to himself . I heard him say that if he had brought an appropriate weapon, he would not have been caught off-guard .
I kept silent, staring at him . If he had showed his talent of speaking, perhaps the ghosts in the ghost house would not have had so much control over him .
After lying on the hospital bed for a whole night, He Xiaoru woke up slowly . Her parents had arrived by then . One of them thanked me and then sent He Xiaoru to another hospital, a bigger hospital in the provincial capital . There was no copportunity for her to talk with me . She mouthed “WeChat” in my direction as she left .
Once she was gone, Wu Jian stood in front of me, comforting me and slapping my shoulder, “It’s a good idea for her to go to another city . At least, she will be away from the ghost house . ”
I nodded silently . Huang Xiaolong walked towards me, “Dont worry about me, bro . I’ll be fine . ”
Then he left the hospital . He made a steadfast gesture in the doorway, looking back at us . I figured that was the last we’d see of him .
As Huang Xiaolong’s figure receded in the distance, Wu Jian helped me up saying, “Lets have breakfast . ”
I nodded .

Seated across from me in a nearby diner, Wu Jian said, Do you plan to live in the ghost house?
I shook my head, I should probably leave for a while .
Wu Jian seemed to feel uncomfortable with my decision . I could tell he just felt worried and said, Aren’t you going to burn the paper money and help Xiao Lingdang find whatever it is she lost?
I hesitated, still feeling scared . No .
Wu Jian nodded, Yeah, it’s probably a good idea for you to keep away from the ghost house . Be careful, though . Sister Hua said the ghosts will not let you go if you cannot keep your promise .
I said, I am going to live in a temple . A temple should be useful against ghosts .
Wu Jian asked, How will you explain this to your mother?
I didn’t know what to say . What about my mom and Xue’er? I could hide from the ghosts, but my mom and Xue’er could also see those pictures . Not to mention, I had forgotten to ask about those pictures…
I told Wu Jian what I had just remembered . Wu Jian laughed bitterly, “You can leave with your mom and your niece, or . . . ”
I understood what Wu Jian wanted to say . But would my mom and Xue’er leave with me because of the ghost house? If I knew anything about my mom’s personality, she would just invite witches and wizards to the ghost house to fight the ghosts . Could they win? I didn’t think so . Those people were just like Huang Xiaolong, a load of frauds .
I was confused about what to do .
Wu Jian slapped my shoulder, “If we cannot avoid it, let’s face it head on . We cannot hide from it forever . Besides, I really believe those ghosts won’t harm you . Just as Sister Hua said, they want somebody to burn paper money for them . ”
I nodded feebly . I also felt confused . I don’t know when he had joined me, all I knew is that suddenly Wu Jian wanted to face it with me . It would be wonderful if the ghosts would stop harming human beings from now on . That was something both he and I wanted, it’s what had brought us together .
I shook my head as if to clear my mind . The noodles in front of me were cold . I couldnt eat, I had no appetite . After shaking for a moment, I managed to regain my balance .
Since I could not avoid it, I should face it . I had already been to the ghost house a couple of times . I’ve become braver . Although I‘d be scared, I would not be scared to death like I was before .
I would complain about my new profession as a pimp, however, it wouldn’t matter . It seemed it was something I had to do . My main concern was the paper money that I had bought in the store beside the ghost house . After passing by the ghost house many times, I couldn’t see that funeral goods store anymore . I didn’t know whether paper money and candles I bought elsewhere would work the same . I hoped so . Otherwise, I’d be in real trouble .

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