To the victims of the Sichuan earthquake


The twelfth of the fifth.

That was when the world ended. The day when the hounds of hell broke loose and set rage upon my own home.

I wonder why it happened.

I wonder why Mother disappeared.

I wonder why Father can't be found.

I wonder why my grandmother, who survived, is holding me and crying, her legs broken.

I wonder why my limbs are paralyzed, why I am sitting among blood that has my own among it.

Why?

I wonder why we are being loaded onto stretchers right now, why I see—am I dreaming?—Japanese people, our rivals the Japanese, in the distance.

I wonder why I hear so much crying, and why I had seen my brother being crushed for what seemed to be long ago.

I wonder why my family, my home are gone.

I wonder why my home was target for this hellish nightmare.

At least, I wish it was a nightmare, but it all...it's too real.

Grandma, who is crying, is real. They're searching for my uncle, but I'm sure I saw him as he disappeared under some debris.

I think that's the baby—I tried so hard to save him, but he's all stiff, mutilated.

I think I heard my friend's name; she was crushed at her high school, they say, and almost made it out.

Crying in the distance; it tells of a mother seeing her child lifeless, sleeping never to stir.

That day was hell.

"The Sichuan earthquake," someone says, and I wonder how such a mild name could describe something that had taken so much from me, wild as the wind. I'll remember it, Sichuan Dizhen. Sichuan Dizhen, the Sichuan earthquake that stole what I had, everything I had. It's all gone, and the word dances about me, mocking, beyond my reach, laughing, giggling at my father whose body will probably never be found, the baby that could only confusedly feel pain and darkness, the brother who was so horrified that he only didn't bolt because we were all there, Mother whom I saw fall with my father while screaming my name, an uncle who had been so happy only a while ago, my grandparents that tried to shield me, the only one left to live....

I still have my grandmother, who seems to be growing paler by the minute; I cry and cling to her—she is all I have left. Her skin is death-cold to the touch.

Falun Gong is taking advantage of this, I hear someone say darkly. Some of them are stirring up in Flushing, New York, in America. They're saying God sent this to punish the Chinese. Traitors.

Tortoise eggs(1), someone spits.

I cry again, remembering visions of the world collapsing, ending; the screams of children at the nearby grade school; the cat yowling; the baby crying...and crying. Rocks flying, my home shaken roughly down to its roots...it's all gone.

My home is gone, and all I have are memories of blood, of the dead and dying, the children screaming their last, my parents falling, my grandfather throwing himself on top of me, the baby beyond my reach—

It was the day the world ended. Rocks and debris falling, mighty buildings collapsing—and the screams. The screams of pain, of agony; terror as humans were crushed to darkness; and the shrieks of children as they departed in pain, pain, pain, and so much pain...

I don't have anything left; but I'll go on for the sake of those lost. My mother was proud of my education, and I wonder if she would encourage me to go on now.

The pain—

I cry over my grandmother as she bleeds and holds me; I am about to be the only one spared.

(1) A commonly used insult in Chinese is literally translated as "tortoise egg."

PT: I'm Chinese. I might as well write something for the victims. I have no family in Sichuan, but there were so many KIDS that died; and I've watched (sneakily; wanted to act stoic about it) some special interviews of survivors and everything on TV, and checked the internet and newspapers. I'm a resident from a very Chinese town (no...NOT Chinatown...) so it was a big thing here. On a note of significance, Falun Gong—a group persecuted and banished by China—went over to my town's center in the summer and, under police protection, made these speeches about it—like how God sent the earthquake to punish China—and all going against China (you know, communism), and giving newspapers and sign-up thingys on the streets.... They were trying to turn us against China, in the view of one person. The Chinese in my town call them traitors. I know about the persecution, but if you consider the earthquake.... All anyone could do was yell insults across the street. The residents of the town were all gathered on one side of Main Street and screaming in Chinese at them. They all spoke Mandarin and, being Mandarin myself, I heard a lot of...curses...yeah, they were pretty bad. I heard that one person even got across and attacked of the the Falun Gong members. There were arguments all over the streets with them; eventually everyone ignored them; they've shut up about the earthquake now. Think about it—two parents put themselves on top of their toddler in a collapsing building; they were found dead, the child alive under their bodies. I'm not trying to put down Japanese people and Falun Gong members either, but China won't forget Japan's invasion—I'm trying to make a point at the seriousness of the earthquake—and Falun Gong left me PISSED. This is a sensitive topic, so I need to say I don't hate Japanese people...I'm actually fascinated by them. And Falun Gong...eh.... This is what I think the natural reactions would be, and I can't actually think the fact that Japan is helping can be disregarded. I ask of you to not judge me, but I can't stop you.