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Fiction

太虚幻境

This is a Chinese translation of my short story “The Dreamers” by 轻歌慢语 (“Breathed slow language”). The translator compared his translation to a “砖” or a brick, which I thought was an endearing image.

对于侦探庄Z来说,在这样晴朗明亮的一月里,在这样窗明几净的房间里等待死神的降临,是一件很不合情理的事。他的一生都在感受着香港狭窄的街道,拥挤的人群,令人窒息的热浪。但现在他渴望能再重温一次那气味和感觉,完完整整的再体验一次:夹杂着树脂和苔藓味的前调,那是迎面扑来的360度全方位裹挟着你的潮湿闷热的空气;热情但被污染了的中调,那是源源不断涌入大气中的黑色汽车尾气颗粒物;蜂拥而来的压抑性尾调,那是由人类、工业与拥堵所带来的感觉。

    他最近一次近距离接近死亡是在35年前,当时他已完全感受到,每一次充满血腥气味的呼吸都将是他的最后一次。当时他识破出一个黑社会组织的阴谋,并揭露了他们的罪恶行径。毫无悬念地他被射中心脏。一串冗长的机械部件各就各位、连续的咔嗒声音,扳机向后拉,向前推,终于点38式左轮手枪开火了。那是一个相当不错的死法,然而下面要讲述的可就不怎么样了。

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gruhh4e9p[1]
Fiction

The Dreamers

It did not seem right to the detective Z. Zhuang that he should be dying in such a clean and sterile room on such a bright January day. He had lived his life in the malarial heat of the narrow Hong Kong streets among the human fauna. He yearned for the smell and the feel of it all again: the resinous, mossy head notes, that solid wave of damp air that crashed into you when you stepped outside; the ardent, polluted heart notes, black particles of exhaust spiraling into the atmosphere endlessly from engines; and the final, swarming, oppressive base notes, of congestion and people and industry.

The closest he had been to death before, that time when he had utterly been convinced that every blood-stained breath he was drawing would be his last, had been thirty-five years ago, when he had deciphered the designs of a triad lieutenant, unveiled treachery, and in the end, been shot in the heart as all the interminable mechanisms clicked into place, hammer drawn back then sprung forward, and a .38 revolver fired. That would have been a good death—this, not so much.

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