Departing Ways


Zhang AiLing or Eileen Zhang was a writer who inspired legions of fans. I don't know why I was a fan - my Chinese is so shit I probably didn't really understand half the stuff she wrote. But for years I bought and tried to read Zhang's short stories, novellas, letters, essays and even literary criticism. In September 2019, during a work trip to Shanghai, I managed to steal some time away to visit that apartment block where Zhang had supposedly lived (fangirl photo above that my colleague helped to take).
 In 2005 I even wrote a short story about Zhang Ailing's ghost. The short story "Departing Ways" was published in a Malaysian anthology, and is reproduced below (with edits):


DEPARTING WAYS 

 

Following the death of Miss Jumi Lim’s mother and after a decade of barren, the papaya trees started to bear fruit. But when the ripened fruits disappeared as mysteriously as they had appeared, talk began to circulate among her relatives. 
     “It’s the tree ghost. Your mother must have done something to offend it. Now that she’s gone, the tree ghost is finally appeased,” Grandaunt M postulated. Miss Jumi Lim had ventured this challenge: “Lao Yi, if this is so, why did the tree ghost now take the papayas back?” Grandaunt M’s retort came swiftly. “Well, it’s obvious you must be your mother’s daughter… Offending it so soon after you move into your mother's house!” 
     Her Aunt Q had whispered this variation instead: "Since it is only your mother’s ghost, Jumi, there’s no need for you to be afraid…But then again, we don’t know anything for sure – ” She added this last bit loudly, just in case Jumi’s mother, recently deceased, resented being found out and labelled a papaya thief in the afterlife. 
   But it was her Uncle P, a psychologist and hence the most reliable interpreter of signs and psychic occurrences, who offered Jumi the kindest diagnosis: “It’s actually your father’s ghost. It is a good sign. He is happy, your mother has finally gone to join him.” 
    Jumi Lim entertained all these possibilities. The metaphor was ripe. A sign was being sent to the grieving daughter to comfort her, and her parents’ ethereal reunion produced a sibling-fruit. Jumi, an only child, remembered how she had asked her parents for a brother or sister. Who would have guessed that her parents would only now spoil her with such a generous harvest of otherworldly papaya siblings, even if for a short time! 
     Of course, ever since she returned to live in her parents' house, all this talk of ghosts has become decidedly less amusing.  Just two weeks ago, she thought she heard some sort of a shriek in the garden, followed by the sound of something or someone running across the roof of the two-storey house.  
     Jumi had related this to her colleague Salleh at the television station. He laughed – has she never heard the lovelorn moans of cats, more obliging than us humans when commanded by politicians to multiply? But Jumi Lim was sure there was no sense of feline urgency in those sounds. Another colleague Susan from the Mandarin Subtitles Section had overheard their conversation. She was a dreamy young woman who had just graduated from the university’s Chinese Studies Department. She walked over with her large mug, filled as usual with three-in-one coffee (Salleh and Jumi were amazed how quickly the office’s supply of instant coffee mix vanished into Susan Tan’s pale, stick-like figure), and offered this piece of poetry on the way back to her desk: “a place without its ghost stories has no history.” Unconvinced, realist Salleh whispered to Jumi, “but a place with too many ghosts definitely has no future!” In this way they made light of the situation. 
     Three nights later, awakened by the sound of something or someone tapping against the bedroom window, whatever poetry or humour there was, it was furthest from Jumi’s mind. So desperate was she in her terror that she almost called up the despicable scum of her ex-lover who had turned out, after years of furtive dates, to be already married with two children, their hamsters and a chocolate Labrador. Although the disturbances repeated themselves over the next few nights, Jumi resisted the defeat of making that phone call. The taps on the bedroom window would go on for a few minutes, followed by low prowling steps on the roof. Though unsure whether her sleep was being overtaken by a fevered imagination or the actual visitation of her ghost family, Jumi knew that her situation necessitated courage! For what else should Jumi call up but courage, courage against this tyranny of place/history/ghost(s) and the almost certain prospect, at age forty-three, of a lonely bed. 
     Thus emboldened, Jumi Lim armed herself one night with the television remote control at her mother’s favourite spot in the living room. To Jumi, the Head Subtitler in her country’s only broadcasting station, a position she held with some pride but more unease (was there even such a word, subtitler?), everything on television seemed like a re-run. You could say that watching television after work was therefore a clear sign of determination to confront this late-night intruder. 
     Jumi tested the couch. The left side of the couch sunk in more deeply. That was her mother’s favourite spot, Jumi thought to herself. She moved to the right side instead, further from the doorway that led to the porch and the small garden in front of the house. 
     It was a cool November night, so Jumi had left a thirty-centimeter opening in the doorway (yes, demonstrating not only determination but courage!). Soon, a breeze carried the early smell of rain into the living room. It had the metallic sharpness of the orange earth that lay naked at a new nearby condominium development, under construction by the fringes of the reservoir. She turned and looked through the opening at the two papaya trees. They were steadfast, only their leaves waved. The ending credits of a Taiwanese swordfighting serial – she recognized Susan’s occasional irrepressible lyricism – flickered.  Did her mother spend her last nights watching this cheaply made drama? Jumi felt sorry she had not spent more time with the old woman. A series of late night advertisement spots came up next: discounting restaurants, miracle hair tonics, a dubious legal firm and an enterprising aquarium.  Jumi Lim finally gave up and stood to shut the sliding door. When she turned to switch the television off, there was Zhang Ailing seated on her mother’s side of the couch. 
         “I was starting to wonder if you were ever going to switch the television on in this house.” Zhang Ailing said. “You look like you are one of my Zhang Mi[1], so I guess you must know who I am.” 
         Jumi Lim froze. Is this really the spirit of the famed writer Zhang Ailing? Or is this some prank? Or worse, is this an evil spirit? She looks harmless, no? What does she want? Has my mother sent her? Could it have been her who stole the papayas? These questions mounted each other, producing yet more questions, their energies gathering life in her body, until Jumi sneezed – releasing them into the night air.
 

 

*

 

 

     When Jumi left for work the next morning, she found the ghost of Zhang Ailing asleep on her mother’s bed. Never did two women look more different asleep or in death, Jumi thought. 
     Zhang Ailing was a thin woman with lanky limbs, so skinny her eyes bulged from her face. In her photographs she seldom smiled. And when she did, you would think it was only out of derision for the photographer or an imaginary audience. Her images often cast that shadow of mystery. It was perhaps because the bulk of her writings were produced in a short span of 3 years in 1940s Shanghai and after her long voluntary exile in America, no new works came from her. In that impenetrable absence, her fame and legend grew. But asleep – or rather, dead – Zhang Ailing looked less formidable. Her skin hugged her skull, but her mouth was slightly open, her jaw were slack. Hers was a defenseless face.
     Madam Kwek Kim Eng, on the other hand, was a Chinese language teacher in an unremarkable school, and remained one for as long as the Department of Education allowed. While generations of students may remember her with fondness or trepidation, she was not entitled to any public fame. Her body was short and anchored with firm heavy limbs. Even her eyelids were so weighed down in her old age that her eyes seemed to have disappeared into her skull. Her wide face held no secrets – the slightest of smiles brought dimples, and anger was a terrifying scowl with broken teeth. Yet Jumi remembered how Mdm Kwek Kim Eng’s face as she lay in the casket was a blank and impassable mask. Her mother would certainly have made a scarier ghost.
     It was Jumi who had first discovered Mdm Kwek’s dead body. It was a Sunday afternoon. Every Sunday, Jumi would arrive at Mdm Kwek’s house at about four, just before the sun was started to give up the day. She would stay to help Mdm Kwek prepare a simple dinner. Such was the routine even when her father was alive. That afternoon, as Jumi Lim stepped into the house through the gate for her weekly visit, she saw her mother seated on the low step on the porch instead of her usual place on the living room couch. Her body was leaning against the tiled pillar and her hair was slightly disheveled. Jumi had called out to her mother at the gate. From a distance, other than for the grayish tint of her skin and the slightly deflated look of her limbs, she had appeared no different from when she would doze off on the couch. The coroners told Jumi her mother had already died the night before of a heart attack. So for maybe sixteen or more hours, Mdm Kwek’s dead body had sat under the open sky. 
    This was perhaps the only thing both these women had in common – their solitary deaths. Even so, Jumi supposed her mother was the more fortunate of the two. After all, seventy-five year old Zhang Ailing was found in her Los Angeles apartment several days after she had died. Her body was laid out on the carpet with stale cupcakes on the table and the news playing on the television.
      Jumi had read somewhere that Zhang Ailing enjoyed sugared confection, especially ice cream and cream cakes.  On her way home from the television station that evening, Jumi dropped by the neighbourhood bakery. If Zhang Ailing was really a malevolent spirit, bringing her something she liked to eat – except cupcakes – should appease her. And if Zhang Ailing was in an agreeable mood, Jumi suddenly thought, she may even pluck up the courage to ask her opinion about the sudden appearance and disappearance of the papayas. Surely Zhang would have insight into the coming-and-goings of spirits.
     Balancing the box of cakes and her bag in one hand, Jumi unlocked the gate to the house. The first thing Jumi noticed was the flickering television images, reflected on the sliding glass door to the house. She found Zhang Ailing seated on her mother’s side of the couch again, her back upright and her eyes transfixed on the television screen. 
     “You must be hungry.” Jumi said, placing the box of cakes on the coffee table.
     At this, Zhang Ailing looked up and smiled. “I should be hungry, so thank you, I will definitely eat them.” 
     Was it a derisive smile on her face? Of course it was, Jumi realized. She should have known that Chinese ghosts were always hungry!

     After ten minutes of silence between them on the couch, Zhang Ailing spoke again. “This TV show is not bad.”

     Although Jumi has been staring at the television all this while, it was only now that she registered what was on the screen. It was a repeated telecast of a domestic drama Jumi had subtitled in English many years ago. Then, the male actor was the most popular actor at the television station. He was adored by scores of housewives for his role as the reformed baddie who, despite his kind intentions, would spiral into debt, violence and drunkenness, all because of his enemies’ sabotage. In this show, his character’s name was Ah Sam, though Jumi preferred the more straightforward Sam.
     At this juncture, Sam was again in one of his drunken spells. He had  just stumbled into his living room where his loving wife was waiting to give some love. It was an exchange Jumi had subtitled as follows:
                        Wife: Are you okay?
                        Sam:  Go away.
                        Wife: Where have you been?
                        Sam: Go away.
                        Wife: Do you want (me to get) a warm towel?
                        Sam: Go away. Stop bothering me.
                        Wife: A cup of tea?
                        Sam: Stop bothering me, you noisy woman.
Their exchanges would often end here for Sam would proceed to sweep whatever was on the coffee table onto the floor. This would mean that the understanding wife would start to cry, which the dubbing woman did very convincingly. 
     “I wrote the subtitles.” Jumi confessed.
     “You did?” Zhang Ailing leaned forward to open the box, and chose a slice of strawberry mousse cake, topped with two twirls of white chocolate and a dark chocolate button. “I especially like ‘noisy woman’.”

      “Noisy woman” was Jumi’s trademark phrase, and the legendary writer Zhang Ailing had noticed it!  She remembered years ago the Subtitle Section had held a series of meetings with the Public Affairs Department about the subtitling of quarrels and the use of “rough language”. The Public Affairs Department had said that “Bitch” was not allowed, much less the ruder local variations. In the guide which that Department had distributed to all subtitlers, the alternatives suggested never seemed to quite measure up: “Stop nagging”; “Leave me alone”; “Stop talking”; and “Shut Up” (which involved considerable debate since most of the dramas were shown at dinnertime. “Too harsh, don’t you think, not good for the children?” the Deputy Director of Public Affiairs had said.) Finally, since most audiences would subscribe readily to the idea of women being noisy, it was agreed that “noisy woman” would raise no controversy. Soon, “noisy woman” was recognized as Jumi’s unique contribution to the media industry. Even Sam’s wife, that Confucian paragon of irrational servitude, could be conceivably noisy to audiences. Why, Jumi sometimes asked herself, did she perpetuate this seeming denigrating and inaccurate picture of women, her own misunderstood kind? But of course, the answer lay not with her; she was only the translator of more pernicious visions. The shy smiles, the tortured turn of the head, the slightly bewildered gaze, the lowering of the eyelids, and that frightened half-step backwards in the face of violent moods (the trembling hand held against the trembling, though hidden, lips) – these contrived displays of subtle body parts in place of those that were grudgingly concealed on national television then. Pernicious. But things were different now. For one, the Public Affairs Department was no longer around. It was replaced by the trendier sounding Marketing, Content and Regulations Department.

     “ ‘Noisy woman’ is a little old-fashioned now.” Jumi added modestly. “Now we are allowed to use other phrases.”
     “It’s still good.” Zhang Ailing had finished the strawberry mousse cake and was reaching for the blueberry and custard tart. “Can I go to work with you one day? I would like to see the television station in your country.” 
     Seeing that the writer’s ghost seemed to be happily settled by the sweet offerings, Jumi decided to risk this question. “Ms Zhang, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but did my mother send you here?”
     “Your mother, is she one of my fans too?” 
     “Frankly, I don’t know.”
     “Why wouldn’t you know? Isn’t she your mother?”
     “Well, we don’t live together and – ”
     “So did your mother and I die at the same time?”
     “No, no – she died only about five months ago.” 
     “Was she a good person? Did she die happily?” Zhang Ailing persisted.
     “Well, she was as good as most people are. Not any worse. She was a teacher, and I guess that is a fairly noble job – ”
     “Noble?” Zhang Ailing interrupted and returned the empty foil wrapper for the tart to the box. “I guess a teacher would be nobler than both of us, a writer’s ghost, and you a subtitler, a ghost writer. Mere ventriloquists.” Zhang smiled at her own witticism. “Your father, did he die a long time before your mother did?”
      “Not too long ago. Three years. But to answer your earlier question, actually I don’t really know if she died happily. All right, I guess. She was always just about all right.” Jumi pointed at the spot on the front porch where her mother was found. “She died right there. She died at night. But I found her only the next day. I have never seen her sitting there before though. It was a heart attack. She was about your age when you died.”

     Zhang Ailing stood up and moved to the glass door. She looked out into the garden. “I wonder what was the last thing your mother saw, sitting alone out there facing the garden.” 

     And because Jumi had often asked herself the same question these past five months, she soon forgot about speaking to Zhang Ailing about the papayas.

 

 

*

 

 

 

 

Dear Ms Zhang,

 

     Good morning. I have left some pandan cake on the kitchen table. It is a very light, green-coloured, coconut-flavoured chiffon cake. A local favourite. You wouldn’t have tasted something like this in Shanghai or America. I hope you like it. 

 

Last night I had many questions that I wanted to ask you. I think it would be easier for me to write it down like this instead. I am sure you understand this bias for writing. But let me first explain. 

 

     After my mother died, the two papaya trees in the front of this house started to bear fruit. This was odd as I remember my father had told us that he had made a mistake and both trees he bought were “female”. I don’t quite understand myself how it is that trees have gender. But what my father meant to say was that it was almost impossible for them to bear fruit without a male papaya tree very nearby. My father was quite the botanist. He was convinced that our two “female” papaya trees would “change their sex”, because papaya trees supposedly would. But ours never did. I am afraid my botany is not sufficient to explain this properly. 

 

     But the trees did bear fruit soon after my mother died. And when the papayas were almost ripe, they suddenly disappeared. As you can see, the trees are terribly tall, so it is hard for anyone to steal them. 

 

     I am not normally superstitious, but many people have suggested that something supernatural was behind these two occurrences.

 

     Some other things have happened recently in my life; my mother’s death was only one such. So I think I may not be thinking too clearly, and I cannot trust my own conjectures. I know a legendary writer like you must have your reasons for whatever it is that you do. So please forgive me if this question strikes you as somewhat strange: Do you have anything to do with the papayas? 

 

     I really have no idea why I must have the answer to this question, especially when there are so many other questions which may be more pressing, like how have you come all the way to this country, and why? In fact, are you really a ghost, or am I going mad? However, if you must answer only one question, it is the one about the papayas that interests me most. The rest, as I have said, you must have your reasons for not revealing. 

 

Yours most truly,

Jumi

            

 

 

*

 

 

Dear Jumi,

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to do with the papayas. The missing ones, I presume? 

 

I was intending to leave today. But after reading your note, I have decided I would stay here until I have solved the mystery of the missing papayas with you. It is too difficult to refuse a mystery – this, if you will, is what a “legendary writer” cannot deny.

     

As for the other questions that you have also asked– I will only answer them if you will take me out to tea. I wish to see your city.

 

Ailing

                                                                                            

 

*

 
     It was a Sunday afternoon when Jumi and Zhang Ailing planned a trip to town. Jumi was sure no one would notice Zhang Ailing in this country. The writer’s ghost and her, they would be like any shrivelled old woman with her middle-aged daughter out shopping. However, Zhang Ailing, who was looking through Jumi mother’s wardrobe for something to change into for their afternoon trip, had come away disappointed.
     “These clothes are way past their expiry date.” 
      Jumi offered Zhang Ailing first pick of her own wardrobe instead. “Coming firstly from a ghost, and secondly, a writer, you should have a better sense of irony to be calling anybody or anything expired.”
     Zhang Ailing smiled. “Of course, but that’s only if you think of death as an expiry date.”
     Perhaps the writer was right. Death was no expiry date. Jumi Lim – alive, healthy, single, and possibly the best subtitler the television station would ever have – already thought of herself as expired. Jumi would always remember what newscaster Ann had told her when Jumi first started working as a subtitler. The poised newscaster reported that in Japan, women who remained single after the age of twenty-five were known as “Christmas Cakes”: a Christmas cake was not much good after the twenty-fifth. How they had laughed then at such sexist ideas, an ambiguous laughter of both disapproval and participation. Since then, newscaster Ann, no Christmas cake, had married a successful businessman whom she had interviewed for a special news programme and was living somewhere in Australia, playing golf in the ladies amateur league. And here was Jumi, having lived more years than the number of days in a month. When Jumi told Zhang Ailing all this at the cafĂ© – the subtitler was having her “mildly acidic” Ethiopian brew and the writer’s ghost an iced coffee mocha topped with vanilla ice cream – she had expected Zhang Ailing to lament the fate of women. However, engrossed with the drink before her, Zhang offered only this wisdom: “Christmas cakes are just fruit cakes with too much liquor. They are my least favourite of cakes.”
     That afternoon, they walked into almost all the malls that lined the most famous shopping street in Jumi’s country. By the end of the day, they have visited two bookstores and countless number of fashion boutiques. At Zhang Ailing’s prompting, they went on to still other parts of the country – the banks of a historic river, an Arabic settlement where the only Arabic remaining was on its street sign, and a public housing estate where Jumi pointed out the apartment she had lived in until recently. There, they adjoined to a nearby coffee shop. Jumi had not been back at this coffee shop since she moved back to her mother’s house. The seller of minced-pork noodles, noticing her, came up to say hello and asked about her and “her husband’s” absence. Jumi had quickly clarified this misunderstanding, switching the conversation to the commercially more rewarding intricacies of their takeaway order.
     “Well, I am assuming you Shanghainese don’t like too much chilli with your noodles.” Jumi quickly added.
      “No one’s called me a Shanghainese for a long time.” The late writer laughed.
      “Maybe it is because speaking to ghosts is not everyone’s favourite pastime. Anyway, I have fulfilled my part of the bargain today. You must now tell me why you have come to Singapore, to my mother’s house. You could have gone anywhere else, no need for planes and passports. Why not go back to Shanghai…after all the whole world is flocking to China now.”

      “Jumi,” this was probably the first and only time Jumi remembered the writer’s ghost referring to her by name, “I believe it was you who had summoned me. And even if I could, I would not go back to Shanghai.” She looked at Jumi with those strangely bulging yet narrow eyes and added, “Principles are generally tiresome. But I’ve always held this one principle that whatever we have decided to leave behind – places or people – it is best to resist all temptation of re-visiting them.”

         

 

*

 

 

     One evening, in what feels like months since the writer’s ghost first appeared, Zhang Ailing suggested having their picture taken with the papaya trees. 
     Jumi set up the camera by the driveway. Zhang Ailing leant against one of the papaya trees with her arms crossed, and Jumi stood by the other tree. But before the camera clicked, Jumi remembered that ghosts were not supposed to turn up in photographs and wanted to ask if this was indeed true. However, when Jumi turned to look at the dead writer, she was struck by how, in the evening light, Zhang suddenly looked like a young woman of twenty-five; the way she looked in the author’s portrait one usually found inside the cover of her books. Jumi quickly brushed a stray strand of hair back, just in time before camera clicked. How depressing it would be to look more worn out than a ghost!
      Sitting later at the front porch, Jumi and Zhang Ailing surveyed the papaya trees flanking the low iron gate and enjoyed the passing of children and dogs on their evening walks. Just beyond the two rows of narrow houses before them was the reservoir, its darkening crown of trees sharp against the evening sky. Since most of the new owners of the houses have added at least two new floors to these pre-war terraces, the reservoir was now barely visible from where they sat. In fact, when the condominium development by the reservoir was complete, Jumi knew that all view of the reservoir from the front porch of her mother’s house would be lost.  Jumi suddenly found herself leaning against the pillar, seated the same manner as her mother. The cold from the tiled-surface shot across her shoulder. She quickly shifted.
     “Watch out for centipedes. There’s been a sudden appearance of centipedes these past few months. They are very poisonous,” Jumi warned Zhang Ailing.
     “Don’t worry, it will be difficult for a person to die twice. Anyway, I’ve been noticing these armies of centipedes for some time now, among other things. For example, noises at night from this garden.”

     “I don’t know about noises from the garden! The last time I was woken up by strange noises in the garden, I think it was you trying to break into this house. But Detective Zhang, the centipede mystery has long been solved. According to the man from the Environment and Public Health Board who came by last month, because part of the land by the reservoir has been cleared to construct the new condo there, yes, over there – ” Jumi pointed beyond the houses to the trees. “You can’t see the actual building now, but it’ll probably be up in the next year. Because of that, he said to expect these centipedes and who knows what else that has been evicted from the reservoir to sometimes appear for the next two or three years. These creatures are just migrating to look for new homes.”

     “That’s the trouble with living in the Nanyang.” Zhang Ailing used the Chinese word for Southeast Asia, the Southern Seas. “I am surprised civilization should persist here, awaiting desolation.”

     Jumi, who had learnt to read such declarations as the writer’s secret invitation to conversation, retorted. “Nobody uses that phrase nanyang anymore, it’s only in the names of some of our schools and institutions. And even then, nobody cares for what it means. If you want, you can call us the tropics. And it is too damn hot here to talk about desolation anyway. There’s only decomposition, fast, ugly and smelly.”

      “You are like your countrymen, lacking all sense of poetry.” Zhang Ailing pronounced, smiled. To prove her wrong, Jumi wanted to tell Zhang Ailing about her young colleague Susan, but stopped herself. They might have vastly different definitions of poetry, and she has no interest in debating this. Instead, Jumi offered Zhang Ailiing a durian cream puff instead. Zhang took it all in one bite. 

     “This is heavenly. It is this that I will miss most when I leave you.”
     “I’ll remember to leave some of these out in the garden for you every Hungry Ghost month.”
     “And I will share them with your parents, a happy ghost family of three.”  
     They laughed. 
     Maybe it was this heavenly scent that attracted not only the dead but the living, or it was their laughter that stirred some other creature present in the garden. When the sky finally gave in to darkness, they both heard the sound of something running across the roof of the house. 
     Its presence grew nearer. There was a shriek.     
     When Jumi looked up at the sound, she saw the small dark shapes of two animals leap from the edge of the roof to the top of one of the papaya trees. Keen to escape her notice, they scrambled down the tree, one after the other. Their long tail steadied their descent.
     “Look, your papaya cultivator and your papaya thief are both getting away – ” Zhang pointed at the monkeys with a finger that still bore a drop of durian cream.

         

 

*

 
     Having grown so used to having Zhang Ailing in the house, Jumi forgot that the writer would one day depart. In fact, she almost let slip about sharing a house with a “foreign ghost” to Salleh one day. Together, they might have teased Susan by asking whether a place inhabited only by foreign ghosts would still count towards its history (or some other joke at young Susan’s expense). But the morning following their sighting of the pair of macaque monkeys, Madam Kwek Kim Eng’s bed was again empty. 

     Perhaps it was the force of habit so easily acquired by a creature like Jumi Lim that she continued to stop by the bakery on her way home each evening. She would placed a durian cream puff – sometimes three – on the porch. And for certain, by the next morning, the durian cream puff or puffs would have disappeared. She kept up this private ritual for almost two weeks. When Jumi Lim stopped feeding the monkeys, she felt she did have courage enough to face her coming days – and nights – alone. 



[1]The famous Chinese writer Zhang Ailing (1920-1995) had actually used the mandarin phrase “zhang mi”Mi, denoting a supporter, or more accurately a fanatic, was the same word for puzzle, mystery, labyrinth. Even in her shock, Jumi had instinctively footnoted this in her mind. 




 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Only Grace

time