A PsychicGenealogy Reading for Sara
Once back from town, from the side window of his modest home, Iuan She watched Mao Shangu furiously searching in vain for The Artist, her bundle, and Yun Tai. He smiled as the angry old man emerged from neglected fields covered in stickers and weeds and ducked quickly below his window when Mao shot in accusatory look his way.
As much as Mao Shangu would have liked interrogating Iuan She, he chose instead to hurry to town to beg for assistance from the magistrate. ‘He will surely beat me,’ Mao lamented, but reasoned, ‘perhaps his larger anger will be reserved for my worthless dishonoring daughter! After all I have done for her — to run away! Surely the magistrate will see the wrong that has been done to me!’
Basically, Mao Shangu was correct; he was severely beaten and then the soldiers dumped his bloodied body on the doorstep of his home, much to the horror of his timid wife. The Captain of the guard spoke with his back turned to the terrified woman, “Should your worthless daughter return and you fail to tell me,” he struck the bottom of his boot with the butt end of his black leather whip to remove the mud, “we will beat you also, but to death.”
The Artist had no plans to ever return home. Her immediate need was to get out of a village which was rapidly being locked down by the magistrate’s scarlet-jacketed soldiers. Fortunately, Yun Tai found a small shed to hide in where they hoped to wait in safety for night to fall.
“We will have to split up!” Yun Tai whispered once they were settled.
“What? Oh, no! Don’t be afraid, you can’t run off! Please, Yun Tai.” The Artist was desperate.
“No! It’s not that! Look!” Yun Tai pointed through the little crack she had been looking through. Soldiers were roughly rounding up pairs of women, turning over their bundles, searching them and shouting, “Show us what you have there! Give me that!”
This was the moment Yun Tai had been hoping for, “You have to ask the statues to separate!” She fearlessly demanded. “You take one, I’ll take the other — they are looking for a statue of two stone lovers in one piece! I will meet you somewhere outside the city! It has to be this way.” She was talking more rapidly to increase the sense of urgency, “We must bundle them like infants, two separate babies! Quickly! Ask them to part!”
The soldiers were going from door to door and people were crying out. The soldiers were hurting them. The Artist, seeing no other option, whispered urgently to the lovers, “Please, in order to survive you must separate! It’s a temporary measure, please, hurry!”
Completely dejected, they shivered apart and fought not to cry out for they had no time to even say goodbye. Each was wrapped as a newborn and Yun Tai left first, heading south. The Artist waited an hour before she left, heading for the northern city gates. They agreed to meet at the edge of the western woods where the mist from the great waterfall was famous for being very dense.
Although Yun Tai left before her, The Artist arrived first. “Yun Tai should be here by now.” She told the lover known as Chang Juan. They waited two more days and nights with growing apprehension.
“Oh dear!” The Artist turned her teary eyes to the skies above when it was obvious something had gone wrong, “What are we to do now?” Her prayer drifted upwards as a cloud of waterfall mist followed, obscuring The Artist’s view of the evening sky. She lowered her eyes and sat down next to Chang Juan.
Off in the distance, either behind or somewhere within the droning of the cascading waterfall, she thought she heard a sound; a tap, tap, tap tapping coming ever closer. She jumped to her feet and quickly picked up Chang Juan, their hearts pounding.
“Hello…” a soft voice floated forward amidst the tapping, “anyone there?” The voice was smooth and soothing. The Artist and Chang Juan felt their heart rates slow down and their emotions calming.
“Yes,” The Artist volunteered softly, “over here, sir.”
“Ah, thank you.” The tapping increased in their direction until a small elderly figure emerged from the moist cloud.
“Hello.” The Artist spoke to let the little man with no eyes know he had reached his destination.
“Ah.” He stopped and felt around for a suitable place to sit. “Quite a night to be traveling, yes?” He spoke as if he was aware of their plight. The Artist chose to say nothing, to commit to nothing, and although her feelings told her this character was a good being, she could not reveal her plans, for she had no plans. Yun Tai and Zhen Juan were missing! However, her silence had no effect upon the little man.
“You will enjoy the journey no doubt with such a fortunate outcome awaiting you both.” He nodded in the direction of Chang Juan, “How brave you are! All the brightest stars in the sky light the way of lovers for they know the glow of love themselves. Oh!” He stood up suddenly, “It’s time!”
He turned his empty eye sockets upwards and began stroking his long gray beard in a classic pose of contemplation. “There will be a lot of climbing but you must decline all offers to ride. And never rest yourselves at night — sleep away from the road by day and travel with vigor under the stars and moon. And be unafraid of the mountain!” He reached out with both his arms as if making a great proclamation. “No matter how rough and rugged she becomes, know that she is on your side.”
He turned to “look” at The Artist and said, “Follow the river through these western woods to the foot of the great waterfall. Behind the massive wall of water, you will find a stone staircase. Don’t use your eyes,” the old man cautioned, “but mine to see, do you understand?”
“Not exactly.” The Artist confessed as she put Chang Juan in her bag and onto her back. When she looked up, however, the little man was gone, but there was no time to wonder where he had gone.
“We’ve got to get out of here!” Chang Juan whispered behind The Artist’s left ear, “We’ll figure out what he meant later! We must go!” Their dread was indeed real. Moments after The Artist rolled up her pant legs, stepped gingerly into the river and vanished into the mist, Yun Tai and her recently hired bodyguard/assassin, Chen, rounded the corner, arguing bitterly with every step.
End of Chapter Two