I wasn’t so sure about this, but my father sniffled and wiped his nose, “So what, and only rich people choose dates. When I married your mother nobody cared which day it was on!”
Truthfully, I myself didn’t believe in those ghosts and spirits stuff either. The Ghost Festival was only to remind people to be grateful and thank their ancestors. Not putting much thought on it, I
On the day of the burial, my father didn’t even let me go. He also stayed at home, and made my uncles carry me out and lock me in a room, even though I was screaming and crying.
Time flies, and the thirteenth came up in the blink of an eye. As soon as the sky got dark, my house began to get crowded. Granny Liu brought a lot of people, saying they were here to pick up the bride. I looked at the time, seven o’clock at night? I thought it was only because the trip would be long that they’re here so early.
Not until Granny Liu and another spooky old lady came into my room did I feel something was off. In her hand, Granny Liu had red wedding clothes, the ones people in ancient times wore, the silk ones with embroidery! But the spooky old lady carried a spool of something that looked like red yarn.
“Zhaodi, it’s time to wash and put on your wedding clothes.” After saying this, Granny Liu moved out of the way and someone carried a tub in. After setting it down, some people started pouring hot water in it, and soon the room was steamy.
A little annoyed, I asked, “There’s no need to wash, I’ll just put on the clothes!” I tried to grab the wedding clothes from Granny Liu.
But Granny Liu blocked me: “No, the rules can’t be changed.” After saying so, she put the wedding clothes on my bed, pulled me over, stripped me down and pushed me into the bath tub.
The spooky old lady got some strange, black weeds and threw them into the water. I almost screamed at the feel of those cold things, and only suppressed myself through extreme self-control. The old lady glared at me, then picked up something that looked like a broom and waved it in the air, all the while muttering.
Getting married for the first time, of course I wouldn’t know what kind of a tradition this was. And I didn’t dare ask that old lady, for if I looked too long at her spooky, cold face I will definitely get nightmares! I curled myself into the water, feeling very dejected but having no one to talk to. The only person who I could pour out my feelings to was already buried into the cold earth……
Splash! The water splashed besides me. Before I could understand what was going on, I saw something in the water. It slithered by my feet, cold and thin, until the head of a small snake poked out of the water, hissing at me. The blood in my whole body immediately froze!
I screamed and stood up forcefully, wanting to get out, but a pair of cold hands pressed on my shoulders. I shivered, and suddenly I couldn’t move. I stood in the water, the snakes slithering around my feet, occasionally touching me. Every time I felt that icy touch, I couldn’t help shivering.
I was pushed back into the water, and Granny Liu took a lid and trapped me in the tub.
“Let me out! Let me out!” I shouted, forgetting to cry, wanting to push aside the lid. But the cold touches in the water drained all my strength and I didn’t dare move. I could only scream and yell.
As the results proved, my screaming was useless. The didn’t take any notice of me. The only thing to rejoice about was that they took me out while I was still alive. I don’t even know how I changed into the wedding clothes, and until that old lady put the veil on my face did I start crying.
But even though I was crying, nobody took notice. Someone grabbed my hand and pulled it up. When she let go, I saw there was a red string tied to my middle finger, just like the string the spooky old woman was carrying when she came into my room.
“The time is about right?” Granny Liu asked.
“Yes, this is the perfect time to leave the house!” This was a strange voice. But there are only three people in the room, me, Granny Liu, and that spooky old lady. The voice sounded ancient, but abnormally sharp, raising goosebumps on people.
“The bride is leaving!” Granny Liu shouted. I heard the door to my room open, and she guided me slowly. The wedding clothes were a bit big, not fitting, and I almost tripped over the hem a few times.
Walking out the door, my middle finger suddenly tightened, as if someone tugged on it. I thought it could only be that spooky old lady and didn’t think much about it, and started walking along with Granny Liu. But when I walked the door, I heard the sharp voice screech, “The groom is leading the way home!”