Short Ghost Story

This is an ancient painting.

In the painting, the mountains in the distance are like dark green, and the clear water is rippling. A woman with long hair hanging down to the ground is sitting in front of the small window, holding her left cheek with one hand, seeming to be looking at the lake and mountains. There is an inscription in the blank space that reads: The beauty rolls up the bead curtain and sits deeply with her eyebrows furrowed. But seeing wet tears, I don’t know who I hate.

This painting is exquisitely crafted. Although the woman's slightly bulging cheeks are only vaguely visible, it can be imagined that she is full of worry.

"This painting is… really amazing!" I blurted out.

I was only fourteen years old at the time, and I only read comics and novels all day long, without any artistic talent or appreciation. But even so, this painting still gave me a strong emotional impact. It is clear that this beautiful scenery occupies two-thirds of the painting, and it is clear that this woman only lives in the lower right corner, but she conveyed a deep sadness to me. Even after watching it for a long time, my nose started to feel sore.

"Really?" Shan Zhen said with a smile, "Did I introduce it correctly? When I saw it for the first time, I also thought it was shockingly beautiful!"

It was during the May Day Golden Week when I was fourteen years old. At the invitation of my father’s old friend, Uncle Sheng, our family went to Uncle Sheng’s old house in Liuzhen for a vacation.

Liuzhen is about 100 kilometers away from the city. It is a well-known water town in the south of the Yangtze River and one of the important choices for many tourists to visit the ancient town. The Sheng family was originally a large family that stayed in the town, with many land properties under its name. However, due to war and other reasons, only the Sheng family's old residence remains.

Standing outside the door and looking up, the Sheng family's old house is still prominent, but if it wants to be restored to its former appearance, Uncle Sheng can't afford it by selling iron and steel. Therefore, he only renovated a few wing rooms and living rooms near the door. Occasionally, he would call out during holidays. Calling friends to stay for a few days can also be regarded as a way to show the respect of the descendants of the Sheng family to their ancestors.

Uncle Sheng has a son, Sheng Ye, who is one year older than me. He and I have absolutely nothing in common. I thought this would be a boring holiday with my parents playing mahjong and me sitting aside, but unexpectedly, at the first moment, In the evening, I met Shan Zhen, a girl who lived next door.

She is about the same age as me. It is said that the Shan family and the Sheng family are family friends. She usually lives in the city, but recently returned to Liuzhen for some reasons.

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We hit it off immediately and had a great time chatting. It was she who took me to a room in the Sheng family’s old house and saw this painting.

The room was hidden deep in the old house. The room was filled with all kinds of sundries. The painting was hung behind an old cabinet, covered by a piece of red cloth. There were no electric lights in the house, so we had to rely on the lights hanging on the corridor outside to illuminate the house. Everything seemed dark and unclear.

She reached out and pulled, and the red cloth fell down, revealing the painting.

"Don't get me wrong." Shan Zhen explained, "I'm not a sneaky thief. I was born in Liuzhen and didn't go to live in the city until I was ten years old. I used to come here often to play. Grandma Sheng used to stay there. I am so kind, even more kind than her disobedient grandson!"

Because of this, one day when Shan Zhen was wandering around, he accidentally walked into this house and discovered this painting.

She curiously asked Grandma Sheng, and the always kind Grandma Sheng got angry and drove her out.

Later, she heard from an elder in her family that this painting of the Sheng family had a lot of history. It is said that more than a hundred years ago, the Sheng family married a certain dignitary, and it was agreed that the marriage would be completed when the lady of the Sheng family was seventeen years old. As a result, Miss Sheng's family fell in love with a painter. This was the portrait that the painter painted for her one day after receiving the news of the marriage.

A few days before the wedding, the young lady closed herself in her boudoir and looked at this painting in silence all day long. The elders of the Sheng family were not only afraid that the young lady would be in bad health, but also worried that the painter would come and take her away, so they sent maids and servants to take turns guarding the door.

On the day she left the court, the young lady disappeared without any reason from the locked room. After that, it was rumored that the lady was so lovesick that she simply entered the painting and became the subject of the painting. Of course, the high-ranking official did not believe such rumors. He believed that the Sheng family regretted their marriage and deliberately spread such nonsense. From then on, the Sheng family was cut off from any interference in the officialdom. This was also a turning point for the Sheng family in the town to turn from prosperity to decline.

"Where did the lady go?" I asked.

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"Who knows?" Shan Zhen shrugged, "But I heard that as long as you stare at this painting at twelve o'clock for three consecutive nights, the woman in the painting will turn around! Sif, should we try it?"

On the first night, with the flashlight in my hand, I saw the smooth and smooth lines on the left side of the woman's face, and her slender palms supporting her cheek.

On the second night, I saw the woman's straight and small nose bridge, her pointed chin slightly raised, half of her red lips slightly pursed, and her long hair, which half covered the left side of her face and left eye. The eyes seem to be exposed but not exposed.

Tomorrow is the third night.

At twelve o'clock sharp, I appeared in front of the door of that room on time, and Shan Zhen was already waiting there.

"Are you ready?" She lowered her voice and slowly opened the door.

At some point, one of the bulbs in the chandelier on the corridor outside broke, and the light that shone into the room became even darker. Relying on the weak light of the flashlight, we stood in front of the painting.

The dim flashlight illuminated the beautiful mountains and rivers in front of Xiaoxuan's window in a bleak way, and the inscription in the blank space became blurred. Only the word "heart-hate" could be vaguely recognized.

At this time, the woman had completely exposed her left cheek. Her left eye had a very long tail, and her eyes were flowing, and her eyes seemed to be rotating slowly, and then they were fixed on me.

I held my breath and whispered: "Shan Zhen, did you see it? She…she seems to be alive!"

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The surroundings were extremely quiet, and no one responded to me except my pounding heartbeat.

I turned around blankly and looked around. Where was there another person in this dark room?

I was horrified, flashlight swaying around the room, and then unconsciously turned to the painting.

The posture of the woman in the painting changed. Her hand that was originally supporting her chin was placed on the table in front of the window. Her originally lazy posture became straighter, and she seemed to be preparing to stand up.

I blinked hard and looked around again with my flashlight, "Shan Zhen, where have you been?"

Still no response.

I lost the courage to wait to see the woman's full face, and while calling Shan Zhen's name loudly, I wanted to open the door and leave.

At this time, I heard someone behind me sighing. Turning around suddenly, I saw that the woman had completely turned around and was looking directly at me.

Oh my gosh! She didn't have any snow-skinned appearance. I could clearly see that the other side of her face seemed to have been smashed by something. The right eye without an eyeball was like a huge black hole that exuded cold air and could suck my soul away anytime and anywhere. Go in.

She walked step by step with staggering steps, and the figure left in the painting became bigger and bigger, as if she could fill the entire painting in no time.

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Her left eye was staring at me, her mouth opened wide, and she made a harsh "ah" sound!

She is not a beauty, she is clearly an evil spirit!

I panicked, but my feet seemed to be rooted and I couldn't move.

With a "squeak" sound, several beams of strong lights shone into the house, sweeping away the darkness in the room. My mother grabbed me and asked eagerly: "Zi Lan, why did you come here without sleeping for three consecutive nights? "

I suddenly had a splitting headache and instantly fell into her arms.

I was in a coma for a day and a night. When I woke up, a group of us had moved out of Shengzhai and stayed in an inn in the Liuzhen Scenic Area. Uncle Sheng angrily scolded Sheng Ye, accusing him of failing to fulfill his responsibility as an elder brother. Sheng Ye, who was in his rebellious phase, retorted, mocking these adults for being addicted to mahjong, so how could they criticize him.

When I told the reason, Uncle Sheng was silent for a long time and asked: "Have you really seen…that girl named Shan Zhen?"

I nodded in agreement. If I think about it carefully, my memory of the past three days is actually a bit vague. It seems true and false. Girls, ancient paintings, legends, adventures, everything is like a dream.

Uncle Sheng sighed: "This girl is quite pitiful. In the end, it is our Sheng family that feels sorry for her."

It turns out that, as Shan Zhen said, when she was a child, she often came to Sheng's house to accompany Grandma Sheng and listen to Grandma Sheng telling the old stories of the old house. There was indeed a rumor that Miss Sheng disappeared while seeing the painting and missing someone. However, the rumors were not believable. In fact, Miss Sheng did run away with the painter. This move made the dignitaries who were married to the Sheng family lose their dignity. This also led to The real reason for the decline of the Sheng family.

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Therefore, the Sheng family felt that the painting was unlucky and threw it randomly in the utility room.

That day, Shan Zhen secretly came to the utility room to see the ancient paintings out of curiosity, and ended up bumping into a thief. In order to silence Shan Zhen, the thief hit Shan Zhen dozens of times in the face with a wrench. The right side of her face was smashed beyond recognition.

Hearing this, I couldn't help but say "ah".

Uncle Sheng smiled bitterly and said: "Later, there were always rumors of a 'female ghost' haunting the old house. This 'female ghost' should be Shan Zhen who died in vain. I originally thought that it had been so long, and the previous rumors were not trustworthy. , who knows…Biqi, I'm sorry."

I was still full of doubts, "But why did she come to me? And she made me stare at the painting for three days in a row."

Uncle Sheng hesitated and said: "The blood on her body was spattered on the ancient painting at that time. Our family wanted to throw it away, but after thinking about it, we felt it was a pity, so we found a restorer and spent three days to cover up the blood stains. As for why she came to And you……"

Uncle Sheng thought about it for a long time and replied: "She should have been fourteen when she died!"

I felt cold in my heart, and there were still many doubts in my mind, but I didn't dare to ask any more questions, for fear of getting answers that would make me restless all night.

The next day before we were going back to the city, we went to Shengzhai again. Uncle Sheng said that he wanted to give the painting to the Shan family for the final settlement.

Sanskrit chants could be heard in the distance, and wreaths and paper money were being burned in front of Shan's house. Uncle Sheng suddenly said: "What day is today?… Oh, right, today is Shan Zhen's death anniversary! No wonder the Shan family's mother Mom asked a monk to perform rituals again! It’s pitiful…"

Is today Shan Zhen’s death anniversary? So what does she mean by trying so hard to trick me into seeing the painting? Is it just a tease? And that female ghost who wants to grab the painting, who is she? What is her purpose? Is all this real or a vain dream?

Forget it, I won’t think about it.

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