Contest #94 shortlist ⭐️

66 comments

Fiction East Asian

Trigger warning: Drug use, gun violence, metaphorical reference to loss of a baby.

Your fingers brush on my clean skin, dirtying it like dust on a canvas. The blood is so starkly red; I will believe it if you tell me it’s not blood at all, rather your red lip rouge. The one you carry on you in that little gold tin.

You apply it to your lips with your pointer finger and that hand mirror a man dressed in black had given you on your first night at the Red Lotus. The man told you that he liked your phoenix eyes and thought the silver mirror matched the stitching on your qipao.

The men always flocked their way to you, treating you like something ornate – an exquisite porcelain doll just out of its packaging. They revelled in peeling back the oily wax paper, and rubbing their fingers all over you until they had left a roadmap of their prints on the skin that only held one word on their tongue.

Fair. The fairest of them all.

Young, beautiful. Fine.

Now your make-up is smeared, but I can’t say you aren’t beautiful anymore to make myself feel better. It doesn’t make me feel better.

The men don’t care about preserving me. They see my skin as tough leather and my newly-bought qipao like rags they can freely tear. I encourage them to be rough with me, because that is how they get their pleasure from the ugly women.

The ones they throw their money at and slam the door on.

No one can ever bear to slam the door on you. Not even me. The one who is supposed to be envious of everything you have. Your beauty. Your kindly nature. Your belongings gifted to you by men.

It doesn’t matter to me, because in the end, we will both die under the same name. 娼妓,妓女. Chang’ji, ji’nu. Prostitute. Toys for men to play with, and discard like a spoilt child when they are sick of it.

Tears are in your eyes, but not on your cheeks. Your cheeks still tinged with blush. You reach your hand up to wipe them away, but I stop you. Your red nails have blood on them, droplets come off the sharpened edge.

It pools under you onto the rug. I kneel in it.

It’s still warm.

*

I was sixteen when I came to the Red Lotus. My mum left me there and never returned. At least here, in a tea house perched on the edge of multiple alleyways in eastern Shanghai, I wouldn’t need to worry about food in my stomach or a roof over my head.

I was stunned by all the ladies in their colourful qipaos and wavy updos. The dresses hugged their slender figure, the tightly-fitted collars with frog buttons at the neckline. Slits down the sides revealed long, thin legs. They served tea to the conversing gentlemen and performed songs on a small stage under a branch of pink flowers.

“What’s your name?” the owner’s wife asked. She was significantly older than the women here, with wrinkles weighing the skin on her forehead, and around her mouth. Yet, there wasn’t a strand of white in her ebony hair.

“Luo Fengli,” I replied. 凤, feng for a phoenix, and 梨, li for a pear flower.

I was shown the other side of the Red Lotus when I turned eighteen. The one with enclosed rooms and dim candlelight, where men dressed in black drank alcohol, played mahjong, and desired certain pleasures.

“They’re dangerous men, Fengli,” the owner’s wife said. “So always greet them with a smile and do as they say, or they’ll…” she made a gun with her fingers and pressed it to my forehead; sandpaper skin rubbing on my skull.

An expulsion of air from her mouth, and she pulled the finger gun upwards.

She was a woman with a gun made from muscle and bone. Inside were men with guns made from metal and loaded with bullets.

You came when I was nineteen, and had already moved on from alcohol to opium. The drug that roamed the streets of Shanghai, most commonly found in dens where people lay sprawled in their own fantasies.

I never visited those dens. I always had people procure them for me. A reward for good behaviour.

That was how you found me; long opium pipe over an oil lamp, waiting for the drug to vaporise. I couldn’t care less about a new pretty face around the joint. I wanted nothing to do with you.

“What’s your name?” you asked, voice timid, hands gripping to your dress.

I took a drag from the pipe, my vision of you fuzzing. “Who do you care?”

“I’m new here,” you said.

“I know,” I said. “And?”

“I just thought I’d learn everyone’s names, that’s all.”

There was a spot of dust on your cheekbone that I wiped away with my thumb. I didn’t know why. “Don’t bother.”

“I’m Qiuju,” you said. “Lao’ban’niang told me your name is Fengli.” Lao’ban’niang was what we called the owner’s wife. Her real name has only been told to me once, and the recollection is vague. “You’re older than me, can I call you Jie’jie?” You paraded that title on your tongue as if that was your name for strangers.

“I’m not your sister,” I said. “If you must, call me Fengli.”

Somehow you found a loophole in calling me Fengli Jie.

*

“凤梨姐, Fengli Jie,” you whisper. “Did you hate me when we first met?” you ask, your phoenix eyes more resembling those of a puppy. That’s why no one can ever say no to you.

“傻丫头, sha’ya’tou,” I say. Foolish girl. I took to calling you that after our first meeting. Somehow, it became a term of endearment, though I never admitted it to be.

“I was scared of you, you know?” you say. “You’re very intimidating.”

*

“Next time when a man hits you, you don’t cry,” I said. “Grit your teeth, and take it.”

The first and last time you had been hit wasn’t your fault. The man had been drunk out of his mind, and taken a drag of opium; hallucinated you to be the ghost of his dead wife. I heard you crying, so I came to drag the man off of you.

I was one of the oldest, which meant I had to clean up the messes. I gripped the man by his shoulders, then slipped my arm around his waist, politely escorting him out. No matter what they do, they couldn’t be mistreated.

“No one has ever hit me before,” you said. Your cardigan had dislodged from your shoulder, slipping down your thin bicep. Your hand was at your collar, grappling with the soft buttons to try and protect your dignity.

That was how people would know that you were new and young. You still had a sense of dignity.

*

You are dying in my arms, a bloody hole low on your stomach, where your womb would be. You hold your hand to it with tears in your eyes, as though your unborn baby has been torn from you barely kicking.

That has happened to a lot of us. It comes with the job.

Men don’t want to sleep with pregnant women unless they’re into it. Most of them aren’t into it.

The bullet perforated your imaginary baby and made it so that you will never have a child again. Maybe that’s a good thing.

If only you weren’t dying.

That gold tin of red lip rouge is clenched in your palm – the faux gold metal stained copper. I take your cold fingers into mine. “Fengli Jie, promise me you won’t smoke opium anymore.”

*

“Who are you to tell me what to do?” I once said in reply. It wasn’t the right of others to control my actions. They are saying it for your good. The thing is, someone has got to have perspective to think that way.

The opium spiralled into me, coiling in my limbs like snakes, but I made it out to be the arms of a mother that had never loved me. I came back to it again and again. It could have melted my organs; I was the frog in the pot of gradually boiling water.

I didn’t know what could have killed me.

“Fengli Jie, let me help you,” you said.

You had been wearing a blue qipao that day, little cloud embroidery on the hem. Baby blue. You matched it with the same-coloured ribbon threaded through your bun – silky ebony hair down to your waist. “Don’t keep it out,” I told you. “People will cut it as you walk down the street, sell it on the black market.”

“Stop making up stories to scare her,” one of the other girls said.

“I’m not making it up.”

I set the pipe on the redwood table, smoke wisping from the edge like the mist of warm water after a hot bath. “How will you help me, Qiuju?” I said.

“I’ll take the pipe off you,” you said. “Have you ever been inside an opium den?”

You took me by the wrist, nails digging into my veins, dragged me down an alleyway and shoved me through a purple curtain. Inside were people laying on dirt-stained sheets, eyes rolled all the way back, nonsensical mumblings at their lips.

“This is where they spend their days,” you said. “High in this temporary pleasure until it wears off, then they come back for more. Is this where you want to end up?” You took my hand, jade bangle catching the moonlight. “I know the teahouse isn’t much, but at least we have each other.”

*

“Why, Qiuju?” I say, your dead weight cast entirely in my arms. Pins and needles prickle at my flesh. “What am I worth?”

“Everything.”

There was a time when you wouldn’t have said that.

*

“He is worth everything to me, Fengli,” you said. I wanted to slap you across the face for your naivety. Hit the blush right off so you couldn’t hide behind the make-up which covered the dark circles under your eyes.

“No one should be worth everything to you,” I said. “Nobody is worth it, Qiuju.”

“I love him,” you said. There were only three years between us, but most days, those three years felt like three decades. You who had managed to stop the currents of time. And me, who had been washed down the river like a piece of driftwood.

“Love? There can be no love between you,” I said. “He is a dangerous gang leader. They treat women like designer handbags on their shoulder. He pours everything he has into you now because you’re young and fresh. But what happens when he gets sick of you? Sees another prettier woman? He will throw you aside like rubbish, because you have no worth to him.”

Tears were pouring down your cheeks. Your blush ran. “Luo Fengli,” you said, my name a sliver of air between your clenched teeth.

“Chai Qiuju,” I replied.

“I hate you,” you said. “I hate you.”

“Good,” I said, slamming my hand on your vanity. “It’s high time you realised I am someone to be hated.” I also said those things for your good. But I had no opium den to take you to.

We didn’t talk to each other for months afterwards. Every time he took you out, I followed. You always left deliriously drunk, blacked out before you could see that it was me who carried you all the way back to the Red Lotus.

I didn’t want you to know it was me either.

Because I was right in my judgements. Months later, he shoved you away – wanted nothing to do with you. You cried the whole night and stayed in bed for days after.

I didn’t have the heart to say, ‘I told you so’, only left you tea and congee in the mornings. Xiaolongbao in the afternoon.

Eventually, you left him behind.

*

Yet that son of a whore did not leave you behind. He came slinking back into the Red Lotus with a cigar in his mouth and a gun by his hip. I told you to stay in your room, so I could greet him personally.

“Qiuju is unavailable at the moment,” I said, his beady eyes were like black marbles.

He was drunk; I could smell it on him, alcohol mixed with the pungent cigar smoke. He had come to beg for you back after the other woman stole all his money and ran. Now he was left with nothing.

“Tell her to come out,” he said, staggering towards me like a lumbering bear. I scowled in distaste. “I’m sorry, Qiuju!” he hollered.

“You’re disturbing the customers,” I said. “She won’t be coming out to see you.” It was rude to chase away a customer, but I didn’t want to see his face around the teahouse anytime soon. “I’m asking very nicely right now for you to leave.”

“Not until I see her,” he said, the gun came flying out of his holster.

It wasn’t the first time I stared down the barrel of a gun. My heart palpated sickeningly. “Put the gun away.” You didn’t tell dangerous gang leaders to put their gun away.

“I’ll shoot you if you don’t move,” he said.

He had the ability to actually shoot. But for some reason, I didn’t move. If he had to step over my dead body to get to you, I wasn’t going to let him.

“Fuck. Off.” Talking to a customer that way was most unladylike, but I would have done anything to get him to leave. So that you never had to look into those marble eyes and have your heart broken again.

I told you. Love wasn’t worth it.

*

The sound of the gunfire temporarily deafened me. There is still a buzzing in my ears. I’m covered in blood. None of it mine. One second later and it would have been.

I want to call you stupid and naïve. Tell you that guns are not made for jumping in front of. That it is better off to let someone else die than get blood on yourself. That sacrifice is never worth it.

Because you are dying, and what am I supposed to do?

I will never be able to repay you. How do you repay someone their life?

“Fengli Jie,” you say, a gentle stir as though you are an infant wrapped in a bundle. How many times tonight have you repeated that title? The title you gave me. “It’s going to be a beautiful day tomorrow. The pattern of the clouds will be splendid. Sunshine will streak on the pavement and the birds will sing. Go outside tomorrow.”

A tear drops from my cheek to yours.

The truth is, I have never loved someone or needed someone as much as I love and need you.

I don’t need beautiful days. I need your hand around mine.

Because one day when I’m old and men don’t want me anymore, I want to leave Shanghai. Go to a place with mountains and trees.

And I want you there with me.

By then, you will be ashes, and me a sack of wrinkly skin and shambled bones. What a pair we will make.  

May 21, 2021 11:02

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

66 comments

Yolanda Wu
11:10 May 21, 2021

I'm so sorry if this story is incoherent. I wrote it during a five-assessment week, which probably wasn't the best idea, but this prompt got me inspired. The story is meant to be set around 1920s Shanghai, don't know if that vibe came across. Shanghai is where I was born, but this is my first time setting a story there. I had a lot of fun with the character voice in this story. Hope you enjoyed it too! Notes: Jie'jie means older sister, most of the time you can tag a Jie on the end of someone's name if they're older than you - you don't ne...

Reply

Maya W.
14:39 May 28, 2021

And Xiaolongbao are soup dumplings! Ah I love them.

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:19 May 29, 2021

Oh yeah, I forgot about that one! It's so familiar to me, but I forget that it's not familiar to others. I love them too!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Yolanda Wu
08:38 Jun 18, 2021

Hi Maya, I posted a new story! (I'm making sure to let you know), would love to hear what you think. :)

Reply

Maya W.
21:33 Jun 18, 2021

Oh hey, of course!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Maya W.
00:36 Jul 05, 2021

Omg, I completely forgot! I'll check it out soon, I've been so preoccupied.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies
Show 2 replies
Show 1 reply
Kenley Ellis
01:16 May 24, 2021

My god that was so beautiful!! Your style of writing is so gorgeous, and some of these lines actually made me stop and reread them just because I wanted them to stay in my mind you know? That was fantastic. (Also, I too was born in Shanghai!)

Reply

Yolanda Wu
03:52 May 24, 2021

Thank you so much for reading, Kenley!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Yuk Yuk
13:12 May 22, 2021

I read your bio, you gave permission to ask you to read our stories. So if you don't mind I'd appreciate your honest feedback on my stories. Thank you. Also as a writer I don't like to stick onto a particular genre or race. I just right what I feel. Although lately it's been on mental health. But I had a Chinese Wuxia Novel that I was working on. I'm not Chinese but I am learning the language. I stopped writing cause I wasn't sure anymore, you know to write something I have little experience in. So I need advice on that. Also I didn't kno...

Reply

Yolanda Wu
22:57 May 22, 2021

Sure thing, I'll check out your stories when I can. Also wow! You're writing a wuxia novel, and you're not even Chinese, I bet that's takes a lot of effort. I'm Chinese and planning to write a wuxia novel and the planning is already hard.

Reply

Yuk Yuk
16:38 May 24, 2021

It was and it is. Do you have any tips for me?.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Yuk Yuk
16:38 May 24, 2021

It was and it is. Do you have any tips for me?.

Reply

Yolanda Wu
22:26 May 24, 2021

I think to write wuxia you need a really good grasp of Chinese culture, so just do your research, and read and watch in the genre (there's a lot of good books and shows in that area). If you have any more specific questions, you can ask.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 2 replies
Show 1 reply
Dorsa S.
00:19 May 22, 2021

this story is beautifully written. i’m agreeing with kate, your metaphors are absolutely flawless. our main character knew; one thing that i have a melancholy-love for are plots/concepts where one of the characters knows exactly what’s going to happen, but it’s too late for the other to realize. i love this story because of that. great work. :)

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:59 May 22, 2021

Thank you so much, Dorsa! I'm also a sucker for stories where the main character was aware of their feelings, but the other isn't. Thanks again for reading.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
13:38 May 21, 2021

this story is magnificent. i did get the 1920s vibe, and i could see all of the things you described: the 'other side' of the red lotus, the porcelain-doll description at the beginning... all that good stuff. i do have a critique, though. all the metaphors- the baby, the porcelain doll, and the more minor metaphors- there should be connectors between them, to make them more coherent. it would help with your melancholy vibe. all in all, great story. sorry if this comment is sort of depressing, but, y'know, i've been feeling weird lately.

Reply

Yolanda Wu
23:11 May 21, 2021

Thank you so much, Kate! Your critique is super valid, I don't really think about my metaphors when writing them, so I shouldn't probably try and make them more coherent next time.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Nooi Lili
00:51 May 29, 2021

Nice style of writing. I like the way you drew me to Shanghai without me ever being there. Nice work, Yolanda.

Reply

Yolanda Wu
01:08 May 29, 2021

Thank you, Nooi!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Kristin Neubauer
15:57 May 28, 2021

Woohoo! Such a wonderful story and well-deserved shortlist....two in a row! Don't go back to studying....just keep writing. Congrats!!!

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:14 May 29, 2021

I'm still so surprised! I really wasn't expecting anything from this story. Haha, fun fact, because Melbourne has gone into a seven-day lockdown, my exams (which were supposed to be next week) have been cancelled, so now I'm just gonna chill at home and write!

Reply

Kristin Neubauer
10:26 May 29, 2021

I thought this one was - at minimum - a shortlist. It had such depth and soul. But I didn’t want to say anything as I feel like your focus is not on the contest and that is really important. We must keep remembering that we write to express ourselves and because we must or we will explode - not to win contests (though that is the icing on the cake when It happens!). I am glad you’re exams have been canacelled - looking forward to your next!

Reply

Yolanda Wu
10:32 May 29, 2021

Yeah I definitely never write stories with thoughts of winning the contest in mind, I just saw the prompt and thought it was so interesting. I try to write for myself before I write for other people, but of course, I'm super stoked that people like what I write!

Reply

Kristin Neubauer
11:12 May 29, 2021

Absolutely - these day I write most of my stories with my dad in mind. For some reason, he stopped reading after my mom died a couple of years ago. The only thing he reads are my stories, so I try to write ones he may like. Though the idea I’m thinking about this week related to my mom so I don’t think I’ll share this one with him if I finish.

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:28 May 30, 2021

It's so sweet that you write with your dad in mind, and that he reads your stories. I don't show my parents my stories because I find it super awkward, and I only show select friends. I'll be looking forward to your story. I think that I may be able to squeeze in a story this week as well, but I'm still brainstorming the idea.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Yolanda Wu
08:37 Jun 18, 2021

Hi Kristin, just came out with a new story, would love to hear your thoughts. :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Rayhan Hidayat
15:47 May 28, 2021

Yay shortlist! (To be honest I think this is even better than your winning story ;)

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:16 May 29, 2021

Thank you, Rayhan! I was shocked that it got shortlisted, especially since I whipped it up while I was juggling five assessments.

Reply

Rayhan Hidayat
00:21 May 29, 2021

Alright, alright, no need to brag, jeez... (but for reAl this deserved it!)

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:22 May 29, 2021

Ahh, I know, I just make writing effortlessly like that. Totally wasn't panicking about how it was gonna end and stressing over every detail.

Reply

Rayhan Hidayat
00:29 May 29, 2021

Haha don’t we all!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Maya W.
14:37 May 28, 2021

Yolanda! You gotta tell me when you release new stories, I almost missed this one! Anyways, I loved it. I loved the writing, first of all. Your style is beautiful and elegant, even though this isn't your usual genre. I also love Shanghai as a setting for stories in this time period, I'm thinking about using this time period in my new book I'm writing. And thirdly, I just love your characters. Fengli and Qiuju came to life, and honestly I feel like this could've been longer. I wanna see more of them. I also loved how this was being told in fi...

Reply

Maya W.
17:39 May 28, 2021

Also, I just saw this was shortlisted! Look at you, winner and shortlisted. Proud to have you as a friend. :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Yolanda Wu
00:18 May 29, 2021

Ahh, I was so busy last week that I kinda just put this story up and left it, I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I'm glad you enjoyed it, the first person directed pov is one of my favourites to write. I'm looking forward to your new book!

Reply

Maya W.
02:17 May 29, 2021

Haha, well I just started brainstorming so let's see if I actually write it, lol. It's supposed to be an Andromeda retelling in duel perspectives with a girl named Livia (I think) in some time in history as the two perspectives gradually start to see into each other's memories as they die, but that sounds complicated, lol.

Reply

Yolanda Wu
02:41 May 29, 2021

Oooh, that definitely sounds interesting... I'll be excited to read it!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 2 replies
Rayhan Hidayat
16:33 May 27, 2021

I’m speechless. This story is so dense with gorgeous imagery and unreal metaphors. The setting was great, really took me back to when I grew up reading the Tintin comics, especially the one where he has to bust an opium smuggling ring in Shanghai (the book is called “The Blue Lotus”, funnily enough) Btw, my latest story is about two lesbians in space, feel free to check it out if school isn’t getting you down!

Reply

Yolanda Wu
22:13 May 27, 2021

Thank you for reading, Rayhan! This story was definitely inspired by shows I watched with my grandpa when I was little - he probably shouldn't have let me watch them that young, but the vibe of old Shanghai and women in qipaos just really stuck with me. Melbourne has gone into a seven-day lockdown and my exams got cancelled, so I have a bit more time. I'll definitely check out your story!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Claire Lewis
15:21 May 25, 2021

This is stunning, Yolanda. Your characters are fascinating and I’m still so in love with the way you weave Chinese culture so effortlessly and accessibly into each line. This story is so full of yearning and sorrow. Beautifully done!

Reply

Yolanda Wu
21:35 May 25, 2021

Thank you so much for reading my story, Claire! I love writing stories that share my culture, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Reply

Claire Lewis
20:19 May 28, 2021

Congrats on the shortlist!! Very well-deserved 😊

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:12 May 29, 2021

Thank you so much, Claire!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Kristin Neubauer
14:39 May 23, 2021

I am so sorry I have taken so long to read, Yolanda. I have started several times and keep getting interrupted. But I am so glad I finally was able to finish. This is another stunning story. Thee way you use language and phrasing creates such intimacy between the two protagonists. You’ve also imbued it with deep atmosphere that draws us right into their world. I was very irritated at everyone who kept interrupting my reading as I was so swept up in this relationship and didn’t want to be dragged away from it (even as I’m trying to writ...

Reply

Yolanda Wu
21:38 May 23, 2021

Thank you so much, Kristin! I totally get the whole, you just wanna sit down and read a story but people keep interrupting you. I really wanted to get a story out before I buckle down and start exam revision, *sighs*. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, I had a lot of fun writing in 1920s Shanghai - it's a time period and place that I've never written before!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lavender Z
16:27 Jul 24, 2021

This story is so heartbreaking and gorgeously written. If I had to pick my favorite story in Reedsy, this would be it.

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:04 Jul 25, 2021

Thank you so much for reading, Lavender!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
9 P🎈
10:51 Jun 23, 2021

Woah.........fantastic piece, opposite attitudes of the characters, entire story being narrated by character to character (this concept added a fragrance to the storyline). Another great thing.......... the place where all these took place............and how you wrote this, completely above any typical imagination related to such places and people.............Really loved it.........It deserves to be shortlisted. Super fine work Yolanda👍 Would you mind reading my stories? :)

Reply

Yolanda Wu
10:54 Jun 23, 2021

Thank you for reading! Of course I'll check out your stories as soon as I can. :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Rohit Mukundan
18:08 Jun 14, 2021

You create a rich sense of time and place for a short story. There's some really good world building here. I have to wonder, though, what choice she has to reject a gang leader. She's kind of in a no-win situation regardless of whether she's in love or not, isn't she? Also, mixing non-english words in English text is really messy, isn't it? You either have to leave it untranslated or put the same thing in English right next to it. The former makes it mysterious or authentic depending on the reader, at the expense of raising the "one inc...

Reply

Yolanda Wu
22:26 Jun 14, 2021

Thank you for reading, Rohit! I think Fengli understands that she couldn't have rejected the gang leader, she just dislikes that Qiuju is genuinely in love with him. I totally get how too much Chinese could make it messy, so I try to use it only when it would add meaning to the story.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Ellie Yu
13:58 Jun 05, 2021

I'm sorry I'm late but, oh my goodness this is gorgeous. The setting is scarlet and smoky, and the title really contributed to my mind's eye view of where the characters were. I don't know what to call this POV - I was actually toying with it myself a few days ago, haha - but it adds so much to the story. It feels like Fengli is actually addressing Qiuju throughout the piece, which makes her final death all the more heartbreaking. Frankly, I'm impressed that you got this together with five assessments going on. It feels so detailed and delib...

Reply

Yolanda Wu
00:33 Jun 06, 2021

These Violent Delights is already on my TBR list! I literally got it recommended to me right after I finished this story, which was a bit spooky, but I'm really excited to read it! I actually struggled with the title, I kinda got it from 红楼梦, you know, the Red Tower Dream, but I changed it to Red Tea Dream. The POV is one of my favourites, and it doesn't even have an official name. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Ellie! Thank you so much for reading!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lilia May
00:05 Jun 03, 2021

It was beautifully written and I really loved the sister relationship - one criticism I would give is that I'm not entirely sure where the baby fits in. Was she pregnant when she died? Or did she die because he was mad that she stopped submitting to him?

Reply

Yolanda Wu
01:20 Jun 03, 2021

Thank you for reading, Lilia! I probably didn't make this clear enough, but the baby is only a metaphor, she wasn't actually pregnant when she died.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Shreshta Writer
18:14 Jun 01, 2021

Awesome story! I love it! Congrats on being shortlisted! If you can, please check out my stories!

Reply

Yolanda Wu
22:07 Jun 01, 2021

Thank you, Shreshta! I'll check out your stories when I can. :)

Reply

Shreshta Writer
22:40 Jun 01, 2021

Thank you! And your welcome!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Ana Govindasamy
16:14 Jun 01, 2021

Wow. That was lyrical and moving and amazingly written. I loved it the whole way through. Well done, I adore your work!

Reply

Yolanda Wu
22:07 Jun 01, 2021

Thank you so much, Ana!

Reply

Ana Govindasamy
05:40 Jun 02, 2021

No problem!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

Wait, I got a question. 凤梨姐, could also be called凤梨姐姐 right?

Reply

Yolanda Wu
22:08 May 31, 2021

Totally! 凤梨姐姐 just seems like a nicer, more cutesy way to call someone.

Reply

Oooh! True, it has two 姐's. Alright, thank you :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply