THE MASS GRAVE IN CHINATOWN

Submitted into Contest #115 in response to: Set your story in a town disconnected from the rest of the world. ... view prompt

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Black Crime Suspense

 THE MASS GRAVE IN CHINA TOWN

It was when in the evening they turned on the lights of their houses that the inhabitants of Candia realized that there had to be something wrong. In fact the lights did not turn on, they were completely in the dark. Indeed they could have noticed it even when, almost before the lights in the houses,  the streets lamps , which were supposed to light up, had not lit up. Oh, but the people who ( had) passed through those streets, did so  in cars or other vehicles, they were mostly people who did not pay attention  to streets lamps, who didn’t care if they were off instead than on. The inhabitants of Candia  mostly thought that the lack of light was due to a blackout concerning the electricity grid. Even landlines, as well as mobile phones, did not work. And it was impossible to access the internet. Thus those who lived in Candia were unable not only   to know what this total blackout was due to, but also unable to ask for help. And in that  really dark night  there were many people in Candia who would need to be rescue, to be helped.

Not a few of them died without even being able to ask for help. Since they all, who lived in Candia , and even those who by chance was there that night, were cut off from the rest of the world,  in which they could not know what was happening, as the rest of the world could not know anything about what was happening in their town. So the people who were in Candia that night tried to face that situation really dark and frightening _____who knows how long it would last. Who know if it would ever end, even though everyone hoped that the next day the sun would rise as every day______they tried to cope with  that terrible situation by resorting to all the sources of illumination they could have at their disposal, from the weak light of the candles , to the torches, to the generator sets  of which the most forward-looking were equipped-

Many people came out of their houses, they took to the streets, hoping some vehicle would pass, carrying someone who came in their help. But not only the streets were completely deserted of vehicles coming from out of Candia , but even when they decided to drive away from their town, to go and look for news about what had happened in the neighboring towns, they could not start their cars, their vehicles.In the city, which was completely in the dark, not only were all the means of communication skipped, but it also seemed that an invisible barrier had been erected all around the city, a barrier which did not allow  anyone to reach Candia from outside , and that prevented the people who were in Candia from getting out of their city.. The population of Candia had increased very much , especially in the last decade, due the massive immigration of Chinese. They, the Chinese who lived in Candia, who were mostly irregular immigrants, without a resident permit, had settled in a neighborhood in the outskirts of the city, which was called Chinatown.

Everyone knew, of course including the municipal administration , and the mayor too, but also the police forces , that in Chinatown the immigrants  from Chinatown lived according to rules, indeed laws, that they had established themselves , which were completely different from those in force for the other inhabitants of Candia, or at least, those which were in any case established_____even if it is more right to say those rules, laws which would have been in force in Candia, since its citizens, even those who were not immigrants, who were not Chinese, disregarded those rules in increasing number. We can  say that all people who lived in Candia knew very well  that in Chinatown not only dogs and cats were regularly slaughtered for food ( to feed of their meals), that not only people worked___the mostly entrusted in manufactures which produced clothes made with low quality cloth____ in sheds that were completely out of standard, and that people who worked in such sheds had at all no rights, since their owners could even make them work twenty four hours in row, for a miserable remuneration But that was not all.  The inhabitants of Candia knew that Chinatown had a Court that tried and sentenced those who were considered hostile to Chinatown and who, therefore, were called enemies of the people. But there was in Chinatown ,  even if no one out of Chinatown had seen it , and, above all, no one had to know it, although some rumors about it had run_____oh, but they were immediately silenced taking drastic actions(measures) against those who had dared to put them in circulation , measures adopted ( taken) by the councilor for urban planning and by the prefect himself____ ( there was) a big and deep mass grave  which had not to be mentioned, whose existence had to be ignored for the good and the tranquility of the whole city of Candia.  Oh, when the rumors of (about) the MASS GRAVE in Chinatown had circulated, the Chinese immigrants had protested vehemently, they had even accused the citizens of Candia of racism. Then the municipal council had met in extraordinary session, the mayor himself had apologized to the people of Chinatown  for those slanderous rumors which had circulated about the hardworking community of Chinatown . He, the mayor had announced drastic, very severe measures for those who had put the bad rumors in circulation. All those found guilty of defamation towards Chinatown ( they) had been heavily fined. Two of them had been even declared unwanted people in Candia, and invited to leave the city.

Now, a very big and very deep MASS GRAVE really existed in Chinatown, where there were no cemeteries. All those who died in Chinatown were thrown into this big and deep mass grave. Those who died for natural causes, or for accident, or also since being killed, ( they) were mostly irregular immigrants, whose existence could easily be ignored in Candia, since their presence was not registered( reported/ certified), therefore it did not even matter to know that they were dead. But among the Chinese immigrants who died in Chinatown there were also people  who had at least a residence permit and their death was silenced ( was not made known) so that their residence permit, together with other documents, such as the one certifying their domicile , such as those for health care, and sometimes even the identify card, passed to another Chinese who was an illegal immigrant. Thanks to this practice ( With this method) the presence of irregular immigrants became more and more massive, since when a Chinese with the residence permit died, there was soon ( immediately) an irregular immigrant who, coming in the possession of the documents of the dead Chinese, it can be said that he took his( of the dead Chinese) place ( OR : he settled at the place of the dead) that is, he pretended  to be a regular immigrant , while he was really an illegal immigrant.

Also the bodies ( corpses) of people who had been sentenced to death by the Chinatown court, and who had been executed, ended up ( were thrown) in the mass grave. Now, to be sentenced to death in Chinatown were exclusively those ( people) who had been accused of being enemies of the Chinese people in general and of the Chinese community of Chinatown in particular. This too was a reality of which it was absolutely forbidden to speak to the inhabitants of Candia, or….even they would have been sentenced to death.  It happened that among those who were accused of being enemies of the Chinese people or of Chinatown there were also people who were not Chinese but of other nationalities. These too, whether they were Europeans, or Africans, or Asiatic, or Americans too were tried by the Chinatown Courthouse and, after being sentenced to death, they were executed . Even the bodies of these condemned to death ended up into the mass grave, which was very deep, almost a bottomless pit.

That night that Candia remained in the dark and cut from   the world , in Chinatown someone attempted a feat that no one could ever imagine. ( could ever have imagined) .

That day  , the day before the dark night, in Chinatown the High Court had sentenced to death three enemies of the people, of course of the Chinese people. They were two young men of the Northern Europe and an Indian girl. The execution of the sentence in Chinatown took place immediately after the sentence had been pronounced, since there was concern to minimize the cost for those condemned to death. They were all enemies of the people. So the less they cost, the better.

Death sentences in Chinatown were mainly carried out by firing squad, even if for those who were considered enemies of the people in the highest degree beheading was applied. Of course, the head of the condemned to death , cut off with an ax by an expert executioner, was also thrown in the common grave.

They, the three condemned to death of that day, preceding the night immersed in darkness, had however  to be  shot. The shooting took place near, indeed before,  the mass grave, so that the bodies of those condemned to death, as soon as they have been executed, could be thrown into the mass grave with maximum speed and minimum effort.

That day, the day that preceded the night in darkness ( the night sunk in darkness) the three condemned to death had been brought on the place of the execution, where they stood lined up the one next the other ( next to each other). The mass grave was nearby behind them. In front of them there was the firing squad  that would shoot at them , hitting all three (of them) at the same time. The two young men from Northern Europe had asked to be blindfolded, but not the Indian girl  who spasmodically had been staring, wide eyed, at the movements of the men armed with rifles, who would shoot at them- And in that moment, when she saw the mouth of the rifles pointed at them, just the instant before they fired, the girl tried, with a desperate effort____since she too, as the other two condemned, had her  legs tied with ropes at her ankles and knees, and her arms also tied, with her hands behind her back _____( but she tried) to jump into the mass grave. In spite of the agitation caused by the completely unexpected, absolutely unthinkable escape of the girl., against whom the most  trivial insults and the most atrocious threats were raised______” Let’s tear the damn witch to pieces!”…”.Filthy whore! We ‘ll made sausages of your guts!”_______the squad of armed men fired regularly , and the two young men fell under their shots. Even before their bodies ( corpses) were thrown into the mass grave, the hunt for that very bad, very damned witch and whore who had dared jumping into the mass grave, among  that mass of corpses, many of which even in decomposition, other reduced to skeletons, in order to find escape to certain death, ( the hunt) started. All the armed teams of Chinatown, a  real army, were fielded for the operation, but also the firemen, and also willing inhabitants of Chinatown, most of them were, of course, irregular immigrants, who gladly would have skinned alive that wretch , that  very bad girl who, oh, had dared to escape the just execution that had been established for her.  All these armed people of Chinatown, who were equipped not only with rifles, but even with machine guns, and with an old cannon too, brought from China____ah, this old cannon had come from China by sea, on a ship carrying Chinese food. When the old cannon had landed in a port near Candia, there had been no problems with the port authorities, there had been no need to make the cannon pass for something else, as a sculpture or a contemporary art installation______( they all, so armed) shot into the mass grave. Of course, this meant firing and cannon shooting the corpses of which the mass grave was full. But that very bad girl, the ugly wretch, the filthy pig had  to hide among those dead and those corpses in disintegration, rotting. She had to be looking for shelter from the shoots and cannons covering herself, her body with them. The mass grave, even if it looked like a bottomless pit, it had a bottom, and the girl who had escaped the execution___she was called Maya___to take shelter from the gunshots and the cannon fire , had tried desperately, moving with great difficulty among that mass of  corpses, horribly rotten and very  stinking, to reach the bottom of the grave(pit). When she arrived at the bottom, and she was suffocating from the stench and the gas coming out of the rotting corpses, she had to realize that there was no escape from the bottom of the very deep pit, as there was no way out of its walls. To get out of the mass grave Maya had to climb up to the hole from which she had jumped in. She knew that to stay ( remain)  inside the stinking pit she would die of suffocation, but she did not dared to go out of the grave ( pit),, because she knew that she would be shot as soon as she went out, if not even before ( she went out). Suddenly she heard that the shots had stopped. Maya, buried alive in there , could not know that also in Chinatown, as in the all of Candia, the electricity and all the means of communication had gone out. ( She could not know this) But she was able to understand that SOMETHING had to have  happened  that worried very much those who chased her, who, perhaps, taken by this other concern, would no longer think of looking for her , to kill her, that is, to execute her. Maya, after a while she no longer heard shooting, and even the excited voices of those chasing her, those trying to flush her out, to get her out, reached her fainter, as if coming from more distance, as if her assailants had moved away from the common grave, she dared come out of the grave.(pit). As soon as she went out of the pit, indeed  when she was not yet standing up, she was hit in her shoulder by a shot fired from a certain distance. She, despite the stabbing pain in her shoulder, started to run at breakneck speed. “ Let’s get the devil girl! We can’t let her escape, that ugly witch, that filthy whore!” Maya heard their voices screaming, as her pursuers continued to chase her, shooting her. She , exhausted as she was, at the end of her strength , kept on running madly and finally she came out of Chinatown. Then her pursuers____miracle!___they stopped chasing her, shooting her. Maya continued to run, but that night not even she could go out of Candia which, perhaps by some spell, remained cut off from the rest of the world.: no one could leave the city, no one could  reach it from outside. The next morning, when Candia was again illuminated by the sunlight, the trail of blood ,that Maya  had left running away, stood out on the streets of Candia

October 16, 2021 01:34

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