Ghostly Train

Ghostly Train


Realistic Urban

I’m a doctor, saving lives and healing the wounded, walking on the edge of life and death. However, I am familiar with exorcism techniques, and I am well-versed in the strengths of both sorcery and Taoism. While performing surgeries to save people, I am also using spells to save the world. And let me secretly tell you, I can even heal ghosts! One day, I received a piece of human skin, which was the ticket to board the Ghost Train... From that moment on, I encountered a spiritually communicative woman after crossing to the netherworld, mysterious human-skin corpses started showing up, the malevolent ghost bird reappeared in the human world, could the seven oil lamps in the uninhabited ghost village be the source of all these evil occurrences?
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I was a child who didn't know how to cry from birth. According to folk sayings, a child who cannot cry will not grow up to be a mature adult.

On the night I was born, it was stormy with thunder and lightning.

Although my grandfather was a doctor, he avoided the awkward task of delivering his own daughter-in-law's baby and instead summoned an experienced midwife from our village. I was incredibly small and skinny when I was born, like a large mouse. No matter how the midwife slapped the soles of my feet, I remained completely silent, without shedding a tear.

“Your child, sir, he doesn't cry, it's the first I've seen such a case” the midwife told my grandfather nervously.

As my grandfather puffed on a stubby rolled cigarette, frowning in silence, he understood the implications of these folk tales more than anyone. Furthermore, he was not a doctor in the strictest sense, but rather a "witch doctor" according to older generations. So he knew clearly what my condition implied...

My father was still a “big kid” himself at that time, thrilled about having a son, he didn't notice that my inability to cry was problematic. My grandma, however, understood what this meant and wept as she begged my grandfather, who had saved many lives as a healer, to save his own grandson. My grandfather became agitated, snuffed out his cigarette on the ground, and prepared to return to his room.

Suddenly, a woman ran into our home, and upon entering called out, "Uncle Liangzi, my sister is in great discomfort. Please come quickly."

It was the sister of Widow Wu. Widow Wu's husband had died less than a year into their marriage. Two years into widowhood, she had unexpectedly become pregnant. Villagers, adhering to their old feudal ways, pointed fingers and chastised her for dishonoring the widow's path. But my grandfather was a kind man, he would not turn away anyone seeking his help.

Grandpa quickly grabbed his medicine box and followed Widow Wu's sister. My grandmother was aware of Widow Wu's circumstances. Being only five months pregnant, it was not the time for delivery and she suspected false labor, hence she concluded that my grandfather would return shortly. To prevent my mother from learning, which could lead to unnecessary worry, she silently compensated the midwife and told her to leave.

Unexpectedly, my grandfather only returned five hours later, after midnight. When he returned, he seemed to have lost his soul, wordlessly staring into the void. He hadn't eaten his dinner, so my grandma hastily served him a plate of boiled soybeans and a bowl of cornmeal mush. But as my grandfather was accustomed to having a couple of drinks with his meal, she didn't give him any alcohol due to the late hour.

However, my grandpa sighed and claimed, "Let me have a drink. I'm afraid I won't be able to drink anymore in the future."

My grandmother was shocked to hear this and anxiously asked, "What happened?" She quickly reached for the bottle of alcohol.

Grandfather sighed again and shared: "Widow Wu is dead!"

"Did you... did you accidentally kill her?"

Pouring his drink, my grandfather recounted the entire event as he drank. He knew clearly from the beginning that Widow Wu was carrying a strange fetus, one unlikely conceived through an affair. Moreover, this abnormal fetus couldn't be aborted without endangering the mother. However, Widow Wu’s sister admitted that she had bought some pregnancy-stabilizing medicine for her sister from the city yesterday, and after taking it, Widow Wu began experiencing stomach pain.

Grandpa's face turned pale after checking the pulse, indicating that the unborn baby could not be kept alive any longer. This was a matter of life and death. In a rush, he asked the widow Wu's sister to find some chicken blood and dog fur. I later realized that this ancient medicine practice, which involves the use of bizarre items such as mouse tails, chicken-crown blood, and turtle eye-beads, was a form of shamanic healing. Combined with some sacred ashes, the medicine was drunk to cure diseases.

The widow Wu had chickens and dogs at home. Instantly, she brought the required items. Grandpa burnt the dog fur into ash, combined it with chicken blood, sacred ash, and water for Widow Wu to drink. Yet, after several hours of struggle, the fetus could not be saved. Terrifyingly, the demon fetus hollowed out the widow's body before it burst out of her abdomen. Looking like a black bird with a human-like face, the demon baby flew out the window and disappeared into the stormy night.

Grandpa knew disaster had struck. This strange incident would affect three generations. It was clear that not only would he not live till dawn, but his descendants too would suffer due to it.

After hearing the story, my grandmother fainted from shock, further stressed by the fact that her grandson was born without the ability to cry. When she woke up, she found the rain had stopped, and dawn had broken, only to witness the grim sight of grandpa hanging himself from the elm tree in the courtyard. I was placed in a baby tub, soaked in some kind of herb-infused water, which created a strange fragrance all over the room.

According to grandma, grandpa left a suicide note instructing all his medical tools and scriptures to be burnt at his gravesite. Perhaps he wished his descendants not to follow in his line of work or he had secrets he wanted hidden.

Those were the 199s. While the world outside the mountains was prosperous, life in our village remained poor. After grandpa's death, our primary breadwinner was lost. My father had to leave for a job in a nearby mine. Tragically, he died in an accident involving explosives when I was five. Grandma always murmured that it was an unavoidable disaster. Despite her overwhelming grief, she never shed a tear.

Later, my mother also left the village for work and reportedly eloped with a supervisor. I was only six then. Villagers started gossiping, attributing all the family's misfortunes to me, calling me a bad omen.

The village kids were forbidden to play with me in fear that they'd catch my bad luck. I was only six, but I knew everything: my father was gone, and my mother didn't want me. Personally, things were very hard too, frequently bullied and insulted by other children, leading to a deep sense of loneliness.

One stormy summer day, I took the opportunity to steal some time out while others were indoors. Putting a fertilizer bag over me for protection against the rain, I sneaked out into the dense forest behind our village.

After running into the forest, I let out a loud scream, giving vent to all the pent-up frustration. After screaming my heart out, memories of my father's death and mother's abandonment brought tears to my eyes. But no matter how much I sobbed, not a single tear fell. A lonely six-year-old boy, skinny and frail, standing amidst the punishing wind and rain, I felt incredibly isolated and insignificant.

Unexpectedly, I heard some strange noises. Curiosity led me to look upward, but the sight was so horrifying, I wet myself. That dreadful scene, even almost twenty years later, still lingers vividly in my mind.


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