Chapter 36: Powerless to Resist
Chi Yan dazedly turned his head behind to take a look. However, he didn’t see anyone even though the ice-cold sensation he felt just now was very real.
He received materialism education since young. He always regarded the matters of ghosts and monsters as nonsensical tricks in the world. Naturally, his train of thoughts would not immediately head towards the supernatural direction, instead he treated this as him being delusional, or him confusing his dreams with reality because of his half-conscious state. The heat made him felt so terribly uncomfortable that he sat up and touched around for the remote control of the air conditioner. He turned it on and went back to sleep. Someone seemed to be hugging and touching him in his sleep but he regarded it as a dream and he was unconcerned. He still slept soundly.
The next day, his grandaunt looked for him again in order to ask him to read texts for herself.
His uncle and aunt were usually busy with their work, while his cousin would scoff at his grandmother’s tendency in believing “feudal superstitions”. His grandaunt was also very lonely now that she was alone. Although Chi Yan did not believe in any kind of religion, he would not refuse the elderly because of such trivial matters. He regarded this as keeping his grandaunt’s company to relieve her boredom. The elderly were also very happy, as if it was rare to meet a patient younger generation that was accommodating and willing to accompany her. When she woke up in the early morning, her mind was set on finding Chi Yan and she tentatively asked, “Xiao Yan, could you still help grandaunt to read texts?”
Chi Yan agreed with a smile. After having breakfast, he accompanied grandaunt to the Buddhist Hall on the third floor. There was a wide map placed on the left side of the room, his grandaunt and he sat there and faced each other. He held the Buddhist Texts book and recited them to his grandaunt. The elderly lady listened with squinted eyes.
After he had his lunch at noon, he played basketball with this cousin. And so another day passed like this.
It wasn’t until midnight when Chi Yan once again felt the surrounding air was becoming stuffy and thick. There was someone embracing him and that person’s body temperature was lower than average, but it actually felt comfortable in his embrace.
For two consecutive days, he had the same dream and it felt extremely real. No matter how sluggish Chi Yan was, he was still able to sense that something was wrong. He forced himself to wake up from his deep sleep and looked behind him. There was no one. He then groped around his pillow and pressed the button on his phone; it was 3 a.m.
Chi Yan closed his eyes but he stayed vigilant and didn’t fall asleep. He kept on pressing his fingernails onto his palms and the dull pain kept him awake. After around ten minutes, he once again felt that “person” circling his waist and even leaving cold kisses on his nape… The sensation of those kisses was too obvious, there were even light sucking and licking…
Chi Yan could no longer console himself by saying it was a dream. He immediately opened his eyes and sat up. He scanned the empty room, switched on the bedside’s light and got down the bed. He first checked the bedroom door and the glass door that connected the room to the balcony— those two doors were properly locked.
Chi Yan was somewhat afraid and he didn’t dare to sleep anymore. After he went back to his bed, he sat up and played with his phone with the light switched on until it was five in the morning. It was only when he saw the emerging white color of dawn that he laid down again. There was still one more hour before grandaunt would wake up and head toward the Buddhist Hall. This thought made him slightly more at ease, he curled into the blanket and fell asleep.
This experience was similar to the term, “sleep paralysis” that was circulated by the folks. Although it was strange, it didn’t create enough substantial fear for Chi Yan.
As the saying goes, “Once bitten, twice shy”, Chi Yan had never truly encountered any supernatural incidents before and this was equivalent to getting bitten once. He was also educated by his father to be a brave man. These two nights he was just behaving overly fearful, but it was not enough to scare the wits out of him.
Therefore, on the fourth night, Chi Yan wasn’t too scared to sleep nor did he find an excuse to let his cousin accompany him. However, he was more cautious, in the morning after he read the texts to his grandaunt, he borrowed a book of Buddhist Texts and placed it underneath his pillow. At night, he deliberately did not remove his shirt and pants and headed to bed fully dressed. As summer clothes were thin, he didn’t feel too uncomfortable.
In the first place, he had loads of thoughts in his mind, so he was in a half-awake, half-asleep state and couldn’t fall asleep completely. After a long while, he felt that the room was quiet and normal. His sleepiness gradually surged up and he ultimately couldn’t sustain his consciousness and naturally fell asleep…
In the middle of the night in his semi-conscious state, he felt a hand unbuttoning his shirt. Chi Yan reached out his hand to press on that hand, but he didn’t touch anything other than his own chest.
He sobered up all at once. He sat up and switched on the light beside his bed. The topmost three buttons on his white short-sleeved shirt had been unbuttoned.
Chi Yan carefully took out the book of Buddhist Texts beneath his pillows and held it in his arms. Utilizing the orange illumination from the bedside’s light, he looked around vigilantly.
It was empty except for the furniture he was accustomed to seeing during the day.
At this juncture, the bedside light flickered and with a sudden “pop”, it went out. The room was immersed in darkness again.
Chi Yan was shocked and he had yet to react when he felt something snatching the Buddhist Texts out of his hands. He didn’t grasp it properly and the book dropped onto the ground with a “thump”.
Chi Yan wanted to bend down and pick it up, but before he could reach out his hand, he felt something holding his waist and dragging him back as if wanting to press him down on the bed.
Chi Yan was terrified. He intuitively felt that this thing had been repressed for a long time and was terribly pent up. It was even more aggressive than it was two days ago.
An idea suddenly flashed in his mind and did his best to break free of the hold. Not bothering to wear his shoes, he opened the door, ran straight to the Buddhist Hall next door, pushed the door and went in. He then firmly closed the door and locked himself in.
After doing all these in one breath, he leaned himself against the door as he heaved. He could feel his heart beating vigorously and the cold wetness in his palms. The dim street lights came in through the small windows of the room, vaguely reflecting the indistinct sight of this Buddha Hall.
He thought that those demons and ghosts wouldn’t dare to enter this room.
After a while, with the intention to switch on the room’s light, Chi Yan stretched out his hand and groped around. However, he didn’t touch the switch but felt a cold “human”— that thing was next to him, who knew how long it had stood there.
Chi Yan was instantly stunned, he came back to his senses and wanted to open the door, however, he locked himself in the room just now. It couldn’t be opened no matter what.
After twisting the knob for a minute, he finally gave up in despair, shuddering as he moved backward bit by bit.
Like cat and mouse, that thing unhurriedly approached him little by little.
Chi Yan slowly withdrew. Suddenly he came across something at his feet. He looked back and saw that he had reached the couch and could no longer retreat.
At that time, the fear and despair he felt were indescribable. He was so frightened that he could not even make a sound. His legs went soft and he fell back on the couch. His center of gravity was unstable and he fell on his back.
That thing was pressing down on him from the front.
In the Buddha Hall, there was darkness, Chi Yan couldn’t see anything, but he could clearly feel the pressure of the thing pressing on him. One by one, he unbuttoned his shirt… The cold hand pushed his shirt open and stroked his chest…
Chi Yan trembled from this stimulation. He sobbed and couldn’t produce any sound other than small and silent groans.
He looked up, and from this angle, he could see the orange street lights penetrating through the windows, reflecting rectangular light spots on the wall of the room. From this dim light, he could see the Buddha porcelain statue in the niche.
The Bodhisattva’s face was full of mercy.
He closed his eyes and felt kisses landing on him. His tears uncontrollably slid out of the closed corners of his eyes.
He had no strength to struggle, no strength to resist.
…He even felt cold lips kissing the corner of his wet eyes continuously.
Because he was too tense and frightened, Chi Yan eventually lost consciousness and fainted.
He struggled to open his eyes before realizing that it was already morning.
His eyes were aching and he knew that they should be completely swollen even without looking at them. He remembered that he had been crying out of fear until he passed out yesterday.
Chi Yan stood up, picked up his clothes and put them on slowly. He still couldn’t stop trembling.
His first thought was that his grandaunt should be coming to worship the Buddha soon. He could not let her see his current appearance now.
Chi Yan stood up and went to the door. The door that could not be opened last night in any way was opened with a twist of the knob. He quietly went back to his guest room and looked at the mirror in the bathroom 一 there was no trace on his body. Everything last night was like a hysterical dream.
In the morning, his grandaunt still called him to accompany her to recite the texts, but when Chi Yan thought of the Buddha hall, he couldn’t help feeling frightened. With bowed head, he told an excuse of “didn’t have a good rest, have a headache”.
His red and swollen rabbit-like eyes could not be hidden. His grandaunt looked at him with narrowed eyes for a long time and finally told him to have a good rest heartily.
The story of ghosts and gods was so mysterious that it was hard to believe in it. Besides, it was also hard for him to tell anyone about his own experience.
Chi Yan didn’t know how to tell his uncle and his family about what had happened to him yesterday. He hesitated for a long time and finally chose not to mention anything— His uncle and his family were just ordinary people. It was one thing to believe in his own words, even if they believed that there were supernatural bodies steering troubles, there was nothing they could do about it. As for now, it seemed that the thing was only entangled with him and it didn’t seem like it had harmed the rest of the family. Perhaps, it was even him that provoked that thing.
Tomorrow was the official day to report to school. Chi Yan made an excuse to go to school early to report after lunch, but it was rejected by the family of four. His uncle, aunt, grandaunt, and cousin all advised him not to be anxious, they would send him to school tomorrow as uncle was on his rest day. He could also take the opportunity to take his cousin tour around the university.
At thatis time, Chi Yan was in a trance. He couldn’t resist the enthusiasm and kindness of his relatives and even more so, dared not tell the real reason why he was so anxious to get out of here. In the end, he could only compromise and stay for another night.