Away song

In the spring of 1921, the ice and snow at Yanmen Pass had just melted, and some green with strong vitality emerged from the crevices of the rocks and the spires of the iron-like bushes. This green is supposed to be soft, but my mother received the worst news in this soft season: her dad fell off a cliff.

Standing on the edge of the cliff, my mother looked down, and her father, along with mules and mule carts, were scattered under the cliff. What kind of scene is that, once it gets into the eye, it is like a wedge slammed into the wall, and it is difficult to get out, and even if it gets out, it will definitely leave a deep dark scar. The mule cart shattered into pieces, and the once diligent black mule ended its hard life and died in broad daylight. From the top down, it was not as big as a dog. This is simply the greatest irony of his toiling life, obviously he has done more work and exerted more strength than an entire mountain range. And my mother’s dad, folded on a raised rock, in the most incredible way.

My mother, holding her brother in her hands, cried out loud. Her cry startled a goshawk perched on a cliff, and its wide wings shot into the sky. My mother cried, not because she understood death and isolation, nor because she understood the original intention of God’s cruelty. She was only smashed by the stubble of the black purple mountain, the lonely eagle and the folded father, and the graves everywhere. The Yanmen Pass is forced and induced, but some instinct.

Wooah – my mother’s cries were high and desolate when they went up, riding on the back of an eagle into the sky. When it fell, it was crisp and clear, like a flying Hu Yan, which was the panic of the little girl.

The cruelty of God lies in never being moved by the cry, no matter how loud. The world is made up of cries, which are constantly superimposed, and people always declare their misfortunes with the same cries, making it impossible for God to perceive each specific one. What’s more, the most important thing in the black and purple Yanmen Pass is crying.

Sister, don’t cry. At this time, my mother’s brother made a voice, he said sister, don’t cry. My mother’s hand was held back by my brother. The younger brother’s hands are not big, and like his voice, it has the frailty and slenderness of an adult. My mother was not much taller than my younger brother, and she turned her face to look at her younger brother, which happened to meet her purple eyes. It was the purple of the same color as Yanmenguan Pass, the purple of the high mountains and dense forests and the white bones, the purple of the smashing sky and the collapse of the mountains, and the moment when it was aligned with the light, it flashed a supernatural light. My mother was so surprised that she stopped crying. The younger brother said: Sister, don’t cry.

It was these words that inspired my mother’s life, and set the style, emotion, rhythm and direction of her life on earth. Sister, don’t cry. My mother told me this as she was dying. She said that the day when her eyes met with her brother was the real birth of his brother, and the heat and strength in his hands were far beyond his age. His eyes are purple. Purple is the color of Yanmen Pass, and it has achieved the famous festival and spirit of Yanmen Pass sweeping across the Eight Wastelands and running through the ages. If purple is the younger brother, is there a bigger backer than this?

Li Hui, this is the beginning of my mother, but her life has ended. I can only retell it according to my cognition and light and dark levels. The contrast between the virtual and the real and the saturation of hue inevitably carry my personal consciousness. It doesn’t matter, you just need to feel the flow and changes in the story, and appreciate the body temperature and breath of the characters. I’m not telling this story to tell you something, because the story itself is telling something.

Just like my mother’s father, he farmed and opened an oil mill in the blacksmith camp at the foot of Yanmenguan Mountain. After so many years of accumulation, he had a jujube red mule. In order to match this mule, Dad took three large urns of barley oats to build a mule cart. Dad’s face began to look magnificent, and his momentum also followed. He said wait, as long as one year, I can let you eat white noodles. Dad said and slapped the mule’s butt twice. The mule immediately slapped the scorpion, which is a temperament that can only be matched with great ability, and a performance that is never afraid of hardships and has absolute ability. At that moment, my father laughed, my mother laughed, and so did my mother and his brother. Their laughter has their own characteristics, with their respective pulses and body temperature, when the sunset is stuck between the two mountains, before the grass collides with each other and seeds, it spreads in the smoke entwined in the woods.

However, it was precisely because of this purplish red proud mule and this decent mule cart that in the ninth year of the Republic of China (1920), my father was recruited to Yanmenguan to repair the Yangji Highway. This road from Yangmingbao to Jining opened two gaps in the north and south city walls of the ancient Guangwu City, passing through the ridge between the Dongxing Pass and Xixing Pass of Yanmen, and the city walls of Guangwu City were gradually demolished. Cement surged along the gap.

Spring planting and autumn harvesting have always only pulled the mules of naked oats and flax, and the mules of stones and cement. This is its innate nature, the same as Daddy’s.

The story has its context and sequence, but not alive, until you fold yourself in the most incredible way in the abyss of Yanmen Pass, you never know how it will end.

My mother’s mother did the same, she ended up slumped in the oat field. The mother has already fallen, and the naked oat is still so far away, so stubborn, the sweat is far from being able to end its endlessness, and it is not enough to nourish its dryness and cracks. No, not even blood. Even if the mother vomited all the blood, it was only one piece, not as big as a dahlia flower. My mother asked us, “What should we do?”

Who knows what to do? Mother died, what should my mother and her brother do?

Night came, and the blacksmith camp was plunged into darkness. The wind came down from the mountains in all directions, found the house of the two orphans hidden in the folds, and poured the house into it like a sack. My mother and her brother, huddled in the corner, terrified. Although the mother doesn’t know what to do, the house with her is not ventilated in all directions. The wind blows out the oil lamp, just like the naked oat field blows out the mother. What’s wrong, ma’am? The biggest wish of her life is to eat white noodles.

My mother was also in the air, and the bone-chilling cold hit her, and every inch of her body was rattling. The mountains of Yanmen Pass are beasts running in the dark night, all rushing towards the blacksmith camp. Anyway, that’s how it is, the weaker it is, the easier it is to attract the great. My mother shrank and shrank, equating herself with a rat, but still couldn’t avoid the huge chase.

My mother’s teeth were bumped up and down, her eyes were open and closed, they were dark when they were open, and blazing bright when they were closed. In that blazing light, my father came, my mother came, my father folded, and my mother spit out a dahlia. The light was so dizzy that my mother retched, and the retching caused convulsions. But my mother just doesn’t make a sound. Although she is young, she is already familiar with God’s operation methods. Just like the guillotine knife, the guillotine is always a head knife, and the same is true for meat. , so that cutting the grass or the meat in the plate is the skilled method.

People were falling into the darkest place, and my brother hit my mother with his body. My brother’s small body was hidden in the darkness, but his body temperature and breathing were extremely clear. My mother felt relieved and bumped back against my brother, who didn’t suffer at all and came back. The siblings collided back and forth, with a puff, and it was unknown who laughed first. This should have been a night of crying.

Such a small body, but like a scythe hitting a flint, and hitting a little spark in the dark night and despair. On Mars, there is a table full of food where the clouds leave, and everything you can think of and what you can’t think of is displayed on it. The food makes people happy, especially the steamed buns made of white noodles.

Mars falls, darkness continues. The two collided again. This collision, knocked out the jacket with cotton wool, and rolled with colorful lace. It was an ideal appearance. Walking in the faraway oat field, swaying like a scarecrow, scare away the flocks of sparrows.

The Yanmen Mountains are still driving the night to the deepest part, this house hidden in the folds, but because of two orphans colliding with each other, the starting point of Mars is rising. My mother and her brother have found their own dexterity in Mars, and are trying to slice the giants along the texture.

2

Sister, don’t cry, set the tone of my mother’s life. But Li Hui, a Yanmen Pass, half of the history of China, was born in Yanmen Pass and lived in a war-torn scene. Crying is normal, it is far easier than not crying, just like wars and famines are frequent, catastrophe is normal Fortunately not. Not crying is the more difficult part of this story, and you need to double down on it.

There is a black stone ditch in Taihelingkou Village, Yanmenguan Township. Five kilometers ahead is Yanmen Xixingguan. The Yangji Highway from Yangmingbao to Jining passes through here. Yes, it was the road that my mother’s father was conscripted to build. However, in 1937, that is, in the 26th year of the Republic of China, it was renamed Taitong Road, and it was the only road from Datong to Taiyuan via Xinkou.

Xinkou is a dangerous mountain pass at the intersection of Wutai Mountain and Yunzhong Mountain at the intersection of Xin County, Dingxiang and Nao County. It is the northern gateway to Taiyuan. It is more than 50 kilometers away from Yangmingbao Airport and 100 kilometers away from Taiyuan. In their attempt to seize the entire North China region, the Japanese army made Shanxi a strategic focus. On October 11, 1937, the Japanese army launched an attack on Xinkou under the cover of aircraft, heavy artillery and tanks, and the Battle of Xinkou officially started.

At this time, my mother was living her poor and miserable days in Yanmen City. The September 18 Incident, the January 28 Incident (Songhu War of Resistance Against Japan), the Xi’an Incident, and the Lugouqiao Incident were all far away for her. Rising as usual, her days went on, only harder, which she blamed on fate. The old Wei she married was a patrol policeman in Yanmen City, a dozen years older than my mother, and had an ugly appearance. When I exchanged twenty bags of white noodles for Lao Wei, my mother really didn’t have time to see Lao Wei’s face clearly, or she simply ignored it. The surly part of fate is that Old Wei’s irritable temper was not restrained by marrying my mother, on the contrary, the lines on his face became rougher, which aggravated his seriousness and harshness, making it difficult to get close to him. This has a lot to do with him eating whole grains.

Old Wei gave my mother a pot of butter and a bag of red and white radishes that he brought back, like all males who robbed food, with three points of pride. Patrolmen don’t make a lot of money, but he’s the only person in the family who earns money from groceries.

The mountains of Yanmen Pass and the blacksmith camp gave my mother too much sadness and grief. As long as she walked far enough, she would not be able to catch up. Therefore, she must go out of Yanmen Pass and enter the city. But the younger brother doesn’t think so. The blacksmith camp is where his roots and surname are, and where the bones of his parents are. No matter how sad and grief he is, he can’t leave. In this matter, my mother and brother both stick to their own ways. They both have the temperament that the Yanmenguan Mountains and the blacksmith camp have given them. In the final analysis, this is because they have their own opinions when they grow up, and it is their common flaw. This cannot be understood as what some people say, personality.

My mother was so angry that she exchanged 20 bags of white noodles for herself for Old Wei in Yanmen City, leaving all the 20 bags of white noodles to her younger brother. Twenty bags of white noodles, all the white noodles you can see in a lifetime are here, enough to eat for a lifetime, right? Old Wei is ugly enough, but as long as there is enough white flour, he can have such an angle to make him look good-looking, just like now, when he gave oil and radish to my mother, he was so capable.

The days went on forever, the radish rice was served on the table as usual, and the night was sleeping on the big kang as usual, but a loud bang came from the southwest. Lao Wei’s mother fell down and sat down in shock. My mother was also very frightened. She had a big belly and opened her mouth, and she didn’t know why. Old Wei jumped up and said, it was a cannonball, and one of the cannonballs fell and the house collapsed and people died.

Only then did my mother know that aggression and artillery fire had come to the door.

It took many days for my mother to piece together the information under the fire of the cannon fire of the Yanmenguan ambush. The Taitong Road from Heishigou to Xinkou was the transportation and supply line for the Japanese army to attack Xinkou. The 716th Regiment of the 358th Brigade of the 120th Division of the Eighth Route Army on both sides of the Heishigou Road ambushed the Japanese army twice from Guangwu to the south, and from Yangmingbao to the south. North’s transport fleet. As you know, this is the famous “Yanmenguan Ambush Victory”, which is another major victory of the Eighth Route Army after the Pingxingguan Victory.

My mother tried so hard to piece together the information because Heishigou and the blacksmith camp were on the same line, and the distance was not very far. Is the younger brother alive or dead under such intense artillery fire? Old Wei said that the surrounding villages not only provided food and accommodation for the Eighth Route Army, but even the news that the convoy of the Japanese army transporting supplies from Datong had to pass through Yanmen Pass was also reported by the villagers. The villagers also led the way for the Eighth Route Army to enter Heishigou along the little-known sheep intestine trail, Lao Wei said.

What Lao Wei said about them made my mother more worried, and the shells could not be guaranteed not to fall on the relatives. My younger brother is at the foot of the Yanmen Mountains, next to the Heishigou, where the shells fell. Why don’t you teach people to fry? Old Wei said that his younger brother was not stupid, he would jump away when the shells fell.

My mother had ten thousand hearts to go back to the blacksmith camp to see her brother, but from Yanmen City to the blacksmith camp, there was less than 50 miles away, and the artillery fire continued. Without help from Lao Wei, my mother could not go back, and she was pregnant. .

Of all human emotions, ugliness is one of the most intolerable.

Since my mother exchanged twenty bags of white noodles for Yanmen City, she began to be intolerable. There is her own part in this intolerance, she should not leave the blacksmith camp, she should not leave her brother, even if there is grief and grief, it is her biggest backing, and once she leaves, she loses Mars. The other part was from Lao Wei, who was so ugly when he said that his younger brother was not stupid and would jump off under a cannonball. My mother had no other choice but to ask Lao Wei to visit the blacksmith camp. If he could bring his younger brother to Yanmen City, it would be the best in the world, and she would do her best to repay. Old Wei was silent, he didn’t say he would go, but he didn’t say he would definitely not go. This is where my hope lies. My mother is more attentive. In making tea and rice, in taking care of Lao Wei’s mother, she equals all these things in exchange for her younger brother.

My mother was insisting on her diligence, she calculated that it was proportional to the fact that she saw her brother one day earlier. If Lao Wei didn’t say he couldn’t go, then he would definitely go. If Old Wei Zhen brings her brother over to her one day, her long-cherished wish of inseparability will be fulfilled. Old Wei is a patrol policeman in Yanmen City. Although he is ugly, he must have a way to pick up his younger brother and feed him.

So you can only rely on yourself. This is something my mother said to me many years later when she said she had the wrong idea and that she should have gone to her brother from the beginning.

3

My mother saw her brother again in late autumn a year later.

In the second half of the night, when I heard the slight sound of fingernails digging at the wooden door, my mother sat up in a jolt. Old Wei affirmed that there was no abnormal sound, turned over and continued to sleep, but my mother put on a large dress and went down to the ground and opened the door.

It’s really my brother! The younger brother squeezed in the door with the cold wind. It was the cold wind that chilled the earth after the late autumn, the bitter cold of the crescent moon stuck in the jujube tree, and the coldness that all living beings were displaced under the night. The younger brother was shaking all over, drank the brown sugar water that my mother cooked, and ate the radish rice that my mother brought before calling out to my sister. Fortunately, fortunately, the younger brother is still a whole brother, there is nothing more sad and happy than this. Old Wei didn’t say much, put on his clothes, went into the courtyard with a bundle of firewood, and stuffed it into the stove. The temperature in the room rose. My mother checked my brother’s hands and feet, and then checked his head. There was a deep, bloody opening. The blood had dried up, but the opening was far from healed.

The younger brother escaped from the hands of the Japanese. He was arrested by the Japanese to repair the road. The blood was chiseled by the Japanese with a wooden stick. It was a wooden stick with four edges. My elder sister, it was so thick. My younger brother compared it with his hands. He said that he usually used a flat surface when hitting people. Then my mother noticed that my brother’s breath was hot and heavy, his cheeks were flushed, and he had a fever. My mother scrubbed the blood scab on my brother’s head and wrapped his feet in a hot towel. Running away overnight, more than fifty miles away, my brother’s feet were covered in blood blisters.

Before I could finish talking to my mother, my brother had already fallen into a deep slumber. He slept eagerly and unruly as he did when he was a child. After the rooster crowed, the sky was getting brighter. When did the younger brother become an adult, the broad forehead, the sideburns cut by the knife, the velvet on the lips, and the slightly convex groove on the chin are all signs of an adult man. Is his palm so thick? His knuckles are like bamboo joints glowing slightly in the morning light, and even his body after falling asleep shows the sturdy and burly of a sturdy man. My mother was relieved, remembering that her mother gave her and her younger brother a hard look before she fell headfirst into the oatmeal field.

My mother wiped her brother’s forehead with her hand. She never imagined that this was the last time she would touch him. The temperature on his forehead was quite high, but with his mature face and body shape as the basis, it was not too alarming.

“We must resist, we must fight small Japan, and we must not be slaves to subjugation.

Let us poor people have the final say.

To resist. Japanese, slaughter my compatriots.

A blood debt to be paid with blood. ”

My brother, who had a fever, said things in his sleep that my mother had never heard. Since she entered Yanmen City, her younger brother stayed in the blacksmith camp, and the two of them didn’t meet much. What happened to her younger brother in the past few years? What has settled in the body and soul of the younger brother is also closely related to growing up. The changes in body shape and temples are the external manifestations of these two things complementing each other.

To resist. The younger brother said in his sleep. He clenched his fists tightly, as if he was accumulating thousands of strength, and wanted to smash something. The high fever made his face red, and a layer of fine sweat oozes out of his forehead. His grassy breath evaporated with the rising sun. Spread out a golden light. My mother insisted on her own will, leaving behind the younger brother, the only close relative.

The next day, my mother found the bright oil from the old apricot tree, put it on the fire shovel, and put it into the stove. When the oil is softened, take it out, roll it into thin strips, and patch the crack on the brother’s head. The younger brother shivered, but he didn’t say a word.

On the third day, my mother came back with antipyretics, and my brother was gone. The futon still maintained the shape of his brother’s body, and even the heat was still there. My mother is a little flustered, his fever has not subsided, where can he go? When he turned his face, he saw Lao Wei, and saw a trace of guilt on Lao Wei’s ugly face.

My mother understands a little, my brother drank a big bowl of brown sugar water and ate several bowls of radish rice, which was all accumulated by Lao Wei himself. Accumulation is the biggest theme and mission of Lao Wei’s life. It is precisely because he can accumulate and peel the skin from his teeth that he can accumulate twenty bags of white noodles. Twenty bags of white noodles were probably the greatest brilliance of Lao Wei’s life, and it was only in exchange for my mother who was more than ten years younger than him in the blacksmith camp at Yanmen Pass. Are you afraid that your brother will eat and live here? My mother asked Lao Wei with her eyes in astonishment, and Lao Wei answered everything with his eyes dodging.

Li Hui, you may not be able to imagine my mother’s collapse at that moment. Her originally unreliable earthen fort must have been torn apart at that moment. The flying dust covered my mother. She has never been so disheartened, Not so disheartened.

You drive him away, where can he go? There are Japanese shells everywhere, you want to kill him?

If I remember correctly, this was the last thing my mother said to Lao Wei. After this sentence, my mother never said a word to Lao Wei.

Old Wei was not good at speaking, he murmured, and finally said a sentence, his younger brother was not stupid, he would jump away when the shells fell.

A person cannot be hurt twice by the same sentence. My mother’s eyes turned from amazement to anger. It was a knife flying in the air, as thin as life, in the shape of a willow leaf, the tip of the knife rotated within 90°, and it rushed towards Lao Wei’s face with a sharp sound. When Lao Wei dodged subconsciously, the knife flew back and came toward my mother. My mother did not hide, but greeted her with awe. It is a kind of cutting off, and it is also a kind of entering.

You haven’t seen my mother, her features are as sharp as knives, and so are her people. I keep thinking, what if my mother could cry? With her soft tears, with her delicate cry, things may go in another direction, and so will fate. In that way, my mother will be like all women in the world who have shown weakness. She will have protection and love, or at least she will be able to take advantage of her. Then her life will not be too difficult or too astringent.

From my understanding of Lao Wei, he said twice in a row, “Brother is not stupid, he will jump away when the cannonball falls” without malicious intent, he just used an inappropriate tone and expression when he said this. , let my mother see ruthlessness and ruthlessness. The misfortune of Lao Wei lies in his ugly appearance, and because he is not good at expressing, he presents a kind of extremely concise and irritable, which largely conceals his sincerity and kindness. Jumping away under the cannonball is his biggest imagination of brutal war. He really hopes that everyone can jump away under the cannonball, which is a kind of good blessing that is close to rude. His expressive ability is only enough for him to say such a thing, so there are only two times. This is not his fault. Coarse grains feed people and sculpt them at the same time. Just as coarse grains wear down people and at the same time cut them. He is covering the weak part with a shell that he thinks is hard. I am sure of this.

Drive away my brother who has a fever, and my mother will no longer speak to Lao Wei. It’s not that she doesn’t talk to Lao Wei, she doesn’t talk to anyone, not even her own children. It was a girl who later died. I can’t say that her premature death had nothing to do with my mother, because it’s not realistic. In fact, the girl didn’t look like my mother at all, but she was a copy of Old Wei, and she was unbearably ugly as usual.

It was the first month of the first month, a year later. The Japanese invaders swept Yanmen City without warning, and then searched from house to house. Many people were killed for no reason. People in the city were running for their lives. Old Wei was protecting his mother, her mother was holding the child in her arms, and my mother followed behind. When fleeing to the Hutuo River, Lao Wei’s mother was shot by the Japanese and fell into the water of the Hutuo River. It was the first month, when the frozen river was about to open, and Lao Wei’s mother was still holding her child when she fell. You would never have guessed that my mother’s first reaction was not to pull Lao Wei’s mother, but to stop running away and turn back to meet the direction the Japanese were chasing.

What are you going to do? Old Wei grabbed my mother.

Lao Wei’s mother died, and so did the child. Old Wei slapped my mother in the face, why didn’t you hold the child? Old Wei asked.

My mother hasn’t spoken to Lao Wei for a long time, and this slap also won’t open her mouth. This is the first time Lao Wei has beaten my mother. Although he is harsh, this is the first time he has done so. My mother raised her head slowly after the slap. According to Lao Wei’s logic, it should be my mother who was holding the child, and it should be my mother who was shot and killed by the Japanese. My mother grabbed a bowl at hand and flew over to follow Old Wei.

The sons and daughters who grew up under Yanmen Pass have heroic and blood flowing in their blood, they can endure or dormant, but they are not allowed to bully and persecute. Old Wei told me later that the bowl that flew towards him exploded on his brow bone, the bowl cut through the brow bone, fell to the ground and spun around several times. Old Wei pointed to his brow bone with his finger.

The scar on his brow bone turned out to be like this. I can see that the scars have been deep for a long time, and the moss marks that have fallen over the years, but they are still unabated.

A flying bowl made a revolution. Since then, my mother has the final say in this family.

No, Lao Wei said, it is from then on that your mother has the final say on herself. Looking back on the past, Lao Wei is no longer as simple as when he was young, and the lines on his face have begun to soften. Old Wei said, I have my reasons for driving my younger brother away. My younger brother must be the Eighth Route Army, and I don’t know if he is a Communist Party. He fled fifty miles overnight from the foot of Yanmenguan Mountain to the county town. He should be carrying some kind of mission, but he knocked on his sister’s door because he had to have a fever.

He was able to enter the county seat under the heavy blockade of the Japanese, and he could enter his sister’s house quietly, which in itself explained the problem. It’s not that I don’t want to take him in, it’s really, old Wei rolls his Adam’s apple, it’s true that I have an old mother and a child born soon, and a daughter-in-law who traded 20 bags of white noodles. Old Wei asked, can you understand?

I don’t hate your mother. She is not an ordinary woman, if she were a man, she would have taken up arms long ago. Lao Wei said that I knew from when she was running for her life in the Hutuo River and suddenly turned her head to face the direction the Japanese were chasing. She doesn’t look like a knife, she has a knife in her blood.

4

The younger brother did not return to the blacksmith camp and has since disappeared. My mother inquired about my younger brother everywhere, and she asked everyone, but the more she asked, the more panicked her heart became. Some people have seen my younger brother and said that my younger brother is a member of the Sacrifice League. He wears a black woolen coat and a formal hat, rides a fast horse, and can hide his barb stirrup under the horse’s stomach and hit the Japanese with a pistol. Some people also retorted, no, my brother was a gangster, and he had been killed by the Japanese a long time ago. He was tied to a tree to kill him. My brother’s bones were so hard that he didn’t blink his eyes until he died, and he kept scolding the little devil. Some people say that your brother is incredible. He is a cadre of the Communist Party. He led the team to fight guerrillas. In one battle, he took down a gun turret of the little devil, and seized 50 rifles, one machine gun, and 500 bullets. The county gave him a commendation. I have seen the conference with my own eyes, so I can’t go wrong.

Your younger brother escaped from the famine, went to kill Hukou, crossed the Daqing Mountain, and worked as a miner in Bayan Obo. Someone else said that to my mother. However, those who fled to Henan also brought back news that the younger brother went all the way to Henan begging, where there is a lot of land, as long as the crops are planted, crops will grow. There is also news that the younger brother crossed the Yellow River from Qikou and went to Yan’an in northern Shaanxi.

No matter who brought the news, my mother grabbed their hand and was as devout as a believer. As long as there is news about her brother, she must go wherever she can. She went to the villages around the county seat, as well as villages further afield. There is no donkey to ride, no car to ride, she just walks. She didn’t tell Lao Wei anywhere, nor did she ask Lao Wei to help her. She believed in herself more than Lao Wei. There are at least 200 or 300 villages around Yanmen City. I dare not say that my mother has gone to these villages. I can only say that she has gone to all the villages that she can go to. At first, she could use the eggs at home in exchange for two catties of miscellaneous noodles, and bake a few flatbreads for herself to eat on the road. Later, she didn’t even have chickens, let alone eggs. Ordinary people live by a little bit of accumulation. My mother spent all her time, energy and wisdom looking for her younger brother, so she didn’t have any accumulation.

When there was no other way, my mother used the simplest and most tragic method, begging all the way. It didn’t take long for the entire Yanmen City to know that a begging woman with a slashed face was looking for her brother.

A year later, I got a reliable or unreliable news that my younger brother had returned to the blacksmith camp. My mother rushed to the blacksmith’s camp. The journey from Yanmen City to the blacksmith camp was more than fifty miles. My brother spent one night walking the fifty miles. My mother wanted to speed up her steps. She wanted to experience the exhaustion and urgency of my brother’s escape that night.

There are Japanese sentries everywhere, and ordinary people are not allowed to go out casually. How vicious it is to stand up a square edge stick and hit someone’s head with the edge. My mother avoided the avenues and followed the thorny trails. I think the same is true for my younger brother. The ge needles cut his hands and face, the rocks slashed his feet, and there were so many blood blisters. The pain in my mother’s feet pierced her eyes, and the blood blisters were like sea buckthorn fruit. Her pain was her brother’s pain, and her brother’s pain was also her pain. Years ago, my brother told her, sister, don’t cry. He also used his body to strike the sparks that gleamed in the miserable night.

The mountains of Yanmen Pass are so high and lofty, and the beacon towers that look at each other, what solidified are the bumps and the journey. From morning to noon, from noon to dusk, my mother used her woman’s feet to measure the distance between mountains and rivers, until the sun set behind the black-purple ridges, and the partridge stopped murmuring, she had not come. At night, she slept among the thorns, and the dense thorns not only kept her warm, but also kept her safe. This is experience, given by the environment in which we grew up, and wisdom that comes from having suffered countless losses.

The next day, when the sky was still bright, my mother started her journey again, and at noon did she see the blacksmith camp in the folds of the mountain, layer after layer of mountain. Looking down from the heights, the blacksmith camp is very cold. I don’t know which dynasty used to have a military camp. It got its name because it used to build weapons and arrowheads for the army. Now, the golden sword has been destroyed. It was a sigh that had gathered for a long time and refused to go away.

The younger brother is not in the blacksmith camp, which should have been thought long ago. He is such a person who can escape from the hands of the Japanese and has glue on his head. There are legendary people everywhere in Yanmen City. How can the blacksmith camp be enough for him?

The mother waited for her younger brother at the blacksmith camp for seven or eight days. Artillery fire broke out in Yanmen City, saying that the Eighth Route Army and the little devils exchanged fire in the city. Everyone else escaped from the city and ran to the village and the mountains. Only my mother left the blacksmith camp and rushed into the city. My brother said that he would fight against Japan and not be a slave to the country. This artillery fire is the best declaration. , is the roar from the younger brother.

Where the roar is, the man must be there. My mother followed this simple logic and ran after the gunfire. Li Hui, I still want to emphasize that what I tell you is not meaning, no. What I’m telling you is the blood blisters on the soles of the feet, the use of gelatin from an old apricot tree to fill the openings in the head, the woman measuring the distance between mountains and rivers with her feet, the bursting of a bowl on the brow bone, It was the bullets flying around the Hutuo River and that, the unfortunate child who died prematurely.

In 1945, the Japanese surrendered. Those little devils who were stuck on various checkpoints and carrying guns disappeared overnight. My mother’s hatred of little Japan was at a loss because of the lack of whereabouts. Fortunately, my mother rejoiced at the thought that the little Japanese surrendered brother would definitely come back.

However, a month has passed, half a year has passed, and a year has passed, and my brother still hasn’t come back. Could it be that, as they say, they have been killed by the Japanese? Since there is no younger brother’s name in the list of dead soldiers, then the younger brother must be alive. Could it be that he has really crossed the Yellow River and went to Yan’an? Or go west to Bayan Obo? Or, did you go to Henan to farm?

My mother turned into a moth again, darting towards the light of every message.

Taking Yanmen City as the origin, the distance my mother pursued outside gradually increased. In this gradual process, she fixed a wicker begging basket in her left hand and a begging stick in her right hand, walking all the way, asking questions, begging all the way.

The rest of the Japanese Army’s Indian South Command, who violated Yanmen City, once surrounded Xiaobaigou Village in Wutai County. A source said that Xiaobaigou Village, Wutai County, had previously lived in guerrilla wounded. Your brother was injured as if he had been shot in the leg. said the man.

After a journey and a journey, I woke up in the cold dew and frosted grass, and slept in the dark night of crying partridges and nightmares of evil ghosts. My mother walked out of Ekou and walked towards Wutai County. Xiaobaigou Village is an unfamiliar place and a place that has never met before, but it becomes sparkling because of the slim possibility. That is where the light source and light are located, and it is the direction my mother has no hesitation.

From the time when the wicker pulled out the yellow and tender leaves to the last fallen leaves from the big tree, my mother finally stood in Xiaobaigou Village. If my mother were a pencil, the journey she traveled would be to draw charcoal traces, and the lines were not necessarily smooth, but rather disorganized due to hesitation and loss, and sometimes too many points to lead the way. However, the wear and tear is obvious, full of holes that can’t bear to look at and can’t speak.

In Xiaobaigou Village, the little devil circled the villagers who had no time to escape in a narrow lane. He set up machine guns on all sides, and held guns with bayonets to ask the whereabouts of the Eighth Route Army and district cadres. They beat and kicked men, stabbed them with knives, and forced women like beasts. Afterwards, they stabbed the villagers to death and pushed them into the fire made of naked oat straw…

The fire burned from morning to afternoon, and the sound of machine guns and rifles continued from morning to dusk. The streets, river beaches, and ravines of Xiaobaigou were full of broken legs and broken arms, as well as brains and charred corpses. The hearts of those who led the way for my mother had lingering fears, and my mother trembled. Death, death due to war, is not the first time that my mother has been attacked. Could it be that the innocent people who died tragically on the knife and the chopping block can only stare directly at the sky with desperate eyes, full of endless questioning, sadness and resentment?

To resist, this is the only way to live.

At that moment, she suddenly realized that it was an unrealistic idea to keep her younger brother by her side in Yanmen City. Resistance”, “Blood and blood to pay”. Even if Lao Wei didn’t want to save a bowl of rice and drive him away, it was inevitable that he couldn’t keep his younger brother. When he said that his sister should not cry, he had already confirmed his ambition.

The following year, my mother used the same method to visit Shangling Village on the northwest edge of Dingxiang, a neighboring county.

My mother learned that the anti-Japanese guerrillas in Yanmen City had exchanged fire with the Japanese army stationed in Tanzhuang Village, Nanbei, Nao County. After that, the Japanese army moved south and surrounded Shangling Village on the northwest edge of Dingxiang. After besieging Shangling Village, the Japanese army drove dozens of people into a classroom, then threw a poisonous gas in and closed the door. The classroom was full of crying and begging for help. You see, people who have been kind for a long time can only pin their life and death on the discovery of the enemy’s conscience. After crying and calling for help, he struggled. Finally, someone broke the window lattice and ran out, but he didn’t expect to die faster.

My mother bit her lower lip when she thought that my brother had fought with such a Japanese army, and a sense of pride floated up. Resist! For a time, thousands of miles of mountains and rivers, grass and mustard people, slaughter and charcoal, life and death, and life and death all poured into my mother’s heart. The words my brother said that day that my mother had never heard before really began to dissolve and began to water my mother. It all happened too quickly, in a situation my mother couldn’t understand, like Mount Tai collapsing and then standing in the midst of the collapse. This strengthens my mother’s belief that she must find her younger brother.

5

When the country was liberated in 1949, a new and high-spirited era was unfolding on the earth, and my mother’s eagerly-awaited younger brother still did not return. Just as my mother was looking around for her brother’s whereabouts, she was surprised to hear that a woman was also looking around for her brother’s whereabouts.

My mother learned of this situation on the way back to Yanmen City from Yangfangkou. Yangfangkou, where my mother went, is also where my younger brother might have been in guerrilla warfare. In early spring and February, the ice and snow had melted, but the world had not changed its color. The news and encouragement of spring were still on the way, so my mother set off for Yangfangkou.

Going out of Yanmen City to Guijiayao, passing through Chenjiazhuang, Shidaishi, Nankou Village and passing Taihelingkou; then to Niudaigou Village, passing Heishigou Village and Mabudaigou Village; from Madaigou Village, my mother took a trail to arrive. Zhaozhuang Village, then pass through Baicaokou Village, Liulin Village, Youfang Village; take a small road from Youfang Village to Chenjiayao Village, passing through Nanbaizhuang Village. My mother stayed in Nanyulin Township for more than ten days. She had a fever and was dizzy. She was begging for food under the door of Ciyun Nunnery. Continue to set off after ten days, pass Sitai Village to Louziba Village, then go through Guandi Village, Xiaotugao Village, Hehui Village, Zhangjiazui Village to Xiashijieyu Village; go through Nancheng Village and Shiping Village. Shahe Village, and then along the Huihe River all the way to Yangfangkou.

The mountains are high and the road is far, the insects, leopards, snakes and apes, I can only describe the carbon black traces my mother’s pencil drew on the earth. The food she begged was just enough to not starve to death, and the money she had collected from begging must be enough to buy some pills for headaches. This time, my mother walked more slowly than ever before, and the wear and tear was the heaviest this time, and she was much shorter.

My mother is getting old, and the physical strength and dexterity she has always been proud of are leaving her mercilessly. She is no longer upright and strong, and no longer has agility and quick reflexes. Her eyes are closed, her expression is dull, she is thin The knife-like upturn and sharpness have gaps and curled edges due to overuse. All this happened suddenly, even if the mental energy has not been exhausted, the mental energy has not been extinguished.

The first time I met my mother, she was shaving her hair in the yard. Every time I came back from a long trip, my mother had to shave her hair. The hair that was knotted and stuck on the road couldn’t be groomed at all. The only way was to shave it. method. Turning around, my mother saw me and my mother standing timidly under the tree outside the door. My mother was wearing a patina, carrying a begging basket and holding me in her hand. My mother came up and asked, who are you looking for?

My mother, who had shaved her hair, stood in the sun, her whole body was covered with golden light, and her waist was full of exhaustion, but she had an inexplicable kind of compassion to become a Buddha on the ground after the calamity, like a clay bodhisattva or earth made by the villagers. Grandma, despite her innate simplicity and taste of rice, could not doubt her godliness and psychic powers.

My mother held my hand tightly, and I knew that she had finally found someone who could entrust me. I have to make it clear that my mom was playing tricks and cunning in this matter. She told my mother that she and my mother’s younger brother, who I call father, were married and lived for a while in Wangergou Village, Shanyin County.

Wang Ergou Village? My mother was horrified and asked, do you mean you are in Wangergou Village?

Yes, Wangergou Village is not far from the blacksmith camp, about six or seven miles away.

In these six or seven miles, my mother missed her brother.

Li Hui, have you heard the biggest loophole in this story? If I call my mother’s brother my father, I should call my mother my aunt, but I keep calling her my mother. This illogical loophole is what I call, my mother’s trick and cunning.

To confirm my mother, my mother named my father as Huo Xiaoshan. He was thirty-two years old. He was tall and strong with strong shoulders. , has a jumping character that is difficult to hide and the badness that only little boys have who will never grow up. Finally, my mother said that he had twenty bags of white noodles, and if it weren’t for these twenty bags of white noodles, my mother and daughter would have starved to death.

Oh? My mother looked at me and my mother carefully again, but she never imagined that the twenty bags of white noodles she exchanged for Yanmen City for Lao Wei were actually eaten by the mother and daughter in front of her.

My mother said, “Sister, I’ve been looking for Xiaoshan, but when he left, he didn’t say that he couldn’t come back.

My mother wiped her tears and said, “Sister, you and I, we will find Xiaoshan together, and we will definitely be able to get him back.

My mother vowed firmly and her tone was firm, she said that the hill was found, sister, let’s live together.

My mother was moved by my mother’s sincerity, especially when she heard that my mother had gone to so many places to find my father, she was in tears. You are suffering, my mother said.

But in fact, my mother knew very well that she was not far off. She pointed at me and said that my surname is Huo, and Huo from Huo Xiaoshan is also the same as my mother’s Huo. It’s not a Huo Bujin family, so this is also your sister’s daughter. My mother gave me the pestle and forced me to call my mother on the spot.

“Mom” is an overly intimate title or word. I was too embarrassed to call it out, and my mother was too embarrassed to agree. We were all embarrassed with honesty and honesty. Only my mother was full of excessive enthusiasm and urgency. Sister, my mother said that Huo Yuhua will be your daughter in the future, and we will not be separated if we are relatives. We must be together in life and death.

It is this sentence that hits the heart of my mother, that relatives should live and die together and never be separated.

My mother died two months later. Before that, my mother and my mother had already agreed to wait for the cool autumn to go to Shanyin County together to find my father.

When my mother left, she pinched me quietly and gave me a meaningful wink. I understood it, and turned to hold my mother tightly, looking up at her with the utmost sympathy and pity.

It may be my mother’s empty wish to go to San’in with my mother to find my father, but the relationship between her and my father does exist. My mother took me to flee, and when I was dying of starvation, I met my father, who took us in. He put us in a blacksmith camp at first, and then moved to the more secluded Wangergou village. My father’s status is special, and the less people know about his whereabouts, the better.

With my father, my mother and I have food to eat. Always when my mother and I were eating with the big bowls of the sea, my father would laugh. It’s hard to say that his smile was not sarcastic, but I liked it, and so did my mother. It is the most beautiful thing in the world to be able to eat with dignity while holding a bowl and guarding a smiling man.

My father didn’t spend much time at home, always wearing the stars and wearing the moon, so there was a sense of dragons seeing the beginning but not the end. Although I am not very clear, I also vaguely feel that he is not an ordinary person, which can be confirmed by the gun in his waist and the light in his eyes. Only one day he took me out to play in the sun. That should be the most important day in my life, because after that day, I have the abundance and splendor that is different from the people around me, and it is also the concentration and root of my life to accomplish only one thing.

At the foot of the Yanmenguan Mountains, my father was running with me in his arms, and I was whistling, holding a flying paper kite in my hand. It was a very simple square piece of paper kite that could be pasted with a piece of hemp paper and three water stalks. However, it was the most precious memory in my life. Under the blue sky, under the golden sunlight, the paper kite flew with the most unrestrained joy and lightness against the backdrop of the blooming wild flowers.

My father was tired from running, and the paper kite flew up, so we lay down together and looked up. The paper kite twinkled in the bright sunlight, and my father and I raised our hands to shade the sun. Both my father’s hand and mine shaded each other’s eyes. My father’s hands are huge, not only covering my eyes, but also half of my body. My hands are small, only enough to cover my father’s eyes.

I saw the sun shine through my father’s fingers, and his knuckles, like bamboo knots, took on a peculiar color in the sun. In the meantime, he suddenly farted and I giggled. That was probably the first time I laughed out loud in my life. Since I was born, I was on the road to escape from the wasteland. I never knew that there was such a thing as laughter in the world. My laughter was blessed by the sun, brilliant and warm, inexhaustible but overwhelming. At that time, the smell of my father’s hair and the warmth of his transpiration were sweeping over me from all directions in unpredictable ways.

6

One afternoon in the summer of 1955, Mrs. Chunmei and I had a fight in front of the big stone mill in the blacksmith camp. Sister-in-law Chunmei is taller and stronger than me, but she still lost to me, because she is not as fierce and tenacious as me. She didn’t have what I had, but she still dared to say that my father was not in the Eighth Route Army at all and had never fought a devil. She also said that my father never came back with a letter. He must have defected to the enemy early, and he might have gone to Taiwan early.

Regarding the fight between Mrs. Chunmei and Chunmei, Lao Wei said this: If we fought well, we should have beaten those people who run around with their tongues. If your mother was there, she would fight with her too. Old Wei said again.

My mother has passed away, and I, as a mother’s daughter, depend on Lao Wei for life. My mother never spoke to Old Wei, but the tacit understanding between the two of them later seemed to require no words. Afraid of missing my father, Lao Wei moved his family from Yanmen City back to the blacksmith camp. My mother was out looking for my father, and Lao Wei waited there, so that once my father came back, he would not miss it again. My father cultivated land and flowers, raised chickens and sheep, tidy up the house neatly, and burned the kang hot. He said that when his younger brother came back, he would have a warm home. But in fact, all of these are fulfilling my mother. Once she returns, she will be greeted by a warm home. Everyone knows this.

When my mother was dying, she took my hand and said, my brother is not stupid at all. When the cannonball falls, it will jump away, right? I nodded earnestly with tears in my eyes under my mother’s gaze. I can’t say that this is a dying entrustment or a transfer mission, and my mother will not impose her will on me. People born under the Yanmenguan Mountains are just like the Yanmenguan Mountains. They are born with sincerity and ignorance. What I want to say is that since the day I called her mother, I have surrendered my will and direction, which is why I look closer and closer to my mother. Everyone says that I look like a knife, only I know that I am not. It is never the responsibility or responsibility that guides and decides me. It is just a piece of paper kite that my father flew for me many years ago. And the smell in his hair and body, I am afraid even the slight color of his knuckles like bamboo joints in the sun.

There are two types of people in the world, one is those who can live in harmony with people and things, and the other is those who cannot live in the world. Neither is easy. In comparison, the former type of people will live a relaxed and calm life, and gain more peace; the latter type of people will be bold and sharp, form their own faction and stand against the secular. Open, the consequence is that there will be no peace. There is no difference between the two, but you must be careful when choosing. Regarding my fight with Sister Chunmei, Lao Wei also said something like this to me.

Three years later, Lao Wei died, and I married your grandfather. Li Hui, your mother and I have always had a tense relationship. She resented that I didn’t care enough for her, and I felt guilty about it. However, she said that I have no taste or mind as a woman, which I can not agree with. Li Hui, I am a person who has eaten white noodles in the most troubled era, and I am a person who has been drenched in square paper kites and color knuckles. I can’t forget all of these, and I can do interesting things with peace of mind. People who can get along well with people and things, I can’t, I can’t.

Concerning and caring should be divided into levels and realms. I am so stubborn in looking for my father, why is it not to better care for and take care of your mother? Only by finding my father can I put the injustice on his head. and rumours removed.

My father’s body disappeared, but the legends and rumors about him never stopped. Some people say that he was a hero of the Anti-Japanese War. He was extremely heroic in fighting the Japanese, and finally died at the hands of the Japanese. Some people say that he fought in Taiyuan in the war of liberation and died on the battlefield. But more people said that he had surrendered at all and followed the Japanese, otherwise there would be no news at all. The broadest version is that my father went to Taiwan.

The rumors are rolling in and getting worse and worse. You may not understand how much it hurts me and my family. In that era when the good and the bad were clearly divided, we were in a difficult situation and were pushed down by everyone. wall. Your mother suffers the most and suffers the most from injustice.

I do not believe!

As my mother said, my father must be able to jump under a cannonball. Since my father has the ability to escape from the Japanese and run fifty miles at night, he must have the ability to jump under Japanese cannonballs. Yes, the mountains of Yanmenguan will also bless them in this way. It has buried so many loyal bones throughout the ages, doesn’t it also retain so many high-quality roots and seedlings? As for saying that my father became the Japanese lackey and followed the Japanese, I am even more disdainful. If they had ever seen my father come home in the middle of the night with a gun on his back and go away at dawn with the dragon in sight, they would know how shallow and contemptible it is to say such things, with their crude minds , how can we measure the magnificence and brilliance of the phoenix courage? It was the one they said, that my father had long been a high official, married a beautiful wife, lived in a big city, and had limousines and orderlies in and out of my mind. For a moment, I also wondered if my father had long forgotten me and my mother and became someone else’s husband and father? I can’t always solve the problem by fighting, the only way is to get my father back to show them.

Your mother doesn’t believe it.

Your mother said that I have been looking for my father not for her future, nor to clear my father’s grievances. This is just the most high-sounding and hardest reason to refute. My real purpose is to find my father’s body. It doesn’t matter if the body is alive or dead, whether it’s a high official or a surrender. “Even if her father really surrendered, she would not hesitate to bring him home without considering whether it would affect my future and destiny,” your mother said.

After the autumn harvest in 1965, when I went to the commune to open a letter of introduction, Lao Li looked at me suspiciously again. His eyes were cast from above his glasses, full of disbelief and disbelief, why are you still going out to find your father? He asked, how much money can you save at the end of the year? All bought tickets. what did you eat? How does your child go to school? Your man doesn’t need to be taken care of?

I still remember how surprised Lao Li looked at me from above his glasses, and I even caught the subtle awe and admiration in it. You mean, you are going to Bayan Obo this time? He asked me, do you know how far the road is? How much do you know about Bayan Obo?

Lao Li is a good man, and his questions are full of worries about me, which is also his consistent suspicion of me. It is widely rumored that I am insane, not as normal as my dead mother. It’s just a good day, looking for someone who doesn’t know whether to live or die, and it’s not over yet, and can’t listen to people’s words, what else can this be if it’s not crazy?

Does your man agree? he asks.

He can’t handle me. I answer.

what about your child? You don’t cook for your kids?

My kids are already used to it.

Old Li’s thick lips are still moving, I can read what he wants to say, and I should go to the hospital to see a doctor.

I smiled and looked at Lao Li, he had taught me, and I could take him home without opening a letter of introduction.

Whether or not I am insane should be defined by myself rather than others. I got the letter of introduction and got on the car to Hohhot (Hohhot). Go out of Yanmen Pass and pass Shahukou, via Helinger to Hohhot, then transfer to Baotou, stay in Baotou for one night, and transfer to Bayan Obo early the next morning. The rolling wheel ran on the barren land, and my face, which was reflected on the glass window, swiped across the mountains and hills, across the cities and villages achieved by time, until it became a swaying empty straight line.

There are many Shanxi villagers in Bayan Obo, but none of them have heard the name of Huo Xiaoshan.

From your mother to you, you have been looking for? A miner asked me, his Yanmen City dialect strengthened my courage. So many fellow villagers surrounded me in the center. It was not I who asked them, but they were asking me. I became the center of the topic and not the question I wanted to ask. This is a bit dumbfounding. The enthusiasm of so many fellow villagers and men left me at a loss. They secretly believed that I was here for a blind date, and they didn’t take it seriously until they were overwhelmed by my firm expression and attitude.

If your father ever hit a Japanese devil with a gun on his back, he is a soldier, you should go to the Civil Affairs Bureau and ask, or the Armed Forces Department. Yanmen fellow gave me an idea.

I don’t know how to go to the Civil Affairs Bureau. This is because the Civil Affairs Bureau couldn’t find relevant information about my father, so I came to the mine to ask.

The places I have been to the most over the years are the Civil Affairs Bureau, Youyu Civil Affairs Bureau, Fanzhi Civil Affairs Bureau, Wutai Civil Affairs Bureau, Yingxian Civil Affairs Bureau, Nao County Civil Affairs Bureau, Ningwu Civil Affairs Bureau, Shenchi Civil Affairs Bureau, and Hequ Civil Affairs Bureau. These places look like a circle on the map, surrounding Yanmen City.

I was rejected at the Civil Affairs Bureau of Ningwu County. They kicked me out of the gate and said that I was interfering with their normal work again and again. How many times they told me that there was no such person named Huo Xiaoshan in the information , neither living nor dead. Why do you keep asking? If your nerves are like this, you shouldn’t go out. They pointed at me.

I’m not crazy, it’s because they didn’t do their job properly, they were perfunctory, and they really couldn’t be convincing.

In the Fanzhi Civil Affairs Bureau, their prevarication and wrangling caused me to stay for another half a month. During this half month, I could not afford to eat or live in a shop, so I could only beg. They were teasing me, but I didn’t change my mind until they got bored and started looking for information for me.

I have no intention of accusing, nor do I want to say that I am in trouble. I think about the difficulty enough before every departure, so when faced with difficulties, I feel that it is far from being as big as I imagined. Compared to my mother, I am not that difficult, I have a car, and I can find the Civil Affairs Bureau, which is really fortunate.

More fortunately, in the Bayan Obo Mine, I met Hu Wei from Shanyin County. He remembered that his father once mentioned a man named Huo Xiaoshan, and they fought guerrillas in Shanyin County together. I grabbed Hu Wei and startled the stocky miner with too much force. What about your father? I asked.

Hu Wei’s father died on the battlefield to liberate Taiyuan. Hu Wei only knew that the death notice was sent to his home. Our family has always enjoyed the treatment of military martyrs, including my job. Hu Wei said.

In what year did your father die?

October 1948.

Where is the sacrifice?

Taiyuan Niutuo Village.

I didn’t know it yet, but a bright exit was showing me not far away, but it was too vague to capture. This slim, my father search process is more than 40 years. Before I could ask Hu Wei’s father’s name, I was struck by the suggestion made by another fellow from Yanmen City. He said that your mother has always followed the route of the guerrillas in Yanmen City, but never thought of following the route of the guerrillas in Shanyin County? Didn’t Hu Wei just say that his father and your father fought guerrillas together in Shanyin.

After the return car started, I found out that someone had already bought the ticket for me. “It was bought for you by the deputy minister of the Armed Forces Department of Baiyun Mine. He is also a native of your Yanmen.” The conductor said to me. Not only did I buy the ticket, but there were also a pack of dry cheese, a pack of brick tea, ten flatbreads, some 80% new clothes, and a pocket of walnuts given to me by fellow miners…

7

I was out of breath, starting with the Zhangjiakou Civil Affairs Bureau.

In the winter of 1971, I searched for my father to Zhangjiakou, but failed. Afterwards, I got a letter of introduction from Zhangjiakou Civil Affairs Bureau, and wanted to drop by Fengzhen to ask, there are many people from Shanxi. What I didn’t expect was that the letter of introduction introduced me directly to the shelter. In the previous year, I had been sent home once by Datong Shelter.

I was sent home twice by the shelter, which caused quite a stir. People from the county and the village came and took turns to do ideological work for me. The Women’s Federation also came to offer condolences to me, and they even brought a doctor to give me a gynecological examination. All of this, in 1971, was a hugely influential novelty and a shame for me as a woman.

The matter is so important, it seems that it is not a shame for me alone, it is a shame for our family, and it is a shame for the whole village of the blacksmith camp.

My daughter reacted most violently. She wanted to cut off the mother-daughter relationship with me on the spot. I don’t have a mother like you, she said. What are you going to do? she asked. Look at this home, she said with her finger.

I followed her finger to look around the house. This family is so impoverished that I have sold pigs, rabbits, and eggs for a ticket. My grown-up daughter has no socks yet. . My man had grey hair that was older than his age and had a sad face. I was defined as a bad woman, unable to hold my head up in front of people.

What’s the point? daughter asked.

When I walked down the street, all my fingers poked behind my back, I could bite each other’s ears in front of my face, and I could smile while covering my mouth with open flames. If this is getting along well with people and things, then I’m at odds with it. A breath jumped up from the bottom of my abdomen, and it was burning all the way, but it stopped at the throat, just stuck there. With my mouth wide open, I became a live fish thrown ashore, and I couldn’t get my breath out and I couldn’t swallow it.

Death threatened me for the first time.

Under the well, I stretched out my hand, and it was cold and sticky. Snakes and centipedes passed me by, and scabies jumped. A circle of light swayed above his head, rippling one after another, like a square piece of paper kite. Did I let it fly again?

Soon, I used my old body to repair the damaged area. It was the division and proliferation of cells in the undamaged tissue to complete the new function and structure. I later learned that this is called regeneration. This is not a term, but a natural ability of human beings, which is given by God, just like fate.

capacity to distinguish. It’s a very important ability that keeps me from getting hurt. This ability not only skin trauma, but also fractures will recover well as long as they are properly handled. The only regret is that only a part of it can be recovered, and it is destined to leave scars or defects, which are related to the depth and location of the injury.

I pulled up in one breath and pulled myself out from the bottom of the well. Sure enough, only the human world has golden sunshine and the warmth and joy brought by sunshine, like a piece of candy, you may get a slap before eating, but who can resist the sweetness of candy?

I don’t know if this was a sweet thing for me, but the scars and defects left after the repair were obvious, and I couldn’t breathe since then, like a person squatting on my throat, preventing me from gasping for breath. Li Hui, this is not important, and can even be ignored. As long as you live long enough, you will understand that there are many things that you do not regard as things, but they are not things. Whether it is a thing or not depends only on your firmness.

Another form of scars and defects is that your mother will never talk to me again, since she said she would break up with me, she will definitely do it. Stubbornness makes her distinct and looks rich. People who were born and grew up in the Yanmenguan Mountains seem to have this kind of disposition. It grows purely naturally, just like the gorgeous rosy clouds spread out in the sky and the decaying grass on the Great Wall.

It was a staff member of the Ulanqab Civil Affairs Bureau’s special care department who made me feel angry and eventually became ill. That was in 1989. The staff member of the UCF Department raised his eyes and said, “Hong Wunian has something in his hands. Do you want to turn it over now?” You are full and have nothing to do to make trouble for us.

I said that although it was a long time ago, but my father has not been found, what can I do as a daughter? If I can’t find it one day, I have to find it one day.

He said that you should look for it in your Shanxi. What’s the point of running to us to look for it?

I said that I not only came here to look for you, but also from all over the country.

Your father must be dead, and you are looking for a dead man. Looking for the dead, you should go to the place where the dead should go.

I can’t breathe, and I am extremely sad and angry: Are you not the child of your parents? If your father is gone, can you find it?

Years of accumulation broke out at this moment, he can say anything, he shouldn’t say that my father died is a dead man. I scolded a swear word uncomfortably. Unexpectedly, a young man jumped out from behind him and kicked me hard. He said that if you were a woman, I would kick you to death.

The clouds in the Huitengxile grassland are floating in the sky, and the sun shining on the grassland is red and red. Is this foot kicked up like this? Under this foot, I was broken, low, and old like never before. I couldn’t catch a breath. The suffocation pushed my bearing capacity to the extreme, and the resentment was filled. The match, anger is the oil poured on the fire, I set myself on fire.

Reality is an imaginative being, and its imagination exceeds any expectations.

I am the biggest victim of my burns.

The fire could not be extinguished for three years.

I tumbled and tormented in the fire, melted into oil, and assembled into relics in the oil. I cook gold and stone as outer alchemy, spit out the old and take in the new as inner alchemy, and I am my own alchemy furnace. That night, I filled the stove with my used tickets and letters of introduction and watched as the flames devoured them. I wish that the past and the past, the past and the past will be reduced to ashes. I never thought about my father dying, the smell in his hair and body never got out of my nose, and they said my father was dead! This is the most vicious thing I’ve ever heard. The grief and anger made me angry, and the suffocation that I couldn’t get out of was a living thing that was pressed under a huge stone, no matter how hard I tried, it was useless. Is my father, who is steaming with body heat and breath, dead? As my mother described, his mouth is crooked when he laughs, and he has the wickedness of a little boy; as my mother said, he can run fifty miles in one night, and hit the body of Mars in the dark night, is he dead?

I struggled, trying to get up from under the huge rock. I never give in, this is my nature, and it is also my stubbornness and stubbornness. The talent for repair and regeneration made me do it, and I stood up. But I didn’t expect the boulder to stand up with me, pressing firmly against my chest.

After that, my shortness of breath became more and more serious. Needless to say, I searched for my father everywhere, and even sat in vain and could not catch my breath.

I can’t go out to find my father anymore. All I can do is look out and listen.

Then I’ll stick to what I can only do.

Gradually, looking and listening became part of my body. I am the lifeless and most unsightly woman in the blacksmith camp, I can’t fan and chat with my neighbors in the afternoon, nor can I hold hands and chat with relatives and friends after a long absence, it will delay me.

will delay me. You see, the mountains of Yanmenguan stretch forward, reaching into the distance you don’t know; listen, the pine waves after the dead of night have heard the news of the wind, and the wind comes from farther away. There must be news of my father, which will be sent to me by the wind and the mountains from afar. I’m receiving, I’m capturing, I’m engrossed…

8

Time comes to 1996. It was a Saturday after the Qingming Festival. An old man named Wang Aifu was squatting in front of a random stall in Taiyuan City’s Nangong Cultural Relics Market. He is a collector of cultural relics, picking through sacks filled with old books and scraps from small vendors.

Out of accident, but it was God’s will, he touched it while picking, and he took one thing in his hand. It was a yellowed brochure with the words “Battle of Taiyuan” and “Death in Battle” dazzling his eyes. He took a closer look at the booklet facing the light, and it clearly read the words “Registration of the Sixty-Eighth Army’s Dead in the Battle of Taiyuan”.

Wang Aifu used to be a soldier, an old Communist Party member, who had been in the army for no less than twenty years, and immediately realized how important this booklet was. He hurriedly rummaged through the sack again, and then simply dumped the sack upside down and found four such booklets in total. At that time, he did not know that the follow-up and meaning derived from the four booklets in his hand far exceeded his hobby of picking collectibles.

After sorting, 84 copies of the “Notice of Death in the Battle of Taiyuan” slipped gently from the gap of time, and a piece of paper is a life. It is difficult to describe whether it is light or heavy, there is a metaphor called life is thinner than paper, the words are easy to understand but cannot be explained in detail. It lists the names, ages, places of origin, and the time and place of sacrifice of the fallen soldiers, but some have only names and troop numbers, and others are blank. The 84 notices clearly marked “not issued”.

“Not issued” means that the news of death has not yet arrived. The martyrs above are still heroic lives. They are still fighting hard under the rumble of gunfire on the battlefield. They are still crawling in a trench on the battlefield. Waiting for the horn to charge.

Wang Aifu is a serious person. In order to verify the 84 unissued death notices, he asked the former senior director of the Party History Office of the Provincial Military Region. Director Gao carefully analyzed and compared them carefully. These 84 death notices were all mimeographed, and the color of the imprinted ink was relatively poor, which was the commonly used ink at that time. The paper is also not uniform. There are even historical paper, Korean paper, straw paper from rural workshops, and even secondary use of waste paper. The colors are not uniform, which reflects the scarcity of materials in a war environment. Some of the sources of these papers are retained by the troops themselves, while others are captured from the war.

Another is the stamp. Although the seal of the army has changed a lot, the shape of the first and the first is different. There are strict regulations on which one is round, which one is oval, and which one is square. The seals on the martyrs’ register of the death notice are not uniform, which just proves that the level of the watchmaking unit is different.

These “unissued” death notices are real.

As for how the death notices would be lost to the people, and then appear in the second-hand cultural relics market, it has to start from the Taiyuan Battle. The Battle of Taiyuan started in early October 1948 and ended on April 24, 1949. A battle that took so long is unique in the most important battles in the War of Liberation and rare in the history of war.

The death toll in the Battle of Taiyuan was huge. In the fierce battle, the casualties are also high. The people who fill out these registration forms and notices are usually documents of the company. When the company is exhausted, the manager is also sacrificed on the battlefield. stand up.

Although the Battle of Taiyuan was over, the national liberation war was still going on at that time, and the troops were frequently mobilized, and the death notices that were not issued in time might be left behind and end up in the civilian population. There is also a possibility that after the war, the aftermath matters that cannot be handled in time will be handed over to the local government, and the local government has no formal office space at all. The comrades who took over have all sacrificed, and this batch of things has been exiled to the people. In short, in a war environment, any kind of situation is possible. Director Gao said.

After verifying the authenticity, Wang Aifu began the most difficult days in his life. Those locked in the cabinet are not death notices, but live lives or corpses. The locked cabinet always made inexplicable noises, but when I opened it, it was only the death notice inside, and it was difficult to tell exactly how those noises were made.

Go to bed at night, a bullet comes in, a bomb rumbles down. More bullets whizzed and more bombs exploded into heat waves. Wang Aifu was on the battlefield. The battlefield was falling apart, the smoke was thick, and there were sacrificed comrades everywhere. No matter which one he pushed, he couldn’t wake up. The charging horn suddenly sounded, and Wang Aifu realized that it was time for him to take over the battle. His battle was to pick up the bones of the martyrs and hand them over to their relatives.

“Find relatives for the martyrs and send the souls of the martyrs back to their hometown” – the order has been issued. Wang Aifu sat up abruptly. He was a soldier. Since he received an order, he had to execute it.

The sound in the closet stopped abruptly.

Wang Aifu immediately understood that this was an order, and it was also the entrustment and hope of all the fallen comrades in the death notice.

However, things are not so simple. From 1996 to 2005, none of the death notices in his hand were sent. He did not get a response or implementation of the phone calls and letters sent to the address on the notice.

Ten years have passed.

Sixty-seven-year-old Wang Aifu is getting old, but his mission has not yet been completed. What a useless soldier is who cannot complete his mission. Soldiers who haven’t completed their mission dare not even die. What should he say if he sees the heroic soul of a martyr?

In order to spread the news, Wang Aifu tried his best to make a lot of exhibition boards and hold many exhibitions. He went to the Martyrs’ Cemetery, the old red site, and museums, wherever he could, hoping to pass on the information and someone to contact him.

But still the same, there is no feedback, hard work is a stone, and the sea thrown into the world is not even a ripple. After all, it has been 60 years since the Battle of Taiyuan. The more time passes, the farther the fallen soldiers go, and even the sadness and longing are gradually blurred. Time is the dust that has fallen, the cherry red and the green. Basho also fills in the craters on the battlefield. But there is always something that has not been settled. In the years when the death notice did not arrive and in the family where the death notice did not arrive, how can those distorted and suppressed, worn and shamed be settled? How to be safe?

Wang Aifu could not have imagined that it was this specific sixty years that turned into a turning point, and things began to turn into a new track from this year.

2005 is the 60th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. As the main battlefield against the Japanese invaders, Shanxi is a key province in commemorating the War of Resistance throughout the country. The province took the lead in holding a large-scale exhibition. Wang Aifu participated in and exhibited the “Photo Exhibition of the Crimes of Japan’s Invasion of Jin”, which became a focus of the exhibition. After his collection was exhibited, it aroused great repercussions in the society and attracted the attention of many media. As a result, the 84 notices of death of martyrs began to brush away the dust of time and officially issued a shining call.

A number of media have tracked and reported Wang Aifu and his “unsent” death notices, and pushed Wang Aifu and his death notices to a wider area, sending a search signal to the vast land.

The gap was first opened by 11 Hubei martyrs. “Wuhan Evening News” reporter Tang came to Shanxi to run the manuscript to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Japanese War. He was very surprised when he saw the death notice issued by Wang Aifu, especially there were 11 martyrs from Hubei, which made him feel the difference. Great news value. This is June 17, 2005.

After reporter Tang returned to Wuhan, a report on “Finding the Relatives of 11 Martyrs in Hubei” was immediately published, and the list of 11 martyrs was all published on the “Wuhan Evening News”. The local provincial civil affairs department responded quickly after seeing the newspaper, and 11 lists of martyrs appeared on the websites of civil affairs offices across Hubei.

Finally, Zaoyang Civil Affairs Bureau provided a clue…

By October 23, the families of the martyrs were found for the first time on the 84 notices for fallen soldiers.

Ten years later, I finally have the first step.

9

A lone wild goose is flying on the dark-colored lines drawn by the mountains at Yanmen Pass. It is flying so arrogantly, carrying a secret that the world does not know. I live in the world but always look up to the sky, just like the geese will not give up flying because of loneliness, just like the white clouds will not turn into drizzle just because they are higher than the sky, just like I will never stop looking and listening.

A lot must have happened over the years. My daughter went to school, my daughter went to work, and my daughter brought her son-in-law back; my man was very busy going in and out, and there were a lot of things in the house. I was enclosed in a cowhide drum, and I could feel the pounding, the rhythm and vibration that came with it, but I couldn’t fit in. My heart can’t come back to one place, and every piece and every connection of it is looking out and listening. My daughter never spoke to me, and her period of great rebellion lasted for a long time, but it ended quietly. She is sensible and grows up earlier than the people around her, which is somewhat distressing. I would rather she is free and unrestrained, like the young people around her, with her long youthful hair floating.

Just like my mother gave her so much grief and grief because of the blacksmith camp, she had to use twenty bags of white flour to exchange herself to Yanmen City, so did my daughter, she worked hard to study and burnt out several light bulbs before she could. Test yourself to Taiyuan City. Li Hui, what I want to tell you is that although your mother went to Taiyuan, she has a deep affection for Yanmen Pass. I am sure that she has never really left the mountains of Yanmen Pass, and has never really broken with me.

Over the years, your mother has been helping me find my father. She has called and emailed civil affairs bureaus across the country, and has also expanded the search to Japan and Taiwan through the Overseas Chinese Federation and the United Front Work Department. I know all this, and although she has not spoken to me, she has begun to understand and accept me. She wanted to give me a surprise to break out of my dark clouded life. I think this is how time has taught her how to be considerate, and it has re-specified the scale by which she measures things. After all, what is heavier than life is faith, and what is stronger than the passage of time is love.

Huo Yuhua, have dinner. My man yelled at me. It was noon on April 21, 2006.

Before eating, I had to unplug the oxygen tube in my nose. I gasped like this, no different from a broken bellows, thanks to my man’s careful care over the years. The rice is braised tofu with cabbage, and also comes with a plate of carrots mixed with celery and a plate of chicken breast. The light meal is good for my shortness of breath.

The TV was on, and it was the backdrop for our meal, and we watched TV while we ate. The day before, my daughter called and specifically told me to watch Shanxi TV’s “Noon News” during lunch.

On the square-inch TV, there is a noisy interpretation of human affairs, so the blacksmith camp is not far from the sky and the sea and the north is very connected. I was eating tofu with braised cabbage, completely unaware of what this day meant to me. My years of looking and listening will be answered and compensated on this day.

The “Party Building” column of Shanxi TV’s “Noon News” is reporting on Wang Aifu’s duty to find relatives for the martyrs. On the TV, Wang Aifu’s hair was all white, and he held the “Registration Form for the Dead in the Battle of Taiyuan” in his hand, telling their origins and subsequent stories.

I put down my chopsticks and inserted the oxygen tube into my nose. I sensed the smell of fate keenly, and its scent began to invade me at major junctures or turns. I saw the list of martyrs rolling on the TV; I heard the host read out verbatim:

Huo Xiaosan, Department: 611 Regiment of the 204th Division of the 68th Army; Position: Platoon Leader; Age: 31; Origin: Wangergou Village, District 1, Shanyin County, Shanxi Province. Joined the Party: August 1944.

A flash of lightning entered my head, and it cracked in the dark clouds. Under the strong light, the trees, mountains, birds and beasts, and rivers were suddenly clear. The lightning suddenly went out again, and the sky and the earth were dark again as if the eyes were closed. Huo Xiaoshan, Wangergou Village, some light spots jumping in the dark, such as fluorescent candles, are auspicious feathers. I switch positions and take a deep breath. My man suddenly reacted, and quickly took a small notebook and wrote down the hotline.

It was Wang Aifu who answered the phone, this amiable and respectable person, this great benefactor! After picking up the phone, Wang Aifu understood my Yanmen City dialect, and immediately came to the register. However, my information does not match the information on his registration form. His name on the registration form is Huo Xiaosan, while my father’s name is Huo Xiaoshan. Also, we are a blacksmith camp in Yanmen City, and his registration form says Wangergou Village, Shanyin County. He said that it did not match the information and could not confirm that the martyr was the relative I was looking for, sorry.

I was extremely disappointed, but it sounded like Wang Aifu was no less disappointed than I was. He has nothing to apologize for, and I haven’t even thought to say thank you.

When I put down the phone, a lightning flashed in my mind again, Wangergou Village, isn’t that the village where my father took me to fly the paper kite? Many, many years ago, my mother took me to flee the famine to beg for food. When I was about to die of starvation, I met my father. He took us back to the blacksmith camp, and then took our mother and two to the more secluded Wangergou Village. My father has a special status and cannot easily reveal his whereabouts. He always leaves early and returns late, but he is always there when the sun is brightest.

Take me out for a run one day. On that day, we released square paper kites together under the golden sunlight. On that day, I laughed for the first time in my life. The smell in my father’s hair and on his body cut through the time barrier in that instant and returned to my nose.

Father, I have found you!

Wang Aifu was also very excited when he answered the phone again. He said that he had checked the information. The distance between the blacksmith camp and Wangergou Village was less than three kilometers. These two villages belonged to Shanyin County before the 1950s, and were later placed under the jurisdiction of Shanyin County. Yanmen City.

“Huo Xiaoshan’s cemetery was also found, in the Shuangta Martyrs Cemetery in Taiyuan City,” he said.

Li Hui, how can you ask me about my mood at that moment? The influx of news hit me, and I no longer had any moods. I am the reborn me after countless pits gather. They are messy and cluttered. They have their own thoughts and their own flags. Before they gather, I don’t know why. After they gather, I seem to be reborn. After so many years of missing, so many years of searching, so many years of trekking; so many years of blood and tears, so many years of grief, so many years of mourning, so many years of separation, if time has weight, how much does it weigh? Where does it dissolve again?

It is indeed dead, dead. This is a shadow that has always existed, my mother understands, my mother understands, and I understand. But we’ve been denied, we’ve been looking. The body we are looking for is a body that can hit sparks in the dark night, has the same purple eyes as the Yanmenguan Mountains, a head that has been filled with old apricot tree oil; Boys are bad; it’s a sudden fart; it’s the slight color of the knuckles like bamboo in the sun, and the smell in the hair and on the body. That body is our brother, husband and father.

This is critical.

A gust of wind suddenly rolled up from under my feet, blowing my trousers, my dress, my neckline, my hair, and rustling in my ears. My mother and my mother merged into my body with the wind and we became one. Everything is blowing in the wind. So many years turned into a wind. The wind has never been so emotional.

Yuhua – I heard my father calling me! This is the skill that I have cultivated by keeping looking and listening, and I have heard it.

My mother and my mother heard it too. We are saddened. I heard that I was going to go to my father, and my father has been waiting for me for a long time.

Starting at four in the morning, I walked fifty miles to the town and got on the bus bound for Taiyuan. I’m tireless, breathing easily, and I can’t wait.

My daughter picked me up in Taiyuan, and we found the good man Wang Aifu together. Unfortunately, there was a group of more than ten martyrs from Hebei on this day. They also came to Taiyuan Shuangta Temple Martyrs Cemetery to look for their relatives who had been separated for many years after careful verification by Wang Aifu.

I can’t wait, I said I can’t wait. It’s not that I can’t wait, it’s my father who can’t wait, he keeps calling me: Yuhua, Yuhua—

Wang Aifu and the TV station reporters mobilized vehicles to arrange for everyone to go to the festival together. I have already got into my daughter’s car and set off first. You can’t find it, it’s huge inside. Wang Aifu chased after the car and shouted.

Sure enough, the tombs of the martyrs in the Martyrs’ Cemetery are criss-crossed, let alone I have never been there. Even the staff who are very familiar with the layout of the cemetery will have to work hard to find the person they are looking for in this maze-like cemetery. .

I never imagined that there were so many tombs. Actually, there are so many tombs. The car passed through the long corridor, and marble tombstones protruding from the ground passed in front of my eyes. Under each tombstone, the younger brother who said “Sister, don’t cry” was sacrificed, and who ran with his daughter in his arms. Father, who is the heroic husband, who is the pillar of the son? Whose relatives are they who wear their bodies to death and never find them, and whose flesh and blood have been watched and heard for so many years?

The car was moving forward, and the tombstones were hidden in the rows of green pines and cypresses, flashing back piece by piece. The rustling of nibbling leaves as the tires of the car rubs against the ground; the whining of the wood stove boiling water when the wind blows over the pine and cypress; the rustling of the water as the clouds fly, like a golden stone hitting each other; the birds are nibbling, and the squirrels are brushing and jumping to another branch. Yuhua – I heard my father’s call and he gave me a hand.

stop. My gestures were decisive and swift.

Gah, my daughter slammed on the brakes, and the tires were smoked, leaving two black ruts on the ground. The door opened and I slowly got out of the car. At my feet, right at the foot of my exit, a black marble gleamed with blue light, and I brushed off the dust that fell on it with my sleeve. It was exactly my father’s tomb.

Later, Wang Aifu called this a “miracle”. It is impossible for you to know the exact location of your father. He says.

Exactly, I’m standing in front of my father’s tombstone. The father’s name was embedded in the marble, square and square, and a hurrying ant was crawling in one of the vertical. I knelt down with my legs bent, three bouquets of flowers set aside, and four long heads bowed deeply. In our blacksmith camp, if the deceased old man can’t hear the cry of his children, he can’t break the thoughts of the world, and he can’t cross the Naihe Bridge.

Alas – let’s go! I screamed. Gongshangjiao levies feathers, yin and yang go up and in, I will cry when I sing a long song, and a flock of white pigeons are startled with a whistle, and they go straight into the sky with their dove whistle. The ten thousand hectares of pine forest vibrated in the swaying sound like waves. The setting sun suddenly turned down, and the sky spread out a thousand zhang Caixia.

A song from the sky descends, who is singing:

Elegy can be used as a weep, and far-seeing can be used as angelica.

I miss my hometown, and I am tired.

If you want to go home without anyone, if you want to cross the river without a boat.

The mind can’t speak, the wheel turns in the intestines.

10

In October 1948, the battle of Taiyuan was in full swing. In the middle of the night on the 17th of this month, the seventh column of the Northwest Field Army’s surprise attack on Niutuo Village quietly began.

Nine in a row, my father swiftly fastened the shovel, water bottle, and small bowl he was carrying with belts or ropes. When he turned his head and saw Chen Yu, the machine gun squad leader of the third shift, filling his pockets with dried buns, my father couldn’t help grinning. smile. He put his towel in Chen Yu’s hand, and whispered that he likes to smoke dry tobacco so much that chewing buns is not enough when he is addicted to smoking, so he has to put a towel in his mouth.

Chen Yu looked at the towel that my father had stuffed him with in the dark, and felt that it was necessary to ask questions to dispel doubts. My father grinned again, his white teeth flashed in the darkness, and he asked, I also want to ask you, did you ever use the small bowl you borrowed from the cooking class to wash your feet?

Shhh—Captain Geek turned his head and signaled not to make a sound. My father and Chen Yu gave each other a look, the action had not yet begun.

Thick clouds covered the moon, and at exactly eight o’clock, the seventh column, led by Zhao Bingyu, secretary of the Liugou Village Party Branch, went straight to Niutuo Village from the secret mountain road. The mountain road was moving forward, and that was the silent advance of my father and his warriors. The rushing footsteps alerted a scorpion with its tail up on the side of the road, not sure whether it should stay still or flee quickly.

Niutuo Village is located 5 kilometers northeast of Taiyuan City. It can accommodate 5,000 troops. It consists of 3 group positions to form a circular fortification. The 10 main bunkers are the support points of the 3 group positions, of which No. 10 is the largest bunker. The center and the commanding heights, from which there are 11 floors of split slopes. The defenders were the main force of the 10th Corps and the 68th Division of the Yan Xishan Independent Regiment.

The grass is sloppy, and the ground is covered with silver frost. Everything was going on without anyone noticing. When the soldiers rushed up to the bunker and shouted “give up the guns, don’t kill them”, the enemy had not woken up from their sleep.

The battle went very smoothly. The Northwest Field Army’s seven-vertical surprise attack on Niutuo Village was successful in the first battle, annihilating an entire regiment of the enemy’s 27th Division and occupying 8 positions. It was October 18, 1948, before dawn, the battle was over. The rumbling sound of cannons only sounded in the distance, and that was another one that was capturing the big and small northern hills.

In the bunker occupied by Jiulian, the soldiers sat down against the wall and rested. Chen Yu was finally able to stop and smoke a pot of cigarettes. Several fighters came around smelling the smoke, all of them looking like greedy ghosts. Without exception, Chen Yu first handed the cigarette pot to my father, my father grinned, took two sharp puffs, closed his eyes and enjoyed it deeply.

Chen Yu said that he had never seen such a split slope. He cut the mountains into one layer and stacked them one by one. Each layer could be separated by more than ten feet, up to a dozen layers. My father leaned against the wall and sat down next to Chen Yu, saying, “You haven’t seen the outer moat, it’s more than 30 feet deep.” Geek came over and grabbed Chen Yu’s cigarette bag, but he didn’t grab it, and sat down side by side.

By this time, neither my father nor his comrades knew that they would usher in the most tragic battle since the Taiyuan campaign.

Looking out from the lookout hole of the bunker, I have never seen so many bunkers, such as main, auxiliary, artillery, machine gun, half-squad, platoon and company. The high tower, the low tower, the herringbone tower, the cross tower, the square tower, the round tower, the ground tower, and the radius tower are intertwined like a chess formation on the ground. These bunkers are connected to each other by tunnels, and a tight firepower network is formed between the bunker and the bunker, and between the hill and the bunker, which can support each other and fight independently. My father watched, and shivered violently.

What’s the matter, Huo? Geck asked.

nothing. My father answered. When he saw that there was an extra green-skinned boy beside Gek, he asked this doll who are you? I’m not a doll, my name is Xing Fakui. Sure enough, it’s not a doll. The voice of the voice-changing period is full of rudimentary men, frizzy and eager. My father grinned and said that you are Brother Fakui. Everyone laughed, and Xing Fakui laughed anxiously, saying that I am really not a baby. Full of Hebei dialect.

There was news that the fifteenth vertical attacked Shi’erliang, Weigou and other places, and joined the seven verticals to the south. Niutuozhai has already arrived, waiting for the palms to be closed and taken down.

Take a break. Geck said.

Just as my father was dozing off with his eyes closed, a shell exploded beside him. After losing Niutuozhai, the enemy seems to have come back and organized forces to carry out a large-scale counterattack. The enemy army launched an attack under the cover of artillery fire. For a time, the shells and bullets were densely packed. The bombed land rolled into a huge wave that hit the reef. The rumbling sound of artillery and howling bullets filled the sky and the earth, shaking the heart and the skin. thumping.

Bunker No. 4 was lost in less than ten minutes.

Bunker No. 4, also known as Temple Bunker, looks around several other positions and is where the joints of several bunkers are located. Immediately after the enemy recaptured the bunker, they fired violently at the Nine Company where my father was.

“A row back to position 5!”

The deputy battalion commander of the third battalion rearranged his troops to prevent counterattacks. The 9th and 11th companies were assigned to the 5th, 6th and 7th bunkers as first-line defense. The battalion heavy machine gun company was assigned to the ninth company. The first battalion and the third company are assigned to the third battalion command, and the No. 3 bunker on the left side of the position is arranged for defense. The tenth company is near the battalion command post, serving as the second echelon, ready to support the ninth and eleventh companies in battle at any time. The battalion headquarters was located in a tunnel six hundred meters from the forward position.

“The companies quickly entered their positions and added fortifications.”

My father was instructed to lead a platoon to evacuate Position 5 and participate in the construction of the fortifications.

The fortifications are repaired, and the sky is bright. My father and his comrades had just put a piece of food into their mouths, and the dense artillery fire roared again. The powerful shock wave could overturn the entire Niutuo Village. At the same time, three enemy planes bombed the positions of the 9th and 11th companies.

Bullets and cannonballs are flying, falling on the head and blossoming on the head, and falling on the earth to blossom.

The enemy’s artillery shells and machine guns were denser than ever before. The lost temple block became the enemy’s command block. The fortification of this block was the strongest, and in addition to the main gun block, the temple block was surrounded by 4 dark blocks to form a fire network. At the same time, the enemy’s new reinforcements attacked the Nine Company’s position under the cover of artillery fire and aircraft.

“One row of heavy machine guns fired. The second row of grenades and explosive packs suppressed the opponent’s counterattack formation.” Company commander Geck commanded in the trenches, “Three rows, attack the enemy with side fire.” Instructor Zhuang Zhanchi ignored the artillery bombardment and machine gun fire. , suddenly jumped from the trench, took up the light machine gun and rushed to the front of the position.

After more than an hour of fierce fighting, the enemy’s attack was finally repelled.

The ground was scorching hot, the smoke of gunpowder was diffused, and corpses were everywhere on the ground, making it impossible to tell the enemy from me. The company commander Geek and the instructor both died. My father gasped heavily with the gun in his hands, suddenly remembered something, and hurriedly turned around to look around. Fortunately, Chen Yu, who was lying in the trench, shook off the thick scorched earth and raised his head.

He is still alive. My father grinned, but his eyes were wet.

At this time, Wei Zhanshan came over from the corner of the trench, stooping down, and stuffed two slips full of words for my father and Chen Yu each, and instructed: Be sure to put them in your jacket pocket. On the note was written our name, place of origin and division. My father put the note in his jacket pocket, but Chen Yu smiled contemptuously and threw the note away.

what are you doing? my father asked in surprise. I can’t die. Chen Yu smiled at my father. His face was black and scorched, and his face was full of teeth when he smiled. Before the words were finished, a bomb exploded, and another round of bombing and strafing began. More than a hundred mountain and wild howitzers slammed crossly, coupled with the bombing and strafing of aircraft, the sky and the earth became a net of artillery shells.

The enemy’s main force was charging forward, only fifty meters away from the front of the Eleventh Company’s position.

“Machine gun suppression,” my father yelled. The heavy machine guns of several squads fired violently, and the firepower of the battalion heavy machine gun company and the 9th and 11th companies intersected. Chen Yu, the commander of the machine gun squad of the third group, strafed the enemy in a counterattack formation with a machine gun. A row of bullets swept in, and Chen Yu sacrificed.

Li Qiang, the deputy squad leader, took over the squad leader’s machine gun and shot at the enemy. He was shot and died. The new soldier Xiaohua took the machine gun and fired at the enemy… Xing Fakui, the baby boy with a Hebei accent, took the machine gun and fired at the enemy…

The machine gun was taken over again, towards the enemy…

The machine gun fires again…

The machine gun never stopped…

My father and Li Fuxiang, the instructor of the 11th Company, commanded a row of soldiers to throw out rows of grenades. Under the fierce and fierce battle, the enemy could not get close to the junction of the position at all.

An hour later, the enemy was beaten back again.

The tunnel at the battalion command post was bombed, and my father went to dig the tunnel and rescue the people stuck in it. By this time, there were only 3 fighters left in my father’s row.

Breathless, the third counter-offensive began. This time, it was more ferocious than the previous two. More than a hundred artillery shells continued to shoot for several hours. The blasted ground turned up and down again and again. The shelling was followed by a counter-attack, and after the counter-attack, there was another shelling. More than 10,000 shells fell on the position less than 300 square meters, and the scorched earth under the bombardment was more than two feet thick.

Night took over from day, cooling everything that was scorched. The corpses of the soldiers who died on the battlefield were too late to clean up, and they all sank silently in the deep sea of ​​the night.

The casualties on both sides were too great. By the 19th, the enemy did not attack for a whole day, but it was also bombarded for a whole day, and nearly 8,000 artillery shells fell on the position that day.

Zhiqian migrant workers have been delivering supplies to the front day and night, the most scarce of which are coffins. The newly made coffin was too late to be painted, and the white stubble still exudes the smell of wood. The warriors scrambled for the coffin, and they scrambled to have their names written on the coffin.

Early in the morning on the 20th, the position was again bombarded by artillery. Due to the destruction of the fortifications, the casualties were even greater this time. By this time, there were only 8 people left in the Nine Company of my father. These 8 people were ordered to go to the second battalion position with the remaining 9 people of the Eleventh Company. They received an order: all the soldiers put on their bayonets and fight against the enemy who broke into the front of the position.

Before long, the shouts on the ground became louder. Under the cover of mortars and heavy machine guns, my father and his comrades slaughtered the enemy who had broken into the position of the fifth company, and used grenades and bayonets to knock down the enemy again and again. Zhou Yuting, the leader of the third row, fought with the enemy with bayonets and stabbed the enemy to death. He was also buried half of his body by the earth blown up by the artillery shell. Everyone was already dead, and he was still holding a bayonet in a fight. Li Xiangfu, the instructor of the Eleventh Company, hugged the enemy, and his hands were still clasped around the enemy’s neck. The deputy commander stabbed 3 enemies in a row and sacrificed with a bayonet. My father fought the bayonet against the enemy without losing, and knocked down several rushing enemies one after another. An enemy attacked him from the back, he dodged the fatal blow with the wind in the back of his head, and slammed the butt of the backhand on the enemy’s head. Just then, a bullet hit him in the head.

The sun in the sky is red, and the sun in the sky is dark. My father saw the Yanmenguan Mountains, the wild geese painted charming lines across the Dai-colored mountains, and the naked oats swayed in the wind. My mother took my hand and ran to him, they didn’t speak to each other but their eyes narrowed. I ran to meet my father with open hands, behind us was a flying square kite…

At dawn on the 21st, the martyrs were carried to Yingpan Square one after another. Twelve people from the division and the regiment propaganda team formed the “Martyr’s Team”, which was responsible for handling the martyrs’ funerals. The commander gave the order to the Lie team: 1. The martyrs were only allowed to use stretchers, not carts, when they came down from the line of fire.

2. The martyrs must be registered in detail, with accurate names and corpses, and correct origins.

3. Write down all the characteristics to prevent confusion by the same name, and to facilitate the checking of the unknown martyr.

Fourth, moving martyrs should be done lightly and without collision.

5. The wounds of the martyrs should be bandaged, and the body and face should be washed with hot water, and no bloodstains are allowed.

6. The head of the regiment will go to the tomb of the martyrs for a condolence ceremony.

7. When putting on and undressing martyrs, call their names softly.

8. Where possible, burial and burial should be close to local customs.

9. Unknown martyrs must find out their real names.

The Martyrs’ team placed the remains of the martyrs in the West Village outside Taiyuan City. From the martyr’s jacket pocket, he found a cloth strip with his name and place of origin written on it. Warrior Wang Hua read according to the cloth strip:

Geek, Nineteenth Regiment Three Battalion Nine Company. Occupation: Company Commander. 33 years old, from Zhushan County, Hubei Province. Joined the party in January 1943.

Du Yanting, the deputy captain of the Chu Lie team, is responsible for registering the information in the register. The soldiers of the Chu Lie Team changed out of Geek’s blood clothes, scrubbed their bodies, put on shrouds, put them in coffins, made signs and buried them.

Li Qiang, title: Deputy monitor. Age: 22 years old. Birthplace: Shuangweitang Town, Hengyang County, Hunan Province.

Li Qiang was shot in the head, and half of his head was bloody. While changing his clothes, the soldiers of the Chulie team called his name: “Li Qiang, turn your body.” “Li Qiang, lift your legs.”

Li Fuxiang, title: Instructor. Age: 29 years old. Birthplace: Daodong Village, Shanxi Province. Joined the party: June 1945.

Li Fuxiang died in a hug with the enemy, and his fingers were still grasping. The soldiers of the Chu Lie Team applied a hot towel to his fingers for a long time before they spread out.

Xing Fakui, title: Soldier. Age: 17 years old. Birthplace: Shenze, Hebei Province.

A soldier in Chulie’s team burst into tears. Xing Fakui was his hometown, and the two signed up to join the army together. Xing Fakui’s eyes were slightly opened at this time, and a shallow smile floated on his face. No one can know what this 17-year-old baby brother saw and thought at the moment of sacrifice, so that his expression was so peaceful and happy.

Huo Xiaoshan, job title: platoon leader. Age: 31 years old. Birthplace: Wang Ergou Village, Shanyin, Shanxi Province. Joined the Party: August 1944.

My father’s eyes were open, and the pupils were dark purple. The soldier who scrubbed him found a large piece of shrapnel embedded in his back. In addition, he has scars from being hit by bullets on the right side of his left thigh and under his right rib cage. Also, in addition to the bullet wound on his head, there is an old laceration wound.

When I registered on the 93rd, I uncovered the quilt. Inside was a broken military jacket wrapped in a pile of dirt mixed with flesh and blood. It was wrapped in military uniforms and cloth strips. On the top of the cloth was written: Wei Zhanshan, three consecutive six shifts.

Registered on No. 113, this is a martyr whose entire head was blown to pieces. There is no strip of cloth in his pocket, and there is no relevant written proof anywhere on his body. Only a half-section of a cigarette rod that was blown off by an artillery shell is attached to his back waist. Xinjing.

At 8 p.m. on November 12, 1948, four battalions of the Independent Regiment of the Sixth Brigade of our Brigade concentrated their forces under the cover of artillery fire and started an all-out attack on the No. Due to the strong fortifications and the blocking of enemy artillery fire, the attacking troops suffered heavy casualties. Warrior Wang Hua died in this battle. Wang Hua, Special Agent Company of the Fourth Regiment of the 198th Division. Occupation: Telephone operator. Age: 21 years old. Birthplace: Jipiaoshan Village, Tongxian County, Hunan Province. Wang Hua was once assigned to the Lie Team to scrub my father’s body.

To recapture the No. 4 temple block, you must first capture the four dark blocks surrounding it.

At 2:30 a.m. on November 13, under the cover of the regiment battalion artillery, the three companies blasted twice in a row, first blowing up the dark block to the north. After more than an hour of fighting, the four dark fortresses surrounding the temple blockhouse were all wiped out. At 4:00 a.m. on the 13th, the heavy machine gun company blocked the temple blockade with firepower and the enemy was eye-catching, covering the second company and one row of blasting. The soldiers quickly approached the bottom of the bunker and continuously blasted with more than 250 kilograms of explosives, blasting the temple block with a hole 2 meters high and 1 meter wide. The soldiers of the Second Company rushed into the temple tower quickly. At 7:30 in the morning, the enemy at position 10 counterattacked at position 8 with the support of artillery fire. By 7:30 p.m., the People’s Liberation Army occupied 10 bunkers in the entire Niutuozhai position. Du Yanting died in this battle.

Du Yanting, the 3rd Company of the 5th Regiment of the 202nd Division of the 68th Army. Age: 29 years old. Occupation: Clerical. Birthplace: Min County, Gansu Province. Du Yanting was once assigned to the martyr team to be responsible for the registration of fallen soldiers. As he fell to the ground with a bang, the schoolbag he had been carrying spread out, and a stack of registers slipped from the schoolbag and scattered to the ground. It was the registration form of the fallen martyrs that had not been handed in.

The cannonballs were still flying, the flesh and blood were still splashing, and the smoke had not yet dissipated. A gust of wind blew, and the stack of pages of the registration form flew up, towards all directions, towards the boundless sky.

11

Stories are just stories, what I tell is mine, what you hear is yours. As for you saying that you want to write this story down, then only who can see who is who.

In any case, I have to thank you for accompanying me to visit the tomb of the Martyrs Cemetery and bring such a bunch of flowers, I think my father likes it. If he knew it, he would laugh contentedly when he saw such beautiful flowers and you who are as vigorous as flowers, just like any old man who is leaning against the wall in the blacksmith camp to bask in the sun but suddenly sees his descendants coming towards him, kindly. And plain, that is his ideal. Flowers are the news you brought, my father finally saw the news blooming freely in the bright sun, he was not sad.

Li Hui, burn a stick of incense for my father, he deserves it. You were born in Taiyuan, and you have deep feelings for Taiyuan. Although I don’t know where I was born, the blacksmith camp is indeed where my father and my mother were born. Without them, there would be no me. That should be where I was born. must go back. I went back, and I went back. This is probably the last time I come to visit my father’s grave. I’m getting old, so if I go back to the blacksmith camp this time, I might not be able to come again next time.

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