Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Bù Zuò Bù Sǐ"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, as part of the China's Mistake storyline started by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, and is posted as barter for the next story there. It belongs to the Finn Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and is followed by "The Best Lighting of All."

"Bù Zuò Bù Sǐ"

[Wednesday, January 20, 2016 shortly after 8 AM in Beijing, China]
[Tuesday, January 19, 2016 shortly after 4 PM in Mercedes, California]

Xi Jinping entered his office
to find a stuffed animal sitting in
his chair with a sign around its neck.

The elegant Chinese calligraphy read,
"Leave the Finns alone or I will kill you all."
Below it was a list of everyone involved,
implicated, or having authority over those
who were purportedly responsible for ...

... what, exactly? Xi Jinping wondered.

He searched through his file for
official notifications, and eventually
found a reference to a minor bit
of industrial espionage.

The things some people
quibble about,
he mused.

Then he flipped over the sign,
saw the back, and froze.

There it read, Also I have
already donated $10 million
each to the Uighur and
Falun Gong victims.
Grass mud horse!

Instead of a name,
it was signed with
a Pulitzer Prize photo
that had become famous
even in China -- Dr. Infanta
with a Kalashnikov, after
laying waste to seven
Israeli military bases.

He called Security,
of course, demanding
to know how anyone had
gotten into his office.

While the guards were
searching for clues,
the phone rang.

Xi Jinping answered it
and heard Chen Wenqing,
Minister for State Security,
ranting at top speed.

When the tirade slowed,
Xi Jinping said, "Yes, yes,
I know. I have also found
a grass mud horse with
a threatening message
and news of donations to
Falun Gong and Uighurs."

Chen Wenqing fell silent
for a long moment, then said,
"Mine is a river crab with
donations for independence
of Tibet and Taiwan."

Xi Jinping groaned and
collapsed into a spare chair.

He really hoped his phone
wouldn't ring any more.

His wish was granted:
the phone went dark.

So did the entire room.

Every electronic device
seemed to have turned off
at the same time. Somehow.

Even things that should have
had stayed on -- with batteries
or backup power -- went off.

The blackout was complete.

Xi Jinping put his face in
his hands and whimpered.

* * *


1. 不作不死。(Bù zuò bù sǐ. 'Not do not die.') — If you don't do stupid things you won't end up in tragedy.
This Chinese web saying is recorded in the Urban Dictionary. It's like: "Don't poke the bear."
-- Chinese Sayings

The China's Mistake storyline spans locations in many different timelines. Witch us luck keeping these straight.

Location Local Time Time Zone UTC Offset
Beijing (China - Beijing Municipality) Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 8:00:00 am CST
UTC+8 hours
San Francisco (USA - California) Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 4:00:00 pm PST
UTC-8 hours
Corresponding UTC (GMT) Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 00:00:00
-- Time and Date

Xi Jinping is the President of China, among other offices.

China has widely practiced political, military, and industrial espionage against the United States and other countries. In addition, they spy on dissidents abroad such as supporters of the Tibetan independence movement and Uyghurs as well as the Taiwan independence movement, the Hong Kong independence movement, Falun Gong, pro-democracy activists, and other critics of the Chinese Communist Party -- basically, everyone who disagrees with them and is, was, or vaguely resembles Chinese.

The Ministry of State Security or Guoanbu is the intelligence, security and secret police agency of the People's Republic of China, based in Beijing. It is run by Chen Wenqing, Minister for State Security.

The Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority in Uighurstan or the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China. As China despises them, it is engaged in genocide through means such as banning their native language, imprisoning them in concentration camps, and organlegging.

Falun Gong (literally, "Dharma Wheel Practice" or "Law Wheel Practice") is a religion based on other Chinese traditions. China first supported it, then later called it a cult and started brutalizing and killing practitioners.

The Tibetan independence movement supports Tibet as an independent country free of Chinese oppression, seeking to reverse the invasion. is a political movement for the independence of Tibet and the political separation of Tibet from China.

The Taiwan independence movement seeks to establish Taiwan as an independent, sovereign nation against Chinese unification.

Hong Kong independence aims to make Hong Kong an independent sovereign state.

The attack on Israel appears in "The Day of Their Calamity" (August 3, 2014). The picture later won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2015.

Grass Mud Horse (represented by a llama or alpaca) and River Crab are symbols of activism in China. See the stuffed llama and crab plushie.
Tags: activism, cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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