Runner Up for the 2022 Lewis Edwards Memorial Prize
Siru grew up by a tributary of the Yangtze River, in a town engulfed by mountains. They now read philosophy and linguistics in Edinburgh. They don’t know where they will end up in this tiny big world. Siru writes to reclaim memories. They are in constant search for timeless words, and they always fail.
A woman was chained in a shed. Li Peng felt sorry. ‘How many children do you have?’ He asked the father of the woman’s children. ‘Eight.’ Smiling to the camera, the father strolled through the courtyard. ‘I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through raising them. Mad respect.’ Li Peng livestreamed the exchange. One of the children took a pause from playing. He felt the landscape changing: the sky folded in screams of strange languages. ‘Quiet!’ He looked around, realised that the vast field was not wrinkled by one sound, and went back to his pack. Outside the frame, a woman was chained in a shed in a great country.