the Sculpture from Earth,the King from Faith
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It is told that there is a god.

Mother sometimes said, far away from the village, the god lies in the Eastest. Then, with my head nodding, I would kept prone, playing with my mire sculpture on the ground.

There was a temple in the center of our village, floating in the smoke with sincerities of people all days and all nights. So high was the idol that its head reached the ceiling of the temple. The sculpture, whose lower part was blackened by continous incense, and whose upper part was covered with a thin layer of dust during years of prayer, was where an old buddist always sat in front, murmuring something I could not hear clear.

Unfortunately, a rare heavy drought hit the village, without rainfall for months. Besides transporting barrels of water on shoulders, things father and mother only needed to do were praying—they often knelt towards the idol for a whole night. Once, I shaked mom's sleeve and asked mom, “Mom, why are you kneeling here? ” She just pat me on my head and replied, "Mom is praying to god for more rain."

"Would you be listened while praying here?"

"Of course."the old buddist replied instead, " He listens to everybody, and accomplishes wishes from those of faith and charity."

"Isn't my mom kind enough? Why not rain yet? "

"Everything has been settled by him. "

Then, the old buddist no longer spoke, and mom continued to recite the sutra with her eyes closed. I raised my head to watch the face of the idol, which was fuzzy by the diffusing smoke, seemed misterious and indifferent under the complete silence. Maybe the somke was so thick that it disturbed his widest sight; maybe the bell was so loud that it overwhelmed the prayer with despair.

My mother was still kneeling there, and I turned around and walked out of the temple to find my father. He was loading barrels of water, which along with drops of sweat was sprinklered into plough.

"Dad, is God blind? "

The father was shocked, and walked not so steadly, was about to leak water, "Mind you words. Don't be heard by others. "

"If God is not blind, why can't him notice so much people have borne and suffered? "

My father put down the shoulder pole and was going to hit me with the pole, and I hurried away. "Is God a deaf? Mother prays every day, but he hasn't given any response yet. "

This time I couldn't avoid it, and I was pumping on my back, "Get home! "

I was silent for a while, and still walked back to the house to play with my mire sculpture.

The year ended up with no rain, and houses of ploughmen heavened with no grain.In the past, every household burnt rice starw, but this time, there was only smoke beyond the temple and reached the sky.

Every household was about to run out of what they have saved, and there were people starving to death.
Mom’s sorrow on face became much more terrible as days inched by. Dad smoked every day, and it seemed like a heavy cloud hang over our house. I often recognized that dad was secretly glancing at me.

One night, I got up to pee, and happened to pass by parents’ room, find that they hadn’t yet sleep, so I put my ear to the door.

“The son of Li in the north has starved to death. ” Voice of mom appeared.

“I knew. ” father said, “How long can we eat yet? ”

“A week. Seven days for three. ”

The firewood in the furnace was burning, giving out a sound of crackling.

“For three, seven days? ”

“right. ”

“What if only for two? ”


“I am asking you. ”

“Maybe … more than ten. ”

Silence again.

Waiting for a quarter, I heard a sigh of dad, ” God would forgive us. ”

The morning after, I came to find my parents before breakfast. “I am to go. ”I said.

“where? ” Dad asked.

“To the east to find the god! ”

“Then, go. ” I didn’t expect him to agree so quickly. I looked back, only to find mom weeping.

“I don’t want to eat. ” I said, and went through the shabby wooden door.

There was no sound behind me.

There was an east-west road at the entrance of the village, which was said to be build for an ancient king to pay tribute to god. I didn’t know whether he had achieved his aim, but at least I was bathing in the grace granded by him. So that I didn’t have to go into the wild road.

I wasn’t the only one who went east for the god. I often met some fellows on the road. Considered that I was a child they gave out some food an water to me, and glumed, " God bless you! "After eating, we continued marching. I walked relatively slow, so most of them just met me by chance.

Sometimes, I stopped in a town I passed by begging for a few pairs of shoes and visiting temples there.Incense was always burnt in temples and idols were always dignified and solemn, and I could never see clear their face hidden behind the ashes.

Once, in a big city, I asked an old buddist in the temple, ”Does god really care about life of ordinary people? ”

He opened his turbid eyes and took a closer look at me,and said, “He doesn’t. ”

I was stunned,”why?”

“Blind of god, scenes, far as a hundred meters came out of his sight; deaf of god, prayers, distant as ten feets can’t reach his ears. ” He smiled, "Are you going to find the god? ”

I nodded. “Go ahead, kid… go east. ”

Then, he refused to reply any other question, so I had to carry my burden and continue to walk.

Days went by, I fell that I was about to reach, based on more and more people going back - - smile on their faces, their half-jogged-half-skipped steps, their lively discussion about every behaivour of the god, but not based on the intuition of a man. Putting my sight on them, I couldn’t help thinking of that ancient king. Did him come back with such statisfaction and contentment? - - for the epic legend of the land ended while he was facing the god.

I stopped some people and asked for more details of god, but they just shook their hands and told me that they couldn’t tell people who hadn’t admired the really appearance of god about the details in advance. It made me more curious. So I spared no efforts going ahead, wanting to know what the god looked like on earth.

I didn’t noticed how long the travel took when I finally found that the road was at its end, with a distant splendid palace, in front of which dozens of people were kneeling.

That must be where the god lived.

I went to the group of people, they didn’t look at me at all, but kowtowed at the palace constantly. I could barely see a figure in white on the roof - - was that god?

I patted on someone beside me, and wanted to ask him, why they didn’t enter the hall, but he just kissed the ground and roughly shook my hand off.

I didn’t think that god was unaccessible, so I shaked my clothes and came ahead.

I walked into the hall, where there was nobody. I walked upstairs, where there was still nobody.

I walked through the room on the first floor - - curtain of gold wire, bed sheets of silver wire, pillows of jade, floor of agate and window of diamond.

I walked through the room on the second floor - - floor of bamboos, furniture of logs, cloth of silk and decoration of flowers.

I walked through the third floor - - floor of mire, bed of stone and curtain of leaves.

I walked to the balcony, where there was a huge throne.An old man in white seat on the through, carried a scepter and put on a fancy long hat.

“Who are you? ”he asked.

“I am Nightingale. I am looking for the god. ”

“I am the god. ”he said. I raised my head to look at the man who wasn’t familar with any idol, from clothes to eyes - - not like at all. But he was exactly whom I had found.

“Nonsense. ”

“Really, I am. ” with the scepter knocking, he replied.

“If you are a god, why don’t you reach for those struggling hands? If you are a god, why do you just stand aside and see poor and dilligent people dying? If you are a god, why do you just see our plants dying in cracked landand and never show yourself? ”

“Because I can’t. “

“You lie to me again. The god is omnipotent! ”

He was stunned, steel-eyed looking straight into me and grasped his scepter more tightly, and I walked towards him.

“If there must be someone omnipotent, he won’t be the god. ” he said.

I couldn’t understand it.

“When I came here the first time, I also found a person sitting here and claimed that he was god. The god is not afraid of swords, so I held a narrow sword and stabbed him on his chest.He didn’t hurry away and was killed by me. ” he said slowly, "I killed the god, which proves that I was stronger than the previous one, so I am the new one. I picked up his scepter, changed a suit of clothes and announced the coming of a new god. ”

“Now that you can kill god, why didn’t you help your poor followers? ”

“Blind of god, scenes, far as a hundred meters come out of his sight; deaf of god, prayers, distant as ten feets can’t reach his ears. ” he said naturally. My heart was touched and some distant memories were awoken up.

“So you don’t have great power. It proves that you are not a god. ”

As soon as I uttered the last word, the calm man became extremely fuming, jumped up and roared with fire, “ Can’t you see people kneeling outside? If I am not a god, why should them come here and kneel to me? "

I took a few steps back, deciding to turn back and leave.The roar of anger from the moan on the balcony was still clear when I walked to the first floor. Many figures danced through my head—I thought of the trembling back view of mom in the temple, I thought of the undistinguishable face of the idol, I thought of those ordinary people dying one by one, and I thought of that king who moved mountains and filled oceans to came to admire the god.

This time, the first floor was no longer empty, and I saw an old man in gold backing to me. I stopped, and guessed who was in front of me.He,the buddist a few years ago, turned to me,”You have seen him.” he was just like telling something ordinary, “ How do feel about that? ”

“is this the god? ”

“If you think he is, he is the god. ” the buddist talked in riddles, “Do you want to be a god? ”

“how about my family? ”I didn’t reply his question.

"For the absence of a month eating,they survived the drought. "the old buddist said slowly and calmly,“So, do you want to be a god? ”

I was silent.

“If you want to be a god, I will give you a knife to kill him on the balcony.Then you will be the new one.If you don’t want to be a god, you can go back on yourself. ”

“Which did that ancient king choose? ”

The buddist looked at me with surperise, “Whom you have seen is him. ”

I shook my head, bypassing the buddist in gold and get on the way back.

A cold wind behind me sent a voice of someone murmuring in the meantime.

"There is no god in the world, and there are just a group of stupid mortals putting on strange clothes and pretending to be omnipotent.They tell a group of more stupid mortals that they are god. "

I clamped my clothes and passed through the people who kneeling, and seemed to be able to see my parents beckoning at the other end of the road.

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