The Sun Still
Hangs Above The Icy Surface
by Xin Kong
No one knew
from when John had been sitting quietly by the
lake. Every day, he used to sit on the long bench
by the water, with his huge hat as if he was
afraid to be seen by human beings. He was doing
nothing but watching the surface, lost in thought.
The sun was shining down on the ice, reflecting a
world of rays. There were a few boys skating
around, shouting and laughing. John smiled as he
remembered his own childhood
weather report said that, influenced by a warm
current from the south, this winter might go
through warmer than ever. John believed that
nowadays less children skated on the ice than
before. Because of the warm weather in the past
ten years, the ice seemed to be very thin, unlike
what it was in his time. In those days the most
exciting thing for him and his friends was
skating on the ice of the lake. He still
remembered one early spring when the ice had
begun to melt, he and his friend went skating,
only for the ice to break and, as a result, both
of them fell into the lake. If they had not been
saved in time, they both would have perished in
the freezing water.
More and more
children came to skate on the ice. But he noticed
that it was getting warmer and warmer. At about
lunchtime, the ice was beginning to melt, so he
was feeling a little worried about the children.
One of the workers came and tried to persuade
them not to skate but in vain. Pointing to the
notice on the lake, the worker told John that a
few people would be drowned to death in the lake
every year, but people would not take any warning
from this, and so more people would surely die.
John came out
of prison only a short time ago. He took part in
a robbery and was given a ten-year sentence.
While he was in prison John's mother became so
depressed she took her own life. After this John
promised to try to get out as soon as he could.
He tried to behave well and after a while he had
his stay shortened. Despite this, two years
before he was to be set free, John started to
feel ill. After doctors had examined him they
found that he was suffering from cancer.
before, John had not been able to sleep, so he
took more of his medicine than usual, and it sent
him into a deep sleep. In his dream he saw his
mother again, standing not far away. John rushed
towards her but she moved away so fast that he
couldnt catch up with her, so he had to
shout, Oh, Mum, its me, please wait,
its me, Mum. When he woke up, he
found his pillow quite wet with tears.
John had not
gone to the lake for two days. But on the third
afternoon he appeared with a hammer in his hand.
He squatted to hit the ice. The children nearby
came to ask him if he wanted to catch fish there.
He said nothing, but merely nodded. Then he
started. He used great force and hit a hole as
large as a basin.
morning when the children came, they found that
in the hole there was a dead body, one whose arms
were still out of the water because it was too
paper reported that every year there were
accidents on the lake, the year before last two
people died, the year before three died and this
year one had died. They hoped that because of
this the local people would not go skating on the
lake, especially the children.
person was John.
Since then, no
one had come to skate. When you walked by the
lake, you could only see the sunshine glittering
on the ice.