Chapter 51 The Panic in Night Market Stall 2
Xiao Lingdang was enjoying the food with such gusto, that I decided to join her. Even though she looked like such a sweet gentle child, she was eating the food at an alarming rate. She was like a bottomless pit, going through all the food way too quickly. Somewhat timidly I suggested she eat each kabob one by one, slowly, to really enjoy the flavor. Even then, she was plowing through the food way too quickly. I quickly learned that bringing her here was a huge mistake. I began calculating how much money I was going to be spending and started getting a bit nervous.
I looked over towards where the young boy was previously sitting and realized for the first time that there were no longer several people at the table. Only two or three people remained and they all looked like they had drunk far too much. They were playing a drinking game and one of them must have lost because he was face down on the table. With the young boy nowhere to be seen, I looked towards the alley and saw him slowly emerge from the shadows. He walked to his table, grabbed the remaining kebabs, picked up the box of beer and headed towards the alley again.
Out of nowhere one of the men who was playing the drinking game became disturbed by the young man's actions, shouting, "What the hell is going on with that guy?"
The other man playing with him was sporting a crew cut, he was squinting to see past his blurred vision and reached out his hand to stop the long-haired man. He was about to stand up, when crew cut guy said, "Forget it, we are all friends here!"
The long-haired man spat, then turned to the cook and shouted, "Hey, boss. Another 50 kebabs."
The man with the crew cut shook himself in attempt to sober up a bit before walking into the alley.
By this point, even I figured there was something wrong with the young man. He was acting very odd. "Xiao Lingdang, has that guy been interacting with ghosts?" I asked.
She was so wrapped up with eating, I had to ask her a second time. "I'm sorry brother, I wasn't really paying attention." I sighed and was about to begin explaining the situation to her.
My explanation was cut short by a loud noise coming from the alley. The man with crew cut fell to the ground in panic as he retreated from the alley. After struggling for a long time, he got up and ran back towards the stand in the night market.
"HEY! Watch out!" Yelled the boss of the stand as he approached. The long-haired man stood up at once and demanded, "What happened? Did that other guy do anything to you?"
Everyone looked in his direction, except for Xiao Lingdang who still was eating. She kept eating the kebabs and would occasionally look at the situation around her.
The man with the crew cut ran back to his table and the panic in his eyes seemed to ease a little, perhaps because there were several people now around him. All he could do was gasp for air, clearly distressed.
The boss went over and asked him what had happened in the alley. After some time, the man caught his breath and began to speak, his voice trembling. "There...There was...There was...was a."
The man said "There was" many times, but couldn't manage to get out what he had seen. Then, he began to cry.
The boss of the stall was dumbfounded, the long-haired man picked up an empty beer bottle from the table and walked into the alley. While walking, he was grumbling about. Everyone was under the impression that the young boy might have done something to the man with crew cut.
The boss hurriedly beckoned his boy to watch the night market stall and hastily followed behind the long-hair into the alley. The boss was worried that the long-haired man would end up doing something impulsive.
I was curious too, but when I saw that Xiao Lingdang hadn't moved, I too dared not move a muscle. After all, I was scared of the ghost baby and had very little courage at this point.
Two business women on one side also stood up out of curiosity, they hesitated for a moment, then sat down but did not continue chatting, they just looked in the direction of the alley with curiosity. soon, the only sound that could be heard in the night market was the crying of the traumatized man.
Although the boss tried to pull the long-haired man back, he still walked into the alley with him. Their figures disappeared into the shadows of the alley and everything got eerily quiet. I started getting worried about their safety and began making up nonsense scenarios in my mind. Thoughts like imagining countless broken limbs flying out of the alley. In my defense, my life was pretty out there.
After a short time, there was finally some sound coming from the alley. The first one was the sound of the breaking of beer bottle, then we could all hear the long-haired man's yelling and voice of the boss protesting is actions. A moment later, the long-haired man dragging the young boy out of the alley, the boss still persuading him to calm down.
As they approached us, I noticed that the young boy had a big bump on his head, and some small cuts in his face and right hand. It was pretty clear that he had been attacked by the long-hair man. Although the young boy was terribly drunk, he still felt as if he'd been wronged and kept explaining, "I'm just drinking with a few friends. What's wrong with you?"
I looked with curiosity into the alley, wondering whether I was just imagining things, I could have sworn I saw a human head with fluffy long hair flickering through the alley.
The boss seemed to be worried that another accident would happen, so he called a taxi and persuaded a few people in his stall to leave. The long-haired man still wanted to continue drinking, but the man with the crew cut who appeared to be slightly more clear-headed than before, convinced him to leave. The long-haired man finally agreed and left with him.
With help from the boss, the man with the crew cut pushed the drunk man into the taxi. He then hesitated for a moment and went to the young boy's side to persuade him, "Come with us."
The long-haired man snorted but didn't say anything. The young man slumped in his chair and waved his hand, saying, "You two can just go. I still want to drink a little more with some of my friends. Just a little more."
The boss had no idea who the boy was talking about and just stared at the man with crew cut hoping he could persuade the young boy to leave with them. However, the long-haired man pulled at his friend's shirt and pulled him into the taxi before it sped off into the distance. Meanwhile, the bitter boss was still trying to convince the young boy to leave.
The young boy was still unwilling to leave and kept saying he would just go over to hang out with his friends. As he was saying this, he began walking towards the alley again. I asked the boss, "Hey boss, does he have any friends over there?"
The boss answered annoyed, "There is no one over there, he is completely drunk, just sitting alone on the ground talking to himself."
Of course, it seems the young boy really had met some ghosts. I can't imagine any other explanation for his odd behavior. Alcohol didn't really have this effect on people, no matter how drunk they got.
The boss hesitated there for a moment and began talking to me and the two business women, "Everybody! I don't mind making a little less money tonight. You can all see that several people have been entirely way too drunk here tonight. So I want to close my night market stall a bit earlier. I hope you all understand."
The two business women looked a little disappointed, but in the end they agreed with the boss. As for me, I didn't want to get in trouble, so I just nodded. However, Xiao Lingdang looked very unhappy and just looked towards the alley with a sense of coldness. I figured she just wanted to eat more kebabs.
The two business women stood up to pay the bill. The young boy staggered back from the alley and put the empty box of beer from his hand to the ground and said drunkenly, "My friends, my friends are gone. Hey boss, I want to pay the bill."
Seeing that the young boy was ready to leave, the two business women sat down again. The boss got very happy and said, "I'll call a taxi for you. Your bill from earlier has already been paid. You don't have to pay the most recent bill. Just go home and call it a night."
After saying this, the boss told his boy to call a taxi. Before the boy began calling, a taxi suddenly veered into view and parked in front of the boss's stall. I was able to see the three men who had just left go back to their seats and sit down again. The man who was too drunk before, was now very clear-minded. He was walking straight and balanced, which made me wonder if he really was terribly drunk earlier or if it was just an act.
The young boy laughed, "Hi, guys. You...I just went over there to find my friends, but they're gone, so why don't the three of us continue drinking?"
The man with the crew cut and the other guy said nothing. There was no expression on their faces. They just sat in their seats, it looked like they weren't moving a muscle.