Late last night at Gambays, long-time Expatdom character and public official Kennesaw "Hui Shan" Landis shared one of the most remarkable, and eeriest,
experiences ever heard of in the Wuxi China Expatdom.
The hour was late – very late, and almost all the night’s bar patrons had left. The bar lights were dimmed, and only the Minkelman twins, Landis, and around ten Expats were having a last "one for the road". Outside, a howling frigid gale blew through the almost deserted 1912 Bar District.
The few remaining Gambays patrons couldn’t fail to notice the vacant, haunted stare – as though looking into another world, that had taken-hold of Landis’ usually-cheery countenance.
Hans Klingner enquired with Landis if he was feeling alright.
"Let me ask you all a question", replied Landis, "be ye all God-fearing men? Can you promise to keep safe something I must tell you, something that you will wish I’d never told you?". Hans, and the other patrons were by now intriqued, and gathered closely in a circle around Landis.
"It was on a night the same as this, when I first saw – it", whispered Landis hoarsely. "Must have been in late-1989. Of course, I’d heard the story from many WCE old-timers before, but had dismissed these as pigments of their imagination."
"They told a tale of a mountain monster, seen on the snow clad slopes of Hui Shan. Old Father Flanagan, God rest his soul, – he was the Expatdom’s
longest-lived person at that time, swore that it was true."
Hans Klingner shifted uneasily in his chair, and glanced around anxiously.
"By and by, well, I just had to go to Hui Shan myself, and once and for all, find out if there was a grain of truth in what was then a widely-known legend, here in the Expatdom", said Landis.
He continued "I was much younger and fitter then. I kitted mysel’ out with my skis, snow-shoes, paraffin stove, a 3-bedroom canvas tent, a wheeled BBQ,
sufficient oxygen for the dizzying ascent, magazines, transistor radio, newspapers,
a pack of cards, my night-time kimono, several writing pads and pens, six Hanimex pocket cameras, a flashlight, several pairs of undershorts, 28 pairs of industrial-strength woollen socks, and then I began the climb – of Hui Shan".
Hans Klingner, and the enraptured audience gave a collective shiver, their faces lit by the ghostly pale lights from the far end of Gambays’ bar. "Go on,
and what happened then?", asked Hans.
"Nothing at first", replied Landis. It took me three days and nights to reach the first koll. I narrowly escaped being crushed by avalanches, and by then, frostbite was setting-in to my toes, my fingers, and ahh, err – my other extremeties". "I pitched my tent on a ledge not more than a yard wide. One slip from there, and I’d have plummeted to an icy end on the jagged gray rocks, far, far below.
"I’d climbed into my sleeping-bag, and, on my radio, tuned-in to some restful Sex Pistols lullabies. Outside was as black as pitch. I must have dozed off. But just then – I heard it!".
Hans Klingner gulped-down yet another Tsingtao, and held his glass shakily in his pale hands. "It was an unearhly piercing scream, the like a’ which I wager no mortal has ever heard!", Landis went on.
"Then, all was quiet. I lay in my darkened tent, too frightened to move. Then,
just outside, I heard it breathing huskily. I snapped on my flashlight, which must have startled the abdominal snowman because when I poked my head out of the tent-flap, there was nought but darkness."
"But no", Landis went on, "it was then that I SAW IT!!"
Fred Minkelman leaned forward "what, what, did you see, Landis, tell us??!!".
Landis paused, his face ashen and gaunt. Stammering, he said "a monster! A giant hairy white beast, at least 7 feet in height. It’s eyes glowed red in the darkness. The creature looked at me with an expression so foul, savage and fearsome I thought I was not long for this world, right there and then!. Old Father Flanagan had been right, twas no fanciful legend – the abdominal snowman is on Hui Shan!."
At that precise moment, Frank Minkelman, busy cleaning-up at the bar, and unaware that Landis and his spellbound audience were still in the far dark corner of the room, turned the bar-lights up to maximum brightness.
Simultaneously, Kennesaw "Hui Shan" Landis stood up, finished off his glass of Heineken, and said "But then again – I might have been mistaken", and then he left.
Posted By Sir Dirt E. Harrie to Wuxi, China Expatdom at 10/24/2011 05:00:00 AM