In the Tang dynasty, China, sometime between AD 785 and 855, a man named Shen Wang lived with his wife and son at a bungalow in the west side of the Capital, Chang’an. Wang was a philanthropy-minded person. He planted a large area of elms and built several thatched huts to shelter passing travelers from the wind, rain, and sun. Wang also provided free tea water to travelers in the huts. His son who was 23 years old often went to the huts to help greet travelers.
One day, his son told Wang: “There is a girl begging for water by the side of the road.” Wang quickly asked his son to let her in. The girl was very young. She was dressed in green and wore a white headscarf. The girl said, “I used to live a dozen miles south of here. My husband is dead. We don’t have children. Now the mourning period has passed, and I’m passing by on my way to Maweipo to visit my relatives. ” She was an articulate, lovely, and pretty girl.
Wang kept her for a few meals, saying “You can stay here tonight and hit the road again tomorrow morning.” The girl accepted his offer with pleasure.
After lunch, Wang’s wife led the girl to the back hall and called the girl her sister. Wang’s wife asked her to make some clothes. She found the girl was good at knitting and very fast as well. For half a day, from noon to evening, all the clothes were ready with tiny and exquisite stitches. An ordinary person couldn’t have done it.
Wang was very surprised. His wife liked her in particular, so she said half-jokingly, “You don’t have close relatives. Would you like to be my son’s wife?” The girl smiled, “I am destitute and alone, so I am willing to stay at your house. I will follow your instructions.” The couple was very glad after hearing what the girl had said. Shen Wang went to rent wedding garments at once and arranged a wedding for them. The girl married Wang’s son on the same day.
It was a very hot summer. On the wedding night, the girl told Wang’s son, “There have been a lot of thieves recently. Don’t leave the windows and the door open.” So she locked them.
In the small hours, Wang’s wife was awakened by a nightmare. In the dream, her son shouted to her, “Mom, I’ve almost been eaten up by a monster! ”
Wang’s wife woke Wang up in a hurry and told him the nightmare. He replied, displeased, “You have an amazing daughter-in-law now. Are you too happy, babbling so about your dream?” So Wang’s wife went back to sleep again, and she had the same nightmare. She woke up again and told her husband. This time Wang felt something was wrong and had a sinking feeling. So they got out of bed quickly with candles in hand, shouting their son and daughter-in-laws’ names. However, no one answered.
At this time Wang and his wife were in a panic. They ran to the door of the bridal chamber and tried to open it, but it was locked. They shouted and forced open the door. The moment the door opened, a full-bodied, blue monster with eyes as big as saucers, a green face, and ferocious fangs rushed out. All that was left was their son’s skull and a pile of hair.
Strange Chinese Stories