Zhexing Huang

I. At the Peak of Mount Fuji
In the middle of the night on Christmas Eve in 1976, the first drop was here. It was just a coincidence. As it touched the very tip of Mount Fuji, the whole thing collapsed. In a millisecond, a huge sphere linearized vertically, turning into millions of streams of blood, and fell down like shooting stars—a Geigi with a red wig crying. All the snow that covered Mount Fuji was melted by the 37 degree celsius fluids. It was a catastrophic moment, yet so beautiful. The sudden appearance of this thing, which some people called the holy drop, remains a scientific mystery.

Every human contains approximately four thousand to 5,000 milliliters of blood in total. The whole human race then, has around 6.3 billion liters of blood; which, according to later research, is merely one-third of the entire volume of the holy blood.

The holy blood collapsed almost 4,000 meters above sea level. All the gravitational potential energy transformed into something more physical, which destroyed everything. Imagine it as a red tsunami but from the top of Mount Fuji. People drowned in blood. Air bubbles escaped from their desperate lungs and popped at the very surface, delivering the dead’s last words to the rest, who were just going to die.

One hour later, everything within a radius of 100 miles was gone. One day later, the blood dyes three million square miles of land into a dark shade of redness. The rivers are like micro veins that carry the redness from this center tumor to the ocean. One week later, the ocean is slightly redder. One month later, snow fell, and just like usual, Mount Fuji regained its little white hat beside the remaining red. One year later, along the circumference of the redness, human beings established numerous tall, thin, black marble cuboids with the names of the dead on them.

“Ever since, there is this huge red mountain. Contaminated by blood. Blood dyeing every inch of ground into a dark shade of redness.”

“Can we still be there?”

“I am afraid that we cannot, darling. We are all prohibited from entering anywhere within 1,000 miles of the original point of impact. Japan is the name of the country that was once there on this huge island. However, it is all part of history now. Now in this land, all countries have established research facilities to study the cause of the impact, and the results and consequences on the future of the human race.”

“Mum! What happened to the Japanese people?”

“I am afraid they all died, darling. Their names are on these black cuboids.”

Scientists found that the holy blood not only brought destruction, but also brought opportunity. By composition, it is 97.43% identical to the blood of human beings. However, the remaining 2.57% of the substance is something magical. It keeps the blood from oxidizing, creating this forever-red mountain that we all saw. All the marine creatures which lived around the initial point of impact ingested these substances. They demonstrated an extremely rapid speed of growth and gained a rich red look.

Just one year after the first impact, capitalists sent millions of fishing boats to work non-stop every day, fishing for  giant seafood. They broke all fishery rules. The fines were nothing compared to the profit they made. Not long afterward, this red seafood went almost extinct, resulting in the price rising even higher.

Red, giant, fatty, oily seafood, so desirable. An endlessly irrational urge to eat, to get fat. They were seductive, like whores. People found them sexual. These exotic, even alien creatures seemed to be dangerous, however, which only made them even sexier. Consuming them was like cross-species copulation. These foods became the new drug, a modern legal prostitution that fulfilled the unfulfillable desire of human beings. People dwelled in lust. That is who we are. These moments were when we lived our lives.

Climbing up and upon reaching the peak of Fuji—if we somehow manage to do it again—tears are guaranteed. Not a tear of sadness but a tear of ecstasy. Destruction that happened years ago left only three things behind. The blue above you, the white around you, and the redness below. This abstraction sums up all the complexity. For a moment there is
just beauty.

“One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

—Albert Camus

Will Sisyphus be even happier if he ceaselessly rolls up a huge marble here?

II. The Existential Crisis 
Occasionally, people will see something red drifting in the ocean, as balloons get caught by the current. Sunlight and redness make the other more visible. Poor comprehensive ability, a lack of experience resulting in human beings zooming out as they realize the sudden occurrence of those floating rednesses. They pay attention for just the right amount of time so they won’t remember. People are stupid, so sometimes people are blind, so that people are happy, sometimes.
I envy them.

Autopsy: BPD110094-67F

Unable to identify the decedent
Age: 20–22 years old
Sex: Female
Length: 63 inches
Weight: 112 pounds
II. EXTERNAL EXAMINATION: No external injury. All skin dyed red by holy blood.

Occasionally courageous people notice them, take a picture, and send it to news publishers. Don’t worry, the government has them all under control to prevent the spread of information. In fact, these red things are the bodies belonging to those who were killed by the blood flood. The blood keeps them from rot-ting. Luckily, some of them got caught by the flows and passed down streams and rivers to the ocean. Sooner or later, they will be consumed, being forgotten like everything else that was abandoned in the ocean. Like it had never been there, no traces of past existence. If you are lucky enough to visit that debris, the places within 1,000 miles of the original impact point, you will see bloody red bodies stacked in a pile, leaning against some sort of high, bloody red and strong structures. They are always there. There were too many for the governments to handle, so their existence was erased. 

You can consider the result of the global addiction to red seafood as a total human degeneration, an absolute mental failure of the human race. However, it makes people happy, doesn’t it? Is there anything wrong with happiness? People harm themselves all the time. But this is not the only thing that the holy blood brought. People found that their metabolism seemed to slow down after they consumed red seafood. Somehow we were enlightened to confront the inescapable process of aging. It is a return ticket from human beings’ designated destination.

Holy blood fulfilled the dream of many, however, it took the hopes of many more. This huge drop of blood came from nowhere, on Christmas Eve, and took the lives of millions. That’s what we thought. It killed no one. The redbodies—they might be unable to move, and their hearts might cease to beat, however, they are more conscious than ever.

Have you ever wondered why, conventionally, weddings and funerals are so similar? It is because they are inherently the same thing, a celebration. Why do we celebrate death?

Section 1. Multiple Choice.

Question I. A blessing or a curse?
A. ????
B. I don’t know!!!
C. Both.
D. eύδαιµονία

Does the arrival of holy blood solve the ultimate existential crisis for the human race? Have people been relieved from purgatory and have they arrived in heaven? According to the authorities as seen in the footage shot from the satellites, the holy blood was levitating above  Mount Fuji for three days before it was poked by Fuji. For exactly 72 hours there was this big, giant, dumb, huge, red thing hovering above Mount Fuji. The government immediately realized its potential to cause the most destructive inland flood in human history, and authorities sent out warnings right away to all earth civilians to embrace the
impact and helped the nearby residents evacuate immediately.

“Why don’t these people run away, Mum!”

“Darling, they saw the inevitable future
of dying.”

“They must be very scared!”

(a very long silence)

“Yes, I am afraid so, darling. We shall pray
for them. ”

(a short silence)

“May God relieve them from suffering.”

That is not the truth.

There was a train, infamous for its good view of Mount Fuji. In the tunnel, breaking news notifications popped up on every passenger’s phone almost simultaneously and created a short, progressive and very melodic piece of music. They held on tight to the handles, and the screens illuminated their deadpan faces. Bodies against bodies, colliding and bouncing back and forth. White faces quivering in the dark. Suddenly sunshine penetrated the silence and shed warmth on everyone evenly, like love, but a little redder. Heads looked up at once to  Mount Fuji. All the pupils were red for 15 seconds, and everyone returned to their newspapers, phones, and nothingness.

“And I saw Sisyphus too, bound to his own torture, grappling his monstrous boulder with both arms working, heaving, hands struggling, legs driving, he kept on thrusting the rock uphill toward the brink, but just as it teetered, set to topple over— time and again the immense weight of the thing would wheel it back and the ruthless boulder would bound and tumble down to the plain again— so once again he would heave, would struggle to thrust it up, sweat drenching his body, dust swirling above his head.”
—Homer, The Odyssey

Do people realize that they are just like Sisyphus? What a peaceful scene of daily life. As serenity penetrates me, it evokes nothingness and snoring. Later on, a few eighteen-year-olds robbed some shops and killed a few innocent enforcers. Other than that, still nothing. Peace perpetuates. No one is thinking. Just another normal day on Earth. White Chrysanthemum blooming all over the land. Wind quivers the leaves.

(Impact countdown: 68:20:37, 68:20:36, … … …)

III. The Artist
“We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day”
—David Bowie

This girl, about 21 years old, burst into tears.
At the highest point of Mount Fuji.
She stripped off the silk gown of Icchantika, leaving all chastity behind, her thighs exposed as she gazed at the reflection above: “The Most Poetic Being Indeed.”
She closed her eyes.
Ice announced the forever marriage of her eyelashes. The vow: Tear. We wish you never wake up again.
She exhaled.
Her body was warm, melting the snow around it.
Blood pumped up capillaries; steam rose up.
You could see how furiously the blood exploded beneath her skin. The purest water liquified over the skin, so wet, so moist.
There was never any woman more naked than her.
A red fire captured in a milky bubble, a pinky shiny pearl, and a strawberry mochi radiated seduction, redness, and heat to the surroundings.
Her physical existence increased the elevation of Mount Fuji by 27.73 centimeters, which caused the impact to happen 0.003 seconds earlier than estimated.
A little warm red mountain on another huge cold white mountain. Her right nipple committed the crime of the greatest massacre.

IV. The Critiques of the Artist
An absolute heroic act! An unforgivable felony! A moment of all Romance! Achievement of the greatest nipple! The biggest scale land art! A piece of art that remains unknown to everyone! A new peak of beauty! An amazing composition! A historical sculptural moment! A lovely red human female body underneath the thick thick snow forever and ever!

At that very moment, her right nipple disturbed the tension within the holy blood. The greatest artist intervention ever done in human history. She put her absolutely naked body against the present and the destined future, juxtaposing the most realistic and destructive with the most idealistic and constructive. She was trying to kill God.

No one knows.
Nobody cares.

V. The Red Bodies
They were the people who felt indifferent about their collective death. Here they are. Lying naked all over the red land in different twisted gestures. What were they thinking? They thought death would be a relief, however, they ended up in this middle land—a dead body with an eternal soul. Is this a new round of suffering? Many of them are in the most conscious condition of their life. For the first time, they really start to consider the significance of their being.

Red naked bodies in crimson theater chairs, holding popcorn and diet cokes, watching the longest movie ever. Countless pupils reflect the flashing screen. People are laughing, crying, giggling, swearing, and singing, but most of the time you hear silence and the sound of popcorn getting crushed by back molars, and the sound of sucking an empty fountain drink cup. You can have as much as you want, and you are able to consume as much as you want.

“Great movie!” Then a second of
(Movie still goes on.)
How long has the movie been on?
(Movie still goes on.)
What is this movie that I am watching?
(Movie still goes on.)
Am I the only one left in the theater?
(Movie still goes on.)
What is this place?
(Movie still goes on.)
Who is the director of the movie?
(Movie still goes on.)
Who am I?

Who am I?

When life is too miserable and traumatic, we tend to forget, to bury the memory down-down below. Part of us died, and part of us goes on. I remember nothing as if all of my life is suffering and pain. Slowly, the brain establishes a mechanism of auto-projection. As something that might hurt you occurs, you start to see nothing.

I have been walking in this theater for two million seats. As there is no sign of Time, the only thing I can keep track of is my displacement. My original seat was H2845609, now I am at seat G211213. This theater has a total of 12 rows from A to L. It seems to have an infinite length on both sides. The screen seems to have an infinite length as well. For every 33 seats, there is a projector behind the last row, and an aisle connecting the front and the rear. I tried to smash the little glass window the projector is hiding behind, but it seems impossible to break.

Along my trip, I ran into a few people. Old man sitting in A1753458 drinking his single malt Scotch whiskey non-stop. He was so into the movie and burst into tears. I didn’t want to bother him. So I carried on. We seem to be watching the same, but different, movie together. I wanted to check on him again after about 4,000 displacements. He was already gone. It is pretty surprising to see other people,
since most of the time, there are only endless empty seats. I also met this golden retriever. He is the only nonhuman being I have ever met here. He curled up in his seat D938748, and seemed to be sleeping. I stopped by and patted him on the head. He looked at me with his watery black eyes. He looked sad. I kissed him and left him alone.

How do I get out of here? A very enjoyable movie, unending, forever, such entertainment. A movie can be the most condescending and rich medium of art on the planet. When we are watching movies, we live another life. It is idealistic, romantic, sometimes painful but real. For moments we are not ourselves any more. We are shells and movies fulfill us. However, when the lights are back on, the εύδαιµονία ended, we are still hollow shells. There must be an end to all of this. We blame time for making an end, and we blame time for making a beginning.

I want to find the beginning. Since all the seats are numbered in series, there must be an original point—A1. I walked towards the smaller number; I walked towards the answer. The infinity seems to be an illusion. After a little while, a green light gradually appeared from the vanishing point of my vision. I was there, A1 and an exit—a green capitalized E X I T. At A2, sits a woman. She didn’t sit properly. She lay down almost horizontal, her hair extended to A3 and her heels landed on A1. There lay a circle mirror underneath her beautifully curved calves. She seemed to be obsessed with the movie, and as I talked to her, she didn't reply.

Thus, I grabbed onto her ankles and lifted up her legs. I felt the warmth of her body. My heart accelerated. Blood flashed to my skin. For a moment, there was nothing in me. For the next moment, I had everything. For a moment, I almost felt like I was in another movie. For the final moment, I looked into the mirror.

Who is this?

A familiar yet unrecognizable face.

This is me.

Then, the woman in A2 is gone and the golden retriever is gone.

That is also me, the protagonist in the movie.

The infinity collapses.
In a millisecond all the memories turn into reddish liquid and flood back to me. I am the only one left.

My existence vanishes.

VII. The Movie

VIII. The Evangelion
What is εύδαιµονία? I guess it is a different thing for everyone. Yet only a few people know that. People follow what other people follow. Sometimes you feel like you have to. That is true. It is an extremely courageous act, as the world has now been intervened in.The human race was pushed to a point where they now face a greater problem. Also, it made all the previous effort seem meaningless. We are furious.

Will Sisyphus be even happier if he ceaselessly rolls a huge marble here?

None of my business. But I can imagine
Sisyphus must be enjoying it forever.

What is εύδαιµονία? I don’t know.
What is the end? I don’t know.
What comes after the ultimate physical
redemption? I don’t know.
What comes after the ultimate mental redemption? I don’t know.
What is the end? I don’t know.
What comes after the end? I don’t know.
What is eternity? I don’t know.
Why is there eternity and also an end?
I don’t know.
What is εύδαιµονία? I don’t know.
What is εύδαιµονία? I don’t know.
What do we actually want? I don’t know.
Eternity or the End? I don’t know.
Is the End eternal? I don’t know.
Is there an end to Eternity? I don’t know.
What do we know? I don’t know.

What do you think of the greatest artist’s intervention? I don’t know.
Do you think the ever-living mum and daughter will be happy? I don’t know.

What is εύδαιµονία? I don’t know.
What do we want? What are we afraid of?
I don’t know.
Are we afraid of Death? Or the End? Or Eternity? What is εύδαιµονία? I don’t know.
Do we want Death? Do we want the end? Or do we want eternity? Or do we just want to be liked? I don’t know?
What is εύδαιµονία? Do we want to be liked? Why do we want to be liked? I don’t know.
Me? Or Us? What is εύδαιµονία? I don’t know.

I don’t know.
What is εύδαιµονία?
You know.
How do you know?
Who made you know?
How could We all know?
What is εύδαιµονία?

IX. The Poem 
The past.


give up.


(the end of εύδαιµονία)

X. The Alternative Universe
As the years passed, the redness of the land and the ocean became a symbol of life and death, a reminder of the past and a warning for the future. It is also a symbol of power and wealth, as the red seafood was reserved for the elite and the rich, a luxury that only a few could afford. However, this caused a divide between the rich and the poor, a gap that widened with each passing day.

The red seafood was also the subject of many debates and controversies. Some argued that it was the cause of numerous health problems and diseases, while others claimed that it held the secret to eternal life. The world was divided between those who saw it as a blessing and those who saw it as a curse.

In the end, the red mountain and the red ocean became a place of pilgrimage for those seeking answers, a place of worship for those who saw it as a miracle, and a place of sorrow for those who lost their loved ones. The impact of the holy blood changed the world forever, and its legacy will be remembered for generations to come.

But one thing remained the same. The beauty of the redness and the blue sky and white snow was a constant, a reminder of the fragility and the power of life. The red mountain was a symbol of hope, a symbol of renewal, and a symbol of life itself. And as the sun sets, and the sky turns a deep shade of red, the people would look upon the red mountain and know that they too, were a part of something greater, something more beautiful, something more powerful than they could ever imagine.

A note from the author:
This story is influenced by Japanese anime and literature, which often reference catastrophic events that have deeply influenced Japan, a country that has experienced both natural and nuclear disasters. As we learned during the pandemic, facing a global super-natural crisis puts the human-nature relationship in perspective. The holy drop could hit any location on Earth. In a global crisis, race, gender, nationality, and ethnicity fall away. We all seek our own survival, our own euphoria. Art can also be a form of survival, an occasional moment when beauty surpasses anything else.

Zhexing Huang is happy.