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Night Moves | Fiction (Paywalled)

Read a newly translated short story from writer Hu Yuesheng


The crisp sound of the chess pieces on the board echoed up into the leaves of the poplar tree. There was a tap and a slide, and another soldier fell. The player whose General was in danger straightened his back. He had broken out in a cold sweat. He stared at the pieces on the board, noting their position, studying the peeling lacquer.

He knew that he had lost but he wasn’t willing to resign the game. He was a veteran of these games in the park. In this world, he was a venerable General. When men get up in years, their worlds shrink, as if they are returning to childhood. Children compete for modest prizes like a bouquet of plastic flowers; old men compete for dignity and honor. That’s why he wasn’t willing to resign the game. He held his breath and continued silently studying the board. His ears were turning red from frustration.

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Night Moves | Fiction (Paywalled) is a story from our issue, “Lessons For Life.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.



Born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, in 1992, Hu Yuesheng works as an urban and rural planner by day. She describes herself as loving the city, the countryside, and the people who live on this land. Hu writes short stories and draws comics, and has since published two short story collections, Goodbye, Jianghu (《再见江湖》) and A Flash Back of How We Got Married (《关于结婚的一场倒叙》), on the digital publishing platform Douban.

Translated By

Dylan Levi King is a writer and translator. His most recent translations are Cai Chongda’s “Vessel” (HarperCollins) and Jia Pingwa’s “The Shaanxi Opera” (AmazonCrossing).

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