She was Smiling
In a rural family, my grandparents and relatives have strong gender biases.
I consulted a large number of data reports, most of which presented some gender preferences and facts about female infanticide in a calm and heavy manner. For example, the seventh census data of China in 2021 shows that there are 34.9 million more men than women, which means that there have been many girls who have disappeared because of fetal gender selection. But many people have no concept of this.
In this project, I wrote a story about Death telling a White Lie to comfort the baby.
She arrived in a mysterious, empty, and chaotic place.
A thin man approached her.
"Come," he said softly.
She gazed up at him, observing his crown,
halo, and robe in silence.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"To a place where there's no pain," he replied.
The surroundings were magnificent and constantly changing, like a dream.
She followed him cautiously.
Then, she noticed countless shining dots twinkling in the distance.
"What are these glittering objects?" she asked. He looked at her with empty eyes and lied, "These are the stars in the sky. Each one represents the tears of those who miss you."
He was Death.
At the end of the journey,
he put her to sleep in a coffin,
and she never woke up again.
In reality, her family had discussed that if the B-ultrasound revealed a female fetus, they would opt for a termination.
At the moment before her death, the doctor informed her mother, "She is smiling."
*Note: The illustration is based on a true story.
About the girl who was chosen by her family to have an abortion simply because of her gender. The little girl in the story is the author's unborn sister. This caused the author a long period of internal torment.
So in the illustration, the author imagines a kindly Death that accompanies the baby girl on her final journey.