Death of Hong

Translated by: 
Yoonna Cho



The sound of dogs barking woke him up. Ahn reached out reflexively for his phone, which he had placed at the head of his bed. It felt familiar and solid in his hand, but his ears were still mistaking his ringtone for the barking of dogs.


Coincidentally, he had been dreaming that he was being chased by a pack of black dogs and had just ducked into a phone booth with broken glass. The barking dogs were slavering at the mouth, sharp teeth bared. Ahn clutched the phone with trembling hands as his knees nearly buckled from a sharp urge to urinate.


Hello? Is s-somebody there? Ahn sputtered, when the signal finally went through. The dogs vanished as suddenly as if they’d been swallowed by a thick fog. Not just the dogs, but the streetlights, the vandalised phone booth, and the handset he had been clutching, leaving Ahn standing alone in a deserted field.


Hello? Hello! Ahn yelled, darting back and forth. The field was dark and completely silent, without so much as a breath of wind, but the sky was a sight to see – curtains of green and purple light rippling over each other like the aurora borealis. It reminded him of a story he had read long before. Once upon a time, there was a wanderer who travelled to the end of the world and, finding nowhere else to go, tore a hole in the sky and disappeared through it. Ahn stretched his arms up to the sky, wondering if it was his only exit out of the strange field. The mysterious lights in the sky looked close enough to touch, but he could not reach them.


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