ZHEZHI SPIDERS SWARMED over the old lady and her luggage, hunting for drugs and weapons and everything else forbidden in Hu Jintao’s China. They had been folded in their thousands from communist red paper and tittered as they searched, the sound not unlike tearing tissue.
‘Méiyǒu,’ whispered the spiders, finding nothing. ‘Méiyǒu. Méiyǒu.’ A brooding airport official in a collared navy uniform waved the old lady through customs. She tottered off, crushing a stray spider beneath her bag’s rolling wheels and leaving a crumpled red mess twitching on the glossy tiles.
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