Read Han Song‘s “The Wheel of Samsara”, from The Apex Book of World SF, exclusively at io9!
She traveled in Tibet and one day arrived at Doji lamasery. It was a small temple of Tibetan Buddhism now in a bleak, half-ruined state. What Caught her eye was a string of bronze wheels hung around the wall of the temple. They were called the Wheels of Samsara.
There was a total of one hundred and eight wheels, moving in the wind; they symbolized the eternal cycle of life and death; of everything. She quickly noticed that one of them was a strange colour of dark green, singling itself out from the others, which were yellow.
It was the thirty-sixth wheel when counted clockwise.
She touched the wheels one by one, and made a vow to Sakyamuni, the Great Buddha. Midway through a sudden gale began to blow and a heavy mist fell. She was scared and she ran back to the temple.
She stayed in the lamasery that night.
The gale continued and became a rainstorm. Thunder and flashes of lightning were splitting the mountains and the sky.
She could not fall asleep on such a night, and at midnight she thought she could hear of the sob of the Tibetan plateau, which reminded her of her dead mother and her lonely father on Mars.
Suddenly, she heard a cry.
It was a miserable sound, weak as a hairspring and harsh as a woman’s weeping, and it made her think of a ghost.