Sunday, February 15, 2009


Lane Street had a big feast that day. All the neighborhood gathered up at Badar’s house to attend the wedding ceremony of his first daughter, Sharifah. Sharifah was indeed a very beautiful young woman, and she was the most beautiful girl in the neighborhood. Almost everybody in the neighborhood had a crush on her, but it was all too unfortunate for them. Sharifah never had any interest in any of them.

Badar had one good principle in his life about marriage. The first in-law of the family should be chosen carefully because he wanted to give a good impression to all the residents in Lane Street. He felt nobody was qualified from Lane Street to meet his standards. Due to that, he had to find somebody else from outside the community. The name of the chosen bridegroom was Amir and he worked as a government civil servant. Even though the pay was not that high, to a village resident like Badar, having an in-law who works with the government is already something to brag about.

Badar loved his daughter very much, and he realized that after the wedding he would lose her daughter because of course she wanted to live with her husband. But he knew he had to let go of her daughter because that is the way life should be. He spent lavishly for the wedding and the ceremony went on for almost a week. All his relatives and friends were invited.

Daud was also invited to the wedding ceremony. Even though he didn’t have the heart to be there, Daud knew it was the perfect time for him to make a revengeful move. Ready or not, the wedding was the right place and the right time to release Malika, the sundal bolong.

“Wait until you get to know Malika. When the moment comes, you’ll know the sky is not always clear, and I am not as stupid as you think. At that time, you’ll beg me for mercy,” whispered Daud when he was walking towards Badar’s house.

When he reached there, everyone looked at him in question. They were wondering why Daud hadn’t been at Badar’s house during the preparing days of the wedding. Some of them thought Daud was away from home, seeing his son at the town. Some of them said he was sick. But the rumors stopped just like that, because nobody was that interested to know further about what happened to Daud. Furthermore, he’s a nobody in the neighborhood.

The ultimate day of the wedding ceremony had arrived, and that was the day when Daud went to Badar’s house. Badar’s house was full of people, loud music playing in the background, little children playing and running happily around. Mothers gathered in small groups here and there, gossiping while doing chores they were assigned to do.

Daud was there alone. Before he left home, Daud ordered Malika to perform her duty as she was told to. He promised to reward her with a special gift if Malika succeeded in this task.

Daud headed straight to the dining tent and joined the other guests. He was just starting his meal when suddenly he heard panic voices came from inside Badar’s house.

“What happened?” asked one of the guests to Daud, because he was the one sitting next to him. Daud shook his head innocently, as if he didn’t know a thing about the incident. But actually he felt so proud at that time, because he knew Malika had really done her job well. Daud was really happy because he succeeded to humiliate Badar on his daughter’s wedding day.

From Badar’s house, the panic voices became louder. Several women from the bride’s room ran downstairs, asking for Badar.

“Where’s Badar?” asked Minah, one of the women.

“What’s the matter?” replied Razak, the man who was asked by Minah.

“This is about Sharifah. She fell down and fainted all of a sudden. Go and find Badar. Tell him, his daughter fainted.”

Razak ran quickly to where Badar was standing. At that time Badar was at the reception, waiting and entertaining the guests. .

“Badar! Your daughter fainted! Hurry up!” Razak said without proper pronounciation, due to short of breath after running too quickly.

“What?”Badar was surprised, but followed Razak without questioning any further. He left the reception duties to another ad-hock who was with him at that time.

Badar ran straight into his house. As soon as he reached the steps, he raced upstairs into his daughter’s room. Badar saw her daughter was lying unconscious on the dresser’s lap. According to the dresser’s word, Sharifah was attacked by sundal bolong. She had seen something similar to what happened to Sharifah before. It happened in another wedding a couple of months back, and she was the bride’s dresser.

Sundal bolong is evil. After a while, you will see Sharifah will start grunting and pushing around as if she is mad. She will scream her lungs out. The faint phase is just the beginning, before sundal bolong really sets in her body. You’ll see,” explained Lela, the name of the dresser.

Badar turned silent after he heard the explanation from Lela. In his heart, he hoped everything could be turned back to normal because he didn’t afford to accept shame and humiliation when his in-law’s family arrived later. He didn’t want them to get a bad first impression of his image and dignity.

Badar didn’t know what to do but the dresser saved the situation. She gave an idea. She said Badar should find somebody who is an expert in ghosts and evil spirits. Badar knew Pawang Pahar would be able to cure, but Badar was ashamed to invite Pawang Pahar to his house because Badar didn’t even invited him to the wedding ceremony. Badar had a fight with Pawang Pahar a few months back. He really regretted that he had a fight with Pawang Pahar.

Inspite all that, Badar suspected it was Pawang Pahars doing that made his daughter fainted. Badar never thought it was Daud who did all that. It never occurred to him that his own ill doing towards Daud was then being paid back.

The gossip about Sharifah being possessed by sundal bolong had spread quickly among the guests. Everybody was then talking about it. However, Daud who was mingling with them didn’t dare to open his mouth. He didn’t want to take any risk into nosing and gossiping with people he hardly knew.

Soon afterwards, a loud and shrieking voice was heard from upstairs. Daud got up from his sittings and slowly he went up the stairs of Badar’s house. He squeezed himself to get into Sharifah’s room. He saw Sharifah was held by six men, and saw the expression on Badar’s face. Badar looked so pale with no traces of blood on this face.

“Isn’t there anybody that can cure her?” asked Daud. Everybody around him stood still and became silent. Sharifah was still kicking and grunting to get free from the grip of the six men. Her well groomed hair was already loosening up its tidiness and her facial expression turned wild. Her eyes became bloody red and she kept grinning and showing her gritting teeth. It was a such a frightful face to look at.

“Let me free! Let me beat up the son of a *****!” said Sharifah while still struggling and kicking fiercely.

When Daud saw Sharifah was becoming more fierce, he quickly asked a teenager who was standing nearby to get him coconut oil, some shallots and a handful of black pepper.

“Bring the things to me quick,” ordered Daud to the boy. Badar who was standing in the room looked at Daud helplessly. He had to give permission to Daud, because he was in total blank at the moment. Any effort was welcome, rather than nothing at all. Badar really hoped her daughter could be cured before his in-laws family arrive.

Badar didn’t believe Daud at all, but as long as Sharifah could be cured he would be grateful at the moment. Soon, the boy came with all the things requested by Daud. The things changed hands and Daud took several pieces of the black pepper and 3 shallots. He asked for a small saucer to mix the coconut oil with the black pepper.

After he got the saucer, Daud poured the coconut oil onto it. Then he picked up the shallots together with the black pepper on the saucer and cited something like a serment towards the things.

Sharifah became more aggressive. She screamed out her lungs and she never shifted her stare from Daud’s face. She looked straight into Daud’s eyes and both eyes were flaming red. She looked like she would want to eat him alive.

Daud was still calm. He didn’t show he was scared. He looked back at Sharifah’s scary face with a staring glare. Then he ordered the six men to carry Sharifah to her bed, so that she could lie down.

“It is always a pleasure to me when a patient is lying down. It makes my job easier,” said Daud while throwing a cynical smile towards Badar. Badar could not return Daud’s smile in a tight situation like that. It was awkward.

Daud turned his attention to what he was doing. He put the shallots at Sharifah’s right toe. Sharifah seemed calmer than before. However, her eyes was still staring madly at Daud. It was as if she was showing a protest of what Daud was doing to her.

Daud continued pressing the shallots at Sharifah’s right toe while his mouth cited something which could not be heard by anyone in the room. After he finished citing, Daud took the black pepper into his hands and squeezed them on Sharifah’s right toe.

Now, Sharifah didn’t kick and struggle anymore. She was not screaming either. She lied down in a somewhat calm situation, only that everybody could see her chest was heaving heavily. Her breath sounded like the waves from the ocean. It seemed like she had just entered a one thousand kilometer marathon.

“Now tell me. What’s your name?” scolded Daud.

Sharifah didn’t utter a word. Her bloody red eyes stared back in complete anger.

“Speak up. What’s your name?” Daud increased his voice to an angrier tone. Everybody from the guest tent could hear him.

“Malika,” answered Sharifah softly. Everybody looked at each other when they heard Sharifah uttering the name Malika.

“Your parents’ name?” asked Daud while squeezing harder on Sharifah’s right toe. The shallot broke into pieces because the squeeze was too hard.

Sharifah didn’t feel the pain at all. She kept being silent for a while.

Daud was asking just to prove to everybody that he didn’t know anything about the sundal bolong. It was just an act to cover his evil doings. He also did it because he wanted to show to everybody that he was capable of curing Sharifah. He wanted to show that he was the one in charge now. Not Badar, but him.

Daud was sure Malika didn’t know his name, because he never told her.

“Tell me quick. Who are your parents? If you don’t tell me, I’ll kill you this instant!” Daud warned, showing off as if he was the real warrior.

“I don’t know! I don’t know!” said Sharifah. Badar began to become convinced that Daud was able to cure her daughter. He smiled with hope.

“If you have no master nor parents, it is better if you leave now or else I’ll kill you,” ordered Daud.

“I will obey you, but you have to fulfill several conditions,” said Sharifah. It seemed like that but actually it was Malika who was speaking.

“What’s the condition?” scolded Daud.

“You have to give me seven roasted chicken for seven consecutive days, together with one kilograms of chicken liver, and one kilogram of goat liver for seven consecutive days also. If you fail to fulfill this condition, I will come back.”

Daud turned to look at Badar. Badar nodded his head and agreed to everything that came out from her daughter’s mouth. He only wanted the sundal bolong to get out, because that’s the most important thing of all.

“We agree to your condition. But you have to promise to get out now,” ordered Daud.

Sharifah’s body moved upwards in an abrupt. A few seconds later she was fully awake but she looked very tired. Daud asked everybody to leave the room, because he wanted to give some air and space for the bride.

Everybody left the room except Lela, the dresser. Badar walked side by side with Daud while continuously thanking him of curing his daughter from the possession of sundal bolong. When both of them reached the dining tent, everybody came towards Daud. He became a celebrity on an instant. Everybody wanted to know more about the sundal bolong and how it came about into Sharifah’s body.

Daud was reluctant to answer any questions. He gave reasons that he had to fight he sundal bolong and he risked his life for doing it. Actually, he didn’t have to do anything. He just sat in front of Sharifah and ordered Malika to get out. That’s all, but nobody knew about that. It was a secret only he knew about.

Now everybody at the wedding ceremony gossiped about Daud. The rumors were Daud had turned into a shaman. They never expected Daud to have such a rare talent. Nobody else in the neighborhood had a special gift like Daud.

“I think Daud learned from Pawang Pahar,” said one of the residents at Lane Street. Most of them knew Daud and Pawang Pahar were close friends.

Lela who was a loud speaker had now slowed down. She was afraid to talk much. She concentrated on her job dressing up the bride. Sharifah looked pale and tired, and she let Lela do her job without saying a word.

Sharifah’s pale complexion was made up carefully by Lela. She tried her best so that Sharifah could look cheerful and glowing with the make-up. Actually Lela was afraid too, somehow she doubted whether the sundal bolong would return and attack Sharifah again. What’s more frightening, Lela was afraid the sundal bolong would attack her as well.

The wedding ceremony was still continued in spite of the horrifying incident. But the ceremony was done quickly and simple due to Sharifah’s condition. After the wedding, Badar came to Daud and thanked him again for saving his dignity. If Daud didn’t help him, he was sure the wedding ceremony would turn out to be a shame.

While shaking hands, Badar slipped an envelope into Daud’s hands. Daud didn’t resist the gift, he only smiled widely. He knew what was inside the envelope. It would certainly be cash. When Daud was returning home, once again he told Badar to call upon him if he needed Daud’s help.

When Daud reached home, he immediately opened the envelope. Inside the envelope was $300. It had been a while for Daud to hold such a big amount of cash. He started counting, if in one day he would get $300, in a month he would earn $9,000. He imagined how rich he would become if he continued to order Malika to enter into rich people’s daughters.

That evening, Badar came to Daud’s house to give the roasted chicken, goat liver and chicken liver as requested by Malika. Badar also added some leftovers from the wedding ceremony. That night Daud and Malika ate like there was a feast. Daud didn’t forget to add a few drops of his own blood into Malika’s meal.

“If you keep following my orders, I will give you more than you get tonight,” said Daud encouragingly to Malika who ate her meal furiously. Malika only nodded in agreement.

After eating, Daud lied down and started thinking. He continuously thinking about Samad and Ali. Both of them were rich and Daud knew they would pay much more to save their daughter’s lives from the attack of sundal bolong.

Before he fell in deep sleep, Daud called both of the men’s name repeatedly. In his head, he could imagine the face of both their daughters. He knew both of them would be the next target soon.

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