Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Four days had passed since the death of Majdi. Hamzah's daughter Zainab, had no tears left to trickle down her sobbing face. Everyone in Lane Street were still mourning and grieving for what had happened to Majdi. Besides his death, everyone feared that they would be the next victim. A normal human being could last three days without water due to thirst. But the thirst of a sundal bolong - nobody wanted to crack their heads to think about it.

During the past four days Hamzah had felt uneasy. As soon as Majdi's funeral was over, he felt as if he was being watched. He can't move about without having that feeling. Hamzah became restless, and he couldn't get a good night's sleep since then. His heartbeats went faster than usual, especially when he was alone.

That night Hamzah went to see Imam Samad. He couldn't bear the feeling of somebody watching him. It was a strange and unwelcome experience for him. Slowly, he paced down the narrow path heading towards Imam Samad's house. He wanted to let Imam Samad know about what was happening to him. At least, if anything happened Imam Samad would know how to react.

Hamzah brought out his old torchlight from his lose jacket. He pressed the on button, hoping it would produce light as usual. But that night the torchlight didn't give it's cooperation. Hamzah shook it several times, hoping that it would just a matter of unadjusted battery. But still, there was no light.

Hamzah began to feel scared. He knew the torchlight was as old as his own age, and the battery had most probably expired. Hamzah turned his head, and the only thing he saw was the dim shadow of the long path which seemed endless from where he stood. He was indeed in the middle of his journey and that meant he was exactly in the middle of a large, unattended orchard.

Going either way was the same thing because he was right in the middle. Having no choice, Hamzah closed his eyes for a second and inhaled a long breath. He whispered some of the holy versus which he knew at heart and continued his journey forward. He wanted to reach Imam Samad's house as quickly as possible, what more with no light in hand and he only had to use his instinct and a little mercy from the half heartedly glowing moon.

Suddenly, Hamzah's heart beat faster. Hamzah knew somebody was still watching him in the darkness and only God knew how scared he was. But there was nothing else to do, but surrender to God's will. Hamzah only hoped God will save him from the evil.

"Hamzah!" A shrieking voice appeared suddenly, trailed with a long, evil laugh.

Hamzah was shocked to hear the voice and the laughter. He thought he knew the voice. He had heard the voice somewhere and sometime in the past but he couldn't remember. He looked everywhere, trying to search from where the voice came from. Half of his mind was scared to death, but the other half told him to think and find courage. His instinct told him he must face the owner of the voice or else, his life would be in jeopardy.

"Who are you!" screamed Hamzah as loudly as he could. He collected all his courage and determined to face the evil thing, whatever it was.

"I am Malika!" said Malika with an arrogant aura. She opened her mouth and a blaze of fire escaped from the opening. Her fiery eyes were full of revenge and hatred.

"Malika?" Hamzah uttered in amazement and quietly to himself, beginning to realize where he had heard the name before. Then he nodded. He recalled the time when Daud had spoken to Malika on one of the wedding ceremonies in Lane Street. Now Hamzah understood. Daud was the master of Malika, and now he was dead. Malika was left without a master, and without a master a sundal bolong's existence would be the worst disaster Lane Street could have.

"Surrender yourself! I've waited this moment for ages. Now... you're completely mine! Mine!" yelled Malika in the most disgusting yet terrifying voice.

Malika stepped forward towards Hamzah. She opened her sharp jawed mouth and ready to attack.

Hamzah had nowhere to turn to. He closed his eyes and waited nervously.