Firstly, I would like to say many thanks to blogger horzepower (http://onoffpisi.blogspot.com/) for correcting my grammar, make suggestions on what to add and even googled some pictures for this chapter. For a busy guy, he was certainly kind enough to spend extra time to contribute to this novel and lets hope he will continue to do so.
It took a while for me to start my engine to write chapter 12. I'm such a lazy person when it come to updating my blog that so far I have to invent a new character in every chapter just to keep the engine running.
But the latest character here should be quite familiar for some of you out there. I did not invent him as he's already one of the most legendary character introduced by the Indonesian well known author.
There were 8 titles published between 1978 to 1984 and I have read them all and I still read it today whenever I get bored. After 1984 there's no more stories written about the character and fans were left wondering what happened to the guy in the story.
I decided not to give full details about the character yet to keep the element of surprise. But for those who have read about this character, the title "the immigrant from mandailing" should be enough to provides a hint. But I promised to write my tribute to the books and its prolific author in future posting (and I might even upload the scanned copies of the books for the rest of you to enjoy too!)
I would like to apologize in advance to all my Indonesian fans (if any) my decision to incorporate this much beloved character into my novel offended them. I am such a huuuugeee fan of the novel that I simply cannot help myself from imagining what would it be like if the character.. as the author alleged.. is actually a real living person.
Like chapter 11 - chapter 12 is purely fictional.. and I mean it this time..
CHAPTER 12 - THE IMMIGRANT FROM MANDAILING
proof reader: horzepower
"I can't believe you did this to me.."
Syafiqah was sighing and showing her long face as she said that to me. We were now on the road again heading towards Georgetown after a half day of interesting experience meeting Mr.Lam.
"Excuse me, what have I done this time?" I asked Syafiqah, puzzled by her sudden change of mood in the car.
No answer. Instead she threw me a look as though she was disappointed of me for not getting what she had just said.
"Aahh, come on….. just don't give me that look! I really don't know what you mean.." I was cringing as I said that to her.
"How long have we known each other, huh?" she asked menacingly.
"What do you mean how long?! I just met you yesterday for God's sake!" I almost laughed as I answered her that.
"That's not what I mean!.... idiot" last words was a bit soft but nevertheless it caught my ear.
Ohhh, now I am an idiot? However not to pour gasoline into the fire so I chose to apologize instead.
"Okay, sorry…what do you mean then?"
"You promised me to tell me how my sister died! But until today..."
She was right of course. I did promise her that I would explain about what I thought about Fatimah’s death. The appearance of all those bite marks on her body had given me some preliminary ideas on what might happened to her and I was planning to keep my promise to Syafiqah. It was just that I was not sure whether she was ready not only to give a thought but even to hear my theory which was stranger than fiction. In order to make her understand, I need to give her a crash course of what a Luciferian was all about and I know exactly the suitable person for that.
"We are going to meet a friend of mine. He will tell you what you want to know and after that you're going back to Kuala Ketil as being promised"
I put my feet on the gas as Syafiqah and I were speeding toward Georgetown in the rental car. There I was supposed to finally met Cacamerba and Imam Ali for our afternoon tea. My mind was still reeling from the shock after listening to Mr.Lam's story an hour ago.
It was during lunch that I discovered that one of Mr.Lam's workers that night was the same person who ferried Fatimah and Robert with Mr.Lam's boat to Jerejak Island on September 19th for their planned vacation. It got even weirder when knowing that he was also the same person who were called by Robert to ferry them back to the Penang three days later.
Life sometimes stranger than fiction, is it not?
At 11.45pm after almost being choked by 'himself', William Blatty and the three Chinese monks were rushed out from the island towards Penang. The Chinese monks (Master Mak in particular) were such in hurry to get themselves as far as possible from Jerejak that they even refused to spend another night at one of the luxury hotel owned by the Pangs.
William was not as much in hurry to get out as the monks. Unlike the monks whom were consumed by fear after that terrifying night, it was not fear that dominated his feeling, instead it was regret and sorrow that dominated the catholic priest.
Later after flown back to the United States, Mr.Lam and the priest developed a long distance friendship via emails. Feeling grateful by what Mr.Lam and his workers had done that saved his life, a week later William sent him a thank you letter with a cheque of $10,000 dollars (RM31,624.75) written on it. Mr.Lam did not take even a dime from it. Instead, he gave the money to his two workers Isa and Pak Erwin. Isa was ecstatic to receive 95% of the money while Pak Erwin for some reasons only agreed to take 5% before he disappeared.
Also by this time Mr.Lam was beginning to have a change of heart on his belief. Who can blame him? He had witnessed a demon defeating 3 well paid monks and an elite soldier of Christ before the demon itself was defeated just by his very own workers! One in particular whom he had never had much thought of having any abilities except honest and doing normal daily works. An event of such magnitude would changed anyone's perception regardless who that person was.
A book definitely must not be judge by its cover. This is certainly true in the case of 56 years old employee fondly known as Pak Erwin by Mr.Lam and the rest of his family. Pak Erwin actually was an Indonesian who entered Malaysia illegally in 1985 at the age of 34. Not much was known about him except that he was illegally working as a supervisor with a Pahang palm oil plantation in (back in the 80's the enforcement of the immigration laws was not as vigorous as nowadays) when he met his wife, a Malaysian girl who happened to work as a clerk with the same company. His wife then helped him to apply for entry permit into Malaysia and after 7 years of marriage with no kids, Pak Erwin finally received his red identification card which acknowledged him as permanent resident in his new country.
Mr.Lam met Pak Erwin when Pak Erwin and his wife was still working at the plantation. Back then, Mr.Lam managed to secure a contract to build 10 units small houses for plantation management workers. Impressed by Pak Erwin’s diligent and honest traits, Mr.Lam then persuaded Pak Erwin and his wife to migrate to Penang and work for him.
Eventually, Pak Erwin only accepted Mr.Lam’s offer after the unfortunate death of his wife a year after that and moved to Penang. Since thereon, Pak Erwin has become a friend and loyal servant of Mr.Lam and his family. Pak Erwin practically became Mr.Lam’s right hand on all personal matters. He was entrusted to drive the car, take care of the boat, take care of the house when the family went for vacation, look after Mr.Lam’s small children when the parent’s was not home and et cetera. In return, Mr.Lam renovated the back of his house to provide an exclusive room - with its own entry door, toilet and kitchen – for Pak Erwin. Mr.Lam also paid Pak Erwin better wages than Pak Erwin was paid in Pahang. Furthermore, Mr.Lam saw no reason for Pak Erwin to spend a dime because Mr.Lam was more than willing to pay for Pak Erwin’s monthly groceries too.
I remember asking these questions to Mr.Lam during lunch.
“So, this Pak Erwin.. he was nearby when Master Mak performed his first exorcism on the beach of the Island?”
“Yes, he was. He and Isa helped bring the tables and the foods for the deities to the shore for the afternoon ritual” answered Mr.Lam.
“……and except for the flying stone, nothing else happened?”
“…but on the second night few weeks later, Pak Erwin was not in the house with you?” asking as if I seek confirmation from Mr.Lam.
“Yes. He and Isa were 500 meters from the house making sure the boats were ready just in case we need to escape.” answered Mr.Lam.
“..and all hell breaks loose?”
“Hmmm.. now you mentioned it… Yes…” I can see that Mr.Lam was now as intrigued as I was.
“Where’s Pak Erwin now?”
Unfortunately, as told by Mr.Lam, one morning he found Pak Erwin’s room empty with just a note and RM30,043.52 left behind. In his note, Pak Erwin apologized for having to resign from his employment in such hurry. He thanked Mr.Lam for treating him kind all these while and requested Mr.Lam to thank William for the money. Pak Erwin however believed that Isa might needed the money more than he was and therefore he have decided to accept only 5% which equivalent to RM1,581.23 from William. In his final words, he advised Mr.Lam to pursue his new found interest on Islam and to take care of himself and his family.
I looked at Syafiqah who was having her mouth full. She looked back at me with her eyebrow raised. I look back at Mr.Lam with further questions in mind.
“Please tell us in detail how Pak Erwin saved William that night. Was he the one who performed Adzan?”
* * * * * * * *
“Pak Erwin, did you hear that?”
It was windy that night but Isa was sure that the sounds he just heard was coming from an animal. Pak Erwin did not reply but was now standing on the boat with an alarmed face, looking towards the direction of the house his employer and his guests had gone into.
“Can’t figured it out, sounded more like a bull?....” asked Isa again.
“Shhhh.. be silenced” Pak Erwin put his finger on his lips as the growling sound was getting louder and louder around them. The eerie sound started echoing around them.
Isa could have sworn it sounded like a grunt of a bull. He was so tensed with eyes searching of any movement in the darkness.
From the corner of his eyes, a glimpse of several dark figures can be traced moving in the bushes mixed with branches sounded murmuring added to the misery. The feeling of being watched was very overwhelming at this time that he quickly took a cover behind Pak Erwin.
Pak Erwin still in his position, as if scanning the situation and assessing what to do next.
Pak Erwin suddenly broke his silence. Words spoken which at first seems as if to nobody. Then Isa realized that his colleague was in the midst of making contact, communicating with ‘someone’.
“I am Erwin, son of Dja Lubuk, grandson on Raja Tigor, progeny of Datu Nan Kuniang. I can see all of you tho not knowing name each of you . Name yourself each of you oo ancient Djin…”
The sounds and movements around them suddenly stopped. Everything seems at paused as if the rest of the world stopped moving, except the heartbeats of the two men pounding hard.
Then there was the most inhumane voice Isa has ever heard in his entire life.
“Don’t you dare showing off your knowledge here son of Dja Lubuk. You…low life from Sumatera! This .. is.. not .. your .. place ..”
The voice was as deep as Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies but with more fearsome tremble that make Isa’s whole body felt weaken with fear. Fortunately, he was able to cling to the right arm of Pak Erwin or otherwise he would definitely falls to the boat’s floor.
Amazingly, Pak Erwin managed to maintain calmness. Knowing stay focus is the key in overcoming panic, because once panic being shown then they’re done. He just smiled as he continues speaking to the stranger’s voice. Potraying a deceitful smiling face since he needs all the energy to contained panic and scare deep inside him from being shown to face his nemesis.
Smile even you’re hurt, focus even you’re panic and calm even you re’angry. Never show to your nemesis your ill feelings or else, game over.
“All knowledge in this universe is from Allah. Surely an ancient beings like you know that?”
Suddenly, there was an angry grunt followed with a rush of wind as if ‘something’ hitting the boat causing the boat to rock back and forth and almost got it turned over. Isa can see now that Pak Erwin’s lips now moving rapidly as if he was praying, something of which no one else can hear.
Pak Erwin maintained his prayer chants.
Deep inside him….the state of equilibrium must be kept….smile even you re hurt, focus even you re panic and calm even you re angry. Never show to your nemesis your ill feelings or else, game over.
The boat stops rocking and went back to its normal position.
Then the dreadful voice sounded again, this time in much higher tone…more to like one who’s trying very hard controlling his anger, “You despicable half human immigrant from Mandailing! Do you think you can interfere our wills?’’
Followed with cynical laughter with growling at the end.
“I tell you this you worthless half human! Even if your father, grandfather, all friends of yours and those ‘pets’ of yours come from the other side of the sea to your assistance, still you will not be able to stop the like of us who have live for thousands of years!’’
Again, ended with the same cynical laugh with growling at the end unable to hide his wrath no more.
Now the voice now become ‘voices’ and several different supernatural entities were now laughing in unison. Pak Erwin’s expression remained calm eventhough a sudden sign of humiliation and anger flashes on his eyes as the entity beings trying to provoke his anger further.
“Allah is my guide now and He will show me the path. I will not burden my life to my family and friends who now rest in peace in my homeland, and insult no more of my other friends as `pets’ as I am no longer their master’’.
“Laa ilaha illalahu wahdahu laa syarika lah lahul mulkuwa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yumiitu wa huwa alaa kulli syai-in qadir …” whispered Pak Erwin directed to the entity beings.
Then there was a voice of someone screaming in excruciating pain as though he had just been pelted with fireballs.
“Huuuuaarrgh…why are you going against us?” asked the voices again in singularity.
“Do you know who that white man is? He’s an infidel! He’s the enemy of your country, your race and your religion. Do you know how much blood he had spilled in your homeland?”
“Then…who is he?” Pak Erwin was now in upper hand, curious to learn a bit about William Blatty.
“Aaaaahhhh….you didn’t know?… even for a great man like you still failed to see who he really is…”
“He’s powerful enough to cloud my vision…Tell me who he is then…”
“He is one of our great accomplishment” a voice of man coming from the left suddenly answered Pak Erwin’s question.
“But he did’t know that… he thought he’s against us.. ” a voice of a woman then followed coming from the right…with eerie high pitch laughter.
“He was wrong… he is one of our servants… we will take him tonight..” the voices of many echoed again filling the dark. This time coming from all directions as if recouping their power again.
“Do you wish to see what he had done to your country, oo Erwin from Mandailing? We can show you the past as though as you were there yourselves”
For a second it seems like Pak Erwin was tempted to take up the offer, but a second later he shook his head. He pointed his finger towards the direction of the house as he speaks.
“No, you leave us alone! I don’t want any harm to come to my friend and the rest of them in there”
As he said that, Pak Erwin stomped his right feet to the floor of the boat. The darkness suddenly filled with hallowing scream of pain by hundreds of voices. At this point Isa was so afraid that he was shivering and trembling behind Pak Erwin’s back.
“What does it means with ‘pets’? What’s pets?” Syafiqah was now as absorbed as I was into the story and could not refrain herself from asking Mr.Lam.
“Dunno..” Mr.Lam lifted both his shoulders.
I sighed as I took the liberty to explain to both of them.
“Pets here means ‘saka’ or ‘peliharaan’. Maybe when he was young he inherited one or several djins from his father who inherited it from the grandfather. In most cases the descendants has no choice but to inherit it from their elders. It’s an extremely difficult problem to solve because the saka had been in the body of that person for so long that they become almost one. But based on your story it sounded like Pak Erwin has solved that problem before he migrated to Malaysia”
Isa told Mr.Lam that while still pressing his feet on the boat’s floor, Pak Erwin keep reciting several Quran verses one after another. The howling of pain continues but this time mixed with curses thrown by several voices to Pak Erwin.
“You will pay for this you filthy half human! We won’t forget! We will find you..!”
Echoing…filling the darkness…then the voices disappeared.
Pak Erwin immediately jumped from the boat and started to walk towards the house. He dragged the coward Isa with him and pat his back.
“Let’s go! Mr.Lam and his guests are in danger!”
For some reason, Isa felt much better after receiving the pat from Pak Erwin. Both his feet no longer felt like jelly as he regained some of his guts back.
As they closing into the house, they can hear noises inside the house but not that loud. Carefully both of them slightly opened the door and took a peek to see what was going on inside.
And what a sight it was.
Mr.Lam and the Caucasian guy were rolling together on the floor as the Caucasian guy was gasping for air and with both his hands on his neck. At first Isa thought the guy was putting his hands there on purpose but then he heard Mr.Lam shouted in Malay “Let it go! Let it go!”. The stunned Isa then realized the guy was committing suicide by choking himself.
“I’m going in” said Pak Erwin.
Isa turned his head towards Pak Erwin to say something but Pak Erwin already closed his eyes and silently prayed for a few seconds before re-opening his eyes.
Pak Erwin then look at Isa.
“When I open the door and enter, you must recite Adzan as loud as you can. It will momentarily disabled the demons now possessing the white man and that Chinese guy. Can you do it?”
“Yes.. I think so” answered Isa even though he began to feel his blood rushing from his feet all the way to his head again. Both his feets were about to turn into jelly again.
Pak Erwin then opened the small bag he had always wear around his waist. From in it he took out a small plastic beg. It contained a mixture of salt and black pepper of which Pak Erwin had recited doa on daily basis.
“What’s that?” asked Isa.
Pak Erwin just grinned as he poured the mixture into the palm of his right hand and then grip it tight in a fist.
"It's nothing. Are you ready? Wait until three okay?" said Pak Erwin as his left hand goes for the handle of the door.
Isa nodded, and then..
"One, two, ...."
Inside, William was slowly closing his eyes as he finally accepted his fate to die and go to hell for the sins he had committed in life.
It's true what people said that your past in life does flashes rapidly before your eyes seconds before you died.
He remembered Indonesia in 1998. He and others like him had been instructed to bring trillion of rupiahs to be distributed to hundreds of street thugs as payment to attack and robbed hundreds of houses and premises belonging to the Chinese. He remembers how he grimaced to learn that no only the thugs targeted properties as instructed, they even raped women along the way for fun. He vigorously objected this outcome but his peers on the other hand had told him that collateral damage like that is unfortunate yet unavoidable.
He remembered at 8.00 am he was smoking while standing in front of a building in New York waiting for a lady friend who was supposed to go to work on the 82nd floor that day. He managed to intercept her at the entrance and casually persuaded her to have breakfast with him at the nearby cafe. Then 46 minutes later an American Airline Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He knew for months that it was coming and that there were bombs inside. He was told that the actual American casualties would be limited. It was only later that he learned that the project was meant to be as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
And he remembered Iraq last year. He and his friends were brought in from their retirement to plan an attack that would disintegrate the Iraqis unity. The group said it was necessary to prevent further loss of American soldiers that had been badly affected by the Iraqis insurgents who were united against them. Based on their study on the Iraqis social culture, a team of six men walked into a mosque in the city of Samarra at dawn while disguising themselves in Iraqis military uniform. Half an hour later bombs exploded causing the golden dome of Al-Askari mosque to collapse and destroying three quarters of the structures with it. As planned by him, no one died in the explosions. But to his surprise, what followed later that day is a bloodbath between the syiahs and the sunnis as both groups accused each other which later led to one thousands death on its first day alone. In many months to come, other teams from CIA and MOSSAD continue to fuel the sectarian violence amongst Iraqis which led to the ultimate victory for the American forces.
Yups, he definitely deserves to go to hell.
The door suddenly was opened by someone. In the midst of panic and with head still spinning after being thrown away by an unforeseen force, Mr.Lam was not able to see clearly who had just came to join the chaos.
There was a sudden hurricane blowing inside the house accompanied by what must have been an earthquake. The altar where the candles were lit falls to the floor and crashed in one gigantic thunderous sound. With all the candles in the house went off, the house was suddenly engulfed in darkness with only the moon shining its light through the opened door.
In the darkness he heard something weird. It sounded like there were several other people screaming, groaning and moaning at the same time. He can hear several others male and female voices in the air. Some were shouting obscene words at someone while the rest were screaming in pain. To the best of his recollection, there were only seven of them coming to this place. Who the hell were the rest?
“Asyhadu Allah Illa ha Illalaaaaaaaahh…..”
Mr.Lam recognized that one voice. That sounded like his employee Isa. If that was Isa then where was his best friend Pak Erwin?
“No! No! Stop it! Stop it!”
A woman was heard shouting. She sounded like Fran Drescher from that “the Nanny” television series.
“Why don’t you just die you fucking bastard! Die you worthless mother fucker shit!”
And there was a sound of a guy too. If he had to describe how it sounded then he would say that the voice sounded like a creepier version of Van Diesel.
“I’m blind! I’m blind! …I can’t see a thing!!. …Huuuu.. Huuuuu… It huurrrrttsss..”
Mr.Lam swore that sounded like Miss Piggy from the Sesame Street series.
“Wa ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullaaaaah…”
And suddenly there was a moment of silence as the whole world seems filled only by the sound of Adzan as Isa continued the full recital of Adzan which lasted almost 2 minutes. He also heard a second person reciting something in Arabic.
Then Mr.Lam hears a three person conversation in the dark but he cannot details it. He opened his eyes and he can see a figure of someone standing towering two other persons who lay on the floor.
“No you won’t! Huwallaahul ladzii laa ilaaha illaa huwa 'aalimul ghaibiwasy syahaadati huwar rahmaanur rahiim.Huwallaahulladzii laa ilaaha illaa huwal maalikul qudduududsalaamul mu'minul muhaiminul 'aziizul jabbaarulmutakabbir.Shubhaanallaahu 'ammaayussyrikuun.Huwallahul khaaliqul baariul mushawwirulahul asmaa'ul husnaa,yusabbihu maa fis samaawaatiwal ardli wa huwal 'aziizul hakiim”
The guy standing was saying something in Arabic that Mr.Lam could not undertand. As his eyes adjusted itself to see through the darkness, he can now see that the one standing was Pak Erwin and he was lifting his hands as he was praying.
Then there was a voice of someone extremely in pain. The voice was groaning and moaning between words as he forced himself to speak to Pak Erwin.
“I’ll.. be.. back…..”
(For some reason that voice together with its accent and sentence sounded very familiar to Mr.Lam)
Suddenly he himself felt blinded with flashes of bright light with thought it will never be over yet.
It was Isa aiming a bright 9V flashlight to his face.
“Boss, you okay kah?”
“Aiyah! You ahhh…just get that thing away from my face, Isa!”
At 11:45pm they were all on the boat speeding towards Penang. The rest as Mr.Lam told me, is history.
William spent another week staying at Mr.Lam’s house upon the house owner’s invitation. Mr.Lam suspected that the reason why he accepted his invitation (It was a half hearted invitation actually. Sometimes inviting a foreigner to stay in his house is a Malaysian way of being polite) was because William wanted to express his gratitude to Pak Erwin. But for some reason Pak Erwin treated William differently from the rest of guests that had stayed in his house before. Almost every day William tried to say thanks or something to Pak Erwin but most of the time Pak Erwin just stares at him with outmost loath drawn all over his face. Mr.Lam even heard William saying things in Malay like “selamat pagi Bapak Erwin” and “terima kasih Tuan Erwin” (which was weird) and still Pak Erwin pretended not to hear anything William had said. Why Pak Erwin feels that way against William remains a mystery
Perhaps some are gifted having the extra dimensional sense when seeing others…the sixth sense. Perhaps William had seen the true capabilities of “Tuan Erwin” what others can’t see during the helter skelter.
Mr.Lam chooses not to ask the reason…