[SNEAK PEEK] DARK DEMON RISING

DARK DEMON RISING By Tunku Halim

 

It was past 2:30 and the dance floor was a mass of quivering bodies.

George shouted his excuses and pulled his wife to leave. Minah and I took that opportunity to say our goodbyes too.

“Good night, guys,” Rama called as he lounged on the sofa with Beatrice, the corpulent girl. By now they had their arms swarming over each other, only our presence stopping their lips from meeting and their bodies mutually ravaging each other.

“Be a good boy, now!” Minah called as we left the table. “And Beatrice, don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

Rama roared with laughter and waved us away, his white teeth flashing.

I was about to turn away, when I stopped. I could not pull my eyes away from Rama’s face.

His neck.

His darker complexion could not hide the heavy line of blackness that grew there, the gash that swelled thickly like a string of opals and spilled in heavy drops down his neck, staining his white shirt. Rama’s eyes rolled toward the ceiling, an expression of pain and disbelief displayed on his face.

Blood splattered his chest.

I staggered back and gasped.

Everything stopped: all light, all movement, all life.

Just Rama and I.

Him bleeding profusely with the dark liquid pooling at his thousand-dollar shoes. And I – helpless, alone and trembling.

Then Rama laughed.

All lights, all movement, all life swam back into action. Beatrice must have made some comment Rama found highly amusing. There was no string of opals, no blood on his white shirt, no pools at his shoes. The vision was gone.

Perhaps it was too much drink. Maybe the food was too rich. Perhaps escargot, champagne and whisky don’t mix.

I shook my head and quickly followed the others.

We stepped out of the club into a car thief’s paradise: a huge car park – still packed with vehicles. For a few seconds we enjoyed the relative peace and quiet, the music still thumping behind us.

We spent a few minutes saying goodbye. George made a couple of jokes about architects and God and we laughed heartily. I decided not to tell any lawyer jokes, for we would be here all night.

As a regular, my white Porsche had a spot right in front. I swaggered up to it, the crazy vision of Rama covered in blood forgotten. The distinct sound of the door shutting, so perfectly, sent a pleasurable thrill up my spine.

Pressing my foot on the accelerator, the Carrera screeched out the gate. Minah giving a little shriek, I felt blood surge in my veins. In the rear-view mirror, George and Cindy waved from their late-model BMW. Minah blew kisses back at them.

“A wonderful night, darling,” she said when she finally settled down. “Great fun, great drinks, good people.”

She leaned back in her seat and, false fingernails flashing, thumbed a message on her phone. Her expression sounded like an advert for rum on ice on a tropical island, but I said nothing and changed gears instead.

“Yeah, they sure are good people.” I grinned. “George is a great architect. His company’s growing by leaps and bounds. Projects everywhere.”

“He’s a real interesting guy … but you, my darling Shazral, are the best, and the way Rama was going on about you, you sound like the best lawyer in the world.”

“Not quite, but soon, only a matter of time.”

“Then I’ll be the best lawyer’s wife and I can have all the dresses I want!” She laughed and turned on the music. “We could travel the world. Won’t it be marvelous?”

I nodded, grinning. It would be wonderful to travel, all of it with Minah, and there was much to be happy about.

This was indeed a great night and I capped it off by speeding through the quiet streets found only at 3 in the morning. Above us stood tall, brightly-lit office towers and shimmering hotels – monuments lifting majestically to the purple night sky. I drove past huge construction sites with promises of even taller, more spectacular buildings. I shot past amber lights, letting the engine loose from a purr to a roar.

Ten minutes later, we turned into the suburbs and were met by criss-crossing streets, a hundred dark windows gazing and apartments standing tall like sentries in the distance.

I eased to a stop outside Minah’s terrace house where her father paid the rent while she studied at a local university. These houses were older than most. The streets were wider and the branches of mature trees on either side had spread themselves above the parked cars.

“Want to come in?” Minah asked.

“Can’t get enough of me, eh?” I said, grinning.

Minah elbowed my arm.

“Ouch, that hurt.” I made a face, making a pretense of pain.

“I’ll kiss it better.” She reached for me and our mouths met, long and deep.

I pulled away, gasping.

“You’re supposed to kiss my arm.”

“I prefer your lips.” She leaned forward and I kissed her soft, full lips again.

“Why don’t you come in?” she said. “I’ve got some Ethiopian coffee.”

“Really?” I said. “Can’t refuse that.”

I followed her out of the car and pushed open the front gate. We held hands as we walked up her well-kept driveway. As is the Malay custom, we took off our shoes, but instead of leaving mine outside for others to see, I brought mine into the house. It wouldn’t be good for the neighbors to know that she had a male visitor.

Minah switched on the light. In one corner of the lounge were her books, files and papers for her research degree.

I sat on the sofa and flicked through my phone.

Minah brought out two cups of coffee.

“Smells great, my beautiful.”

“Yes, I just love it. Oh, I bought a new painting. It’s in the bedroom.”

So we took our coffees up to her bedroom. The shadowed fronds of a banana tree shifted outside the window. Lying in her bed on weekend afternoons, I would often gaze at this tall, elegant tree, thinking of how lucky I was to have found Minah.

She drew the curtains shut and switched on the bedside table lamp. The oil painting of a smiling lady in loose robes of white sent a quiver through me.

“Beautiful,” I said. “She looks like you. Same eyes, same hair.”

Minah laughed. “Maybe she does. Only the eyes, I think, but she’s far prettier.”

“No. You’re more gorgeous. The loveliest.”

She put her coffee down, took mine away and kissed me, her lips smooth and warm. I held her close, my hands stroking the soft material of her dress, feeling the curves on her back and buttocks. At length we pulled away, a few strands of hair slipping down the corner of her mouth.

“Sure you don’t want to stay the night?” she asked, breathing heavily.

“Not tonight,” I said, although I was already regretting my answer. “I’d love to, but I’ve got to get up early and draft some contracts for Rama.”

“Tomorrow then. Oh, it seems so long till tomorrow!”

“I’ll count the hours until then.”

“I’ll count the minutes.”

I laughed as our lips met again, lingered, then reluctantly parted.

 

****

The terrace house and neighborhood were smothered by a moonless, starless night. The dwellings were quiet and if it wasn’t for the lights in the windows, I would have mistaken them for being abandoned.

I found some matches lying in the corner and lit the kerosene lamp. I knocked each candle down, undid the circle and quickly brushed away the chalk markings. With its helpers gone and myself free and armed, the hantu jahat was not likely to come.

Unless summoned.

I sat cross-legged in the center of the living room. The kerosene lamp threw strange shadows on the wall. I took out Pendekar, unsheathed the blade and placed it before me. The heat was gone, but it still felt warm to the touch. I felt a knot in my stomach as I realized that if I started the summons, there was no way of backing out. Though I knew this was my purpose, the thought of the demon coming brought a sharp tightening to my guts.

I pushed the trepidation away and concentrated on the task at hand. I was not going to fall into any more traps. I knew that fear would only bring paralysis. I needed to be quick. I needed every bit of knowledge I had learnt.

And a lot of luck.

The time of the confrontation had come. I recited a prayer, softly at first, cleansing the air. With each verse passing my lips, I raised my voice until it finally echoed through the house like a chorus. I closed my eyes and reached into the past, into the ilmu of my ancestors. Somewhere in my heart, I thanked Pak Khamis for training me.

My lips began to tremble and I started the summons.

The Huntsman and the Tribe

Ride rivers to the sea

Pour darkness to the morning

To await your darkened shadow

O, desecrated one

The spirit calls you out

Our jungle whispers softly

You twisted one repent

O, Satan’s angel come

Your soil will reek in blood

Our waters are your poison

Behold, your mighty servant

With holy iron awaits…..

I called out the chant over and over again, first in almost a whisper, then louder and louder, until it echoed everywhere, reverberating off the concrete walls, until my mind was numb with it.

I was flying through the jungle, past the thick barks and branches. Green everywhere: millions of leaves like faces looking right at me, some smiling, some shrieking as if in great torment. The jungle floor of dead leaves, twigs and insects bubbled in waves as I flew over at great speed, so fast the jungle became a blur, a sea of green.

All of a sudden, I was on my feet on the jungle floor with the shrill of insects all around while in the distance monkeys made whooping, mating calls. I moved forward warily, sensing danger up ahead. I carefully pushed past the branches and vines. As I stepped over a fallen branch, I saw a shadow moving behind the foliage, darting from tree to tree like a wild animal, as if trying to keep away from me. This was no animal; this was a curse against all creatures. I hurried on toward it, trampling noisily on dead twigs and leaves.

It stopped and snarled. Two red points appeared out of the dark shadow. Eyes. Angry, hateful eyes. Because I had dared come for it.

I will make you scream, it seemed to say.

I will tear the flesh from your bones and stuff it down your throat!

The demon hissed, but I refused to be intimidated. I stared back at the evil eyes, repeating the summons, allowing it to calm my fear, singing the words as loud as I could, feeling them rush in huge waves through the greenery. Calling it to me. Calling it to come out from the trees.

I stared hard at those eyes … and they blinked!

It recoiled, turning away, darting among the trees to get away. Yes, I had taken hold of it! I tried to pull it back with the force of my will but could not at first. I struggled with this malignancy even as I felt its evil presence slithering away on the jungle floor.

Then I breathed in and let myself go.

I felt a rush, a force bursting out through my eyes. The jungle seemed to explode in a green starburst into a thick blackness. Yet in the distance was the figure, darker still. I tugged hard, pulling it back. It couldn’t escape, not able to resist the call. It was coming, coming nearer.

Its evil filled my senses – vile and overpowering. The odor from a sewer. Loud wailing and crying filled my ears, like a hundred bodies being tormented. I saw into its past. Saw it waiting at the dead of night. Drawing victims to it and sucking every drop of blood. It was getting nearer, flying through the air.

Pendekar started to rattle loudly against the floor.

I opened my eyes. There was movement on the wall in front of me. First, it looked like shadows shifting, churning within itself – melting, solidifying, melting again – then the surface itself stirred, bulging grotesquely. It pushed itself out from the masonry. First came a forehead, then a nose, lips, cheeks.

A face!

No, not a human one.

The teeth were sharp. The eyes crimson. The vertical slits of its eyeballs were like an evil cat’s. They coldly leered at me.

The face widened until the entire head emerged. It bulged out of the graffiti-covered wall like a trophy of some deformed animal. Slowly, the head turned from side to side as though enjoying the feel of its dirty hair brushing the wall. Then its eyes rested on mine. And it smirked.

The head continued to push out of the concrete, all the while grinning like an aged whore. Then without warning, its heart and guts followed, spilling from the masonry with a flopping sound. The end of its intestines hung like a fat worm an inch above the floor. In the sudden heat, the stench of rotten meat swam up my brain.

The demon hovered in the air. Its long hair crept down to where its breasts were supposed to be, but what hung there was a pink pulsating heart. Its intestines, thick and convoluting, coiled down, heavy droplets of blood tapping to the marble, leaving dark blotches among the dust. The face, cracked with fissures, oozed green liquid; its malevolent, cat-like eyes continued staring a hateful red.

I almost gagged from the stench. The creature opened its mouth and, out of its rotten teeth, grew white glistening fangs, dripping with green saliva.

I jumped to my feet and drew Pendekar.

I pointed the tip of the wavy blade at it, feeling its heat in my palms. The creature hovered back in the air, a feet or so above me.

“Hello, my sweet love,” it said, in a cold, deep voice.

 

Full version of eBook can be purchased at E-Sentral.com
https://www.e-sentral.com/book/info/161484/DARK-DEMON-RISING-20th-anniversary-edition

Chat with David Menon

Hello dedicated readers!!

For this week, we managed to interview an international author. He is an author who wrote the crime genre novel. Do you want to know, who is this author? He is David Menon. Want to know more about him? Keep reading guys.

rj-21

  1. How did you write your first novel?

I have this need to write good, plausible, entertaining stories that will give people pleasure and enjoyment. I’m inspired by everything that’s going on around me, the people I meet, the daily news on television, the places I go to. They all have an impact on my writing. I write in the crime fiction genre because everyone loves a good mystery and it also allows me the greatest scope for social commentary.

  1. How did you write your first novel?

On large pads of writing paper using a pen. I know that some writers prefer to do it this way but now I write everything on my computer which is so much easier. Except for when I’m making notes of course and for that I go back to using pads.

  1. What is your favorite food?

Indian garlic chicken with pilau rice and a garlic naan bread.

     4.What is your favorite novel?

My favourite novel of all genres is ‘The Gift of Rain’ by the Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng. It is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read and it has a gripping story-line that made me guess over and over again and which hasn’t left me even though it’s been many months since I read it. An absolutely fantastic book. My favourite novel in my own crime genre is ‘The Mermaid’s Singing’ by Val McDermid.

    5. Who is your favorite author?

The British crime writer Val McDermid. For me she is the boss of crime writers and whenever a book of hers comes out I devour it as quickly as I can. There are other crime writers I like including Peter Robinson and the Icelandic writer Arnaldur Indridasson but Val is the number one for me.

6. Do you have a pet?

No I don’t have a pet and that makes me very sad because I’d love to have a dog. I’d like a really big dog like a Labrador or an Alsatian. But the thing is I travel so much that it wouldn’t be fair on the dog to keep on leaving it and it would break my heart too.

7. If you are given a chance to travel for free, where would it be? Why?

I would go to the Malaysian island of Langkawi. In fact I’m going there in January for my second visit and I can’t wait. I feel the most incredible sense of peace when I’m there and it’s a welcome break from this increasingly insane world we’re living in.

8. Do you have any plan on your upcoming books? Briefly tell your readers on what will it be about?

I’m currently working on the 8th book in the DSI Jeff Barton series which is called ‘Landslide’ and which will be out on 28th December. I’m also working on a stand alone crime novel and also the third in my series featuring private investigator Stephanie Marshall and set in Sydney, Australia.

9. Do you have any message to your readers?

My message to my readers is one of thanks and appreciation for enjoying that I do. I’m very grateful for their continuing support and I’ll keep on working hard to give you the best and most intriguing stories that I can.

10. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I tend to write best in the afternoon and evenings, often until the small hours after midnight. I use the mornings to do my admin stuff and to look after my flat, shopping etc.

11. What is your favorite quote?

‘I have nothing to declare except my intellect’ by Oscar Wilde.

 

That is all from us in this interview. We wish you all the best for your career! Keep writing and we love you!

  rj-16  no-spoken-word

For those who are looking for his eBook, you can get it here:
https://www.e-sentral.com/author/filter/au_27041_david-menon/~

 

 

 

[SNEAK PEEK] Trilogi Ajaib #1: AJAIB

EBUKU Trilogi Ajaib #1: AJAIB oleh Syafiq Aizat
EBUKU Trilogi Ajaib #1: AJAIB oleh Syafiq Aizat

1

 

“Apa yang kamu nampak?!”

“Sa… Saya…”

“Apa?! Apa yang kamu nampak?!!”

“Saya… boleh nampak…”

“APA?!”

Pak Kudin terus-terusan mendesak aku menjawab. Siapa-siapa pun yang baru lepas alami peristiwa tadi memang boleh bengong sementara waktu. Tapi perlukah orang tua ni menggoncang aku sebegini kencang supaya aku keluarkan jawapan? Apa dia ingat aku tabung jawapan?

 

**

 

Seingat aku, kali pertama aku alami benda alah macam ni adalah semasa aku masih 3 tahun. Ketika di pertengahan musafir menuju ke kampung. Road-block. Barisan kereta penuh bersopan menyeberangi polis. Aku di tempat duduk belakang. Mak dan ayah masing-masing di hadapan. Ketika itu gelap malam.

Ia di situ – di belakang seorang anggota polis yang sedang menjaga aliran perlahan kereta. Barangkali polis itu tidak perasan. Atau memang tak ada siapa perasan. Tiada siapa yang nampak kecuali aku. Satu lembaga berambut kusut panjang. Tangannya umpama ranting, tapi masih berfizikal tangan, berwarna merah menjulur ke hadapan, bergerak-gerak. Aku tak nampak di mana matanya. Atau di mana wajahnya – tertutup dek rambutnya yang kusut masai.

Kini giliran kereta yang aku naiki melintasi polis itu. Lembaga itu merapatkan diri ke cermin lutsinar di sebelah tempat duduk aku dan mula mencakar-cakar dengan tangannya yang mereput buruk itu. Terbukti, ayah memang tak dapat melihat lembaga aneh ini. Kalau ayah nampak, sudah pasti lembaga ni sudah diherdik ayah. Ayah memang pantang keretanya dicakar.

Aku hanya memandang kosong lembaga berambut kusut itu. Dalam lebih kurang 10 saat, ia berada sangat hampir dengan aku, cuma cermin lutsinar yang memisahkan kami. Tapi aku bingung pada masa itu. Kenapa cuma aku yang dapat melihat makhluk kusut ini?

Aku masih ingat lagi ketika aku belum berkhatan dulu-dulu, aku selalu mengadu kepada Mak pasal aku ternampak kelibat budak perempuan dalam tandas. Sebenarnya, bukan sekadar budak perempuan, malah ada juga bayangan-bayangan lain muncul lalu lalang di dapur, tapi aku bodohkan diri dan diamkan mulut sahaja.

Ada masanya juga, aku rasa ada yang menepuk bahu aku ketika aku sedang leka berimaginasi seorang diri di dalam bilik. Bukannya merungut. Tapi kehadiran mereka semua ni agak sedikit mengganggu kebahagiaan dan kelapangan hidup aku. Tidak semena-mena aku rasa dunia aku agak sempit. Sempit dengan sapaan dan lintasan mereka.

“Kamu budak yang dianugerahkan dengan kelebihan, nak,” kata Tok Cantum.

“KELEBIHAN? Lebih dari orang lain?……”

Sehingga saat ini, aku hanya pendamkan tentang ‘kelebihan’ ni. Yang mengetahui hanya Mak, Ayah, dan beberapa orang di kampung. Ia bukannya satu kebanggaan, atau yang boleh ditunjuk-tunjuk. Ia bukan sesuatu yang menggembirakan pun.

 

**

 

Pagi tadi aku ke sekolah seperti biasa. Bersekolah pada hari Sabtu, memang gampang. Tapi, apa boleh aku buat, tahun ini merupakan tahun UPSR aku. Fatin sangat mencuri tumpuan aku. Tak, bukan Fatin yang aku lihat sebenarnya. Tapi makhluk kecil yang mengikut rapat Fatin. Aku tahu dia baru. Fatin tak pernah diikut mana-mana yang ghaib sebelum ni. Sejak bila pula Fatin berminat membela hantu?

“Izaq? Lama usha Fatin. Sangkut ke?” Tangkas Firdaus menerpa aku dengan sindiran. Dia kawan baik aku. Dari darjah 2, sampai sekarang darjah 6, dialah teman melepak aku.

“Hahaha. Bodoh la kau Daus. Tapi kan, lawa pulak Fatin hari ni.” Aku pantas membalas gurauannya. Ekor mata aku masih melekat pada si kecil yang sedang ghairah mendampingi Fatin.

Melihat apa yang tidak boleh dilihat orang sudah lali bagi aku. Takut? Ya. Aku masih ada simpan rasa takut. Tapi aku cuba sorok. Sorok sedalam mungkin. Sebab aku anak lelaki. Malu lah kalau anak lelaki ada sifat pengecut. Anak lelaki fitrahnya melindungi.

Aku biarkan sahaja Fatin bersama pendamping itu. Aku cuma pelihat. Bukan penghalau.

Malam tiba, dan Mak suruh aku ke kedai. Membeli sabun basuh, garam, dan setin sardin untuk makan malam. Maksud aku, sardin itu makan malam kami, bukan sabun. Berjalan menuju ke kedai mengambil masa kurang 5 minit. Aku perlu menuruni tangga berikutan rumah aku di tingkat tiga, menembusi empat bangunan kondominium dan taman permainan menuju ke kedai.

Dalam perjalanan, aku sedikit terganggu dek kelibat budak kecil yang merenung aku dengan penuh sayu. Aku tahu dia tidak memiliki saluran darah seperti aku. Aku buat bodoh sahaja, dan terus menuju ke destinasi.

“Lapan linggit sapuloh sen. Kasi lapan linggit saja la, dik,” taukeh kedai menyatakan. Kepala aku masih terganggu dengan kelibat budak tadi. Sial. Renungannya yang mengancam seperti hendak memberitahu aku sesuatu bermain-main dalam benak aku. Tapi aku tak pernah berkomunikasi dengan mana-mana makhluk halus sebelum ni.

Aku menapak pulang semula, dan mata aku tidak lepas memandang bawah pokok, tempat budak tadi merenung aku. Jantung aku sudah macam irama drum pancaragam sekolah. Dan ya, dia masih di situ, merenung aku. Renungannya umpama satu rayuan, merayu agar aku membantunya. Debaran dapat aku rasakan dalam tubuh aku. Aku beranikan diri membalas renungannya yang hanya bermata putih itu.

“Apa?” aku mula bersuara kepadanya. Tak sangka pula aku seberani ini untuk menegur sesuatu yang halus. Teringat pesan orang tua-tua di kampung dan dalam cerita-cerita drama di TV, yang mana kalau ternampak hantu, jangan ditegur. Alamak! Bangangnya aku. Apa aku dah buat? Mampos.

Aku telan air liur dalam-dalam, menahan rasa takut.

Dia menuding ke arah sebuah rumah. Aku segera menoleh. Sebuah rumah di tingkat empat, barangkali. Mungkin ada sesuatu yang hendak ditunjuk, tapi apasal pulak dia tunjukkan pada aku? Aku menoleh semula ke hadapan dan dia sudah tiada. Okay. Aku terdiam, menghadam apa yang cuba disampaikan. Sabun basuh, sepeket garam dan setin sardin dalam plastik aku genggam kuat. Aku terkebil-kebil. Kemudian aku pandang semula rumah yang ditunjuknya. Entah rumah siapa.

Kaki aku melangkah ke arah flat itu. Kini aku berdiri di hadapan tangga. Aku masih terkebil-kebil. Otak aku seakan kosong. Alang-alang… hatiku berbisik dan aku menapak naik menuju ke tingkat empat. Aku berjalan di koridor, melintasi pasu bunga milik penduduk tingkat ini. Merenung bawah semula – ke arah pokok tadi. Aku berjalan tanpa tujuan sebijik macam orang gila.

Satu daripada rumah di situ terbuka luas pintunya. Ada tiga orang budak seusia aku berpegangan tangan melihat ke dalam rumah itu dengan wajah takut. Tiba-tiba keluar seorang lelaki dewasa berwajah runsing tergesa-gesa. Dia menyarungkan selipar dan memecut ke arah tangga, melintasi sebelah aku.

“Cepat bang! Mana-mana ustaz pun tak kisah!” kedengaran isterinya memekik dari dalam rumah

Ustaz? Aku bergegas ke arah pintu tidak bertutup itu dan menjengukkan kepala ke dalam rumah itu.

Ada tiga orang makcik duduk mengelilingi sesuatu. Aku cuba melihat di celah-celahnya, dan aku ternampak seorang ibu sedang menangis memegang erat tangan anaknya yang sedang terlentang di lantai. Anak perempuannya kelihatan sedang meracau. Mata hitamnya sudah tidak kelihatan, kakinya menendang-nendang apa yang ada. Makcik-makcik di situ memegang erat anggotanya. Dari celah kelengkangnya keluar darah, dan seorang makcik sedang mengelap darah itu. Dan ada di situ – menjilat darah itu, satu makhluk kecil berkepala besar. Badannya seperti bayi, tumbuh saki-baki rambut di kepala botaknya. Aku hanya melihat dari belakang.

“Fatin??” Aku kenal budak ini. Dia rakan sekelas aku. Juga lembaga kecil ini. Dialah yang mengekori Fatin di sekolah tadi.

“Mana budaknya?!” Melintasi hadapan aku, meluru masuk seorang lelaki berjanggut kambing, bersama lelaki yang keluar sebentar tadi. Mereka masing-masing tidak mengendahkan aku.

“Astaghfirullahhalazim. Teruk ni budak ni.” Entah kenapa, tiba-tiba dia cakap budak ni teruk. Padahal baru dua tiga saat tengok.

“Macam mana ni, Pak Kudin?”

Pak Kudin duduk bersila bersebelahan Fatin. Makcik-makcik yang ada menjarakkan diri dari Fatin, memberi ruang tetapi masih memegang anggota Fatin. Makcik yang mengelap darah tadi menghentikan kerjanya. Pak Kudin seperti menggumam ayat-ayat suci al-Quran. Ibu dan ayah Fatin berwajah risau, dan kusut. Aku memerhati dalam-dalam mata Fatin. Aku pernah lihat orang kerasukan sebelum ini. Selalunya akan keluar satu lembaga dari mulut orang yang kerasukan itu. Mungkin Fatin juga akan memuntahkan benda sama.

“Adik? Pergi balik!” tegas seorang makcik kepadaku.

Makhluk yang menjilat darah di antara kaki Fatin tadi mula menuju ke arah kelengkangnya untuk mendapatkan lebih darah. Aku tidak sampai hati melihat lagi. Bukan melangkah pulang sebaliknya aku menapak ke dalam rumah.

“GI MAMPOS!” Aku membabi buta mencelah dan cuba menolak makhluk kenit yang ghairah menjilat itu. Tapi sia-sia. Aku tak mampu sentuh dia. Plastik yang aku pegang tadi terjatuh. Makhluk tadi tersentap melihat plastik itu, dan lantas memandang aku. Aku membatu ketakutan.

Pak Kudin selesai membaca serangkap ayat dan menepuk belakang Fatin. Makhluk kenit itu kelihatan terganggu. Keluar satu makhluk lain, yang lebih besar dari dalam mulut Fatin. Tidak pasal-pasal mahkluk itu datang menerpa aku. Aku hanya memejam mata ketakutan.

Gelap. Ya, sebab aku tutup mata. Tapi entah kenapa suasana jadi sunyi. Aku tak ingat pula bila aku tutup telinga. Aku rasa badan aku berat. Aku cuba bercakap tapi suara aku tak keluar.

“Kamu budak yang dianugerahkan dengan kelebihan, nak,” kata-kata Tok Cantum kembali menjenguk dalam kepalaku. Dan aku teringat ketika itu aku menjawab kepadanya.

“KELEBIHAN? Lebih dari orang lain?… Tak. Ni musibah.”

Aku teringat ustazah ada pesan di sekolah. “Kalau takut, baca ayat kursi, baca tiga kul. Insya-Allah, Allah akan tolong kita.”

Aku tidak menghafal ayat kursi sangat. Masih merangkak-rangkak. Jadi aku membaca tiga kul sekuat hati. Walaupun suara aku tidak keluar langsung. Tapi aku cuba minta pertolongan. Pertolongan dari Tuhan yang Maha Mendengar.

“Dik?” aku rasa bahu aku ditepuk. Aku membuka mata. Ayahnya Fatin terus-menerus menepuk bahu aku. Aku bangun dari mencangkung. Pak Kudin bagai kerasukan meluru ke arah aku. Dipegangnya lengan aku sekuat hati.

“Apa yang kamu nampak?!”

“Sa… saya…” aku tergagap-gagap menjawab. Apakah patut orang tua ni menyergah aku selepas aku baru tersedar? Siap digoncang-goncang badan aku yang kecil ini.

“Apa?! Apa yang kamu nampak?!!”

“Saya.. boleh nampak…”

“APA?!”

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