They've arrived
They've arrived
Genre: Seram/Misteri
Kategori: Cerpen
Paparan sejak 09 Januari 2018
A story about a girl and an old woman during the 14 days of communist rule in Malaya in 1945
Penilaian Purata:
338

Bacaan






Thesilence of the night suddenly was disrupted by a sound of a gunshot from afar.  Screams of people entered my ear.“Help, Help. They’ve arrived” Screamed a woman before the noise slowly fadedand came to pure silence again as another gunshot was heard. “Hurry, Hurry.Lock the doors and windows” Abah said. Abah killed the lanterns promptly and weall snuggled together at the hall. “Don’t you two dare to make a single noise,if anything happens you escape the house using the back door, Yati make sureyour brother is safe at all cost” said Abah. A few minutes later, footstepswere heard nearby. “Shhhhhhhhh, don’t panic” Abah said. Then it became quietagain.

            As we were just about to close oureyes for the night. A loud knock was heard from our door. Abah calmly signaledus to get out of the house via back door. Abah opened the door. There we sawtwo silhouettes of men standing with 3-feet long rifles. Luckily they didn’tseemed to notice us. My brother and I hid at the brush behind our house. Wewaited for Abah there.

            My heart was pounding like hell. Wewaited anxiously for Abah until we heard a gunshot from our house. I stoodfirmly. Trying to compute what was happening at the moment. Then, a teardropped on my left cheek. I turned to my brother “Adik let’s run” I said whilewiping my eyes. “Why? We need to wait for Abah” He said. I hugged him and said“Abah is no more, Abah is dead” I said to him. He pushed me till I fall on myback. “You lied Kakak” He said in angst while tears started to fall form hiseyes. Without hesitating I grabbed his hand. He struggled to set himself freefrom my grasps. “Adik, enough of your shenanigans” I said to him. I ran withblindly without knowing where to go. In my head that time was about Abah. I couldn’tbelieve that Abah is gone.

            We noticed that we ran to anabandoned rubber plantation. “There must be a hut or something here, a placefor us to seek shelter” I said to myself. Then a voice startled me “Psst, Psst”I followed the voice’s direction and stumble upon an elderly woman with a childin her hands. “Are you running, from the communists?” She asked me. The elderlywoman looks like she was an Indian and the child looks Chinese. I was curiouswhy an Indian woman carrying a Chinese infant. “What? Communists? Yes, yescertainly” I replied. “Come with me, there is a hut there. We can seek shelterthere” She said. Without hesitation my brother and I followed her to the hut.It was funny actually, a woman came out of nowhere to help you. What were theodds?

            We ventured even deeper into therubber plantation and after a few minutes walking. We arrived at the hut thatthe woman mentioned about. The hut was quite eerie-looking. It was covered invines to show that the plantation was left untouched for a long time. I assumedsince the Japanese occupation of Malaya. “Come in, or you want to sleep withbears tonight” She said sarcastically.

            That night we talked aboutourselves. “My name is Hayati and this my brother Sidek” I introduced myself.“My name is Bibi Salma” She said. “Can I call you paati?” I asked. “Yes, dearcertainly. You must be curious about this boy that I’m carrying right?” shesaid. “Yes, I’m quite puzzled. Who is this boy actually?” I asked. “Well, Ifound this baby at the mosque when I was running from the communist troops” Shesaid. I understood that the child wasn’t hers. At first I thought that it washer grandchild or something. We spent the night laughing and shared stories.

            “Yati, can I ask you? What happenedto you that made you ran away?” She asked. “Well paati, I was about to ran awaywith my father but on that night my father was shot by them” I told her. Shecould see clearly that my eyes were watery and when I was about to continuefurther the tears suddenly came out profusely. I couldn’t hold myself. BibiSalma quickly hugged me and comforted me. “Don’t cry little girl. I was also onthe same boat as you. I lost my husband in the hands of the Japanese when hewas serving in Singapore” She said as a way to calm me. Well, magically itworked. I stopped crying in seconds. “No more crying, let’s go to sleep” Shetold me. That night my brother and I slept like a log.

            When we woke up I didn’t noticedthat the sun was on top of my head. I realized that paati wasn’t there but thebaby was still in the hut. “How could she left the baby all alone?” I steppedout of the hut and saw paati walking back from gathering tapioca. “Look what Igot, lunch” she said excitedly. That afternoon she cooked tapioca for us. As mybrother and I were darn hungry, we didn’t care if it’s tasty or not, the mostimportant thing was food. We wolfed down the food but left some for paati.While we were chit-chatting after lunch then we heard footsteps and peopletalking nearby. “Go hide behind the container and put the child in one of thecrates behind” She ordered me. Without questioning I did what I was told in anick of time. By the time they arrived at the hut, the child, my brother and Iwere safe and sound. “Hey old hag, why are you” One of the soldiers said topaati. I could only see from afar what was happening. “What can I do, mychildren left me after I had this problem with my leg. Just leave me to diehere” She said with a very sad and sympathetic tone. Miraculously, they left.My heart was pounding as if it would came out of my chest. “The coast is clearkids, you can come out” she said happily. “Paati you that you made me worriedsick, I don’t want to lose you like I lost my father” I said. “Well, ithappened otherwise right?” she replied and laughed. Her crinkled smile slowedmy heartbeat. My worries about her was reduced when I saw her happy regardlesswhat we had experienced.

            One morning I heard a sound of aplane from above. I came out to see it. There I saw a British plane. “Paatilooked, a British plane we’re going to be saved” I said with happily. I smiledfrom ear to ear seeing the plane. “Thank God” She said then prostrated as asign of grateful. Then we heard a siren sound. We ran to the sound of it. Therewe saw a flood of people and British lorries and jeeps. Out of nowhere, I felta pat on my shoulder. I turned back and saw Abah. “Abah…….” I shouted. Mybrother and I hugged Abah as tight as ever. We were so glad to meet Abah again.“Abah I thought you were……..” I said. “No,I wasn’t like what you thought. I washeld captive with the other villagers at the town” Abah said. “Abah, I havesomeone to introduce to you. She helped me when I was running away” I said. Ilooked back and paati wasn’t there. I went into the crowd frantically searchingbut she was nowhere to be seen. After I gave up to find paati. We went backhome. While walking, my brother asked me “Kakak, while we were at the rubberplantation, to whom you were talking to?” Suddenly I felt goosebumps. “Wasn’t Iwith paati all this time? Adik, how long were we in the plantation?” I asked mybrother. “Just one night” He replied. Then I looked left and right. There atthe edge of the plantation I saw paati waving to me.

                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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