Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Cerita Tentang Kampung Orang Bunian" by Charles D. Lazaroo

"Cerita Tentang Kampung Orang Bunian" by Charles D. Lazaroo

SciFi/Fantasy text 3 out of 5 by Charles D. Lazaroo.      ←Previous - Next→
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This is story is based on my fascination for the Malay people. While I am not Malay, I have Malay friends, and have learnt some Malay. Of course, I am weak in it, but, I am fascinated by their culture, heritage, history, and yes, food. As such, I came up with this story.
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{This story is dedicated to the Memory of Keris Mas, a great writer in Malay Literature} Cerita Tentang Kampung Orang Bunian
or in the Foreign Tongue
The Tale of an Elven Village
Now, of course, this is a tale about elves.
No, it is not those typical tale of High Elves who reside in grandeur castles.
Nor is it about about those Wood Elves that dwell in forests.
These are elves are simple folk, mind you.
Unlike their forest, or high-class, brethen, these elves, live in villages.
They lead modest lifestyles, their main expertise being agriculture and a few traditional crafts, basket weaving being one of them.
However, what sets them apart from most elves is that their culture is somewhat based on that, of the Dwarves.
Dwarves, you ask. Surely not, you would imply. Why would arrogant elves associate themselves with such unruly and uncouth beings as dwarves ?
But such was these elves. Being simple, the dwarven society fascinated them, along with their style of leadership, craftsmanship, et cetera.
This is not a story about all the elves.
It is about one small village.
Quite distant from the others.
However, this tale was about how the village gained, when, you'll see what it gained.
Chapter 1: Datuk Telah Meninggal Dunia
{Note: 'Tuan' means Sir. 'Datuk' means grandfather, but can also describe a male elder of any sort}
It all started one day when a fine being of an elf decided to meet up with his master.
This elf, was, Abdul Husin Ali.
He was neither young, nor old, but of middle age, and that of the fine age of 10 scores. As such, he possesed experience and wisdom, and yet he was active and fit, wanting adventure and excitement whenever possible.
He had a rather dark complexion. Wait, that's somewhat untrue. To be honest, he had a rather light brown complexion, which was considered dark to outsiders. His eyes were dark brown in colour, and, while he was not that handsom, one could say he was morderately good looking.
However, Abdul was not entirely perfect. He was a rash elf, always leaping before looked, cutting into coversations, and doing what he felt was right, when he was occasionaly wrong.
And so, Ali went to the old hut that belonged to the Most Respected Elder Subir Said.
Now, 'elder', as in most elven communities, was a sign of respect for truly established elves.
However, the title of 'Most Respected Elder', or 'Yang Dihormati' in their languae, was suited for the Leader of an Elven community, wether it be male or female.
"Tuan Said! It's morning! We have to go hunting today, remember ?"Abdul shouted at the old hut.
He expected the old elf to come out, shouting ,"Yes, yes, I'm coming out! Please wait ! Anyway, good morning Ali! What news do you bring ?"
Nothing happened.
"Tuan ?"
Nothing happened. Not even a grunt.
The palms that surrounded the vilage swayed in the gentle breeze, their leaves rustling. Children were playing in a nearby mud puddle. Farmers were beginning their usual rounds.
But, only the old elf was inactive.
"Datuk Said ?! Can you hear me ?"
Abdul ran inside the hut, and, in a semi-frightened state, asked, "Tuan ?"
On the floor lay the old elf. He was wearing his songkok, a hat accustomed to these elves, along with a red shirt, a red sarung, and red pants.
In his hands, he clutched a rosary. He was wearing his glasses.
On his face, he showed an odd emotion. It seemed solemn, and then, it seemed jovial, all at the same time.
Time stood still.

Abdul cried for help in vain, as he ran out of the hut.
The villagers all ran in a hurry, all in fear, and sorrow.
After crying out in hysteria, Abdul fell to the ground on his knees, pale.
His master, who had been like a father to him for his 1000 years of existence, was now gone.
He then wept bitterly.

The funeral was held deep in the forest, where previous heads of the villages were buried.
"Allah have mercy on Said! May his soul be untouched by the Foul One, and may he go up and join the Most High !"
"Amin !"
As the village priest finished the funeral rites, the body of the elder was lowered to the ground.
Abdul looked on at the lowering of the 2000 year old body. Now, someone had to take his palce.
And there was no choice.

"Abdul, Datuk Said is dead. Since you are heir to his place, you have to be the elder."
"But, Khairi, I am still young. I haven't reached the age of the Third Leg. I am incapable of such an position."
Abdul sank in his chair, as the priest Khairi consoled him.
"I once was like you. I had to inherit my father's place as the priest at the tender age of 750. And you are 1000."
"Still, what can I do ?"
"Well, you have advisers...."
"Yes, but, I am the village head. I am responsile for everything, aren't I ?"
The priest looked down at his feet, sadly, and said:

2 weeks had passed.
On the dais stood Abdul Husin Ali, single, middle-aged, and generally unwilling, sat in the chair that he had inherited from his master.
All the villagers, however, were all gleeful at the idea of a rather young elf taking the place of some old geezer that was their previous head.
Khairi stepped up on to the Dais, and carried the Golden Songkok, whic represented leadership, and crowned Abdul.
"As such, I the Most Humble Khairi, while unworthy of such a role, am crowning you with this holy and sacred artifact.
As such, I dub thee, Yang Dipertuankan, Datuk Abdul Husin Ali. May Allah be our witness, and may He protect you, and our village, unto eternity."
"Amin !"

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