I normally post in Bahasa Indonesia however this time I have to make an exception. As I wrote in the last post, some friends read and followed my short stories in my Instagram account. To my surprise, there’s a guy who’s been curiously following the the posting but couldn’t read anything. He asked me to translate some stories into English to quench his curiousity. Well, like many of us, I daydream a lot, and one of my dream was to have my stories published internationally in English and reached millions of readers from many countries so I thought, why not? So here I pick some short stories and translate them, however I had to modified some small details in the stories so that they fit the logic better in English. Okay, to a new friend, Sadig Gasim Mukhayer, and other English speaking reader who happen to be curious of what the stories are all about, enjoy. 🙂
“An assassin was hired to terminate a lady. He searched far and wide for three years only to find that his target was already dead. The deceased lady turned into a ghost and her face looked exactly like his dearest grandma who passed away many years ago. The assassin quitted his job and became a painter.”
“Worried about his safety, the King bought himself the most handsome, the bravest, kindest-child-loving guard dog ever. The King really loved his dog, he took it anywhere he went. One day, to his surprise, he found his dog covered in blood and the palace was shocked in terror for they found a baby was dead, savagely attacked by a beast. The King was very confused but due to the pressures from the royalties, he killed his beloved dog with his own hand. Yet he was even more confused when they found a body of a wolf in the tower, covered in blood. Driven by guilt and despair, the King stood on his hand and feet naked. From that moment on, he would only bark and howl. He ate and drank like a dog and all the royal affairs were laid to waste. Three months later a revolution erupted and swept the palace. The King was dragged and executed publicly in the plaza. His soul flew here and there, looking for his beloved dog but it was nowhere to be found. In the complete darkness in the realm of the dead, all he heard was baby crying and wolf growling and barking.”
Suleiman is a thug of Tanah Abang. When the area was reorganized, Suleiman lost his job so he took a master degree in “Supernatural Practice” with a scholarship from Lulung Foundation. One of the class he took was “Materialization”, to create something from nothing. Suleiman is fond of meat so he tried to create jamón and he did it. His jamón was exceptionally delicious, he got a good remark from his teacher and got an A+. The jamón sold well too, Suleiman didn’t have to pay for anything and made a lot of money because jamón is expensive. However, for over a week a strange thing happened. Every time he materialized a jamón, a beggar robot appeared. The robot only begged for the jamón and it won’t budge. Suleiman kicked the hell out of the robot but it just stood up on it’s feet again. Only when Suleiman gave the whole jamón the robot would finally disappeared. He was very confused. The teachers laughed in the office looking at him. It seems that because of his talent, Suleiman already shown a glimpse of power for a class next year, “Dematerialization”, to turn something into nothing. A professor giggled and said, “Let him confused for another week.”
When their ship sunk, two men survived in an isolated island. At first they panicked but they found that the island was full of fruits, vegetables, even chickens, rabbits, goats and cows.
“Wow, we can survive here! There are a lot of food!”
So they caught some chickens, rabbits, they plucked some fruits and vegetables, and got themselves some milk from the cows. They cooked them and served themselves a great dinner. Everything was almost perfect.
“Too bad we don’t have any rice to eat.”
The food was great but not perfect because they had no rice to eat. After dinner, they laid around on the grass, looking at the stars and pout. So that happened everyday for years until 15 years had passed. They always had great food but no rice. They always long for rice and prayed so that one day they could eat rice again.
One day, of the guy swam to neighboring island and found a very small bush of ripe paddy. He was very surprised but he realized that the rice was barely enough for one let alone two. So he cooked the paddy into rice and greedily hid them in his purse. When the two had dinner, he secretly ate the rice bit by bit. It tasted like heaven! He closed his eyes in ecstasy.
“Too bad we don’t have any rice to eat.”
“That’s right.” (closing his eyes)
After the dinner, they laid around on the grass, looking at the stars. One was poutingly dissatisfied and the other one was smiling in happiness. But because they haven’t eaten rice for so long, his blood sugar raised tremendously high. He fell unconscious and stopped breathing. His friend act quickly and started to give him a resuscitation but he found crumbs of rice on his friend’s mustache. He was shocked! Trembled, he ate the rice crumbs and cried emotionally. His friend finally died and he lived alone in the island, living an empty live for many years to come. With no rice.
In an old cemetry, a couple of ghost celebrate their 125th wedding anniversary. They wear their best clothes and prepare a very special dinner. The menu consist of: maggot cream soup with sand bread, trash salad, spider with salted eggs and a roasted alley cat (delicacies in the realm of the ghost). They played their favourite love song ever, a record of screaming and crying concert for two hours long, from their favourite singer, a child ghost who died in torture. When the moon appears, they enjoy their dinner with the tune of screaming and crying.
“I love you, Darling.”
“And I love you too, Sweetheart.”
And they kiss. Their mouth exhale a rotten corpse’s scent. After that, they dance to the music and before they go to bed, they take a photo for their memory. They don’t realize that they are being watched by a child, a normal human child. As soon as the ghost couple dissapear, the child rushes to his room and writes in his diary, “Dear God, please turn me into a ghost right now. I want to be a ghost because they live in love and peace. I don’t want to be like Mommy and Daddy who fights all the time and get divorced, and leave me in this house to be tortured.”
In a unique space-time confusion, that night the child finally dies, tortured by his own uncle and aunt in the house. He turns into a ghost just as he asked for and he becomes a celebrity when his recording of screaming and crying during torture hits the market. So the child lives happily ever after in the realm of the ghost and his music is enjoyed by every ghost, including the ghosts celebrating their 125th wedding anniversary.
Okay, so that’s it. I’m not sure if I can translate another story because I’m busy preparing my solo exhibition by the end of the year but I still hope that you enjoy the story. If I get lucky and my stories are published, I also hope that it would reach a point where an English version would be availabe. We never know but it’s always good to have a hope because hope is vision. Thanks for reading. 🙂