• Yuni Lestari

The Magic Fang


The Magic Fang by Yuni Lestari (Adopted from W. W. Jacobs' The Monkey’s Paw)

Sitting at a small rounded desk, an old lamp gleams drearily. “It’s been two years; I thought it’ll never come back.” I whispered. Weak trembling fingers of mine open the first page.— It’s a big secret had never shared. If there was a man could keep this secret almost the entire of his life, he would die in regret.—The wind blows my face, cold and stiff I feel hitting my skin. Turning head I stare blankly to the window just realize the brittle window over there is opening. Dark outside, night animals are heard wherever place so far from home. “Forget the window.” My subconscious murmured. I turn back and continue.—Something happened when I was spending my childhood in the quite village in southern Nashville, long time ago before I met Ashley. I’d never dare enough to tell to anyone else because if I did so, they’d think I was crazy.

The wind is getting harder distracts me to give attention to. I inhale deeply few seconds and approach to close the window. Soon after that, I grab an obsolete stack of papers from the table hand it on and sit on the wooden chair alongside my bed. A late night as always to do things, but tonight is odd. Neither the wind nor the window, it is something else. The nightmare came last night, again after I thought it was gone since two years ago. The same nightmare still, but yesterday was like real than others. I gaze down at the few pages I’ve already opened. – I met a strange old man, he was bleeding very bad. I could remember him for all my life. He extended his right hand weakly; I could see another hand pressed his chest. “Take it, I’ll tell you a big secret then.” His words irregularly. I moved toward him softly grabbed a small fang just doing as I was told. He said, “Many years ago, my grandmother gave it to me. I was about your age. It’s not only a fang. It’s...” He breathed hardly and continued. “There is a spell had given from her. Anyone could ask three wishes and the fang will grant it all pleasantly.” His words combined a hacking cough, seemed so tired and there must be something bad happened to him. “I don’t understand. Who’s your grandmother? Why she could do that?” I answered curiously. He said, “She was a shaman. People had believed her as a holy woman who had magic powers. You only have to believe me boy, before I die.” I gazed his pale face and really I could feel his horrible suspense. I tried to take him in his arms, he gazed me back. “Sit me over there.” He said while pointed a big tall mahogany three steps after us. I did as I was told. His breathe softened, his lips really wanted to talk much but it couldn’t; he seemed lifeless. I sat behind him, so that he could lean his back over to me. He whispered, “None of bad and good choices are made without consequences. Take that. Bring it home.” I looked at the fang in astonishment. “How is it used?” I said. “Put it on your right hand, wish loudly. Anyone could choose their fate, its consequence would follow behind, remember that! He inhaled hardly. Wordless I answered him; my eyes kept looking at the small fang called a talisman, perhaps. Suddenly, I couldn’t feel his breathe.

The gust of wind blows the closed-window, I startle for a while before then continue to read.—He was dying, soon after he explained my last question. I shook my head; I could feel my blood streamed quickly. I knew he was died, but it wasn’t because of me. I stepped softly, still shook my head. My legs ran, brought my body went away from the mahogany, the wood on the edge of village. The following night, laid my body on my bed I couldn’t believe something had just happened. I sighted the fang, nothing really special from its appearance. Did he speak the truth or it was just a little creepy story he made to frighten me. I pulled the pillow and fell asleep.

My fingers are searching the next pages which didn’t on its right position. Few minutes have passed, I cannot find two until three pages which isolated from its position. The loss of two or three pages are puzzling me, but my curiosity is bigger than yet, so that I read it again.— It was sunny in Brooklyn when we moved there three years ago. “Daddy called this morning, he can’t be home this summer holiday, he sorried wasn’t coming at your graduation.” My mother explained. I answered nothing, left her I went to my room. My eyes wept in tears. Since I was seven, he has already become an army; having many trips and moving from one country to others were his activities. I got angry if he couldn’t stay home in his off-schedule. He did it again that day. I trembling took immediately a fang I’ve hidden in a yellow box under the bed. A mystic was felt so sudden; summer outside and my room’s situation were two ambivalent things. “Err...I wish my daddy to come home.” I wished distinctly. That was my first wish, and I just did it. Silence for a while, “Is my daddy coming home right now? I murmured the fang and threw it on the bed while I went to shower. A day left, staring at the fang, I bet it would never grant my wish, the old man I met in the wood on the edge of my old hometown tricked me. The next day, I was having dinner with my mother while the bell sounded, there must be someone standing in front of the door rang it. “I’ll open it.” My mother said. A couple minutes after, chattering voice and woman’s sob were heard. That was my mother; impatiently I stepped out the front door. ”My father, there he is.” I murmured. He sat on a wheelchair and a hospital-dressed man handed two handles of the wheelchair behind him. I stepped quickly and stood behind my mother who showed her feigned smile when she looked at me. “Hello my son. I miss you so much.” He widely smiled at me. ”Dad, what happened?” I asked. “Let’s come inside, I’ll tell you.” He said. “Thank you Pete, tell the others I will miss them.” He continued. The very muscled man and my mother shook their hands while “I am sorry Mrs. Ashley and we’ll miss you too Sir.” He answered. For minutes, in the living room he gazed me and mother silently as we enthusiastically waited him to talk. “I fell when I have to combat crime in West Virginia. I broke my legs. I’ll never be there anymore.” His words disappointed. “I must be at home yesterday, but I had to take medical treatment first.” He continued. In the midnight later, I was trying to relate father’s accident to the first wish I’ve been told. I remembered an old man died in a tall mahogany eight years ago, his advices, I was trying to remember that. It was the consequence he had said. The sun tossed its beam through gray curtains behind my bed. Morning came and just realized that I made my eyes woke all night long thinking of the fang.

An owl whistles on the top of a rooted oak right across the house. His large eyes and strong curved nails of course are hunting foods or hunting an adolescent who is awakening in at almost three o’clock right now. I’m turning my head to an oval clock near the rounded desk. The owl really wakes me up from my focus. A bit of movement I take and my weary back asks me to lay on the bed. My curiosity succumbs it, now I continue to read.—A day before Christopper’s third birthday, I went to the hometown in southern Nashville to throw the fang back to its belong. Soon after married a beautiful young lady, Ashley, I didn’t used to think or touch the fang anymore, I also didn’t even tell her about the fang and my father. Unfortunately, about two miles driving there I got a car crash. I woke up from my long subconscious with nothing help, there was nobody; dark, desolate land far away from folks. I groped something; the thing I wanted to throw away and my palm found it, the yellow box laid in my left pocket. I grabbed it fast and whispered my second wish. “I wish my son finds a stack of papers I’ve been hidden in my room.” I didn’t know what happened later, the white ceiling greeted me, crowded outside and Ashley sat right next to me. Her gaze patiently at me and I surely knew it was hard for her, but I was glad I was still alive.

“Daddy wished his second wish to me?” I murmured myself. “..and if he did so, there must be any consequences he got.” I shake my head for a while before gazing down the last few pages left to be read.— Christopper’s seventh birthday, me and my wife prepared our birthday presents and brought many cakes and candies into his room. He was seven that time, my son would grow up taller than me one day just like his grandpa. It’s been two years; the spell didn’t work on my second wish, perhaps because I wished while I was dying or something. I really didn’t care about the fang anymore and I would leave the fang with this stack of papers in the attic, so that no one would find it. I ended this story with my last wish to you God, “I wish I live happily with my wife and our son.” –June, 9th- ♥Ashley&Christopper.

The two names in the bottom right corner of the last page wake me up from my reading moment. My fingers tremble and close the stack of papers slowly. I approach and lay my back on the bed. It is almost dawn, but my subconscious still won’t me to sleep. I’m thinking of the fang, the second wish, and my father; the story of the fang has never been ended up as my father believed. The nightmare haunts me as long as fourteen years and my father didn’t know it. He died nine years ago while I didn’t tell him about my nightmare. I am trying to find facts of this case; the fang is just right over my bed. “It isn’t over.” I murmured. I was very young when father wished the fang to let me know the truth, the fang granted his wish, my nightmare is the answer for his second wish. I dream the fang since I was four but I just realize it thirteen years later, tonight, in my seventeen. My mind is roaming deep into the fang’s story. Father wrote the story on the ninth of June and he died just a year after. How if then, that was the consequence of his second wish. The sun rises; it is Friday morning, my body is still weakly heavy lying on the bed. No wide eyes today because I didn’t fall asleep for almost twenty-four hours. Footsteps are heard approaching my room. The door opens, “Chris, honey, wake up.” She said. Her hands hang on the door handle, glances around my room. She is old enough to protect me, I don’t dare to tell her husband’s secret. “It is your first day at Art College. Come on lazy boy. Wake up!” Her voice calmed. “Yes mom, about fifteen minutes I’ll be downstairs.” I said. She smiles and closes the door. I turn my body right side of the bed, gaze at the rounded desk the first place I put the fang on. A yellow small box as father said is there. My right hand grabs hardly the fang. “Dispel your magic and burn all the consequences.” I firmly said the last wish. Soon after that, the situation changes exquisitely.

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