Monday, 8 April 2013

The Cupboards

Sixteen beds could fit in his dorm. Some dorms were larger than others, and this was one if them. At the moment it accomodated fifteen Juniors and one Senior.

His dorm was on the third of four floors. When he looked outside the window, he could see the oil palm plantation nearby. The area was still undeveloped or poorly planned. He stared at the swaying trees until someone called his name from the other end of the dorm: it was the Senior.

Today was his turn to make his senior feel at ease. On the concrete floor there was lubricant
– for massaging. His name got around the Seniors that he was a good masseuse. Usually it was the boys from the kampungs who were good at massaging, due to traditional upbringing.

He dripped on the Senior's hairy leg before untying the knots in his stressed muscles. The Senior remained quiet, which was good. Like during a good meal, silence during a massage usually means pleasure.

The Senior shifted his body slightly before beginning to talk, feeling uneasy with the silence

"Kau tahu kisah Bilik sebelah?"

The Junior cum masseuse shook his head.

The Senior began to tell an age old story that was perhaps known in every boarding school in the country:

According to him, last year there was an incident in the neighbouring dorm. A Junior came back late from Band Practice to his room. Although the Junior was tired, he couldn't seem to fall asleep.

At first he took a book, but realizing it was too dark to read, he stashed it away. He decided to just lie on his bed, underneath his blanket hoping to doze off.

That was when he saw something perching on the cupboards at the other end of his dorm. At first he thought of it as a mere illusion. But after several minutes - which to him felt like hours, he knew it was real. And the reason he believed it was real was because it was slowly climbing down the cupboard towards one of the beds.

The Creature, or Thing seemed to have a hunched figure and the voice of an old lady.


She croaked.

"Cucu di Katil nombor satu... Tidur.."

She moved from the first bed to the second, and second to third, and so on and so forth. The Junior awake was at Katil 15.

"Cucu di Katil nombor Empat Belas..."

There she or it was, at bed number 14. Its big eyes staring at his sleeping dormmate. She pinched the blanket and raised it, peering underneath, saying:


"Cucu di katil Terakhir..."

The Thing was at its victim's feet. As it slowly lifted the blanket, the boy passed out pin his own puddle of piss.

That was how the story ended.

Before the massaging Junior could tell how stupid the story was, the Senior had already fallen asleep. Hands not oily anymore after all the oil had been absorbed by the leghairs, the Junior walked to his bed at the end of the dorm.

He was never one to believe ghost stories. That was until  he saw the dark figure crouching on the cupboard beside him, staring at him from above.

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