Dongeng Dari Timur
Once upon a time, there was a man who wished to be the richest on the land. He made a pact with the Earth God that in return of the uncountable wealth, he would sacrifice his last great grandchild, from his first grandson, from his first child.
The God of Earth accepted his sacrifaction and soon after he became the richest man in the land of Ambarawa. He owned the largest puppet theater in the region and his wealth was plenty.
Believing to own such a power, the man lured a Javanese pricess with magic so strong that once broken, it would destroy everything he owned. The devil was a master of deceival, and he fell into the charm of women’s seduction, the one thing that could break the magic.
The Javanese princess was an observant Javanese rituals follower capable to see the future: on the first Pahing Thursday of the month, all the wealth her husband owned would turn into ashes.
Indeed that day, there was a big fire in Ambarawa that torn down all buildings in the town. At that time, there was no banking concept, so all of his fortune was burned. In a bid to save her descendant, his wife seek refuge to the Queen of the South Sea.
The Queen agreed to give protection. A girl would be born and the queen would take her as her heir. The Queen’s spirit would make a lot of people love her so much that they will protect her from everything, including the Earth God. They will turn crazy on her, and those who are weak in mind would eventually lose their sanity.
Miles away in Batavia, a family was having a wrath. Their most beautiful daughter was to marry a Chinese, and to convert from Islam. They had a tradition that they had to marry their relative. In her bitterness, her mother cursed the daughter: You would know sorrow when your most-loved child disobey you and abandon your faith. The daughter was never been forgiven until she was in her deathbed.
Eversince, in that family, the most-loved child would elope with someone from different religion background and follow his or her spouse faith. It always created a havoc in the family, generation after generations.
Centuries after, the descendant of the man moved and married the descendant of the family in Batavia. A girl was born. She was the youngest, of the eldest grandson, of the eldest son from The Man’s family.
Eversince she was born, the girl was always sick. She had so much medicines that her teeth broke. She was so thin and fragile that some doubted she would survive to see her teenage days.
One day, a habaib from her Arab relatives came. The Habib blew a breath on the girl’s temple. It was said that he gave her a new spirit. In exchange, she would have to return the spirit by giving birth to a child she would later have to anoint according to the spirit’s belief.
The girl quickly recovered. She regained her health and her spirit. She was sweet in words and bright in thinking. She became the apple of her parents’ eyes. People tend to love and trust her easily. And with that, she could gain a lot of things. Her smile, could make others surrend their possession for free. She made full use of her ability to control people.
She was drawn closer to the attraction of earth. She cultivated the land and made a living from what grew from it. She was naturally good at it. With little knowledge and experience she made a huge leap.
Those with sharp eyes made premonition and told land owners and her rivals about it: There would be born the lord of the earth, and the person would change how we work in our land. She was here, and if they did not end her now, there would come a day when she would be too strong to be ended.
Indeed it was a play by the Earth God to take back what he has been promised. He was a master of disguise. All the time he played with the mind of people surrounding her. He possessed them with envy that they would do anything to harm the girl, even making pact with devils.
The girl noticed how easily her close friends became enemies and how men she left lost their sanity. She had her heart broken and her life threatened too many times.
Her past continued to loom. She was often reminded of her destiny. In order to keep her life, she had to marry someone of a different faith and gave birth to that man. It made her sad to give up a faith that she cherished.
But God had not forgotten her. She was given the greatest gift of all, a joyful heart. Regardless how many betrayals and death angels she had to face, she would be able to laugh at herself. Its light shone to shoo sadness away.
The spirit had its limit. In her last year of being 20 something, it was clear that the girl was not keen on paying back the spirit and fulfill her childhood promise. She fell ill in high fever. An Arabian chant was heard the whole night through.
That night her great grandmother from Batavia came. She apologized for she didn’t know what she did could cause so much sorrows to her descendants. She gave a message to all mothers. Meant what you said. For whatever a mother said to her children would become a pray that would be fulfilled by the Almighty.
Trembled, with the help of a prayer she was brought to Sam Po Kong temple in Semarang, where the Earth of God resided. The sun was high but she was shaking in cold. The pray was made to break the spell. She was returned to her true soul. Only The Almighty could own her.
On her way back their car was stopped. Two mythical bulls with long hair and ornamented noses pulled a carriage by an old man with long white hair. When they passed him, he shot a raging look at her. The servant of the South Sea.
That very same day she went to the South Beach to return back the charm. Such a pity, the Queen of the South Sea said, a lot of women came and worship me to get that charisma.
The girl waved back. No gift is given without an exchange. As charming as she could be, she knew it too well that she kept the raging nature of the Queen. She would turn into a beast when he anger incited.
Even up till now, when she had to face someone under patronage of The South Sea Queen, she would see her shadow creeping back. This would be a battle you easily win, if you return, hissed the Queen. But the girl wished no beauty coming not from The Almighty.
Relieved and freed, the girl could now release the spirit. But a fate has been written. There will come a man destined for her and he will be the final test for the family. If the curse continued, or they would accept a difference and make peace with the past.
The Almighty too has a new task for she had been saved. In her hand lies a key that hold people’s life in the land she cultivated. If she is loyal to the task, a gateway of blessing will be opened. It is never an easy quest as she will have battle the demon. She is on a new plight.