No 35, Taman Melati, Sungai Petani.This is where everything started.
My 1st memory about this double storey-semi detached house is about the wall dividing my house from my neighbour’s house. Its around 2 meters high and all of us would climb up the wall and sit there,and that is arguably the best spot to be in the whole compound.
Space on the wall is limited hence hierrachy of power takes place. The older siblings usually had the upper hand, and im the 2nd youngest in the family.
But this story is about a bungalow, most probably from the late 20s, the base is of concrete and the upper half is made of wood. Located deep inside what used to be a rubber plantation infront of my house. Ya i should probably tell you about the rubber estate 1st.
Well, the whole taman melati is actually located at the edge of a rubber estate. Owned by a chinese tycoon, whom later dissappeared and left the estate unattended. After 30-40 years the estate turned to a jungle. It had wild boars, snakes (big ones,kapak,sawa,tedung etc), wild dogs, apes, and a variety of birds that sing beautiful songs in the morning.
Strictly speaking ,the jungle is off limit to us, but the temptations are too hard to resist.
At that point of time abg jie and kak zati went to boarding school, and those older went to university. It is just me and bunyamin at home, and abati retired too.
Ayie and Aman (my neighbour’s grandkid) joined the gang, Lee which lives not far from our home usually hangs around with us, hes abit older than me. Plus theres few more kids from nearby taman that joined us back then. We play lom (galah panjang), jenkek (not sure what ppl call this), police sentry, layang2, wrestling, kad tepok, chaplong, gasing, we even berjudi back then..hahah astaghfirullah..ill tell that story in the next post.
The gang has no leader,though at times I self proclaimedly act as one..kakaka.
Going back to the story proper,
Im not sure how I heard about this story, but at that time theres a rumor of a man named abang john, that lives in the woods. Somesay hes a fugitive, somesay he stays in the jungle to learn dark magic, and at one point all of us believed he really had that power. We never met him before, until this one evening when my friend asked us to follow him deeper into the woods. Non of us refute, even with that much rumors circulating about this persona known by abang john.
We cycled into the woods, deeper than ever ventured before and I can feel that the forrest is getting thicker as less light penetrates in. The surrounding darkens and you can feel the cold breeze passing through the tall rubber trees. There is an opening in the middle of the woods, a couple of big rubber trees had succumb down, and I can see 2 figures sitting on the fallen tree. As we drew closer the figure stand up and shouts “sini woii”..and that is the 1st time i saw him, the man with black magic, abang john.
Contrary to what his name suggest, abang john is not english,not anglo saxon. His skin is dark, not tall but not short, lean and moderately build typical mamak guy.