This is the most frightening experience of mine. Every time I remember it, I feel so scared. It happened in 2004, when I was a Senior High School student in an Islamic Boarding School in Semarang, Central Java. We had a formal organization called AULITA. It’s all about love for nature and bravery. Another student (commonly younger one) who wanted to join with us should be tested first. We established the test for member candidates every single semester.
In the test, we would know the brave and the coward. AULITA accepted the brave ones only. We would ask them to go to places where a couple of us stood there. And they went all alone with no flashlight or anything like that in the dark mid-night. In that time, all student –included us- were not allowed to have hand phone or so.
We had four places for them to visit and we spread ourselves (senior members) there. So they would meet us in a dark full of trees garden near our school, in front of an old unused factory, in an empty house, and in an old funeral. The last one I mentioned was the farthest from the school. It’s almost 1 km. To arrive there, a candidate had to pass those three places. And between the places, there’s no house around the road. When they arrived in our places, they had to do whatever we asked.
I and my bravest friend, Wahid, had a turn in the funeral. Actually I refused to be placed there, but my friends called me ‘a coward’ then. That’s not funny at all!
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What I knew was that we only had 8 candidates. It started at 11 pm and normally ended at about 2 am. I and Wahid had arrived in the funeral before 11. We have prepared ourselves with some questions, thermos bottle, cups, and coffee. Wahid was brave and funny but he disliked to be fooled around. His jokes always made me laugh so I was never afraid of anything.
Time was running out and it was 1 am when we have finished testing 8 candidates. I urged Wahid to go back to school because I thought everything was done. But he said that we still had 1 candidate. He was really sure that the amount of candidates was 9. I didn’t know who was wrong, and I guessed it’s ok to follow his word. So, we decided to wait.
About 10 minutes later, we saw somebody walked into the funeral. I smiled insincerely because I knew I was wrong.
“Hey, come here,” Wahid called him with passion. And immediately he turned his step direction to us.
We had a rule that the candidate had to say ‘salam’ (Muslim’s greeting) when he met us in our places. But he said nothing. He just stood in front of us while we were sitting. Of course we were bit disappointed with his silent behavior.
“You’ve broken one rule, brother. What’s your name?” Wahid asked.
“Hey, say your name!” Wahid almost screamed.
“Do you want me to punch your face?’ Wahid became angry and he stood up. But the guy still said nothing.
I tried to expose his face with my flashlight. I thought I would be familiar with his face, but surprisingly I was not. I guessed I never saw a face like that in my boarding school. The face was normally still, but not familiar to me.
“Calm down, Wahid. Maybe he’s too afraid of us or he met something in the road,” I tried to throw away a bad feeling that began to attack my mind. “What’s your name?” I asked smoothly. Still he kept drowning in his strange silence.
“Go away from here! You will not join our group forever,” Wahid drove him out.
He then turned his back and left us. Unexpectedly I began to think there’s something wrong with him. I even began to afraid. That bad feeling came again.
“I don’t know who he is. What about you?” I asked Wahid.
“Me too. But I have a good plan. We will follow his road and make him shocked in the dark. This could be my revenge!”
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Oh no. I could not deny this because Wahid always had strong desire and nothing could stop him.
We were still able to capture his shadow and we followed him. We certainly knew where he would go. That’s why we could find a good spot to surprise him in the dark. It’s behind a huge tree. We have arrived there before him because we knew how to cut the path there.
Then we waited him arrive the place. And when he’s near of the tree, Wahid started to growl inhumanly and hit the path. But no one’s there. We were startled.
“Where’s he?” Wahid asked with frightened intonation. I shook my head.
We tried to capture him and took a look around. I can’t describe how surprised we were when we saw the guy was standing behind us. All that we could do was run, run and scream. I didn’t think about anything except running. And so did Wahid. Maybe that was the first time he felt afraid. The thermos bottle and cups that I brought were left and forgotten.
When we arrived in the school, everyone asked us where we went so far. Obviously they had been waiting us for one hour. We told our story and the scariest thing that they told to us was, “WE ONLY HAVE 8 CANDIDATES!”