Short story Nini Thowok

Short story Nini Thowok

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Until now Simbah Putri still insist on not to dismantle the furnace made of clay. Mini cave-shaped furnace with edges that have gupil here and there with age. The stove was made by the late Simbah Kakung when he was young.

"This stove is like a house, and every house must have a dweller, to dismantle this stove as well as to expel its inhabitants, and that is an evil, arbitrary act," Simbah said seriously. If it were so, I can only be silent. Resign. It is impossible to impose the will on Simbah. It's useless. Because Simbah Putri is a hard person, very difficult to be influenced.

Even when I bought her an energy-efficient gas stove, Princess Waste did not want to touch her at all.

"Just give it to your future wife."

***

This week I got a few days off from the office where I work. Incidentally I have not stayed long time in the house Simbah. I miss the corn rice and pepes anchovy made by Simbah himself.

That afternoon with a motorcycle I slid through the streets that spread along the foothills. Rumah Simbah is indeed behind the hill, quite far from where I live. It took about two hours to get there.

I deliberately did not let my arrival to Simbah. I meant to surprise him.

The row of pine trees waves in the wind, as if to greet me. The sultry afternoon air turns cool as the bike begins to climb at altitude.

At the curb of a winding road suddenly someone passed, to my surprise. I hit the brakes with all my might and I lost my balance. My boss is falling.

"Is it ok?" a girl. Beautiful. Say softly. Making aches and pains on my abrasions instantly vanished. "Forgive Sri, Mas, maybe Sri who walks on the street ….""Oh, I'm all right.Good thing I did not hit you, I was riding a motorcycle while daydreaming," I said happy.

"Loh, what's his Mas daydreaming about?" the girl smiled, teased me. Duh, that smile, makes me stutter. Two dimples were visible. Very sweet.

"Yes, yes, if the Mas is okay, Sri will continue to look for wood in the forest."

Before I could answer, the girl had left me.

***

Motorcycles roared into the spacious compound of Simbah Putri's house. I saw the elderly woman sitting on a bench feeding the roaming chickens.

Hearing my booming roar, Simbah Putri turned. Instantly put basket of rice in his hand aking just like that. Her old legs stood up to meet me.

"Pras! Piye tho, Le. Why do not you tell me if you want to come," Simbah reached out his wrinkled hands. Embracing my neck and kissing my cold cheek. The smell of fragrant bushes of kinang smelled from his mouth.

"Later when the news Simbah even bothered to prepare these and that." I kissed Simbah on the cheek. Then we walked together to the house.

Someone amazed me. Although living alone, the house Simbah Putri still looks neat and clean. The furniture in the living room was not in the living room.

As I took the drinking water in the living room, my gaze fixed on the kitchen.The stove — is still there.

"Early in the morning Sri had accompanied Simbah to clean up the house and cook the corn rice, as if she knew you were coming."

"Sri?" I looked at Simbah not blinking. Between excitement and curiosity. Simbah stared at me for a moment. Then nodded. I put down my drinking glass and lead Simbah into a chair. There's something I want to ask him.

"Sri girl dimpled, Mbah?"

Simbah nodded again.

"She's so beautiful… Fit to be a grandson," I blinked. Simbah laughed.

"I call him Sri If the real name is …" Simbah twisted a kinang in her mouth.

"Goddess Sri?" I interrupt, guess what. Simbah shook his head.

"The real name is Nini Thowok."

"Nini Thowok?" I lean forward.

"Yeah, Nini Thowok, the spirits of the stove's inhabitants," Simbah's hand pointed to the stove in the kitchen where the fire was almost extinguished.Instantly my neck bristled.

"Sri! Bantuin Simbah lit the fire again, yes, Nduk, I want to boil water to make Prastowo coffee, my newly arrived granddaughter."

Suddenly, bluuuph!

The fire inside the stove burns itself.

***

Malang, November 07, 2017

Lilik Fatimah Azzahra

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