There was some tension in the air. The air itself was thick. After-noon, tropical and plush. But today it seemed more oppressive than usual. The guys were glistening while they worked. The task that had most of them stop what they were doing and gather around was the peak centre of the large rock which had been exposed. It was now ready for the next stage of digging out.
‘Rambo’, as we had come to call him for his bodybuilding form and his brother Joko had been talking all morning. The talk had spread through the lunch break while the crew sat around with their coffees and rice. And he knew what to do now, he had decided.
He was going to get rid of the ghosts once and for all. Three of them worked at the top of the stone bolder with a spike and hammer. The crack that appeared was enough to start a proper split. It was enough to get gunpowder and make a pile in the top of the crevice. Rambo mooched over slowly with his cup of coffee and lit his cigarette.
The big man extended a glossy arm and gently laid the cigarette on the gunpowder and turned slowly to walk away. bANG! And then there was an eerie silence. With a steady hand, he carefully placed the cup of coffee on the rock next to the exploded crevice. He moved as if unaware of the explosion or anyone else around. The cup sat proudly next to the black patch that had just appeared around the crack.
They all stood around muttering something. Another cigarette was proffered to the rock, alight, smoking itself, or so it seemed. The men knew better. The coffee and the cigarette were for the ghosts as a peace offering. It is now time Rambo said for you to respectfully go from here and inhabit another farm – thank you very much.
With a little more magic to add to the mix, it appears that they left. I get the feeling though that they come back from time to time. Mas Supre was on watch in the week of the vigil after the robbery and claims that one of the ghosts appeared and then went straight through his body. He said it felt terrible and he, the calmest toughest guy I know was deeply disturbed by this event.
A month later, another of our crew told us that he spoke with a group of ghosts at the top of the farm. One might suppose these were the same ghosts who inhabited the rock and were around on the vigil night; the same ones whom locals have spoken on from the past. They agreed out of mutual respect that they would leave and not bother us anymore. I take it they are finally gone now as we have not heard of or been troubled by them for a couple of years. Even so, some of the people who live here will not go to the Southside of the house at night in a storm, as it overlooks the neighbour’s graveyard.