The island of demons

They looked into each other’s eyes with the sweetness of candid love. Well seated and educated in front of the man to respect, they could hardly avoid physical contact, seeking every little excuse to keep it. When the man turned to him and warned him about certain attitudes, she gave him a tender pat on the legs; when the man outlined her future talking about the right behavior, he caressed her hand with a discreet gesture, showing no sign of possession or sensuality.

The man spoke to them with the wisdom of the masters. He was a healer.

Short white and curly hair on a very dark skin, middle-age, his manners and language had the elegance of those who don’t let their life clothes being crumpled by the exuberance of emotions. He addressed the young couple with authority and delicacy, lightening the heaviness of the subject with jokes and laughter never inappropriate.

The couple was sometimes as embarrassed as one may be when love is revealed and discussed with ease, while for those concerned it is still something magical and not fully comprehensible. They laughed lowering their eyes or turning to avoid showing the red cheeks. At times they escaped eye contact with each other, without losing physical touch. She was six months older than he was. Her skin was clearer than average, so much so that she looked like coming from the capital. Eyeglasses gave her an even more sophisticated look, but the graceful and lovable smile removed every shade of city coldness. He had his eyes narrowed in two slits that seemed to be hurled down there from the far north of the Asian steppes, despite the family being absolutely autochthonous.

They were sixteen. They were mature and yet innocent in addressing their responsibilities. After all, the society in which they had grown up was still based on strong family and spiritual values, which young people abided.   

They had turned to the Ajik, the respectable man, on the advice of her mother for a problem in his family. The Ajik knew the energies, the good ones and the bad ones, the inner ones and the external ones. He could hear what was not said, could see what was not shown.

The Ajik knew also how to cure, but there are things that can not be cured except by the force of prayer. And this is what Ajik advised first of all.

Komang’s family had stopped praying, too busy with work and secular obligations. So they had left the door open to evil spirits, who, hunted here from every corner of the street with offers and mantras consecrated every single day, were in constant search for a place to lodge. A forgetting of the oblation by a restaurateur was enough for a waitress to scream madly at the end of the evening and then to lose consciousness. Fatal was the negligence of a hasty worker, so much so that the impudent unfortunate was involved in a road accident before the end of the day. Much worse events were expected for those who adopted a careless lifestyle of the protector gods.

A month earlier, Komang’s father had broken a leg, hit by a motorcycle. The home garden had assumed a spectral aura without any apparent reason. Strange coincidences were happening with increasing frequency and Komang could never sleep soundly even though his beautiful Anggi had finally agreed to be more than his best friend.

Exhausted by this impalpable fatigue and disturbed by a vague presentiment, one day Komang had the idea to check the videos of the security circuit, which filmed every room in the apartment during the night.

If a bule, a Westerner, had witnessed such a scene concerning himself, he would fall into a panic, suffocated in his own breath, clinging to common sense only by a rationalistic instinct that would surely have found a trivial scientific answer to the case.

It was not like that for Komang or any of his countrymen, who were used to perceive and cultivate the mystery scrupulously.

Not even the Ajik could know exactly where that sort of geyser originated, a gush of smoke emerging from the chest of a sleeping Komang, and nullified in the overlying air. The Ajik, however, could evaluate the committed mistakes and prescribe the right remedies. He scrutinized the lines of Komang’s hands and predicted the fate, while Anggi listened carefully. Her eyes full of a love, which she just learned to know.