Wednesday, October 12, 2016

One Two Three Four (一二三四)

This is another ghost story concerning asking for lucky numbers.

First and foremost, this type of stories was being told time and again during my childhood years by my grandma and grandpa after dinner. About half a century ago, there were not many entertainments available. So the only free and easy past time was to listen to old granny’s stories. You may try to find out if the tales are true; but would just advise you to sit back and listen them just as any urban legends out there. I said this because it is just a waste of energy to track anything. In old days, there were many private and underground 4D operators in operations. I will not be able to tell which is which.

A few years after the end of WWII, many things were still lacking in Malaya. Jobs were very few and unless you know some VIP, you are almost certain to be jobless then. Of course, conditions have not improved today on our local job market too. When jobs are few and people would be thinking of many ways to get money. One of the ways is through getting lucky numbers from the spirits.

The best spirit to ask for lucky numbers is those pregnant mother died with stillborn. The Chinese believe that the mother-baby ghost can give a sure accurate lucky number but the danger is also that the gambler who asked for the number will die. The mother ghost may want the requestor to accompany her and the baby in the underworld. Having said so, there were still many people tried to summon this awful mother-baby ghost.

Unlike in modern times, fatality rate of giving birth was high, so it is quite possible to find a new grave with mother and stillborn. Things have changed today as most corpses are cremated with nearly zero fatality during birth.

Back to the story proper, in order to summon out the mother-baby ghost; one must first choose a new grave of deceased pregnant mother. When I said new, the grave should be within 7 days the best; or it should be within the first 21 days.

Once this grave is identified, the person must prepare some black hound blood, a piece of red string and 5 pieces of long green bamboo sticks. The length of one of the bamboo should be able to reach the coffin cover. Also the blockages within this bamboo should be cleared so that the blood can be poured directly onto the coffin.

Now, the best timing to call out this pregnant ghost is during a black moon night.

I don’t suppose you want to do the ritual… So, let us continue with the story:

A rubber tapper known as Ah Kow was a gambler and he would try any means to get money. Unfortunately, Ah Kow has no good luck so far until he met with a Maoshan Taoist who taught Ah Kow the above method.

It was a coincidence that a pregnant neighbour died during giving birth. Ah Kow thought it was a right time to try to summon this mother spirit to ask for her help; since they were neighbours. To say the least, the mother ghost should not harm her neighbour.

After everything is set, Ah Kow went to the new grave alone. He first planted four green bamboo sticks at four corners of the grave and then the red string is used to tie at the bamboos as protective boundary. This boundary will prevent the mother-baby ghost from harming the gambler.

As the final step, the longest bamboo stick is struck until it pierced through the coffin cover and the black dog blood is poured into the coffin.

Now, Ah Kow only needs to wait. About half an hour later, some white fog was seen emitted from the bamboo opening. Slowly a human shape was formed and as expected, it was the ghost of Ah Kow’s pregnant lady. She was seen holding a crying baby. A few more minutes lapsed and the mother ghost spoke:

“What do you want from me?”

Ah Kow braved himself and said: “I want you to give me a sure open lucky number!”

The mother ghost replied: “One two three fours.”

Ah Kow recorded the number and the mother ghost further said: “Bet on this number at Liu’s place. You owe me nothing if the number is not accurate. Otherwise, I want you to accompany me in my grave!”

The mother ghost then vanished back into her grave.

Ah Kow suddenly felt scared and he ran to a night stall selling liquors. There he got himself drunk and Ah Kow was escorted back to his house by the stall owner, who was also Ah Kow’s best pal.

When Ah Kow regained his consciousness, it was near lunch time. Ah Kow hurriedly to Liu’s gambling stall to bet on 1234. After that, he returned home to sleep until evening. He remembered about his bets… Ah Kow was actually in a dilemma: die if the number came out; die also if his number didn’t come out. As he was pondering, his feet stopped at Liu’s stall and there it displayed: “1st price: 2444”

It was actually a relief to Ah Kow because the mother ghost’s prediction didn’t come true.

That night, Ah Kow had a dream. The mother ghost came to Ah Kow first congratulated him for winning, then she wanted Ah Kow to hang himself so that she could bring his soul with her to the grave…”

Ah Kow protested: “But your number didn’t come out… you gave 1234, 2444 came out instead!”

The mother ghost swiftly whispered near Ah Kow’s ear: “Come dear… I gave you one 2, three 4s… You bet 1234; It is not my fault…”

The next morning, some rubber tappers found Ah Kow’s lifeless body hung on a mango tree in front of his house.

Of course, the moral of this story is not to gamble and certainly don’t ask for lucky numbers from spirits.

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