Blood Moon over Aceh

Works in Translation


Arafat Nur, translated by Maya Saputra
Published as a part of Dalang Publishing’s Your Stories, Oct 01, 2018

First published in Blood Moon over Aceh


One evening in July of 1989, Leman’s coffee stall at Tamoun quickly filled with cheering villagers. The crowd suddenly fell quiet when my uncle, Arkam, started speaking. Arkam’s loud voice could be heard outside of Leman’s stall.

Drawn by the unusual activity, men and women, dressed in their dirty work clothes, kept coming to the stall. Meanwhile, the sun moved towards the western horizon. Its shape resembled a circle of light stuck between the buds of the candlenut trees. Half of the light poured onto the Tamoun market, casting long shadows on every object and a few people walking to Leman’s stall.

Arkam showed a piece of red cloth with a star-and-moon motif, which he referred to as a flag. That kind of flag had never been flown in Alue Rambe. I had heard that the Commander of the Pereulak Region, Ishak Daud, was the first person who raised that flag in one of the high schools in East Aceh.

Everyone silently paid attention to Arkam’s stern face.

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