The Midnight Intruder

Works in Translation


S. Prasetyo Utomo, translated by Indra B. Hurip
Published as a part of Dalang Publishing’s Your Stories, Jun 01, 2018

Originally published in Kompas Minggu, Mar 08, 2009 as Penyusup Larut Malam.


The gaunt old man wore a sarong and a peci, headdress. He entered Aryo’s front yard in the late afternoon rain, limping. It was just past afternoon prayer, and the old man seemed anxious, as if he were trying to hide his nervousness. Even though they were not acquainted with each other, he expected Aryo to have the solution to his problem. The man was cross-eyed and could not focus on Aryo’s face. He extended his right hand, and they shook hands in a warm and friendly manner.

The old man smiled, and said, “It is you who I’ve been looking for.” Refusing to sit in a chair, the old man chose to sit cross-legged on the floor.

Aryo tried to guess why the man had come to his house, and why he had such a humble demeanor.

“Please buy my land, son,” the cross-eyed old man pleaded.

Read the full story here.