Not An Ordinary Fever
This was told by my father.
Like any other superstitious family, my father and his siblings were told not to wander around outside of the house late at night.
My uncle, being the eldest had chores and errands to run for his big family of 13 (if I am not mistaken….@_@) siblings and sometimes would end up returning home late.
There is an Esso petrol station facing back to back with the house and between them is an alley. This alley looks sinister after 7.30pm because the back of the petrol station towers over the house, hence creating a dark environment in the evening, otherwise it is a rather safe walkway.
Further up the alley, there is a shoplot, occupied by a mechanic. Beside the workshop is a huge old-age tree (it has been there since forever) and a chinese red altar house (I don’t know what it is called) planted right below the tree.
One night, as my uncle returned home, he complained of having a fever and retired soon after dinner. As night fell, his fever escalated sky high and during that era, clinics seemed to be closed after dusk.
Next morning came and my grandmother brought him to the clinic, got his prescriptions and returned home. Even after his medication, my uncle still couldn’t recover from his high fever.
It was days later only had they realised that something was amiss and consulted a buddhist priest.
Upon chanting, sprinkling holy water and blessing my uncle’s sick physique, the priest asked if my uncle had walked in any secluded area and touched or said anything unusual.
Apparently, that fateful night before he returned home, he took his usual route directing him towards the back door of the house (the back door has more people moving in and out from because it is nearer to the shops/bus stops and offices at the shoplots).
Near the scary looking tree, my uncle said he had kicked a stone that was near the red altar repeatedly until he reached the back door of the house. It was said that he had offended a lady ghost and his sickness was his punishment.
It was then the priest had told my uncle to ask for forgiveness by the tree with peace offerings only then his high fever subsided almost immediately.
The priest added that if it was another day later, he would’ve died.