Daddy…

This story is inspired by the touching and utterly brilliantly executed Metlife advertisement that can be found here –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bdm4NBYxII. The video and all corresponding rights belong to them, the story subsequently inspired, and the manner in which it has been brought forth is purely my own.

That letter from my baby girl moved me. She knew about my job. Or so she thought. I felt a strange emotion welling in my chest. Love. I made up my mind. I called up the D.A.’s office and I said I would turn approver. I carefully took all meeting memos, evidence I would need to bring down Cat’s Eye, the group that I had been working for years since my dark teenage years led me down a path that suddenly seemed no longer rewarding. Boxes of documents, letters, photos, account books, recordings all of which I was the keeper of. I was betraying their trust. They wouldn’t be happy. But I had to do this. We could start a new life. A new life where I really could be her superhero. A friend of mine had me set up in his father’s office as secretary, the pay wasn’t great compared to the amounts we made on certain transactions but we would be safe. We could live like normal citizens, just complaining about the Government and worrying about taxes, enjoying a movie or two, fretting over her when she grew up, using my former skills to keep the boys away if need be. I smiled at that. My pretty girl.

Having thus decided, I found myself in an abandoned warehouse where I met with the regional head of police, someone from the D.A.’s office and a woman in a pin striped grey suit with crinkly eyes and a thin smile. I strode up to them confidently and stated “I want full protection. I want to undergo a surgery and look different, the works. Nobody should be able to find us. Only then do you get these” I held up the stash of important correspondence. Mr. Xi, the D.A. stepped forward and shook my hand, warmly said “Please take a seat. We will discuss business shortly afterwards.” And the world went black.

When I came to, everything in my possession was missing. My limbs ached painfully and I could feel a shiner come on in the corner of my eye. I was distraught and confused. Why had they done this?

I heard some voices and raucous laughter coming from my left. I limped slowly and put my ear to a hole in the cracks. Xi, that bastard! The D.A. was going to run for office and he was discussing how taking down all of Cat’s Eye would be his greatest achievement and he would use it to further his campaign agenda, of keeping the streets safe and the community, drug free. Furthermore, he suggested that with a “raid” or a fake encounter, the State could easily skimp on having to put a low life in protection; and that the police top dog could retire comfortably with maybe a Medallion of Bravery and Honour, if he could wrangle it. The two men’s unctuously laughter punctured the air and my blood boiled. Then Xi said “That little girl, arrange for her papers, Miss Li. We can put her in a foster home, she shouldn’t have to grow up with a deadbeat like that. We will place her with one of our agent’s families and depending on how she grows up to be, we can use her in the Service too.” My blood froze to ice, I saw a white-hot rage flashing before my eyes. That woman was a social worker trying to take away my baby girl from me! I snuck in on the guards and snapped their neck, taking care that no noise was heard. As they floated out of the realm of consciousness, I picked up their guns and moved forward stealthily.

“Never underestimate a father” I said as I rained two rounds into both, and shot them in the eye, the feared M.O. of Cat’s Eye. The terrified woman took one look at me and wisely scampered. When I was done, I collapsed. The adrenaline had worn off and fear kicked in. My limbs hurt, I coughed and there was a spurt of red. I was not a killer. Just a low-level guy who handled accounts for the Cat’s Eye. I didn’t know what to do next. We had to go on the run. I picked up one of the phones and placed a call to an ex-girlfriend who now worked as a paediatric nurse. I thought long and hard about this. There was a stash from an old hidden off the coast, I could just go there and recover even a small portion of it, sell it, come back and we could live comfortably in total anonymity overseas. I had even asked my guy to arrange documents for Ming and me to move to the US. For now, though, I had to do it alone. Having my lovely Ming with me would only complicate matters and risk her life. I asked Cecilia to take care of her and to make sure she would grow up being the sweet, pure angelic person she was. She would bring light, kindness wherever she went. My past shouldn’t be the shadow that followed her.

I picked my girl up from school, dressed in my customary suit, she smiled. And for a moment, the weight of the world and the dark days that lay ahead for me fell away. I was simply Daddy. Not a gangster. Not a killer.

“I have to go away for a while, honey. Till then, you will stay with Aunty Cecilia. She will take very good care of you, now you be nice for her okay? Study well, keep your grades up and remember to keep smiling. Stay kind and loving the way you are. I will see you soon.” My heart shattered into a million smithereens as I delivered this final line with a smile. My daughter perceptive as ever must have known something was wrong because she broke down and hugged me, begging me repeatedly not to go. I firmly extricated myself from her hug, not willing to get emotional before my daughter and turned away from her, beaming. “I will see you soon, Daddy!” her voice rang out in all its childlike naivete and optimism. “I hope so” I thought, as I got into my beat down car and drove towards the docks.

*Twenty-five years later*…

The young woman strode forward purposefully, her languid grace catching the eye of the clerks who worked in the Office of Records. She had a sweet heart shaped face with a smile to match, hair that had been secured tightly in a bun, the light blue sweater hung loosely on her gangly frame. She introduced herself as Ming Han, a social worker from an organisation affixed to the D.A.’s office, her documents checked out and the clerk gave her an address. She bowed in gratitude and walked out into the sunshine, resolute as ever. She stepped into a cab and directed the cabbie to take her to the Hope Old Convicts’ Reformatory Home. An hour or so later, the cab dropped her off before a yellowing edifice. The paint had peeled off, it looked as desolate as it felt. What an irony, she thought as her lip curled slightly. Her heart hammering slightly, she stepped up to the front desk and showed all the records she had maintained and the ones she had received about the whereabouts of her father, Joseph Han. “Oh, Joe?” the old woman coloured slightly and cupped her cheeks firmly much to the surprise of Ming. “There has not been a day when he didn’t speak about you. He will be happy to see you. He is out, de-weeding the garden.” The two women rushed excitedly to the garden, the older of the two yelling “Joe! Look who has come to see you!”. An old man in his late fifties looked up. He looked frail, skin severely tanned and a decade or two older. He blinked unsurely. His eyes quickly adjusted to the lovely vision in blue walking towards him, sobbing. He started sobbing and laughing too, as they drew closer. He held her by the shoulder and whispered, “My daughter…”, examining her closely. The shining grey of her eyes, the cheeks suffused by colour in the biting wind, the lips breaking into a huge smile. They embraced and cried. “Kelly, I want you to meet my daughter Ming.” The old man walked slowly and brought forward the woman from the front desk, fingers laced with one another. He looked at his daughter, whose eyes widened as she took in the blushing woman and her smiling father. Ming hugged Kelly and reassured her she was happy that her father had been able to find someone, and thanked Kelly for taking care of her dad. Kelly wisely left after some time, giving the duo some much needed quality time together. “Tell me everything, Daddy.” Ming said, taking her father’s hand and leading them towards a bench. The duo sat down and talked for hours catching up till the Sun went down and they were just silhouettes clinging to each other tightly, promising never to let go ever again.

 

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Random Musings

I go like a sucker towards you, not knowing what I want. Every time, I ask myself if this is what I want. What I was looking for. Every time your words alleviate me and I am temporarily​ blinded. Back under a spell of our own making. Who is the fool here? Me for not knowing my own heart, or you for choosing to believe in me? I know my mind, my mind is a comfortable place. You have walked through the valleys, you have held your stead in the back alleys. You have pulled me from the vortex, and yet I wonder if You are the vortex. You suck me in every time, I don’t know what to do. You take down my carefully constructed impervious constructs with a deft stroke of your words that leave me hankering for more. I don’t know myself anymore, I am free falling, I don’t wish for you to catch me, but I hope you will.

The MBTI Nutter

The MBTI Nutter
Is it Ne indecision?
Or is it a love of Ti precision?
Is it a far sighted Ni vision?
But, I see no strong Te execution
Is it the Fe need for affirmation
Or healthy Fi rising towards self – actualization?
Is it weak Si assimilation?
Or poor Se leading to delayed reaction?
If I just knew my type
I would be so much the better
I’d no longer grate on their last nerve
They’d no longer call me
The MBTI Nutter.
-MVK

The Unremarkable Boy – A Riverdale fanfiction

(Note: None of the characters belong to me, only the plot and ideas, and the execution are mine. This is a fiction based on the popular CW series, Riverdale which is a contemporary, darker adaptation of the super popular Archie comics featuring Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the gang.)

The Unremarkable Boy

He had been disoriented and felt like he had been sucker punched in the gut, seeing the scene play out before him. His father, who had promised him he would do whatever it took to rebuild the family was sitting and playing pool with the gorgeous blondes, one of whom he had disappeared with into the back alley leading out the bar. He had heard the conversation with Joaquin and couldn’t wait to warn Kevin that he was just a pawn. Nothing else. In the greater scheme of whatever sick game FP Jones was playing. He heard raucous shrieks of laughter, he quickly jumped behind the dumpster and saw his father and that woman arriving tousled with bloodshot eyes and heavily dilated pupils. The bile rose a little in his throat, but he kept it together. He would confront him at home, all at once for which he needed proof. The more he watched, the sicker he felt. Finally, no longer able to take it he slipped into the shadows and made it out of there, his breathing harsh and dry heaving, gasping and crying as he jogged through the streets of Riverdale. “No, there is no hope.” he whispered to himself like a mantra, that happy families he had seen the Andrews or Coopers play would never be his. He and JB would never be together again, it would be best in fact if things were contained that way. He slammed the door with all his force and broke into the trailer not bothering to use his key. He let himself in, and looked around at the storm of chaos he had brought into their life by letting FP sleep there for a while. He clawed around the place frantically, and sure enough found the little flask secreted away. He drank desperately, wanting to design his thoughts into a mesh of pungent, dark amber coloured oblivion. The liquid burned through him, and he coughed repeatedly, eyes streaming and unable to take it but he drank till he could no longer the picture of that big manly hand on that woman’s thigh and them disappearing into the night together. His vision blurred and soon he blacked out.

“Juggie?” He heard his name being called persistently and softly. He wearily opened his eyes slowly and saw her bleary form before him. He saw the concerned blue eyes first and then took in how she was holding him close to herself afraid that he might break if she let go. “Hey there Ju…” His head rolled to the side and he threw up involuntarily. This happened a few more times and she was there each time, stroking his head and wiping his head with a cool, damp cloth. Her eyes were teary, she did not speak. He limped to the faucet and washed his face, waiting for her to speak. “I was worried when you didn’t show up for our date, and then you didn’t even show up to class today. I looked everywhere for you, do you know how scared I was? They found Ethel’s body, Jughead. I THOUGHT SOMETHING HAD HAPPENED TO YOU!” her voice cracked, rising in anger. He looked at her cheeks flushed with emotion and the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest, her face taut with tension and lips pursed in disapproval. He hung his head in shame, not registering what she had really said about Ethel, but only conscious that he had let her down and that he was right. She was too good to him. She was too good for him. He had to push her away before he burned the only good thing in his life. And he knew only one way how. “Hey babe” he slurred, bringing himself into a sitting position and tried pulling her closer, for a kiss. She resisted but he was stronger, swifter. He mashed their lips together, using his free hand to rest on the nape of her neck pulling her in closer, till she slapped his chest and pushed him away in horror. “I am sorry Juggie, I cannot do this. You are hurting me.” Her words filled him with shame. “You said we aren’t like our families, Jughead but I am sorry to say that you are. You are just like your old man, a chip off the old block. The Jughead I know would never have drank and lied in a pool of his own vomit or forced himself on me. Forsythe P. Jones, we are done. Do you hear me? Don’t ever come near me again, till you can learn to be a decent human being again.” The energy in the room seemed to have changed, her eyes crackled with rage, the hurt emanating off her as they stood there nose to nose. He felt a little scared of her honestly at that point and wondered if he should come clean about why he did what he did. Goddamn Stepford Pollyanna, she would never understand what life on the other side of the tracks was like, he thought bitterly watching her slam the door after her and walk away, head held high. She’d looked frightened. Of him. He had been her safe place, she had been his haven. Had he just committed the worst mistake of his life by letting her, the only good thing in his life walk away from him and in such a spectacular fashion that all bridges between them had been razed to ashes? Would he ever get a second chance?

He shook his head at his thoughts. It was best this way. She would move on, trust again and love again, marry someone while he saw his dark road ahead filled with loneliness or debauchery to forget the constant ache in his heart. Eventually all these people would forget about the existence of an unremarkable boy called Jughead Jones.

 

The Death of Muggs – A Riverdale fanfiction

(Note: None of the characters belong to me, only the plot and ideas, and the execution are mine. This is a fiction based on the popular CW series, Riverdale which is a contemporary, darker adaptation of the super popular Archie comics featuring Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the gang.)

“Our small town, what happened to the little joyous and meaningful moments that we spent here in more than sixteen years. One popular redhead, one murder and this town has changed forever. People look at each other with hooded eyes, suspicion and fear writ large on their face. They don’t know who to trust, they don’t know who the killer could be. They don’t know who is next. I am Forsythe P. Jones but I prefer to go by Jughead, or Juggie as She calls me. She is the single ray of hope in my ever-meaningless existence, that is a miasma of kaleidoscopic experiences each that I use to amplify my mind and contribute to my writing. Oh yes, weirdly quiet kid wants to be a writer. There is nothing cliche about that. I am penning this because I want to get to the heart of this mystery, She wants us to. She misses our good old days more than she cares to admit. I see it in the diminishing light of her formerly sparkling blue eyes that lit up with humour when she spoke of her exploits. Now her family is being torn asunder in a family feud, lies and betrayal. She is rudderless, as I am. We have found a sort of comfort in each other, each playing it by the ear not knowing how this came to be, or where this is headed. I fear that once again the love light will be kindled in her eyes, and she is going to smile the same way she did all through our childhood at Him. But when she is with me, the world looks just a little brighter and filled with promise.” Jughead Jones balled up the paper and threw it just outside of the bin, earning a glare from Pop. He smiled lazily in apology and stretched out his long limbs as he sauntered casually to pick it up, and placed it in his pocket not wanting anybody to see it. “God, Jones. Get a grip. Stop acting like a lovesick teenager.” He placed the loose change on the counter top, doffing his beanie to Pop once again for the superlative burgers​ and shake. It would have to do, until his next meal. Speaking of which, he had to go meet Her in an hour from now, help ready his discarded trailer and turn it into a sort of living space fit for himself and his sister. JB. Jellybean. Thoughts of dark curls and her impish grin flashed before his eyes and he found himself smiling genuinely, involuntarily. Their mother had wanted nothing to do with their father but had conceded visitation rights during weekends​ or holidays. Fourteen-year-old Jellybean had never so far shown an interest in reconciliation until the last time that she read his article in the Gold and Blue, and his investigation into the Blossom murder piqued her attention. She was finally ready to receive him at their home in Jersey. So, he went, by himself despite his girlfriend’s protests that he shouldn’t have to do so alone. They chatted for seven hours and Jughead came to realise they had more in common than the Jones name. She too, like him had known bullying. She too thought ahead of her time, she too was different. Different, like him. He wished that she could have had the mom and pop picket fence life she deserved, she was far too cynical for a fourteen-year-old. Hesitantly he had offered to host her at his “home” and she ecstatically nodded. So, it was set. That following weekend would be spent with him and the gang who were all curious to see ole JB. His lip curled in distaste as he thought of the wrecked state of affairs in his trailer that he shared with his father and renowned Serpent, FP Jones. Betty, bless her sweet, wonderful self had volunteered to him clean up and make the trailer fit and presentable for JB’s weekend.

She was already waiting for him at the trailer with, he noted with an unpleasant jolt… Archie. They were both wearing overalls and perfect smiles, looking like the All-American dream team. Pushing down his insecurity, he went and pulled her in for a long kiss. He broke apart when he heard throats being cleared loudly. He looked around and saw Kevin and Veronica smirking at him. “Guys, let’s get started.” Betty took a bucket of soapy water and got to work on the outside of his dusty, musty trailer. Kevin and Ronnie’s nostril flared as the rank smell of old socks, unwashed laundry and whiskey hit them. “Um, sorry” Jughead said, sheepishly stowing away FP’s stash. “This is really quite good, distinctive oaky flavour” Kevin said, taking a long sip of the amber liquid that burned through his veins. “Put that away, Kevin. We aren’t here to party. We are here to make Juggiekins presentable.” Veronica commanded, clearly the boss of any room she was in. Even if said room was more of a filthy, lived in trailer. Archie looked at her in wonder, and neither Jughead nor Kevin missed the look that passed between the two of them. He wondered how long before they would be found out, more importantly… How would Betty take it? How would it impact their social circles?

The gang were hard at work, the girls had brought linen and doily samples, the boys repainted the inside. Betty even brought a Welcome mat and a crystal blue vase filled with sunflowers. “A touch of blue and gold” she whispered in to his ear, smiling at him in a way that made his chest tighten uncomfortably, but not wholly unpleasantly. “You have to bring her around for tea and cakes at Lodge Manor” Veronica ordered imperiously, flashing him that impertinent grin. He could see how she could ensnare the heart of the redhead who looked like he would ask “How high?” if she asked him to jump. He thumped Archie on his back, bringing him out of his reverie. The place now looked charming and airy, touches of powdery blue used sparingly. The kitchenette was all cleaned up and simple but fancy lace doily lay about, evoking a cozy, homely feel.

“Let me walk you home” Jughead offered, as it had gone quite dark and they never knew what lurked about. “My chivalrous hero” she deadpanned and then giggled, the sweet musical sound of it filling the air. The others had gone their separate ways in their respective cars. They walked in companionable silence for a while. “Juggie, Ethel came to me the other day and said she had big news. She wouldn’t tell me what it was, but she said she was working on confirming it. She said it was related to the Blossom murder, and possibly someone who was involved in the case. I didn’t check for eavesdroppers and I haven’t since heard from her. Do you think she is okay? Oh God, we should never have discussed it in a public place like Pop’s where anybody could have heard her, and followed her home. Oh Juggie, what do we do?” He knew that tell-tale look of panic and he rubbed her shoulders to reassure her. “Hey, everything is going to be okay, Juliet” he said. She smiled at the nickname and took his hand, as if holding on to her last shred of sanity and dear life.

*Meanwhile on the other side of the Sweetwater River*

“Please, let me go!” Her shrieks rose in desperation. A large, manly hand reached out across the darkness and smacked her across the face. “Nobody will hear you out here, Ethel Muggs” he said, scornfully, the stranger’s voice low and menacing. “I promise to retract my story and tell the Blue and Gold it was probably nothing. I won’t tell anybody, I swear. Please let me go” she sobbed in terror, knowing she would never likely make it. She saw the scuff marks on the floor where Jason had been held captive and where his body had been dragged, the red splash across the wall where the bullet had ricocheted and caused some of his blood to spatter across the warm hued walls of the cabin where Sheriff Keller stood. He looked completely different, manic as he paced about with his personal silver Colt gleaming faintly in the moonlight that was streaming through the dusty windows. Her wrists were starting to burn from the constant effort she made to escape while the Sheriff was away. Her ankles chafed as the ropes bit into her skin. She knew somebody must have noticed her disappearance by now. It had been going on two days nearly that she had missed school. Ethel Muggs had never missed school, not even when she had had the flu. As if reading her thoughts, the Sheriff smiled and said “Yes, we have decided to look for you another day or two, and then file a Missing Persons report. Although you will probably not make it past then.” he said contemplatively. “Oh yes, they were quite distraught. That meddling Nancy Drew and her Romeo Friday. I have promised them my best efforts in looking for you.” his cold laughter rang chillingly through the cabin. “Kevin doesn’t expect me to be back for a couple hours. How about you and I have a little chat about how you found out about me?” She nodded mutely, knowing the more she talked, the greater her chances of being found by some hikers. If only she lasted the night. “I was helping the Blue and Gold with their expose of the Serpents. I followed Joaquin one day to a bar across town where I heard whispers of a dirty cop. I heard that someone was involved in the drugs game. I saw you in the bar that day and wondered. You weren’t there for any particular reason like raiding the place or letting someone off on a friendly warning. You, Joaquin and FP went into a meeting that lasted too long for me to see the end of it. In the next couple of days, the new gang The White Cobras got dismantled and the gang was put in jail. All including Oswald Piers, while writing the exposé for the Blue and Gold I came across the fact that his mother’s maiden name had been Blossom. She had been disowned for marrying beneath her station. A theory began to form in my head. What if he had been the one to help Jason Blossom and not the Serpents, with the drugs? A short interview with him quickly cleared things up and I realised the gang had been set up, he had been framed in the robbery you had arrested them for. That meant you or someone in your department were dirty, I wondered how deep this ran.” “That’s when you came to me” Keller finished for her. That Blossom kid hit upon us making a deal in the woods that day and what happened next had to be done. He laughed in our faces and threatened to expose me, he proceeded to make blackmail demands that he wanted for his new life, including cash. Oh, that fool, he thought he could get away with blackmailing me. I have no regrets for what I did.” She heard a click and closed her eyes. It would all be over in a moment.

Five days later, Sheriff Keller and his team fished out the body of Ethel Muggs from the Sweetwater River. Her skin glowed in a pale and waxy manner, her corpse had bloated in an undignified and unsightly manner, there was the tell-tale sign of the entry wound placed squarely in the middle of her skull. Once again, a hush fell among the people of Riverdale. Shocked that something like this could happen to someone like her. They held on to each other, their secrets and their lies. This town would never be the same again. “But as long as people had each other, they were going to be okay” fingers danced across the old keyboard, as Jughead Jones typed out the Ethel Muggs story for the Blue and Gold, and shut his laptop down.  A lone tear made its way down his pale, angular cheeks as he walked out into the twilight, reminiscing and mourning his sweet, deceased friend.

 

Forever

Peel me, Unfurl me

Heal me, Unravel me

Take me to the depths of passion

Soar with me to the heights of

Pure elation.

I will kiss away your pain

Fill every crevice with light

I will paint your dreams

With Hope and joy

I will never give up on us

No! Not without a fight!

So whenever you are ready,

Come find me, love.

Fair warning, if you take me

Take me with all you got

Cuz, I don’t do things by halves.

This is my promise,

To be yours,

If you will be mine.

By:

MVK.

Prayer

Seasons have gone by

One after the other

Love has ebbed, and Love has soared

Looks like it is fading

Soon, it shall be gone for evermore.

 

See those smiles turning upside down,

Young faces set in grimace and frown

We see before us, what is to come

Our bright eyes turning hooded and grey

Our joie de vivre lost among Life’s fray

 

The sins of the father dance gravely upon our heads

Toiling tirelessly, gracelessly as silent tears are shed

We hope for respite and seem to find none

Wherefore are we headed?

Oh Lord, what have we done?

 

Our silent screams are finally heard,

By the Merciful Overlord

Hope is futile, so is Denial

Hush now! Time’s up!

He’ll lay you gently upon his breast,

He will rock you softly to Eternal Rest.

 

By:

MVK.