Original Works

Spliced [12 Genre Months]

‘500,000 dollars or she dies. Call the police and she dies. You have until Sunday.’

I can end our marriage here—call the police or fail to prepare the money, either way, it’s my ticket out. I won’t have to spend a single cent on our divorce, and I’ll benefit from her life insurance. Is this a blessing in disguise?

No, don’t judge me. I can sense your disapproval, as if you have any clue on what my wedded life has been like. From the second I roll out of bed to the moment I shut my eyes, I am living in a nightmare—no meat, it’s bad for my health, no going out on the weekends, I have to help around the house, no guys night out, it didn’t include her. The last one is the straw that broke the camel’s back. And to think she was always accepting of my friends, and the time I spent with them, before we said, ‘I do’. So what changed? Nothing did. It was all an act—a ploy to tie me down and keep me from the rest of the world.

So, should I call the police or… play pretend? Which choice will make me a victim—lest I become a suspect in her death—as I weep over my wife’s lifeless body? You’re right, I should call the police. After all, where would I find five hundred grand? I’m not the one with the money.

‘You called the police. Do you think this is a joke?’

A blood-caked ear in the mail—the police dusted the letter and the severed organ for fingerprints, but came back with nothing. Yes, it was her ear. Whoever that’s holding my wife hostage knows what they’re doing. And, I’m kind of glad. It would mean she will never return. Unfortunately, I can’t celebrate just yet. The police have devised a plan—two black duffle bags of fake hundred dollar bills. We are to wait for the kidnapper’s next letter, as they haven’t yet disposed of my wife. But honestly, what difference will it make? If only I didn’t have to play along.

‘Drop the money under the slide in the playground on fifth avenue.’

I did what I was told but found another letter by the slide. The letter tells me where my wife is. Apparently, she’s at her family’s holiday home outside of town. But… that’s not the weird part—the letter tells me to go on my own. It says, if I tell the police where she is, I’ll find her dead. As bizarre as that sounds, it only makes sense to show the police the letter, right? I mean, we both know I want her gone.

No? Don’t tell the police? You do have a point—they’ll start to wonder why I’m not out of my mind, making rash decisions, because I’m desperate to save the love of my life. Very well, I’ll go to the holiday home on my own. I’m sure I can sneak away. Let’s hope the kidnapper sees the counterfeit dollars and kills my wife before I get there.

‘Wine cellar.’

How nice of them to direct me to her. At this point, I do think I should call the police. I am here, after all. By the time they get here, it will all be over. And, if my wife is alive, I just wasted my only chance at being free of this marriage. I’ll call-

No? What do you mean, no? It’s over anyway. So why bother any longer? Wait, I think I hear something. I think… there’s someone else in the house.

‘500,000 as promised.’

That was easy. Who knew he would listen to you? Well, I’m just as surprised as you are. Make good use of the money. And yes, I won’t forget. Just send me a postcard when you’re ready. Also, you might want to get a sharper blade—trust me, two bottles of wine doesn’t help.


12 Genre Months © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for the list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

The Family Guy

The Family Guy

“I’m Monica Rivers from Channel 4, wishing you a happy holiday!”

The news ended with the typical credit roll while Monica Rivers sat at the desk trying to look busy. Little did she know that she would soon be reporting her first, of the mass holiday murders, in her news-casting career. She didn’t have to worry though, it was not happening in her country this year.

As he switched off the television, he smiled to himself. He was ready to leave his chilly home and move to somewhere warmer, just for a couple of weeks. It was sort of a ritual, that every year, he would pack his bags and go on a little trip; a little trip that wouldn’t end so well for many.

Being that he looked innocent with his chubby face, he got away with almost every crime he committed. No one knew he was wanted in countries all over the world, because no one suspected him at all. How could this sweet, quiet, fat man, be the evil of such heinous crimes? Oh, no, it couldn’t be him alright, and that was what everyone said.

The FBI had announced that they were looking for a middle aged man, who expressed a special fondness for families. They suspected him not to have any family, which would suggest that he traveled alone, and met his followers only at the site of the crime. On top of that, they knew he only acted on one special season of the year, and they never failed to caution the general public when the holidays came around. To his surprise, these profilers were right about him, proving that TV shows never over exaggerated their skills.

Since he was especially fond of families, his favorite holiday of the year was Christmas. He loved how families would come together, and celebrate a day which had no significance to some of them. He also loved the presents and he loved the food. That explained why he was growing more side ways than upwards as the years went by.

This year, he decided to pay special visits to the families in a little town called Oakwood. He was going to slip into their brightly decorated houses at night, steal the children from their beds, and drained the parents dry. He would then bag the children and keep them for the rest of the year. What he would do with them, well, I won’t tell you just yet.

Being that he was a very organized man, he entered Oakwood as a traveler, friendly and harmless. He made a small inn his stay for the coming weeks and worked out his ‘visitation’ plans; who to visit first and who to visit last. The order never really mattered though, as long as the entire town was covered.

One would wonder how one man could murder and kidnap everyone in a town. They suspected he worked in a team of course, but they were wrong. There was one thing they did not know about him, one thing they would not even believe.

You see, this cute chubby man was no man at all. The misconception of vampires being tall, dark and handsome, has even made the supernatural believers debunk the idea all together. Instead, they have chosen to believe he was a pedophilia murderer leading a group of mad men. Though he was slightly disappointed with their assumptions, he could only blame the media for painting such false impressions. No, vampires weren’t all tall, dark and handsome, in fact, most of them looked fairly ordinary, and they never even attempted to lead a normal life.

Once again, how does he manage to wipe out an entire town? That question is answered.

But what did he do with the children? After killing the parents and washing down his dinner with the glass of milk they had provided, he would take the children, tell them they have been naughty this year and convince them that they can make up for it and get the toys they wanted. He would then pack them in red sacks and bring them home.

Since he lived in the North pole, humans were a rare sight. Hence, some of the children would be his food for the rest of the year, before he went to collect more next Christmas. He also made use of them, turning some to be his little slaves. Most of them would help around the house, while others made toys to lure in the new prey.

Unfortunately for him, he had to feed some of the useless ones to them as well. It may seem rather cruel, but if elves wouldn’t work on an empty stomach, what more these little monsters.

Over the years, this chubby vampire has been doing the same routine of gathering slaves and building an army, and no one knew how to stop him. Maybe this is because the children of the world constantly called him Santa, thinking he was the man who could make all their dreams come true.

Well, who could blame them, it was another common misconception after all. And who knew blood stained clothes could become a seasonal costume.

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Wait, what? Vampire Santa?

My friends and I were talking about how ‘Vampire Santa’ could end up becoming a film when the cinema runs out of cheesy stuff. I bet we are not the first to come up with such a ridiculous notion, especially when the conversation started over a Facebook picture of me under a chimney.

I hope this story isn’t as cliche as the idea though. Do let me know what you think!

And, happy holidays!

© 2012 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

Original Works

The Transporter

It was 12 midnight. He had been waiting by his car for 3 hours, and he was down to his 4th cigarette. Four sticks in three hours; that was an achievement, Ganesh thought he should reward himself. But then he remembered the time where he had not smoked at all. It was two years ago when his daughter was still crawling. She was a beautiful young thing. He remembered the nights he would stand over her crib wondering how such an adorable little creature could become his; his sweet Sonya.

But two years ago was far worse than being a smoker. He was in a situation where he had no one to turn to and an empty wallet that only contained the picture of his wife and daughter which constantly sent guilt into his already uneasy heart. He could still recall the day he was fired, or, in more accurate terms, forced to resign.

“I’m afraid we have to let you go,” his boss, who was an old, bald but bearded, Chinese man, told him with a straight face.

“I’m fired?” Ganesh could not even believe what he was saying.

“Let’s just say you have decided to move on. I want your resignation letter by Monday,” his boss said.

Ganesh remember leaving his boss’ office wondering how he was ever going to tell his wife. They had just bought a new car and the loans were already taxing on him.

Leaving his office after he had collected all his belongings, the only thing he was thankful at that moment was his definite escape from the Kuala Lumpur traffic at 5pm. Ah, at least that was something he didn’t have to go through everyday, now that he was fired. Joy, Ganesh thought, trying to make that a reason to rejoice over.

Sadly, the reality that he was now jobless, with a wife and kid to feed, made no other attempt for positivity successful. Driving his car out of the city towards his home in Subang, Ganesh wondered how he was going to break the news to his wife. She would be so upset, and she would start worrying about everything. No, she would not scold him, or blame him, and that only made things worse. Finally deciding not to go home, Ganesh gave a call to his good friend, Markus.

Markus was the Eurasian boy he sat next to in high school. They were so close that they became inseparable. Often times, their classmates would call them a couple, but when Ganesh got married, they all decided to shut up. Markus was his best man at his wedding and also his daughter’s god father. He trusted Markus with his life, but maybe it was a bad idea to trust Markus with his future.

That evening, he and Markus sat down at a coffee shop drinking the only thing Ganesh could afford, a glass of Chinese tea.

“What’s up man?” Markus asked, sensing how troubled Ganesh was.

“I lost my job,” Ganesh said.

“What? How come?”

“I wasn’t…. productive,” Ganesh replied. And that was exactly what his boss said.

“Dude, you bring in the most business!”

“I haven’t been bringing in much lately,” Ganesh admitted.

“Doesn’t matter! You see, that’s the problem with corporate companies, they keep you when they need you and trash you when they don’t.”

Ganesh sighed in reply. What else was there to say? No matter how much he could complain about his former company, it was not going to change the fact that he was fired.

“How’s your business doing?” Ganesh decided to change the topic.

“Pretty good man, the money is rolling!”

“You’re still doing that talent business right?”

“Yup,” Markus said with a nod.

“The film industry in Malaysia isn’t blossoming, what talent do you need to find?”

“Dude, talents are not just for screen,” Markus answered.

“Then?”

Markus smiled. Oh, that same suspicious smile he always did when he pulled a prank or did something that could get him in serious trouble.

“Oh no, what did you do this time?” Ganesh asked jokingly.

Markus laughed and shook his head. They sat in a short moment of silence before Markus emptied his glass of Chinese tea and said, “If you’re really desperate, I could get you a job.”

“Really?” Ganesh was desperate, desperately not wanting to tell his wife he was fired.

“Yea. I have a friend in the overseas trade business and he’s looking for a transporter he can trust.”

“Transport what?” Ganesh asked.

“Goods. They pay a lot. Each shipment you could probably earn ten grand. And they make at least one shipment a month.”

“Ten grand?!”

“Yup. You can consider that a pay raise if you take the job.”

“A pay raise of one hundred percent man!” Ganesh could feel relieve sinking in and washing away all the uneasiness he once had.

“Yup,” Markus said smiling.

“Tell me more!” Ganesh was eager to save himself.

“Well, I want to, but I have to be discreet about this. It’s not exactly a licensed business,” Markus said softly, leaning in as he spoke.

“It’s illegal?” Ganesh replied in a whisper.

“Well, it’s not licensed,” Markus repeated and continued, “And they pay in cash. You’re also not allowed to bank in your salary.”

“Why not?”

“Ten grand every month? Wouldn’t that raise suspicion when you’re jobless?”

“True.”

“Think about this before you decide. Because once you’re in, it is a good as signing a contract. Give me a call once you have decided.”

“Can’t you at least tell me what goods are being transported?”

“Nope. Not until you decide.”

With that, Ganesh left pondering if he should even consider taking the job. If it was illegal, all he could think of was drugs. Ganesh knew what the penalty of possessing drugs was, and he didn’t want to take the risk. This illegal business sounded so wrong but it sounded like a good deal. Who would turn away ten grand a month just to get something across the borders? Ganesh wished he had, but when he made the call to Markus that very night, after putting his little Sonya to bed, he knew that there was no turning back.

“You sure about this?” Markus asked for the third time over the phone.

“Yes. Now tell me what are the goods,” Ganesh repeated softly, as he stood starring at the kitchen sink.

His wife was out in the hall watching a rerun episode of Project Runway, and had asked him to fetch her a glass of water. He knew she was going to ask him what the holdup was anytime soon and he didn’t want to have her walk in on the call.

“Once I tell you, there’s no turning back you know,” Markus said.

“Would you just stop that? Is it drugs?” Ganesh made a wild guess.

“No. Drugs are dangerous,” Markus replied.

“Then?”

“They are girls,” Markus said.

“Girls? What girls?”

“Young girls.”

At that moment, drugs sounded way better than girls.

“Trafficking… trafficking girls?” Ganesh could not stomach the thought of doing something like that.

“Dude, there’s no turning back now you know. You insisted I tell you. I didn’t force you on this,” Markus quickly say, afraid that Ganesh would change his mind.

“I…”

“YOU are going to meet my friend and take the job. Ten grand man, ten grand, you can send your kid to an elite kindergarten.” There was something in Markus’ tone that made Ganesh wonder.

“Are you in this business as well? Does your talent job of yours have to do with…” Ganesh could not complete his sentence. It was hard to believe that Markus was part of it.

“Yes. I scout for talent. And every talent I bring in pays for my bills, my wife’s shopping, my house and car loans, and puts food on my table.”

Ganesh went silent. So did Markus. It was silent for so long that Ganesh thought he did not even make the call and he was merely placing his phone on his ear for no reason.

“Bro,” Markus finally said.

“I’ll meet that friend of yours,” Ganesh finally replied.

“Good. I knew I could trust you. I’ll call you once I set up a meeting,” Markus said, before biding goodbye.

The monotonous beeping that followed after sent Ganesh’s mind drifting away. What did he just agree to? It all felt like a dream until his wife walked in and asked him what was the holdup. If she was a few minutes too early, he would have just said no. Well, at least she didn’t know.

A week later, Markus brought Ganesh to a classy restaurant in the city. He was asked to wear a suit up and when his wife asked him why he was so dolled up, he said he might get a pay raise. Oh, the squeals his wife made taunted him throughout the lunch meeting.

The restaurant that afternoon was filled with up-class people. Their chatter involved Porches for the men, and Prada for the women. Ganesh wondered if he could ever have the life they currently had.

Five minutes after they were shown to their reserved table, a man walked in with two bodyguards tailing behind him. His neatly pressed suit and shiny shoes made some of the customers in the nearby table look too cheap. Heck, it made Ganesh look like he lived in a wooden house.

This man looked around the same age as him. He had a pretty tanned skin with good features. If he had a group of paparazzi following him, one would think he was a celebrity. Upon reaching the table, he took a seat across them and waved his bodyguards to leave them.

“They won’t stop following you, huh?” Markus said.

“I paid them to do just that. But sometimes, I wish I hadn’t,” the man said with a chuckle.

Markus laughed while Ganesh merely smiled.

“This is Ganesh, the guy I was telling you about,” Markus introduced.

“Well, obviously, who else could he be? Your new bodyguard? He dresses better than you do,” the man joked.

Ganesh laughed. This man seemed pretty nice.

“I’m Aaden,” the man introduced as he offered his hand.

“Nice to meet you,” Ganesh said as he shook his hand. From his name, Ganesh suspected him to be one that fell under the heritage of the early dwellers in Malaysia.

“So, I heard you’re interested in this business,” Aaden said.

“Well.” Ganesh did not know how to reply. Was he really interested? Or was he just doing it because Markus said there was no turning back?

“It’s a lucrative business. One that comes in cash,” Aaden said smiling.

“So I’ve heard,” Ganesh replied.

“I see that you are quite uncertain here,” Aaden said, looking him in the eye.

“He’s not, he’s just-“

“Give the man a break Markus. You say he’s your good friend right? Even if he turns down this job offer, he’s not going to betray us,” Aaden interrupted Markus, but he never once looked away from Ganesh.

“Of course not,” Ganesh said with a forced chuckle.

“Look, I’m an understanding man. Getting into this business is a big decision, not just for you but for your wife and daughter too. So you can take all the time you need before you decide.”

“How do you know I have a wife and daughter?” Ganesh immediately asked, turning to Markus as he did.

“I check up on the people I intend to hire. I don’t trust any random Tom, Dick and Harry that comes up to me for a job until I know who they are, and where they come from,” Aaden casually replied.

Ganesh merely looked at Aaden, knowing that even if he turned down the job, he was now in a circle he could not get out. How could Markus betray him like that? Ganesh thought to himself.

“Let me know when you have made up your mind. But don’t take too long, I have a lost list of potential transporters. I’ll hold off meeting the others for a week, just because you’re Markus’ friend,” Aaden said as he got up. He then straightened his black blazer before nodding at them and exiting the restaurant.

“How could you tell him!” Ganesh immediately turned to Markus when Aaden had disappeared from sight.

“I did not tell him anything but your name,” Markus replied calmly.

“Don’t lie to me,” Ganesh said.

“I’m not. He has good contacts everywhere,” Markus said. “Look, Aaden has a wife too, and a son. His kid goes to some international school I can’t remember what it’s called. I know where he lives and I trust him. You don’t have to be afraid of him, he won’t hurt you.”

“Even if I say no?”

“Why would you say no? Are you stupid?”

“Harsh bro, harsh,” Ganesh muttered.

“I’m just being frank. You know it is tough looking for jobs right now. Every company you attempt to join will probably tell you, you are over qualified. But let’s say they do give you an offer, it would not be enough to pay your car loan.”

Markus was right, he was absolutely right.

Ganesh took a few days to think, but with his wife constantly asking if he got the raise, Ganesh decided to make up his mind. He called Markus two days after the lunch meeting and agreed to the job. The very next day, Markus came over with his wife to announce that they were going to have a baby, and to pass him a brand new phone. Ganesh was forced into a celebrative mood even though he did not know what he was celebrating.

“He’ll call you on this line.” That was all Markus said when Ganesh pocketed the phone.

It was a couple of weeks later that he got a call and he did his transporting job for the first time. It was hard at first, but when the money got rolling and the months passed by, it got easier. Soon, it was just a job and nothing personal.

Thinking back, Ganesh could not believe that it has been two years. Time really flies, Ganesh thought. And then he heard his apprentice shuffling his feet on the gravel road. Why can’t he pick up his feet when he walks? Ganesh wondered, annoyed at the boy’s habit.

Unlocking his car door, Ganesh hopped into the driver’s seat and headed to pick up a last minute order from the nearby clubs. The poor girl would not even see it coming.

Human trafficking is the 3rd largest international crime industry that reaps the biggest profit.  – CNN Freedom Project                                          

(Visit The Lucrative Business Page for more stories!)

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The Lucrative Business | The Transporter © 2012 by Jeyna Grace. 
All rights reserved.