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Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Bizarre Adventure Of Atom-Boy And Uncle-Man (Part 5)

And the mysterious man turned out to be no mystery at all once he was caught. He was Suleiman Usman Kurdi, a Kurdish known as S.U. Kurdi to his friends, more popular and recognized by superheroes as Bomber-Man, specialized in suicide bombing. He wasn’t a bad man, but he had been bullied for being different since he was a kid. For a start, he was an albino, but his childhood bully called him a leper. This was inappropriate, but to kids, it was much more fun to call him a leper and see him cry, so they didn’t bother to call him an albino, let alone show him sympathy. This left a deep scar in his vulnerable feeling, making him fragile and anti-social.

So he sat there in the corner with no friends…

And the insult went on as he grew up. S.U. Kurdi always had a hint of feminism in everything he did, from the way he walked to the way he curled his eyelashes, and it hurt him bad when people mimicked this weakness in front of him. Once he was reduced to tears when his male colleague intentionally walked with his butt shaking like duck ass whilst others burst into laughter.

So he sat there in his cubicle with no friends… 

As if that was not enough, his Alzheimer’s stricken Grandma came up with a gossip about his eyes. S.U. Kurdi’s eyes were so small they looked like those Chinese eyes so on her deathbed, the dying Grandma concocted a story that her daughter-in-law was left by his son and she was so poor that she got no choice but to trade free sex with a bowl of wonton noodle. Nine months after that accursed bowl of wonton noodle was eaten, S.U. Kurdi was born. When S.U. Kurdi disagreed and tried to argue, his Grandma argued back that she never said such a cruel thing about her beloved daughter-in-law. Thanks to her Alzheimer’s, it seemed like she forgot what she just said and she died in peace while her one and only grandson got to live an awful life with plenty of people who secretly stared at him and whispered to each other about his Chinese heritage.

So he sat alone at his grandma’s funeral with no friends…

There was always a certain limit of humiliation that a man could bear and it was this complete set of embarrassment that finally drove S.U. Kurdi mad, so he swore to kill all people that bullied him. But he was unlucky that on his debut as a super villain, he was confronted by Kung Fu. Calm as always, Kung Fu wasn’t scared even though Bomber-Man ripped off his clothes to reveal the bands of dynamites strapped all over his body. Facing the frantic Bomber-Man, Kung Fu just needed to point out one simple fact to him. And he said, “do you realize that when you do suicide bombing, you are the first to die?”

The blatant truth awoke Bomber-Man. He didn’t want to die. He wanted to live, but people never gave him chance. Then the ever-charming Kung Fu told him that was not true. If he wanted to live, he might go to Kung Pao Chicken and Assorted Szechuan Cuisine restaurant and look for Vendy Fendi Lee. This man was an old friend of Kung Fu and he would help him.

Before he left, Kung Fu also said that if Bomber-Man didn’t like his Chinese eyes, he could do something like wearing sunglasses –another simple fact that Bomber-Man never thought of.

“What about LASIK?” asked Bomber-Man, tried to say something smart to in order to cover his stupidity.

“No, that won’t help,” answered Kung Fu bluntly.

And never again Bomber-Man made an effort to outsmart Kung Fu. He knew the man in front of him was a wiser person. Not only that, he was trying to save him by giving him a second chance. So Bomber-Man followed his advice and sought Vendy Fendi Lee for help. The owner of Kung Pao Chicken and Assorted Szechuan Cuisine restaurant welcomed him with open arms, listened to his problem and gave him job. Before long, S.U. Kurdi regained his confidence and with the support of his mentor-like friend, he opened Kurdi’s Kebab and Assorted Kurdish Cuisine restaurant. It did well, so there came the time for him to depart. 

But their friendship continued. From time to time they would have a drinking session and there they would reminisce the past. The last time they had it was last night and today, without a warning, the first thing in the morning that S.U. Kurdi read was the sad news about the death of his best friend…
That explained why S.U. Kurdi was peeping through the window today. He wasn’t coming to secretly peek at the uncircumcised stuff –though a shemale personality inside him didn’t mind to see one– he only wanted to make sure whether the news was true or not. However, Atom-Boy still felt suspicious about the fact that S.U. Kurdi ran away the moment he chased him. But S.U. Kurdi has a solid reason for this: he was once a super villain, therefore he would instinctively flee when a superhero ran towards him.

A perfect alibi S.U. Kurdi may have given, but the same excuse has made him the last person Vendy Fendi Lee met before he died. Atom-Boy, who still found it very hard to believe that such a highly regarded hero like Kung Fu would pee himself to death, couldn’t help thinking that this was a lead to another possibility. What if S.U. Kurdi poisoned the victim, undressed him and hid his underwear, peed on him so he got the ammonia smell, put the fake diary to fake the murder, escaped and then returned to the crime scene to pretend as an innocent bystander? The truth was, before he became a respectable man, S.U. Kurdi was mentally disturbed. Who was to say that he was cured? He swore to kill all people when he donned the Bomber-Man costume, so there was always a chance this was a deranged tale of murder where he turned out to be an ungrateful bastard and killed the very person who saved his life and trusted him the most. Didn’t he just admit it himself that he was once a super villain and he would still act like one no matter he tried to behave? So why couldn’t S.U. Kurdi be the suspect? It’s possible!

But for what reason did he kill Vendy Fendi Lee? The guy with mental problem might need no reason to kill, but still, for a victim who laid lifeless with his buttocks bared open, it was very clumsy of Atom-Boy for not asking the coroner to perform an ass autopsy. Now, come to think of it, it might be the case of sodomy. 

Shaking his head with regret, Atom-Boy tried to redeem himself by interrogating the suspect:
Atom-Boy: “So what happened last night?”
S.U. Kurdi: “We drank.”
Atom-Boy: “Then?”
S.U. Kurdi: “We drank again.”
Atom-Boy: “After that?”
S.U. Kurdi: “We opened another bottle.”

And this poor quality conversation could go on forever. Feeling frustrated, Atom-Boy almost thoughtlessly accused S.U. Kurdi as the murderer, but when he searched him, he noticed that the ex-super villain carried a book called A Big Book of the Superheroes’ Secret Origins. The author’s name was pseudonymous, referred to only as Bookmark. Sounded familiar, though.

What book was that? Why did he carry the book at the particular moment like this? When Atom-Boy demanded an explanation, all S.U. Kurdi could tell was somebody had put this book into his doorstep this morning. The title was so interesting it made S.U. Kurdi read it to kill time and distracted his mind when he was on his way to Vendy Fendi Lee’s house. It was from this book S.U. Kurdi knew that Kung Fu and Vendy Fendi Lee was the same person! All the more reason for him to rush there and proved what the book said! Thus he carried it all along. 

Atom-Boy browsed the book and he immediately sweat. All the details were there! Who on earth was the writer again? Bookmark? Why, the familiarity lingered on. But of course! What if, instead of Bookmark, the name was Trademark? That was more like it! He was defeated by Kung Fu, so it only made sense that he wanted him dead. He then killed him and put the blame on this poor guy. Why not?

Surprised by his current larger than life analysis, which was a much better one compared to Uncle-Man’s gibberish and his own earlier rubbish that sounded more like an analysis about an analysis by a certain analyst with a presumably good analytical skill, Atom-Boy thought he would need the book of secret origins in order to continue his investigation. After all, he couldn’t let the book fall into the wrong hand. It would endanger the superheroes community. 

Either he was sincere to help or –if he was guilty– trying to cover his crime by using the book as false evidence, S.U. Kurdi passed it to Atom-Boy without hesitation, although he did ask whether he could write his name as the owner of the book or not –a request that, much to his chagrin, was firmly rejected by Atom-Boy. Then, though Atom-Boy would like to bring S.U. Kurdi to nearest police station, his gut told him that this man was not guilty. Therefore, Atom-Boy paid the cab and asked S.U. Kurdi to go there himself. Afterward Atom-Boy quickly followed the clue that he had deduced just now…
Mark, who was no longer Trademark, was forever a patient in the sanatorium. There was good reason why: Kung Fu’s mighty kicks did him a permanent damage, crushing his bones into ashes. Doctors, paramedics, surgeons and even acupunctures had tried very hard to re-calcify his bones, but it was a slow and painful process. It might take him his whole lifetime to recover, hence he was stuck there as an eternal patient.

When Mark knew why Atom-Boy looked for him, he couldn’t stop laughing. So the man who beat him mercilessly had died. Served him right! When Atom-Boy accused him for devising such an evil plan to kill his captor, Mark said he felt honored but frankly speaking, he thought he was not that smart. When Atom-Boy said the book on his hand is the proof, Mark showed him the fact that he couldn’t even find his own hand, let alone to write a book.

As much as Atom-Boy wanted to object, Mark’s words rang true, though. In the poor state he was in right now, he looked more like a bowl of Chinese congee than a human being. His skeletal system was totally gone, so he basically was just a pile of flesh with no bones. His ass could easily be mistaken as his cheek while his cheek could be either side of the buttocks. And as if that was not scary enough, one could see tongue in cheek there. Literally!

Atom-Boy was now out of idea, but still he didn’t trust the archenemy of Kung Fu. Feeling distressed, he failed to see that he might have made a wrong move, so the more he tried, the more mistakes he might make. In his desperate effort to force Mark to confess, he ignored what he had tried to acknowledge before. He dismissed the thought that S.U. Kurdi might be innocent. Instead, he questioned the chance that Mark might pay a ghost writer to write this book and, because he knew their secret identity, he then hired S.U. Kurdi, whose mental state perhaps was still unstable, to kill Vendy Fendi Lee and…

Before Atom-Boy finished his highly unlikely hypothesis, Mark had retorted back, told him in the face he was a bloody fool to think that a once unsuccessful-rapper-cum-unsuccessful-rapist happened to be rich. Mark was definitely penniless. When the anxious Atom-Boy replied that there should be a reason why he was still alive, Mark mumbled that while it was amazing that he lived after what he had gone through, miracle was exactly not the reason why. He was not dead simply because the sanatorium kept him as a bone calcification experiment object #44. That was how pitiful he was.

The last sentence left Atom-Boy wordless. He was shaking because whatever things he believed until a while ago seem like crumbling down now. It was at this moment the cynical Mark accidentally blurted out a valuable suggestion. He said, “if only you could think of somebody who really hated Kung Fu for, I don’t know, fail to save him, probably, so he would go through all the trouble just to get Kung Fu killed and blame the murder on somebody else like me.”

And suddenly everything seemed clear to Atom-Boy: Kung Fu didn’t die because of his own pee. Somebody who killed him wanted Atom-Boy, or whoever who happened to be there, to think that the hero died a humiliating death. That was why the victim died with no underpants. The diary was a fake one, of course, it was made to give an impression that the hero had kept the dark secret for so long.

After that, entered S.U. Kurdi. Because of A Big Book of the Superheroes’ Secret Origins, he was confused by the fact that Kung Fu and Vendy Fendi Lee was indeed the same person. He fitted the scene as a wrong person at the wrong time and the wrong place. The only role of his presence was, thanks to the book that he carried along, he would be the misleading clue that eventually would lead Atom-Boy to Mark. Risky though it might seem, but if this plan didn’t work out, S.U. Kurdi was still a failsafe for the murderer. He was the last person to see Vendy Fendi Lee alive. He was an ex-super villain. He had a mental problem in the past. It was really more than easy to accuse him for the crime that he never did.

And finally, Mark was the victim of the crime. He was the biggest bastard of all before Kung Fu defeated him. He was supposed to be the one who hated Kung Fu the most. It only made sense if he plotted all this to see his nemesis died. After all, why would he, a super villain, deny the dubious fact that he had killed his sworn enemy? It was a proud thing for a criminal. It would reestablish his tarnished reputation. He wouldn’t deny it, not if nothing went wrong. 

But something did go wrong. For such a perfect crime, it had with the single biggest flaw ever: A Big Book of the Superheroes’ Secret Origins, written by Bookmark. 

Except Mark, the alleged Bookmark, never wrote the book. He wouldn’t be able to, even if he wanted to. He didn’t have the knowledge of superheroes’ secret identities. If that was the case, who hated Kung Fu for his failed attempt to save him, knew the secret of superheroes and wanted to blame all this on Mark, formerly known as Trademark?

The suspect was the unsuspected one. Now, come to think of it, it was no coincidence that he found the diary when nobody seemed to be able to find it, because big chance he had brought the diary all along! This confirmed that the only person who could do all this was him…
The End
“Well done!” said Wah Wah when she congratulated Willem. 

“Well done!” repeated Mark, but he was actually referring to the steak he ate just now.

And aside from Mark’s, other reviews were pretty much the same as Wah Wah’s, except this one: 
“What? It ends like this? Now that’s confusing,” said Enrico. “I didn’t get it when I read the script and I still don’t get it after I watched the movie. Who’s the killer, anyway?”

The front and back cover of Pheng iu (Volume 1)
Image credit: Zhou Xiong Zhen

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