The Mysterious Mr. Doak

Submitted into Contest #102 in response to: Write about a mysterious figure in one’s neighborhood.... view prompt

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Crime Lesbian Inspirational

The new subdivisions had been assigned different individual colours.  There was the blue, green, red, yellow, orange, purple, pink and violet neighbourhoods.  It was a very interesting idea.

They were dubbed a certain colour because they featured the many shades of that individual tint. For example, the Blue Neighbourhood boasted houses that were cyan, steel, sky, electric, teal, pigeon and azure. The streets were painted blue and all of the buildings that weren’t house dwellings were painted a blue hue.

This made organization very easy for all of the authorities. Every person that had been allowed in one of the newer subdivisions were associated with the colour of the area they lived in. For example, there was Blue Wilson, or Green Jones or Yellow Taylor. But, there was more than that.

The people were herded in a manner that was consistent with race, religion, and sexual orientation. Each colour featured a different slant on society. It was thought that by doing this it would cut down on racism and discrimination.  So someone that was black didn’t live in a white neighbourhood and vice versa. 

The Red Hardings lived in the red subdivision.  The family consisted of Joan and Mary Hardings, and their respective children, Andrea, Larry, Robert, Theresa and Madeleine.  Joan and Mary were legally married and raised the five children in a blended family atmosphere.

Despite the interesting idea of giving each neighbourhood a different colour, there were the same basic social problems. Some people just didn’t have the tolerance for different. The Hardings because of their varied parental makeup became a target, a lightning rod for homophobic abuse.

It started when a message was written in red paint on their garage door. Joan was off to work as she started very early in the morning.  It stated: ‘Lesbians should not be allowed to have children.’

Joan had backed the vehicle out of the garage and was closing the door when the message appeared. She was at first shocked, but, it wasn’t the first time that a homophobic slur had been directed at her and/or Mary. There had been one the first time they moved in. But, that was the only one.

She stopped the vehicle and went back inside to tell her wife. The garage door was quickly painted over later that day, but it shook them.

“It must be someone from one of the other neighbourhoods,” said Joan.

“You would think so,” said Mary. “After all, why would someone in the red neighbourhood target us? We are all in the same boat.”

It was a week later when their lawn had been painted a blood red. It was a skull and crossbones and was incredibly disturbing. They quickly put a tarp over it and contacted the authorities in charge of the Red Neighbourhood.

The authorities didn’t know what to do.  

A Mr. Todd Doak came to the house. He was tall and looked like a praying mantis.  He carried a briefcase and appeared to be very sophisticated, very organized, very controlled. He knocked on the door.

One of the kids opened it.

“Hello, I am Mr. Todd Doak, is your mother home?”

Little Madeline who was four and cuter than any child had the right to be, shook her head.

“I have two mommies.” The little precious one turned around and bellowed: “Mommies! There is someone at the door.”

Joan arrived and scooped up the child in her arms.

“Hello, you must be from the office?”

“Yes, I am. I am Mr. Doak, I run the department that is responsible for looking into hate crimes.”

“Come on in.”

Mr. Doak walked inside and the place was nicely and tastefully decorated. It was a family home with pictures that were the talented art work of the five children. There was a homy, comfortable feeling and he smiled.

“I really like your decorations.”

“This one is mine,” blurted Madeline.

“I see and it is very amazing.”

“I knew that.” She smiled and Joan rolled her eyes.

“Why don’t you go and play?”

“But, I want to talk to the man.”

“I have to talk to the man.”

“Why don’t we both talk to the man?”

Mr. Doak laughed.

“How about if everyone talks to the man?”

So they made their way to the kitchen table and all of the kids took a seat.  

“My wife isn’t here right now. She should be home any moment now.”

“There is someone that is trying to hurt us, mister and I don’t like it.” Andrea smiled. She was fourteen, a pretty girl, and as the oldest she fussed over the others.

“That is why I am here.”

“I don’t want any of my brothers or sisters to get hurt. We are a family and we love each other even though there are times when we drive each other crazy.”

The others laughed.

“Yeah, real crazy,” said Theresa with an angelic face and long dark hair. She was a beautiful child.  Her smile lit up the room.

“Someone doesn’t like us because we have two moms. Maybe they are jealous because they don’t have any?”  Robert looked at Mr. Doak.

“If anyone touches any of us then I am going to really punch them out.” Larry, who was all of eight years old and of average height and weight didn’t intimidate anyone.

“Okay, tough guy,” said Joan.

Mary walked through the door.

“Mommy is home.”

Madeline jumped off Mr. Doak’s lap and ran for the door.

“Don’t worry, she’ll be back soon enough,” warned Joan.

He smiled back at her.

Theresa occupied his other lap.

“I am sure that she will.”

“See, mom, I told you that there was a man here from the autotories.”

“That is authorities,” said Andrea.

“That’s what I said,” replied Madeline giving her big sister a dirty look.

“This is my wife, Mary. This is Mr. Doak.”

They shook hands.

“I am afraid for the children’s safety,” said Mary.

“Yes, so am I, and they are darling children.”

Madeline was back on his lap. She smiled at him and he returned the smile.

“So what can you do about it?”

“I am going to assign a special police officer that will be around your home for the duration of this until we catch the person or people responsible for the cowardly actions.”

“Thank you, that’s wonderful.”

“Would you like to stay for supper?”

“Tonight, we are having wieners and beans.” Madeline looked at him with those beautiful blue eyes.

He smiled and shrugged his shoulders.  

“I will have to clear it with my superior. Since, my wife is out of town, it is better than eating a TV diner.”

He stayed and it was a fun time.

Mr. Doak went to the office the next morning and closed the door. He pulled out the red phone and pressed a few buttons.  

“Yeah, the house at 535 Crimson Street is the one. Find out what is going on.”

He put the red phone back in the locked drawer.

A solid week went by and nothing happened. Then one night, it was almost two in the morning when all craziness broke loose.  The perpetrator with the cans of spray paint wasn’t ready for what was waiting for him at 535 Crimson Street. The shadowy figure produced a taser and brought the criminal down on his knees.  

“I knew I would catch you sooner or later.”

The scream of pain echoed throughout the neighbourhood and the neighbours were aware of what was going on. The specially assigned police officer came running. When she arrived, the cretin responsible for all of the graffiti and offensive messages was tied in a knot like a pretzel. There was a note attached to him. The police woman read it and laughed.

The one with the massive and crippling grip that had stopped the vandal had slipped away in the night to someday return when someone else was doing someone wrong in the red neighbourhood.

The figure stood in the dark and saw the angelic face of little Madeline starring out the second story window at all of the action going on.  

He waved at her and of course she didn’t see him, but that was okay.

“Sweet dreams, my little Madeline,” he whispered in the dark before he slipped away.  After all, tomorrow was a work day and he had a department to run.

July 17, 2021 00:52

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1 comment

M H Tucker
15:10 Jul 22, 2021

Hey there. I was assigned your story through the Critique Circle. I absolutely loved the idea that you created with the neighborhoods. Your world building on this work simply made me want to read more. The idea of the worker and the superhero type figure was very interesting. It perhaps felt a bit sudden, but I know that word counts can change plans in a story. The shift in Mr. Doak's personality did make me wonder what other work he does. I enjoyed this very much.


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