Murder on the Reunification Express: Part Six
by T .
Editor’s Note: This is a continuation to a serial fiction piece written anonymously by Docket committee members. Each month, The Docket will feature a new installment by a different committee member. To review past installments, visit http://denbar.org/docket.
Phoenix held out her hand, offering an American greeting. Logan assumed that Phoenix was her street name, and that she was prepared to offer other parts of her body, as well. Instead, to his surprise, she stated, in somewhat formal English, "My mother, MiWan, desires to speak with you. Will you please come with me?" Dumbfounded, Logan could only nod his head affirmatively. "Wait here," she said, "while I retrieve my motorcycle."
Logan stood on the sidewalk with a thousand questions running through his head. Rather than try to answer them, he decided to let events unfold. As he stood there, he was approached by a variety of solicitors: a man with ten watches on each wrist asked if he’d like to buy a Rolex; a woman in a low-cut blouse offered him a date; and a six-year-old girl, with no parent in sight, inquired in an endearing voice whether Logan would like to buy some chewing gum. Logan turned them all down, but handed the girl a 20-baht bill (roughly 50 cents American).
A moment later, Phoenix reappeared. She was not driving a motorcycle, but rather an older model of a motorbike, which was struggling not to stall. She motioned for Logan to get on the back of the bike. Though he would have liked a crash helmet, he held his tongue and, like a good soldier, followed her orders.
He dropped himself onto the bike, straddling the seat in back of her and stabilizing himself by placing his hands around her waist. The motorbike then pulled away from the Hilton, and headed toward a much different section of Bangkok.
As the motorbike moved slowly through town, the skyline changed from opulent hotels to driftwood shanties, and the faces became more downcast and desperate. Finally, they stopped in front of a wooden structure no bigger than a large shed. Phoenix stepped down and motioned for Logan to go inside. Once again, Logan did as he was told. Phoenix remained in the doorway as Logan entered the shed.
At the back of the shed stood three people: a middle-aged woman and two young men. The men were fully armed, each wearing a holstered gun and a sheathed knife. The woman was plainly dressed but, as he approached her, Logan noticed that she wore a ring emblazoned with a phoenix. The woman spoke first. "Good evening, Mr. Logan. I am MiWan," she said, in a cold but clear voice. "Of course, you know that the man who sent you here, Micky Thornton, is the father of my son Tran. You may not have known that he also fathered my daughter Phoenix, who brought you here this evening. And I am certain that you have not been told that Micky Thornton is also my business partner — I send certain products to him in the United States. He sells those products, and sends me half of the money."
The tone of MiWan’s voice started to rise, and her cheeks began to flush, suggesting a seething anger. "But for the most recent shipment, Micky Thornton did not pay me my half of the money. He owes me more than $100,000." In an almost offhand manner, she continued: "I will keep you here until he pays me. And if he doesn’t pay me. …"
MiWan then shouted "Kwai!" which, loosely translated, means "Now!" in Thai. Immediately, the two armed men pulled their pistols out of their holsters, and pointed them at Logan. MiWan began to exit the shed, but then turned around and faced Logan: "Of course, there is one other possible solution. … "
Stay tuned. ...