Stickman Readers' Submissions February 18th, 2006

First You Die, Chapter Twenty: The Real Deal

Chapter Twenty

The Real Deal

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The black Ford Explorer pulled behind the fancy hotel in Bangkok , backing up to the unloading platform. Two figures got out, lowered the tailgate and removed a portable stretcher. They set the stainless steel contraption on the ground and pushed a lever
and it rose up, waist high, revealing the wheels underneath. The body beneath the sheets did not move as they rolled it towards the door.

A guard walked rapidly toward them. He wore the same brown uniform that many private guards wore but he had a revolver on his hip. A large man in a suit and tie hurried towards them from the other direction. He reached into his suit jacket and removed
an automatic pistol. ‘Who are you?'

‘I'm new. This is my first delivery. I would appreciate your help in taking the package to the penthouse.'

‘What do we have here?'

‘I have to tell you by now? Open the gate and be quick about it.' Jip shouted at the man.

‘Just one minute,' the guard slowly lifted the top of the sheet. His eyes went wide, ‘What a beauty.'

Jip put his hand on the guard's chest, pushing him back, ‘Don't you have any respect? If I mention this to the boss, he'll kill you. Give us a half hour and then tell Khun Wou that his package has arrived and is in place.'

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‘Yes, of course,' the man bowed and waied. ‘But who is the Farang with you?'

‘An important visitor and guest of Khun Wou. Son of a dog,' Jip bellowed, ‘Must I explain everything to you? Only mention the package. Do you understand? Try not to get your worthless self in a big problem tonight. You'll end up
in the river yet.'

Johnny Wou sat in his office, his feet on the desk, gazing into the huge fish tank in the wall. A blue and yellow ribbon eel glided by, avoiding the brightly colored lionfish's sharp spines. A small white light blinked on the house phone. Wou held
it to his ear, not speaking.

He replaced the receiver. Did Rawy finish everything so soon? A delivery already? What an unexpected pleasure this was. Everything had turned out better than he had expected and he was actually making money with this stupid transplant thing. He had to
congratulate himself. It was a brilliant idea.

Wou opened his bedroom door and flipped the switch on the video camera. The girl lay still, her arms by her sides and her eyes closed. She's exquisite. It just gets better and better he thought as he sat on the edge of the bed and caressed her hair.
He admired her full sensuous lips and leaned over to touch them with his. The eyes opened and stared at him, smoldering with hatred. Was he going crazy, imagining things?

Smack! The girl hit him in the face and he was flung back. His hand was shaking as he jumped from the bed and jerked the dresser drawer open for his Beretta automatic. Thousands of crystal bits flew out, dancing and sparkling on the rug. The drawer was
full of them. What the hell was this? He pulled the drawer out and flung it on the floor. There was no gun to be found. He looked again and the next drawer was filled to the brim with methamphetamine crystals. He couldn't believe it. He screamed
in rage.

The closet doors slid back and his gun appeared, followed by a white man. ‘Looking for this?'

‘What's going on? What are you doing here?' Wou gasped as he turned to see the cadaver sit up.

‘You killed my friend and defiled her body and now you're going to pay.' The now alive corpse in a green hospital gown advanced on him.

‘You're not dead.'

‘That's right.' Sonia slapped him in the face.

Wou reeled back and fell on the bed, grasping for the phone. Jip grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him to his feet, shoving a video tape into his stomach. ‘Twenty-three tapes. All of them dead- three of them boys. What kind of monster are you?'

‘I'll have you all killed.' Wou wiped his face, the blood bright red on his sleeve.

‘You'll never get out of prison between these tapes and the drugs.'

‘They're not mine.' Wou looked at the floor covered with the crystals.'

‘They're yours all right. They just found their way up here from Phuket.' Jip stepped closer.

‘You'll never get out of here alive.'

‘Just tell me why the elaborate scheme.' The tone of Jip's voice saying that he might kill him any second.

‘How else could I get the bodies? One can't just snatch girls off the street or buy them from families that expect to hear from them eventually. That's too risky. I had tried to find young girls without families or ties and then I heard
about the kidney transplants and decided to use the clinics to interview prospective associates.

I told the doctors that I would get rid of the evidence if they would send me the bodies. It was too personal and too private to explain to my people the real reason for the clinics. They thought that the transplants and stem cell research were the motive
for everything, but in reality the end result was an endless supply of sexual gratification. And now, I will have my men kill all of you.'

‘You murdered my girlfriend to make one of theses?' Sonia held a tape in her hands.

‘Thousands of people die every day in automobile accidents for no reason. What's the big deal? Would you like it better if your friend was hit by a car?'

‘I'd like it better if you were hit by a car you bastard. There's a big difference between dieing accidentally and being murdered.'

‘Yes, and do you know what the difference is? A person who has a planned death, lets call it- their death has a meaning, a purpose. So much better to be useful on your way out of this life.'

‘You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent.' Jip punched Wou squarely in the mouth. Wou's knee's buckled, the blood from his face flowing freely now. Jip threw him against the stretcher. ‘Get on.'

‘How would you like to be almost invulnerable? Live to be a hundred and twenty five? With embryonic stem cells, I can almost guarantee you lasting health. Feed new cells into your heart if you need them, or lungs or liver. Think of it. We are on
the edge of almost everlasting life. I can share this research with you. Make you supermen. I've injected my self already. In the right spot, no one will ever need Viagra again and your organ can be enormous.'

Jip slammed Wou onto the stretcher and pressed adhesive tape against his mouth and then secured Wou to the stretcher with the large cloth straps.

Sonia picked up the phone. ‘Connect me to the karaoke or the nightclub please.'

Rick held up his hands to Sonia. ‘What are you doing?'

She ignored him. ‘I'm in the penthouse and have misplaced my clothes. Can you send up some clothes and shoes? I don't care. I need them now; just leave them outside the door.' She replaced the receiver, making a face at Rick, ‘how
long do I have to wear this hospital gown? I don't even have shoes.'

Jip threw a sheet over the body on the stretcher. ‘We'll take him out the same way we came in. Keep your heads down and keep on walking right to the car. We can't risk taking him to the local precinct. I don't know anyone there.
There's only one place that I know he will not be able to escape from. We're going to the top, the Minister of Justice, right to his house.'

‘I want to go to the farm and find Porn. I want to have a ceremony for her body as soon as possible.' Sonia looked over her shoulder at the men as she opened the door. ‘Damn, I can't wear this stuff.' Sonia held up a pair
of knee-high white boots and a short blue dress covered with tiny spangles.'

Rick shrugged his shoulders. ‘Hey, call a disco and that's what you get. Try it on. I bet you look pretty hot.'

‘Let's get out of here. I'll probably be stuck with the minister for quite a while so you can drop me off and take the car.' Jip pushed the stretcher out of the apartment, towards the private elevator. Sonia hung behind, slipping
the dress over her head, hopping on one leg, putting on her boots.

Two police officers stood at attention in front of a wrought iron gate in the middle of a nine foot high cement wall that stretched for almost a block. Rick could see a white two-story mansion at the end of a long driveway lined with trees and shrubs.
He opened the back of the Explorer as Jip identified himself to one of the policemen.

‘Please tell the minister that I am here and that I have arrested an important criminal.'

One of the guards spoke into a phone and then looked at Jip. ‘He said to just take him to the stationhouse.'

‘The prisoner is Johnny Wou.'

The guard spoke into the phone again. ‘I'm to bring you right in.' he said opening the gate.

Jip took the man from the stretcher, cuffing his hands behind his back. ‘See you later,' he nodded to Rick and started up the driveway holding his prisoner firmly by the arm.

The Minister of Justice looked up from his desk as the men entered his study. He was a dignified looking man, about sixty years old with a full head of black hair. He wore an expensive silk robe with a large round velvet collar. Underneath were a white
shirt and carefully knotted Jim Thompson silk tie.

The room had floor to ceiling drapes, walnut bookcases and a bay window revealing a manicured garden. The minister spoke in a soft voice. ‘Take the tape from his mouth and explain yourself.'

Jip placed a video tape on the desk. ‘We have enough evidence to put him away forever. There are twenty-two more of these at his penthouse. Twenty-three dead people, all on video tape with Johnny Wou. The apartment is filled with Ice- powerful
methamphetamines, enough to fill a hundred pound rice bag.'

‘You should know.' Wou smirked.

‘An amount that large calls for a death sentence in itself.' Jip tightened his grip on Wou's arm.

The minister waved his hand, ‘I'll have a special team take care of this. My men will safeguard the scene and collect everything.

‘We have to take Wou to Bang Kwang Prison and then I'll go with your men to his apartment.'

The minister rose from his desk and put his arm around Jipthep. ‘Now, now, you've done enough. He'll be secure with me. Go home to your family; take a few days off. You will be notified when to come in and testify.' He walked Jip
to the door. ‘You've done a magnificent job, above and beyond the call of duty and you'll be justly rewarded. I'll see to that. Now go home and relax. Oh, let me have the key to the handcuffs please.'

The minister stared at the slightly built man in his study and held up the key. ‘I should leave you like that all night and all day tomorrow.'

‘It's the only chance you'll have, I can assure you.'

‘Tomorrow you're going to receive the beating of your life,' the minister smiled as he undid the cuffs.

Wou rubbed his wrists, ‘Surely not by you?'

‘Bertha will take care of that for me.'

‘So you need help? Using that kind of force against me will not do you much good.'

‘You'll be crying a different tune tomorrow.'

‘We'll see. I have a few surprises up my sleeve also.'

‘No matter, when I bring out the irons, that's when I'll punish you; that's when you'll feel my wrath. I'll give you a good thrashing. The pressure will be too much for you; you'll crack like a hundred-year old egg

‘Stop, you're scaring me to death.' Wou sneered. ‘Let's see if you can back up all that big talk.'

The minister curled his lips in a malicious smile, ‘You better get all the rest you can; they'll be coming for us at six in the morning.'

Stickman's thoughts:

Just a few chapters to go!

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