The Drug Deal: Chapter One
This is the first chapter of a two part series featuring some old friends. The second chapter will appear next Saturday.
THE DRUG DEAL
Rick was sitting on the bed next to the suitcase packed with twenty-thousand dollars in United States currency and two telephone books. It was supposed to look like a half million dollars. Thai Police Lieutenant Jipthep paced the floor while Soopies lounged on an armchair, her long legs stretched out in front of her. Her black leather mini-skirt was short enough to pass for an expensive napkin. She wore a thin tank top exposing a flat stomach while not hiding her considerable breasts. Rick had set up a deal with Johnny Wou for the purchase of twenty kilos of methamphetamines. They were in the superior wing of the
Grace Hotel on Soi Three, Sukhumvit. An area favored by diamond smugglers, drug dealers and mysterious Arab businessmen carrying huge amounts of cash. The Grace Hotel had just put its’ name up in huge gold Chinese characters on the
new front wall. Possibly they were trying to improve on the clientele.
Ricks job was to lure in Johnny Wou or one of his top men and Jip's task was to arrest them. Soopies was along for the ride, as stubbornly, she refused to leave Ricks side. The call came at midnight. Rick picked up the receiver.
You know who this is. Do not say my name. Do you have a pen? I will give you directions on where to meet us.’
If you think I’m walking around Bangkok with this kind of money, you’re crazy. You have to come here or the deal is off.’
Very well, Farang. If you do not have the money or if anything goes wrong, you will wish that I had thrown you into the klong and that you were already dead. Expect my men in an hour.’
Wait. Aren’t you coming?’
Don’t be ridiculous.’
There was a click as he hung up. Rick told Jip what Wou had said.
I’m going to make a call and get some back up. My bosses will come and take the credit if we are lucky enough to land any big fish. We are going to make arrests, no matter what. Too bad if Johnny Wou does not show but I didn’t think that he would. Soopies, go take a walk for a couple of hours.’
And if Rick needs to talk to these guys, are you going to do the translating?’
All right, but whatever you do, don’t walk in-between these men and the bathroom. Stay in your seat or against the wall.’
Rick racked back the slide on his .45 automatic. The hammer was moved to the cocked position and as he released the slide it pushed a fat cartridge into the chamber. Rick held the pistol in his right hand and pushed the safety forward with his thumb, revealing a tiny red dot on the side of the weapon. Red for the color of blood, danger and death; the color of Mars, God of war.
Rick walked over to the mini refrigerator and placed the gun on the top shelf – as good a place as any.
Rick remembered that G. Gordon Liddy once said that there is nothing more dangerous than an unloaded gun.
Rick took it one step further to mean a loaded weapon with its’ safety on or a pistol that was not cocked like an automatic that had to be initially chambered using two hands. If something is going to happen it would be quick and deadly. There’s no time to push off a safety or cock the pistol. Point and shoot and do it fast.
The men that Lt. Jipthep called took their places near the hotel entrance, two in the lobby and two outside. There would be no escape for these criminals. Soopies laid across a chair drinking Johnny Walker Black and soda, idly swinging one leg. Finally there was a knock on the door. Jip picked up his AK-47 and went towards the bathroom.
What will happen if they look in the bathroom?’ Rick asked.
Jip entered the lavatory and left the door open a bit. You hit the floor because I’ll probably kill them. No one’s fooling around here.’
Rick opened the door and two Vietnamese kids sauntered in, both around nineteen years old, punk haircuts, studs in their earlobes. A couple of gang-bangers, too stupid or crazy to realize that they were expendable. Wise guys with one foot in the grave.
The taller, thinner one wore a short silver windbreaker. He had sharp pointed features and moved his head from side to side as he glanced around. He reminded Rick of a barracuda. When he saw Soopies he smiled, staring at her as if she were part of the deal. He looked at her hungrily. Rick could almost read his mind. Someone was going to be killed here and not over the drugs or money. Rick wished that he had shoved his gun into the back of his belt. These kids did not look as if they were just going to make an exchange and leave quietly. You could smell the violence on them like a lightening bolt or a flash of electricity sparking in the damp night air. They lived for savagery and excitement; it was a part of their lives. They knew that there was only one way for them to make it to the top in Thailand or anywhere else. Brutality and death were the clothes they wore to success.
Hell, not only did Johnny Wou not come, but he did not even want to risk his own men. If Soopies was nervous, she gave no indication of it. She did her best to look bored, lazily stirring her drink with her finger. Rick was sure that she realized the danger but she would just not give them the satisfaction. The shorter more muscular kid pulled a Mac-10 automatic pistol from inside his black jacket. It was a small machine gun that you could fire using one hand and it sprayed bullets like water from a hose.
Not accurate with a two-inch barrel, but it didn’t have to be with that amount of fire power. It could spit out thirty rounds in two and a half seconds.
The Barracuda patted Rick down as he spoke to him in broken Thai and garbled English.
Sonia translated from her spot on the chair. He wants to see the money.’
Rick opened the suitcase, exposing neat rows of hundred dollar bills. Barracuda Boy reached for the cash and Rick shoved his hand hard in the kid’s chest. Only looking for you now. I want to see the amphetamines.’
The Barracuda in the silver jacket reached for his own weapon and spoke to his partner who went to the door and walked out.
Soopies said, The ya-bah is in the car; he is going to get it. We have to wait a few minutes.
Silver Jacket stayed- keeping his gun pointed at Rick but still looking over at Sonia. Rick could see him turning over in his mind how he was going to be able to have her.
What do you think you are looking at, Kee-Moo?’ Sonia spat at him.
What, Sonia?’ Rick asked.
I said he’s pig shit.’
Mihn walked down the carpeted hallway and pushed the elevator button. He ran his hand down the patterned wallpaper and watched the numbers light up as the elevator rose. He was feeling very lucky. He would play the room number and floor number in the lottery tonight. The five years of scraping and scrounging with his gang for minor money was over. The call from Khun Wou proved that. So, it was not exactly from him but one of the men in his organization. It meant the same thing. At eighteen years old, he was going to be associated with a big boss. He would do well tonight, make the exchange and receive fifty-thousand baht for an hours work. He would not have to collect protection money from the street vendors, motorbike drivers and tuktuks anymore.
The gang only had control of four square blocks and it produced small money. Some of the store keepers were aligned with families. Thais that could call in fifty men from their villages. You could not frighten men like that. The street vendors could afford to pay only a small tribute every week for the privilege of setting up their carts. The elevator doors opened silently, not disturbing his dream. He stepped inside and pushed the button for the lobby. He would do more jobs and become a lieutenant or a captain in the organization. He would become the chief enforcer and when he went to the clubs and discos, everyone would recognize him. He would have plenty of money and spend it lavishly on beautiful Thai girls who right now would not even give him the time of day or look in his direction- the stuck-up bitches. Maybe when he went back upstairs they would kill the stupid American and give the whore a good f**king before they left.
The elevator arrived at the lobby and he walked across the black marble floor. He had the car parked near the front door in the circular driveway. He had given one purple to the doorman for the parking privilege. We will be only ten minutes,’ he had said handing over the folded five-hundred baht note. He would just get the briefcase out of the trunk now and later he would celebrate with his friends. He passed a row of foreigners lounging on the back leather sofas, mostly Indians and Africans in long gowns. Girls and katoeys paraded by trying to be noticed. He continued on past the potted palms and down the first small flight of steps in the lobby.
Wait! He thought the fat Thai man reading the newspaper seemed familiar. He looked like the cop that had smacked him in the face last week when he had not produced his identity papers fast enough. Shit. There’s the other one-his partner who had kicked him for good measure. A numb feeling of fear crept over him like an icy blanket. They couldn’t be here for him. They had to go out to eat or pick up girls like anyone else. Besides they were not even in uniform.
Just a coincidence, Mihn said to himself. He gripped his Mac-10 underneath his jacket and felt better. He was going to go on with this and come out on top. He walked through the entrance way and opened the trunk of his car. Mihn picked up the briefcase with his left hand, keeping his right hand on the butt of his gun. He slammed the trunk shut with his elbow and started back into the hotel. The doorman opened the front doors and Mihn walked directly towards the elevators. He didn’t see the second plainclothes cop now and as he passed the row of sofas, the fat Thai stood up still holding on to his newspaper and started coming in his direction.
It was a trap. Some how the police had found out about the deal. Mihn pulled his weapon from his jacket. The Thai raised a silver plated revolver from behind the newspaper. They were no more than ten feet apart. Minh gave the fat Thai cop a burst in the chest. The slugs kept on going and an Indian in a red turban fell to the floor along with the cop. Hot smoking brass casings clattered on the marble floor as they ejected from the weapon tumbling down like coins from a winning slot machine.
It felt very good to kill that bastard; now where was the other one? The parade of Thai hookers screamed and ran for the coffee shop. A couch tumbled over as men scrambled to hide behind it. Mihn felt like he was hit with a red hot sledgehammer.
His knees gave way and he crumpled to the floor gripping the Mac-10, his hands going upward as in surprise or supplication.
He emptied the rest of the clip without quite realizing it. Everything was a blur of pain and confusion. The huge crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the center of the lobby exploded into thousands of pieces as dozens of bullets tore through it. He fell face down as the clip continued to empty its tornado of slugs shattering the glass lobby doors into shreds.
The second Thai cop had stepped from behind a marble pillar only a few feet behind Mihn. He could almost touch his back with the front of his .38 calibre revolver. He had pulled the trigger as fast as he could. They were supposed to sandwich this Vietnamese dog between them and capture him alive. Now his boss, Colonel Pratt, was dead. There would be hell to pay for this. Not only from the Police Department, but what about Pratt’s friend? That crazy Wop-American bastard- Calzone? Canoli? What was his name? The best thing to do would be to have him arrested. The Police Office pulled out his mobile phone. He would call the Department Superintendent, explain everything to him; have a few men sent over to the Americans apartment and put him into custody- take his gun away and let him cool off in a cell for a few days before the man went on a rampage of revenge against the drug gang.
Rick was having a staring contest with this little Vietnamese punk. In a minute he was going to cold-cock him, grab his gun and kick the crap out of him if he kept eyeing Soopies like that.
What are you looking at, you little asshole?’
The boy smirked, You speak bullshit.’
Go ahead. Keep it up.’
You want problem with me?’ Silver Jacket patted his weapon.
Suddenly there was the sound of automatic weapons fire from below, like the sound of three motorboat engines starting at the same time. Jip stepped from the bathroom with the AK up to his shoulder. The Vietnamese kid and Rick both looked over at the same time. Jip’s head was against the stock. Rick could see his eye just above the sight. The muzzle burst into an eruption of flame. The kid’s face exploded, blowing brains and blood out the side of his head, splattering Rick with red and grey goo – the boy slamming back against the wall, then slumping to the floor like a sack of wet cement.
Jeeze Jip.’ Rick said, wiping his face with his sleeve. You didn’t give him much time did you?'
Time for what? To kill you? As soon as he heard the shots he knew what was happening.’
Two uniformed officers charged into the room, their weapons drawn. They explained to Jip what had happened downstairs. The Vietnamese kid had spotted one of the plainclothes cops and immediately started firing. The lobby was shot to pieces. The boy and Colonel Pratt were dead. Jip took a deep breath and sighed. The deal had gone sour.
The trail to Johnny Wou was broken. A highly esteemed officer had been killed. Jip’s career would be going into the toilet along with the American……. unless they could come up with something.
No comments on submissions today as I am in a hurry, off to Pattaya.