Readers' Submissions

Crime Suppression Unit Part 19




A Good Deed

Andrew and Rick made their way to the doctor's tent outlined by the glow of a light inside. Rick opened a flap.

Hans was bending over a small body on the table. A little girl's chest was ripped open and he was sewing something inside with a needle and thread. Five people lay on the floor nearby. Sonia and Nahlee were treating their wounds.

'Can we help you? Rick asked.

'That's all right, Sonia said without looking up. 'We have been doing this for the past hour while you guys were playing bang-bang. We're about finished. We have twenty-two dead and fifteen hurt from the mortar shells.

Are you and Andrew okay?' She stood up and stared at Rick. 'Jeeze, you look like hell.'

Rick wiped his forehead with his arm. It came away black with ashes and grime. Suddenly he was very tired. Andrew was already outside laying on the grass. He went out and sat besides him. Sonia came and put her arms around him, ignoring the filth and dirt.

'You boys were very brave to fight an entire army and I am sure you save our lives.' She kissed him on the mouth.

'I don't know if it was exactly an entire army. I guess we all could have run away instead.'

Rick turned to lay on the grass with Sonia pressing into him. Her lips were on his face and she kissed him again.

'Oh, no. Not my man. Run away? I don't think so.'

'Ouch, what do you have that's pushing into me?'

'Oh, this?' Sonia pulled the Glock automatic from her belt.

'Do you think that's still necessary? Why don't you give it back to me now?'

'Suppose some of the bad guys got past you? What would I do then?'

'Shoot them all no doubt.' Rick made a face at her.

'I'm exhausted. It's almost four in the morning. Let's go back and lay down.' Sonia grabbed Rick's hand and pulled him to his feet.

They left Andrew sitting there and made their way back to the tent. Rick took off his shoes and stepped out of his pants.

He used his shirt to wipe his face and hands.

'Ricky, come over here on the blanket with me. Don't you go to sleep on that cot.'

He lay down on the blanket. The ground was cool and inviting, right to sleep he thought, tomorrow would be time enough to clean up the mess outside.

Sonia was kneeling over him, her arms were on either side of his shoulders and her hair spilled into his face. Her breasts were just resting lightly on his chest. He glanced up. She was looking into his eyes and smiling. Rick grinned back.

'I thought you were exhausted.'

'Im not that exhausted,' Sonia lowered her full weight on him as he encircled her with his arms.

They woke up about eight the next morning and walked to the river to splash some water on their faces. The dead bodies had been gathered and buried already. Nahlee was washing a small naked Karen child with green liquid soap. There were a half-dozen of them lined up and quietly waiting their turn.

'Oh Rick, that looks so nice. I want to help Nahlee.'

'Go ahead, I'll walk back and see what's up.'

Rick reached the tent and met Andrew and Hans who were each eating a bowl of rice porridge.

The doctor was smiling as usual. 'Good morning. Have you slept well?'

'Yes and you?' Rick replied.

'I have been up since dawn helping to bury the bodies in the forest. We had the soldiers and our own dead as well.

I may have good news for you. I completely forgot that there is a truck due here today. I don't know if they will have room to take all of you but we can ask.'

'What kind of a truck is coming?'

'There is a very nice Thai lady arriving to take twenty kids back to work in restaurants and in people's homes as housekeepers.

It does not pay much but they can start a new life and not have to live like this, scrounging in the woods for food. She represents a non-profit organization called Helping Hands. It's not completely legal to give jobs to the Burmese refugees but in this case I think it's a good idea.

Andrew leaned forward on the small table. 'How did you find this person? I've never heard of them before.'

'She found us thank goodness. I've never heard of the name myself but she says that she does a lot of work here in the north and you coming from Bangkok, well, it's natural that you might not have heard about them either. She says that she likes to keep it low key and confidential because of the legality aspect of it and besides a good deed is reward in itself.

As they were speaking Rick could see a Toyota truck winding its way way up the road. It crested on the hill near the open field, stopping in the grassy area twenty feet from the tent. The truck was new but had seen service, splashed with mud which covered the sides, bumpers and plates. The passenger door opened and an attractive woman of about fifty or fifty-five stepped onto the field.

She wore a navy blue pants suit with a light blue frilly shirt. She had jet black hair lacquered in a style reminiscent of the 1950's.

Very attractive for a woman of her age, Rick thought, must have been real knock-out at one time.

She walked towards the tent on black high-heel shoes as her driver opened his door and stepped down from the truck.

He wore one of those Thai leisure suits that you see on all minor officials, short sleeves, epaulets on each shoulder and two patch pockets on the front of the jacket and a large patch pocket on each side.

'Doctor, how nice to see you again.' The woman flashed a big smile and held out her hand. She had perfect white teeth and polished nails. Her name was Khun Jasmine and the driver was Khun Nuan.

Jasmine was in a hurry to get started and Rick watched the kids line up. He was thinking that it was hard to tell the boys from the girls, all of them skinny but still cute even in their ragged clothes. Some were excited to be going on a new adventure and chatted animatedly while others were a bit shy or nervous.

Khun Nuan helped the kids climb into the back of the pick-up and closed the tailgate. It was obvious that the lady was in charge and she talked on and on assuring the doctor that she would give him a full report on how the children were doing.

Sonia and Nahlee were walking towards the tent. The two people from Helping Hands climbed into the truck, started the engine and turned on the air-conditioner, anxious to leave, to get out of the heat.

'Stop!' Sonia screamed at the top of her lungs. 'Stop.'

She was running as fast as she could towards the truck, pulling the 9-mm pistol from her waistband.

The driver gunned the engine, wheels spinning, turning the vehicle around.

Sonia fired off a shot at the truck and missed.

She stopped running and took aim, holding the weapon with both hands, firing again.

The next shot went through the windshield leaving a small round hole and a spider web of cracked glass.

Rick jumped to his feet as the truck braked to a stop, the driver grinding the gears into reverse, jamming his foot on the gas.

Sonia was closer now and the angle had changed as the driver turned.

She blasted two shots directly into the driver's window.

Stickman's thoughts:

Frank does it again!