I am. There is nothing more that can be said. Flowing downstream. Bobbling over the smooth and weather eroded rocks as the barbel slips noiselessly and unnoticed between them. A warm sunny backdrop. A clear yet frothy watered flow. Only the sound of passing water filtered through nature’s stones and sand. A tree or two hanging over the stream stretching out and over and seemingly trying to move into the flow. Shade offered. A perfect place to lay or rest and take a book or just listen and see a place once common but now not so which if viewed form a certain angle left hidden the disused factory and the clump of houses to the rear of the trees. A place now in the summer break not disturbed by the cackle of kids from the temporarily deserted primary school. Peace and a fantasy of times gone by. Times that sit in imagination as better than now but that just really is an illusion as much as an illusion as the briefly grabbed tranquillity and peace with nature and blind eyes turned towards development and the chemical froth that swept the top of the river, but still leaving the barbel to move silently on regardless.

When the bullet hit the top of his head the top of his head impacted with the top of the car and bounced over to the passenger’s side window leaving a gradually downwards spiralling mass of crimson and white on the window. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Swimming upstream the salmon jumped and struggled against the running torrent. The urge was there. The need was there. Not quite sure why but the need to get back to somewhere that something had happened once before. But what was it. What was so important and of such an urge and a need to produce once again more. And more importantly why had it been left in the first place. Leaving was easy with the current behind and moving in a mutually agreed way to get back was a fight, a struggle, a war but the cycle of life was never meant to be easy. And finally the salmon would find itself back. Back to the place where it had all started. The place where it would all begin again.

Tom always wondered what had crossed Mick’s mind in those last seconds between the time the first bullet shattered the side-window and Mick turned his head towards Tom and when the second bullet tore a piece of Mick’s head away. Had he recognized Tom? Had he understood in that final fatal second what was happening? Had he understood why it was happening? Had he known fear or was he just calm? Or was Mick just utterly confused and without any idea? Of course Tom would never know what Mick thought but Tom would be haunted by continually wondering and wanting an answer, but many questions do not have answers and Tom could never come to terms with this. Apart from needing the demise of Mick he needed Mick to know why and what it was all about and that it was Tom who was doing it. He needed Mick to be tortured for his earlier actions in the last seconds before his brain or at least a segment of it was scrambled over the inside of the car. He needed Mick to know it was all about Lek. Death just wasnt enough punishment. Tom needed more and not knowing robbed him of all satisfaction in what he had achieved unseen and unheard.

The pod now changed direction and in a perfect motion swung hard to port before after going through ninety degrees agreeing on a new course and heading at a leisurely and yet purposeful pace straight again. Rising sometimes to the surface and sometimes sinking into the depths the whales moved on and on. Then more often near the surface as the water became less deep on the slow incline to the beach. The Pod now sensing its destination near as they moved ever and on until lying washed up and bedraggled on the stormy coastline but now inside the base for the guards to find. Security breached in the last charge. The last attempt to get away forever from the banshee wail of whatever it was  that left the base time and again and ploughed the furrowed sea. Wailing in the playground of the whales, but now never to be disturbed again by these vast animals of the surface dark and grey and forever wailing. The whales lay at peace on the wet sand inside the base and waited.

It was the last of the really great floods that Bangkok experienced. In 1995 one night the rain start falling. It wasnt any different form many days at first. People heading out to enjoy the Saturday night before the rain started but then it came, at first lightly, and then growing in intensity like all tropical storms, but after the deluge reached its climax for once not lightening and then stopping to enjoy the great release as normal in a tropical storm, but continuing, and if anything becoming even more of a torrent. A rain that stung and hurt as it hit exposed skin, and the drainage system never stood a chance with water rapidly rising first to ankle, then knee and then thigh level with cars and the ubiquitous tuk-tuks soon floating in the city that was quickly becoming a lake and still more water falling as people headed to the higher reaches of buildings and lights going out as electricity fused and failed and nobody now moving but just sheltering wherever they could. The rain continued falling all night at a great intensity but by the morning has stopped leaving Bangkok one vast sea under the grey skies which still threatened to send aftershocks.

Lek had been Tom’s first and he had been well bitten, and sucked in, and was never going to be the same. At first he hadn’t even known she worked in a bar. A bar which was part of a group. A group that was part managed by businessman, and generally shady character Mick who had been described to Tom as someone you wouldn’t want to go down a dark alley with. Still that is getting ahead of the story, and Tom had a lot to learn before he even ever met Mick for the first time. Well that isn’t totally true as nearly everyone in the scene had met Mick or seen him or sat next to him, but Tom like most of those didn’t really know who Mick was until a long time on from when he first met Lek.


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