Horror Mystery Suspense

‘CHRIST, IT’S BOILING,’ said Giles to himself. He had no friends, and his family barely spoke to him. So, he decided Thailand was the perfect place to escape to. He travelled alone.

‘Go to Pattaya, you’ll love it,’ said one of the guys at the factory.

‘Yeah, even you might find a girlfriend there.’ Laughed another.

So, Giles searched Google for holidays in “The Land of Smiles”.

He then looked for the cheapest flight to Bangkok. Two weeks later he clasped his previously unused passport and headed for Heathrow. The flight was late, but it didn’t upset Giles. He had tracked down the bar.

Sleep on the plane was easily found. Landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport was not as simple. There were queues, long lines of weary expectant tourists, and tempers were short. At last Giles’ passport was handed to an unsmiling lady in brown. She asked him if he had been to Thailand before.

‘You can see my passport is new,’ said Giles.

‘Yes, many young British men find the need to get pristine passports, before they come back. So, I’m asking. Please answer honestly.’

‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’

‘Let me guess, you are going to Pattaya?’ she asked.

‘Yes, how did you know?’

‘Go, on. Have fun,’ she said still unsmiling.

Giles collected his bag and then looked around, it appeared most people were headed through a gateway with “departures” written above it. He followed the crowd. Outside there were several people with name boards. One said: “Mr Giles”, ‘That must be me,’ he said and followed the driver to his vehicle.

The driver said, ‘Straight to the hotel?’

‘Yes please,’ answered Giles cheering up. ‘How long does it take?’

‘Very quick, me driving Mr Giles.’

 Giles was asleep before they hit the first of the traffic jams.

‘Are we nearly there?’ Giles asked as he awoke.

They pulled up to a pristine driveway and an attractive reception. The driver carried Giles’ one bag and held his hand out.

‘What? Oh, you want the fare? I thought it was included with the price?’

‘He is hoping for a tip,’ said the hotel porter.

‘Oh, I see,’ said Giles as he handed over a five-pound note.

‘Good afternoon sir,’ said the receptionist. ‘Mr…? Can I have your passport please?’

‘Oh, yeah, here it is.’

‘Do you have a booking?’

‘The driver said so.’

‘We have a Mr Giles booked. But nobody with your surname, our driver was supposed to collect Mr James Giles.

‘I’m here now, can I have a room?’

‘Yes sir. Let me call the airport first.’

The porter placed Giles’ bag on a table near the TV and small fridge. He then held his hand out, hoping for a fiver.

‘Where is the beach, I can’t wait to dip my toes in.’

‘Do you mean the river? Turn right out of the hotel and walk for five minutes, ahead you will see the river, the famous railway and the bridge.’

‘What? I want birds, beer, and beach.’

‘We have a beautiful river.’

‘My mates told me Pattaya was the place to enjoy everything I want.’

‘But sir, this is Kanchanaburi’.

‘What? What is Kan… whatever you said. Are you joking?’

‘No, sir. We have plenty to offer here.’

Giles slumped to the bed, his head was spinning.

‘The idiot taxi driver picked me up by mistake. Oh, god. Now what? Where am I?’

Giles showered, changed and decided to go for a stroll and then arrange transport to Thailand’s “Sin City”, Pattaya.

It was hot, very hot.

‘Christ how can people live in this heat?’ he said to himself. He wiped the sweat from his face. Then thunder rumbled, and within seconds rain drops the size of grapes splattered the footpath.

‘Quick, up here,’ said a passerby.

‘Cheers mate.’

‘I’m going into the museum behind us. Fancy it? At least you can wait for the rain to stop.’

‘Yeah okay. I’m Giles, pleased to meet you.’

‘Hi, I’m Cobba, an Australian studying here.’

‘Oh, what is there to study?’

‘Are you serious? There is loads to learn here. But I’m writing about the Aussie forces and what they did during the war against the Japanese.’

‘I thought the war was against the Germans?’

Cobba shook his head and smiled.

After strolling around the displays, without much interest.

‘Do you want a drink, sounds like the rain has stopped?’

‘I’d love a beer, but I’ve got no Thai money.’

‘I’ll tell you what. I’ll pick up a few tinnies on the way, we can go to my place, I’ve got some Thai Baht we can change for your pounds. Then, later you can get me a drink in a bar. How does that sound?’

 ‘Brilliant, I’m right with you.’

The new friends marched off to a neat wooden bungalow at the river’s edge.

‘Wow, this your place?’ asked Giles.

‘Yeah, neat, ain’t it, my grandfather got it during the war.’

The beer flowed. ‘Jeez, this Singha stuff ain’t alf strong,’ slurred Giles.

‘Can’t drink like an Aussie then?’

‘Where’s your bog?’

‘My can? Follow me.’

Giles followed Cobba through a door, then down three steps, and halted.

‘What the hell?’

Giles was shoved hard enough to take his feet off the concrete. He fell and crumpled into a heap at the foot of a square steel cage. Cobba lowered the framework deeper into the river. Giles’s nose was forced through a gap at the top to breathe. Then, Cobba raised the contraption, and half out of the water.

‘What the… what are you doing?’ Giles spat river water.

The sound of the river rushing past was the only sound Giles could hear. Cobba had left him. The cage rattled with Giles shaking the steel. ‘Help! Help! Get me out of here.’

Tiring quickly, Giles sat in shoulder-deep water and cried.

An hour later, Cobba returned wearing a bright yellow plastic Mac with matching leggings and Wellington boots. In his hands, he held a camera and a video. Giles watched closely as the equipment was placed onto shelves on the wall. ‘Smile,’ he said.

When Giles stopped shouting threats, unheard outside this space, Cobba moved closer.

‘Do you want to get out?’ asked Cobba.

‘Of course, jokes over. Let me out.’

‘Okay, straighten your arms and put your hands through the grill.’

To reach the top, Giles had to climb the left-hand side squares. His hands outstretched, fingers wiggling, they were soon cuffed above and outside the cage.

‘Clever boy,’ said Cobba.

The video and camera were used to record Giles’ pointless battle with steel. His screams and wails are all saved for Cobba’s pet project.

‘Now my friend, I want to learn. Which means, how exactly did the Aussies suffer at the hands of the Japs.’

Cobba pulled a wakizashi from his waistband.

‘Another gift from grandpa.’ He said proudly. ‘This is what they used to slice up the troops.’

The short, razor-sharp blade crossed and recrossed Giles’ A three-inch by two-inch piece of flesh was swallowed by Cobba.

‘Better if it was cooked.’


March 17, 2024 09:47

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