The Night Market

Written in response to: Start or end your story in a bustling street food market.... view prompt


Crime Suspense Thriller

‘Where did Conny go?’ asked Mark.

‘No idea, he just up here and went,’ said Pete.

‘He did the same last night. What is going on?’

Their food arrived simultaneously: a plate of crispy pork from the stall they were sitting at and a less spicy bowl of noodles from next door. Smiles from the stallholders and customers as the plates slid across the table. Pete could eat chillis like a Thai, but Mark struggled with anything hotter than ketchup.

‘How is your room?’ asked Pete.

‘Fine, same as yours I guess?’

‘The hotel is great value, okay, not on the beach, but near enough. And near to this brilliant market.’

‘Have you seen where Conny lives? I mean, has he ever shown you photos or anything?’

‘No, why would he?’

‘It’s a bit odd, I mean, he invited us to visit him and then stuck us in a hotel. We haven’t even been to his place.’

‘Yeah, but fair enough, we might have guests ourselves one night,’ laughed Mark.

‘Well said, look at those two, over there,’ Pete nodded to a table along to the left.

‘God, beautiful. Are they single?’

‘You want to ask?’

‘No, you can.’

Mark and Pete chinked their beer bottles, and the smiles broadened as the girls looked across at them, their grins were embarrassed. The boys ordered another round.

‘Here comes Conny,’ said Mark.

‘Ready for more beer lads?’ asked Conny.

‘Yeah, we're enjoying ourselves here. Hey, have you changed your shirt?’

‘Well spotted, you are an observant lad. Come on, I’ll take you to “Bar Street”, the beer is more expensive, but the sights are better.’

‘We’re doing well enough here. Hey, where have those chicks gone?’

The trio crossed the main road and nipped into a narrow lane, the noise shocked them. Each bar was playing a different track. Female staff were hanging onto tall bar stools and screeched at passers-by.

‘Hey, handsome man, cum inside!’

‘Christ, Conny, how can you live as a single man with all the beautiful chicks around you?’

The three laughed, Pete pulled across to grin at a mini-skirted girl. ‘Come on how about this place/‘

‘Not there the owner is an Arsenal fan,’ said Conny, shaking his head.

‘How about here?’ suggested Mark.

‘No, they water down the booze.’

‘This one?’


Two staff members grabbed Mark and Pete, and a third turned her back on Conny.

‘Guys, don’t fall in love too soon. You have to pay a “bar fine” here. It's better to meet up later at a club. That way, your expenses are cut.’

Mark and Pete had bigger things on their minds. They didn’t notice Conny slip out. At lunchtime the following day, two notes were slipped under hotel doors. “If you fancy coffee, I’ll be at Starbucks in about an hour.”

Mark and Pete’s guests showered and dressed, after kissing their hosts goodbye and promising to be “available” later, they went to dress in daytime-appropriate clothes. The boys asked for a map and found Starbucks was easily found and an easy walk from their rooms.

‘Hi, guys, good fun all round?’ said Conny.

‘Yeah, where did you get to?’

‘You know me, early to bed, early to rise,’ answered Conny.

‘My girl was lovely, so sweet.’

‘Mine too, they are not locals and are shy of tourists,’ said Mark.

Conny laughed at his mate's gullibility but kept his mouth shut.

‘Anyway, what about you? What do you do here?’

‘You know I run a blog.’

‘Yeah, but you can’t earn much with that.’

‘No, but enough to live on.’

Pete started playing with his phone. ‘Look, you only got twelve views yesterday. How can you earn with that few?’

Mark grabbed the phone, ‘What does that mean, “Password, below”, there is nothing.’

Conny smiled, ‘Maybe I made a typo.’

They all went to the beach, swam, enjoyed fresh coconuts and pineapples and agreed to meet up at the same market stall as last night.

Mark and Pete strolled back to their hotel. ‘Why has Conny not invited us to his condo?’

‘Don’t know, it sounds great. I’d love to see it. Where did he say he was going?’

‘He was going to see someone about his blog business. We’ve got his address, shall we have a look?’

‘You’re a burglar in England, not here.’

‘It wouldn’t do any harm. Just a quick look. Then we can all meet up as planned. How about it? He’d never know.’

The pair walked to the outside of the building. ‘Pretty easy. I need to know which unit. Three floors, his is number 304. It looks like there are four homes on each floor. You go in, see which is number four and text me, left, right, front or back. Then wait for me to open the door for you.’

Mark got the signal and started climbing up the decorative brickwork. He reached the third floor and slipped over the balcony. A skinny area with a single chair to greet him. Mark soon slipped the lock open and slid back the glass door. It was dark inside, with only the illuminated clock to light the gloom.

‘Hello Mark, haven’t lost your old skills I see,’ said Conny.

Mark jumped, ‘I, we, um.’

‘Yes, I know. Go and let Pete in.’

Conny flicked on the living room lights as his friends returned.

‘Oh, you’re here,’ said Pete.

‘Yes, I knew you couldn’t resist a visit. My little game, sorry. Who wants a beer before we hit the market?’

Mark and Pete, looked around and nodded. Conny went to the open area opposite and opened the fridge. ‘We have a new brand of beer, similar to the Singha brew you are used to, fancy trying it?’ He poured Carabao Beer into glasses and served his mates.

‘What do you think of that?’ Conny drained his glass. The other two sipped then nodded and swallowed theirs.

‘Now you are here, I know you have questions for me?’ Conny said.

‘Yes, why are you being so secretive about your place and your work?’

‘Okay, fair enough, do you want to see, or how about another beer first?’

Conny took the glasses back to the fridge and poured more beer. ‘I love living here,’ he said as he handed the drinks.

‘I have a surprise for you both. Cover your eyes with these.’ He handed them blindfolds. ‘Stand up, Mark you lead, Pete put arms on Mark’s shoulders.’ Conny gently pulled Mark’s hand and led them to the second bedroom. They were greeted by a growling.

‘What’s that?’ asked Mark.

‘Now we’ve come to your second question. My job. As you know I run a blog. But it is much more. Go in.’

He pushed the boys ahead. They both snatched off their masks and squealed. Conny locked the door as he left.

A speaker in the corner crackled to life. ‘Comfortable lads? Don’t worry about her, she has been dosed with the same drug as you two. See you later.’

‘Christ, look at her, she’s like a Zombie.’

‘It looks like she’s had Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” “tranq dope” and “zombie drug”, it has sedative-like symptoms – extreme sleepiness and respiratory depression. Often laced with Fentanyl. God, I hope there was none in our beer!’ said Mark.

‘Look at her skin, it is rotting!’

They slumped to the floor, chins on chests. The room lights were turned off, and bright red illuminated the room. Conny was at the controls in his bedroom. The hidden cameras recorded every sound and movement. ‘Time to pop out to your hotel,’ said Conny.

‘Hi, did my friends settle their bills? I’ve been asked to collect their bags. They need to check out, they are going south for a few days. But don’t worry, if they come back, they will stay in your hotel.’

Conny returned to his condo. He checked his cameras. He grinned as everything was working, and the girl was moving, she slid across the tiled floor opened her mouth and bit deep and hard into Pete’s face.

Conny's phone lit up. ’I’ll have another video to post later today. This one will be worth twice what you paid me in the past. I’ll send you a few minutes to check and look forward to your payment.’


December 12, 2023 07:43

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