Karma (or Tik’s Night Out)
Tik took a deep breath and watched the Bangkok city lights throb in rhythm with her heartbeat.
This city really does not sleep. Heaven knows, the view from the police major general’s twenty-first floor penthouse is spectacular, she thought.
She exhaled and tasted a mix of champagne and Cuban cigars. Leaning forward, she rested her elbows on the ledge and squinted. She had a moment of déjà vu, and the lights reminded her of some kind of science-fiction underwater city, the smog forming the ‘water’ surface overhead.
Tik put the plastic bag on the ledge and pulled her knickers out of her arse; they were still moist.
You’d think someone living in a place like this can afford a roll of toilet paper now and again. Even one-ply would’ve been better than nothing. And the plumbing is simply atrocious. What kind of person pays more than a million dollars for a prime spot in the centre of Bangkok and is happy with the PVC piping not even hidden in the walls? Humph! She clicked her tongue and pulled her red miniskirt down.
She watched the traffic and listened to the water from the fountain trickling into the swimming pool behind her. She closed her eyes and concentrated on her breathing.
I’ve been here before.
Behind the fountain, the blackout curtains blew in the warm wind, their heavy hems swish-swishing over the imported Italian terracotta tiles. Tik heard the police major general flush the toilet.
She took the plastic bag from the ledge and put it on the floor. She scratched the spot on her ankle where a mosquito got her in the taxi on the way to the penthouse. This reminded her that she had another appointment at midnight with a billionaire Chinese businessman, a regular whose penis was the size of her little finger. Tik rolled her eyes and took out her iPhone 6.
Forty-five minutes to go. God, I’ve been here for almost six hours.
Tik used her thumbnail to pick at a bit of meat stuck to her front teeth.
Police Major General Nantakarn flushed the toilet with his chin. He got a cramp in his neck and hit the side of his head against the toilet bowl.
Please, if there’s a god above, let me out of here, he prayed.
The duct tape started to cause discomfort; the adhesive was tugging at his salt and pepper sideburns, so he tried to move his ears by laughing on the inside, like his father taught him. He had never been able to do it, and he couldn’t do it now.
He looked down and watched as his blood soak the last corner of the Calvin Klein face towel one of his minor wives gave him for his birthday two weeks ago.
I can’t believe I ran out of toilet paper, he thought.
The cable ties Tik used to tie him to the PVC drain pipes underneath the washbasin were starting to gnaw away at his wrists.
Whatever it was she had put in his champagne caused temporary paralysis because his brain was functioning normally when she tied him up. Even though his thoughts were scattered in a field of confusion when he realised what was happening, he remembered the old trick of clenching your fists, palms facing down, and presenting your hands like that to your captor. That was the last time he was able to move in about six hours.
Gotcha now, you little whore! he thought at the time, Just wait until I slip out of these. I’ll skin you alive, I swear.
Tik was a professional and saw his plan in a flash; the way he clenched his fists and presented them palms facing down would make his wrists bigger. After being tied, he would then turn his wrists inward and have more room maneuver while trying to slip out of the cable ties.
“I’m not falling for your cheap tricks, arsehole,” she had hissed and bit off his left earlobe. She turned his wrists inward, facing each other, and then used two cable ties to tie him to the plumbing. “What, you think a high-priced call girl like myself doesn’t get tied up now and again?”
Nantakarn closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on his breathing now. There was a piece of dried blood in his left nostril, and every time he exhaled it made a wheezing sound, like a loose fan belt. He rested his chin on his chest and started sobbing.
Tik checked the time on her phone again. It was eleven-forty-five.
I’d better get going then, she thought and turned around. She held up the plastic bag into the light streaming from the entertainment area through the gaps created by the curtains still blowing in a the wind. She poked at the police major general’s flaccid penis in the bag.
“Just like a little sea cucumber,” she whispered and chucked the bag over her shoulder, and over the balcony.
Approaching the white aluminium sliding doors leading into the ‘entertainment area’, Tik could hear one of Vivaldi’s four seasons playing on Nantakarn’s Bang & Olufsen.
It must be summer again, she thought.