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Twisted Sister

Country bumpkins seem like easy targets.

Don't get too confident, because once you turn your back. . .

Twisted Sister by Gregory Rodrigues



Lek and Ay came from the poor, rural north. They had never been to a cinema, ridden in an elevator, or bathed their lovely bodies in hot water. The chaos of Bangkok’s main bus station was a slap across the face. The sisters held hands to comfort each other.

Lek looked warily at a man who smiled at her. Her father told her to be careful of men in the big city. 

“Sawade Cup,” he said, “I think you not know Bangkok. I help you.”

“Meow cup,” she replied, politely declining the stranger’s offer.  

“So what you do? Stay in bus station?” he asked.

“I wait my family,” Lek lied.

The man leered at them, knowing they were poor rice farmers from the drought-blasted north sent to find jobs in Bangkok’s sweatshops or bars only to send all they earned back home.

His boss had told him only fresh, young girls and new faces.

The sisters sat back to back atop their suitcases. Their mother’s friend, who was meant to meet them, never showed. Lek counted the meager amount of money her father had given them. It was enough for just a few days.  “Sister,” she said, “that man still look us. I think he make trouble. We must look for room for night.”

The man watched the sisters leave and carefully followed. After seeing them enter a dilapidated hotel, he made a phone call.

As the girls climbed the hotel stairs, they saw drunk foreign men holding hands with young women.

“Sister, this hotel for whore,” Lek said. “We must lock door good.”

During the night, goons kicked their door open and raped the sisters until morning.

One of them scribbled on a piece of paper and tossed it on Lek’s naked body. “Call number if you want work. Boss bar need new ladies. What else you do, anyway?”

Lek looked at him with hatred in her eyes but said nothing.

The girls cleaned themselves up, washing away the blood and their innocence.

“Now, we can never go home, sister,” Lek said, ‘What would we tell Papa?”

They left the hotel.

“Where you think you are?” the janitor of the apartment building sneered. “This not Issan. You want sleep in my broom closet? You not have money for room one month.”

“Can I see it?” Lek asked.

The janitor couldn’t believe she was serious but saw the opportunity. It would be extra money for him and both sisters were attractive. Anything was possible.

Mops and brooms stood arranged along the walls and used rags littered the cement floor but Lek saw it was just big enough for both of them to lie down. It would work.  

The sisters cleaned up and went to the local shopping mall. The manager laughed at their Issan accents, looked speculatively at their breasts, and offered them jobs as cleaners.

The girls started their new working lives and after a few weeks moved into a cheap room. Once a month, they treated themselves to an English movie.

“You very pretty little lady,’’ a falang man said to Lek in the ticket queue.

“Thank you,’’ she said shyly.

They chatted and Lek was astonished he spoke fluent Thai. It was the first time she’d ever spoken to a foreigner.

***

Two years later, as Lek was driving her car, she glanced admiringly at her exquisite fingernails, each nail one hand-painted in meticulous detail with a different flower. She smiled with satisfaction. It had cost five-thousand baht. That used to be three months rent for her shabby room.

Of course, it was all Richard’s money. It was a pity he drank so much and was a different man from when they married.

“You know what you are,” he’d said the other night, mockingly. “You’re my Asian Barbie doll. If you’re not careful, maybe I’ll trade you in for Barbie’s little sister. She’s still around here somewhere. I’m told dancing in one of the gogo bars.”

Lek winced at the thought of Ay, who’d finally succumbed to the temptation of making good money by selling her body.

“But what I do wrong to you, Richard? Why you angry with me?” Lek asked.

“You’re getting too fucking sure of yourself,” he said. “Just remember I found you in the gutter and I can put you back there any time.”

Lek became anxious at the thought of going back to her poverty-stricken past. The memories grasped her heart with icy fingers. No. She couldn’t go back to mopping floors, squatting on the floor of that miserable room, and the constant demands from men. Never again.

Richard got drunk every night. He was a tall American and the safety rail on the balcony of their Pattaya city penthouse was designed for shorter Asians. Just a quick push and she’d be rich and free forever. All men were bastards anyway and this would be her final revenge on the man who used her like a toy, revenge for a rape that would never be punished.

She stood on the penthouse balcony later that night and pointed into the distance. “Darling, what that over there?” she asked Richard.

Richard, swaying drunkenly, leaned against the railing and looked into the darkness. 

Lek got behind him and pushed with all her strength.

Richard was so drunk, he didn’t even cry out as he toppled over into oblivion. 


***

The young policeman looked at the mangled body.

“My husband very drunk and he fell over railing,” the wife had said, tearfully.

Impossible to prove otherwise. Besides, his superiors weren’t interested, even if they had the same suspicions he did. It happened so often in “Sin City,” resident expatriates had a name for it. What was the English term? Yes, The Pattaya Plunge.

Greg Rodrigues is an Australian ex-cop. He took some hits a few years back and decided to stop the world, he wanted to get off. Ended up in Thailand; Bangkok and Pattaya, gutter capitals of sin and sex. A haven for the burned-out, jaded, misfits, outlaws, and other escapees.