As The Crow Dies

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Chapter 13

A Job Well Done

It was a short commute, maybe ten minutes, to what they discovered later was to be their only destination. After the car stopped, the doors automatically unlocked. A man with a stern, Asian accent told them on the intercom this was the target and he’d wait there till they were done. “Done” was such a nonchalant word for what they were about to do as they entered the alley and walked quietly to the only door they could see. The completion of the mission seemed so cold-blooded in theory, and Lochlan found his inner self trying to talk his outer self out of what they had to do.

But, the inner voice lost.

“Nathan,” he said in a low tone. “I want you to know everything—and I mean everything—that happens in here will be our secret forever. I will take this night and all it entails to my grave. I promise you that. How about you?”

“The same sentiment from me, Guvnor. I will never speak of this night past this night. Tomorrow, and forevermore, this day doesn’t exist.”

“Good then. Let’s put on our gloves on so no trace of us is left here. Now here’s what I expect. Yut will most definitely have at least one bodyguard who will naturally kill at Yut’s command. I fear we must beat him to the trigger almost immediately. I’ll keep this weapon hidden until it is needed but I pray I do not hesitate. Put your weapon behind your belt now and be ready if I fail, but my goal is to keep this as quiet as possible. You are a good mate and your future with law enforcement is bright. Shall we?” Lochlan asked as he gripped the doorknob.

Nathan nodded a “Aye” and pulled his revolver from his ankle holster. “I be ready, boss,” he said in a determined tone.

Lochlan turned the knob and peeked in to find an empty hallway. He thought that unusual but he’d only dealt with illegal brothels before, so the lack of security made sense. They quietly made their way to the end of the hallway with a left or right split. Lochlan was going to do an “e-ne-me-ne-mine-e-mow” but Yut’s keeper came out from the right. He was short but very stout, with a shaved head and both arms covered in tattoos. He resembled the Oddjob character from the James Bond movies and he presence was intimidating. The two Scotsmen stopped and waited for him to make the first move.

“Are you Mr. Brown and Mr. Stewart?” he asked with no facial expression.

“We are,” Lochlan replied.

“Do not move,” the guard said. “I must check you two for weapons. Spread out your arms,” he said as he moved towards them.

When he was about a little more than a meter away Lochlan the Highlander showed the no-name Thailander what a true Scot was made of. Without hesitation, Lochlan pulled his weapon and shot the guard point blank in the middle of his forehead. The man’s life seemed to leave his eyes first and then his body crumbled to the floor. Nathan stood stunned. He didn’t think his partner had it in him, but there was a lot he didn’t know about Lochlan and probably never would. He made a mental note to never piss his boss off.

After the thud of the guard’s departure, they heard a slight gasp coming from the right hallway. Peeking in Armed Response Team style, they confronted two small, Thai teenagers; one female, the other male. The girl was dressed up like a twenty-euro French whore and the boy wore nothing more than a speedo. Lochlan walked up to them, gun in hand, bent down to their eye level and started pointing to the three doors in front of them. Quietly he asked “Yut?” hoping they understood. They did and pointed to the door straight ahead.

“Nathan. take these two to the alley and hurry back. I’ll wait till you return.”

Nathan huddled the frightened youths down the hallway to the alley door, shoved them out and moved quickly back, realizing that was the longest six seconds of his life. When he returned Lochlan gave him his gun with a look that Nathan interrupted as “It’s your turn.” For some strange reason Lochlan pulled out his phone and scrolled to a certain point.

What the hell is this man up to? Nathan thought, but remembered he gave up trying to figure out his partner long ago. Lochlan whispered “one, two, three” and he opened the door. In they went without invitation, phone and .22 automatic in hand.

Yut was opening a container of delicious-smelling food that Lochlan recognized as Green Curry. He looked at them with the fear of Buddha in his loathsome eyes A second later he moved to reach inside his desk drawer, presumably to get his gun, but a warning shot from Nathan over his shoulder brought that advance to a halt. He sat straight up, frozen with fear. Lochlan pulled out his phone and began his presentation.

“Yut Anantasu, listen up and listen good. You have been judged a life unworthy of life. Therefore, we must dispatch you to the Other Side where God Himself will be your final judge, if you are even worthy of His Presence. We leave you with these parting words.”

Lochlan hit play, and what came out sounded Asian or maybe Laotian to Nathan. Suddenly when the first line made its delivery by the computer voice, the sweat seemed to pour from Yut’s shaking forehead. The submission went as such.

sata kam khongthan kam lang lothathanyu

Beelzebub vang cryptic

pheuohai singthipenpaidai

aek phusai hainylaenony

phuthi khamphan sen anl am khanan

chak manud thoengsad

Lochlan nudged Nathan, said “Now!” Nathan aimed and put one bullet between Yut’s eAye. When Yut didn’t immediately fall, Nathan put another round in his forehead, and Yut was no more. Lochlan then said one thing Nathan would never forget.

“Leave the gun … but take the curry.”

Off they went down the hall to the alley and the waiting escape vehicle, taking dips of Yut’s last meal as they raced to the airport. They slept good after briefing Phillips on their success then Phillips woke them an hour before arriving in Edinburgh. It was nine am, Scotland time, when they landed and they were given some toiletries to spruce up with before they went back to their Dumfries station. Looking spiffy and quite happy, they settled in for another day of crime fighting.


It was about eleven in the morning when Chief Constable Bernard Brown was seen looking for the remote to turn up his office television up. He stood there taking in what he heard intently, and the grimace on his face showed he was not a happy man. He taped the BBC broadcast, put his “Boob Tube” as he called it, on pause and signaled for Lochlan and Nathan to enter his office. They both knew something was up after Brown ordered them to sit on the couch facing his television. He closed the door, pulled down the shades and they knew this could be serious.

“Inspectors,” Brown said as he put half his body on his desk with one leg leaning over and his hands folded. “I want you two to watch a fascinating news report that just came to the BBC London office no more than fifteen minutes ago. It’s a long segment of startling events that happened last night in Thailand.”

When the “T” word was spoken neither Lochlan nor Nathan made any visible movements, but their innards were starting to seize. Brown continued.

“It seems a high rolling child porn and prostitution kingpin in the East by the name of Yut … Whogivesashite was killed execution style in his whorehouse office. Did you hear about it?”

The Dynamic Duo looked at each other and nodded an innocent-looking “no.”

“Really. Well let me show you the report.”

Brown turned the tv back on, rewound it to the beginning, hit play and sat, placing his feet up on his desk and lighting a fag.


At first there was a still shot of a very pretty young girl of approximately twelve years old, dressed in a blue and white flowered dress of oriental design. Sitting comfortable and looking ladylike in a high back chair, she almost looked like the girl next door. Then the segment began.

BBC Reporter: Hello, this is Miles Evans reporting live from Bangkok, Thailand. The most shocking news, to some, of the day here is the obvious assignation of a local businessman, Yut Anantasu. His trade was in brothels, legal here, and he was a reputed child pornographer as well as the proprietor—or pimp—for pedophiles worldwide. But, there is a catch to this scenario. A witness, who we will simply cal “May”, was hiding in a closet when the incident occurred. Here with us now is May, with a police escort who is also her interpreter. The officer wishes not to be filmed, and we’ll respect that.

Miles: Good afternoon, May.

May, through her interpreter: Afternoon to you also.

Miles: Well, May, I’ve been told you have a very interesting story to tell. What did you hear this morning concerning the attack?

May: I was in the closet, with the doors pulled shut, getting ready to present myself to Mr. Yut—

Miles: Pardon the interruption, but what kind of presentation did Mr. Yut require of you?

May: I was to disrobe and come out of the closet dancing.

Miles: Totally naked?

May: Aye, sir.

Miles: I’ll probably get fired for this, but your Mr. Yut was a sick bastard.

May: Oh no, Mr. Miles, you are mistaken. Yut loved me … he loved me and tell me so many times.

Through the look in the interpreter’s eyes, Miles could tell he was beating a dead Thai elephant and moved on.

Miles: Alright then. Let’s move on. What did you hear happen?”

May: I heard a man speaking with an English accent speak gruffly to Mr. Yut.

Miles: And what did he say?

May: I only understand the last part of his message because a strange voice uttered it in Laotian, which is my language. I recognized it as something in … poetry, I think.

Miles: Can you translate it to me?”

May: No, but this person can.

May gave her helper a handwritten note. The linguist held it up, put on their reading glasses and began to recite.

Interpreter: The mystery man said,

Your fate awaits you.

Beelzebub lays cryptic

to give what is due

to men great and small

who do cross that precious line

from man to animal

I take solace in this act

and long to go forth

to see you burn black

Miles: Can I see the note?

The interpreter hands him the note. Miles looks it over, mouthing the words silently and shaking his head.

Miles: I know a little about prose such as this. It is called Senryu, and it follows the five-seven-five syllables per line. May, are you sure this is what you heard?

May: Yes, it is.

Miles: Did you hear anything else?

May: Just two small pops, the door opening and people leaving.

Miles: Thank you, May, for your cooperation. This is Miles Evans reporting from Bangkok with no doubt the “Senryu Slayer” was at work here tonight.


Chief Brown turned his tv off and turned to his inspectors.

“Gentlemen,” he asked, twirling a paper clip. “What do you make of that?”

“I trust I won’t be losing any sleep over Yut’s departure,” Lochlan said. “The world’s better off without him, to my thinking.”

“Aye,” Nathan replied. “ I can second that motion.”

“Then tell me,” Brown said as he stood and approached Lochlan, “how it was your mobile pinged on a cell tower outside Bangkok early yesterday morning? Hmmm?”

For once, the Darlings of Dumfries Station were speechless. Lochlan felt a little bit of his soul leave, as he knew he’d been caught. There was a frightening period of silence, but good old Nathan was about to save the day.

“Chief. I mean no disrespect, but are you insinuating Inspector Kincaid is a … poet?’ Nathan said quickly. “I can’t believe you’d think that sir. Just look at this man’s past behavior patterns. I can testify to the fact that the only rhyme or reason I’ve ever seen was him scribbling some graffiti on a shitehouse wall. One day after lunch I went in to use the privy at this roadside truck stop and me mate here was coming out with a black magic marker in hand and a—as the American’s call it—a shite-eating grin on his mug. I went in and read,


With that all three men started to laugh so loud it caught the attention of the whole office and some of them started to chuckle too.

“Nathan,” Lochlan said as he grasped the con. “Did you ever see the one I wrote about Star Trek?”

“Can’t say that I have, Guvnor, but I can’t wait to hear it.”

They sheepishly looked over at their superior who was trying desperately not to laugh again.

“It was the morning we went to Denny’s. After I ate that huge breakfast I had a nature call, so sitting there on the throne, I pulled out me pen and wrote.


If Chief Brown had any hopes of keeping this interview professional, he lost that chance when he doubled over in a pose of man-gone-hilarious. He composed himself and addressed his employees.

“Go and do whatever it is you two do. Go! Get the hell outta here. Take the whole day off with pay. Bye!”

They didn’t need to hear that again. They jumped up and almost ran from his office, giving each other a high-five after they got to their garage. They sped off to their respective crofts and didn’t come to work for two days.


That night was a comforting one for Lochlan, and Kenna knew enough to let the whole subject go to another time. They went to bed a ten with nary a pinch anywhere. Lochlan turned to his left and pulled his honey’s buns close to him. He slept a quiet and peaceful night, never once allowing himself to ponder the past.


Nathan had a double scotch and a quick shower before he bedded down for the night. Laying on his back with one forearm behind his head, he looked at the empty space in his bed wondering if he’d ever find a woman to love him like Kenna did Lochlan.


And then both men sat straight up in bed with a sorrowing thought. Tomorrow was the third Wednesday of the month, and school was about to begin.

The End



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