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THE JADE FALCON
A Story set in
BANGKOK & PHNOM PENH
We loaded our bags into the taxi and got into the back seat. I’d wrapped the falcon in plastic bubble wrap and covered it with my clothes. It fitted snugly into my carry-on suitcase. The narrow Soi lead to Sukhumvit, there was little traffic on a Sunday morning, and we were quickly at the toll booth entrance to the expressway. I wasn’t sure that our driver had been to bed yet, he looked disheveled and slightly strung out. He paid the toll and were quickly moving along at 140 k’s. I told him to slow down using my hands for emphasis. A Mercedes sped past and he was immediately trying to keep up with it. I tapped him on the shoulder and motioned to calm down. The repetitious sound of the tires hitting the concrete joints slowed. Ten minutes on the expressway and the light traffic had thinned to a few cars. I finally relaxed and looked at Ming. She smiled, although the speed of the taxi hadn’t bothered her. She touched my shoulder smiling, then suddenly pulled me down and forward toward her. In the same instant the rear window imploded sending glass into the taxi. In another second a motorcycle sped past us. I saw the pistol in the same instant the shot rang out shattering the rear window. A second shot rang out, and pinged off the taxi. The driver screamed and stopped the taxi in the shoulder lane. We could see the motorbike a hundred yards ahead. It stopped, saw that we had stopped, then turned speeding toward us.
‘Get out, get out.’ Ming yelled, pushing the door open and pulling me behind the taxi. The driver was out in an instant beside us, the fear of death in his face. I saw the motorcyclist fifty yards away his outstretched hand holding a pistol pointed and ready. In the split second I had looked up the expressway, Ming now had a small black baretta in her hand. Our heads were down and we heard the motorcycle getting closer, he must have been beside us. Ming pushed us around the side of the car, while the rider fired shots toward the rear. Ming moved us to the front of the taxi as the rider got off the motorbike to finish the kill.
Ming stood up, took a step out from the car and shouted. ‘Police, drop the gun.’
The rider ignored her warning and turned to fire. She let off two quick shots. The first shattered his helmet, the second his spinal chord. The gun fell from his hand as his knees buckled. He was dead before his head hit the concrete. Our driver let out another scream when he saw the motorcyclists blood, then got up and repeatedly thanked Ming for saving his life. The light traffic had slowed to see the commotion, most of the drivers thinking there had been an accident between the motorbike and the taxi.
Ming said, ‘Let’s get out of here.’ We got our bags from the trunk. A few cars passed and slowed for what they though had been an accident. Another taxi slowed and we waved him to stop.
‘Airport’, Ming said as she smiled.
The driver said, ‘Yes, yes, ok, ok.’
Inside the taxi he asked, ‘Bad accident? Driver ok?’
‘Yes, bad accident, driver ok.’ I replied.