FREE short story. I asked Chat GPT for tips – I won’t ask again. Better for nonfiction, I think. Do you agree?

Thai Murder

Somewhere deep in the heart of Bangkok, a woman named Nid hatched a plan. She had been waiting for years, biding her time, preparing for the moment when she could finally have her revenge. Her target was an Englishman, any man from England, but he must have characteristics she hated. Outwardly, confident, outspoken, and brash, but inwardly, a coward. One of the same breed of man who had killed her mother so long ago, and for Nid, the time had finally come to make him pay.

Nid’s hatred for Englishmen ran deep; it had festered inside her since she was a young girl.
Her mind wallowed in grief that day after her sixth birthday.
‘Aren’t you going to buy her anything?’ asked Upin, Nid’s mum.
‘Why should I? She’s probably not mine,’ said Ralph, Nid’s father.
‘Of course, she is yours. Come on, cheer up, take us to Dusit Zoo.’
‘Don’t tell me what to do.’ The first slap caught Upin’s cheek.
‘Nid, go to your room,’ said Upin.
Nid’s feet open and planted, rooted, her chin poked like a primed weapon.
‘Don’t look at me like that,’ screamed Ralph. He lunged at her. Upin was too quick. She kicked his stomach. He doubled up, grabbed the glass-coated table lighter, and crashed it into Upin’s head. Nid ran to her mum, scared by the blood running over her hands.
‘Do you want one too?’
Nid ducked the heavy lighter and ran from the condo door. That was the last she saw of her mum. Years later, she discovered Ralph had fled the country.

Her mother was a beautiful Thai woman who regretted she had fallen in love with a foreigner. Her father had warned her. But she didn’t listen. Having a child together was not the beginning of their troubles. Their relationship was doomed from the start, as the Englishman was an abusive alcoholic who treated them contemptuously. The more money his business squandered, the nearer to bankruptcy he got. The more it failed, the wilder he became. Nid’s memories as a six-year-old flashed back every night when her head hit the pillow. Her mother’s head burst open in her father’s drunken rage, the warm blood splattering. Nid had been helpless to stop it then, but she had vowed to get her revenge one day. If not him, anyone would do.

Twenty years later, Nid had blossomed in business, cold-hearted and single-minded, running a thriving restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. But her real business was far more sinister than serving delicious Thai cuisine. Nid was a criminal mastermind with a network of connections across the city. She had been biding her time, building up her resources, and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Yet, as each day passed, even a hint of an English accent made her cringe.
Her online gambling site was for Thai customers, and occasionally a “falang” with the smarts to read the language tried his luck. If he is English, his details were recorded and kept for a future chance to fiddle his odds.

One night, another target for Nid’s walked into her restaurant. He was from Birmingham, just like the man who had killed her mother all those years ago. He was tall and handsome, with a cocky smile that made Nid’s blood steam. She watched him from a distance, studying his every move, waiting for the right moment to make her move.

As the night wore on, Nid’s plan began to take shape. She had planted a small device under the man’s table to track every word with his guests and record his mobile conversations. Her team of skilled hackers could break into his phone and computer, gathering valuable intel on his life and habits. Nid knew that she needed to be patient, to wait for the right moment to strike. His agony plotted like computer code.

Days turned into weeks, and Nid’s surveillance operation continued. She watched as the Brummie went about his daily life, unaware he was being watched. His companion in her restaurant that night was his new bride. Nid saw him again with his wife, a beautiful blonde woman who seemed to adore him. Nid seethed with jealousy, knowing this woman had everything another Brit had denied her.
‘If I can’t get Ralph, anyone with that accent will do.’

One day, Nid’s team intercepted a message on the Englishman’s phone. It was from his wife, telling him that she was leaving for a business trip to London. Nid saw her chance, and she pounced. She ordered her accomplices to kidnap Mr Charles Brown, and they brought him to a secret location on the outskirts of Bangkok, a disused wharf side warehouse.

Mr Brown woke up in a dark room, bound and gagged. Nid stood before him, her eyes blazing with fury. She taunted him, telling him he would pay for what he had done to her mother all those years ago. The Englishman was terrified, quaking in front of this crazy woman. He knew he had to keep his wits about him to survive.
‘I wasn’t even in Thailand then. You’ve got the wrong man,’ he said.

Minutes turned into hours, and Brown was tortured, pushing him to madness. Nid was relentless, determined to make him suffer as much as she had. But as the day wore on, Nid began to see that her revenge was not bringing her the satisfaction she had hoped for. She realized that all her planning and plotting had not brought her the closure she had sought.

In a moment of clarity, Nid saw that her hatred for Englishmen had consumed her all those years. Eventually, calm, she broke down in tears and then listened to him.
‘I can help you find that man,’ he said as he coughed blood.
‘He killed someone in Bangkok, so if he is still here, he would have changed his name and got a new passport.’
‘Yes, so?’
‘You must know your father’s surname?’
‘I’ve tried to forget it, but my aunt will know.’
‘Right, get it. I’ll check if he is in England. If I can’t track him there, he will be here with another name.’
‘Okay, but how will you find a man you know nothing about?’
‘That is my job. You would be surprised how many United Kingdom passport holders go missing here.’
‘But why would you help me after all this?’
‘Because it’s my job, I want all your casino’s under-the-table work. Agree? You know you are missing a huge number of gamblers all keen to chuck cash your way. See what you are missing because you don’t want “English” customers.’
Nid nodded at her right-hand man. ‘Free him,’ she said.
‘There’s my card,’ said Charles Brown handing over a zip chip.
‘I’ve got all your details, thank you.’
‘I don’t think so. Look again. You may have missed something.’
‘What is this? That’s not you.’
‘Yes, it is. The info you’ve got is a front. A salesman working in Asia, do I look like it?’
‘I suppose you do, clever. Well done, you fooled my team and me.’
There was a splintering of wood, and four men armed with automatic rifles burst in.
‘Ah, here is my team. They’ve been keen to meet you,’ said Brown.
Nid and her oaf raised their hands as they were arrested.
Brown stood before her and said, ‘Before you go, you may like to know the person you call Ralph is awaiting His Majesty’s command to be executed. When his Thai business collapsed, he turned to drug smuggling. His locally produced meth was to be shipped to the UK. All of his consortia turned out as members of your gambling syndicate. Hence, me following you. You have many questions to answer. You’d better hope for an English lawyer.’ Brown was laughing as he waved goodbye.


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