Job of a Lifetime

The old man kept cutting the ropes with the knife, nimble about it, but also quite distressed, like we had made him get out of bed  to do something he didn't want to do, as if us being there was a chore, never once ceasing his mumbling that same phrase over and over.

I turned to Jim and he had John's arm, backing out the door in shock, motioning for me to follow them, Jim nodding his head, wide eyed in panic.

He walked calmly to his bicycle, telling me to follow, don't look back, but I did look back, and as we rode away, I could see the old man wailing silently at us, on his knees, rope in hand.

When the compound was out of sight, Jim stopped pedaling, taking a breath.

“ That old guy is fucked, “ Jim said. “ I recognized what he was saying from this time I went to Thailand to visit a friend. Some prison guards were speaking to each other in a bar. That old man back there was talking Thai. He was wasn't talking about three ropes. Even for an old man, he is very dangerous. He was a prison executioner and he was saying he needed to hang three more, meaning us. That was a gutting knife he had. He was going to gut us and hang us, Eddie! “

In 1994, the war was long over, but for some...





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