How the zombie apocalypse started – 5

Bangkok, Thailand.

Bob was enjoying the attention of the two Thai women who kept telling him, in their broken English, that he was a ‘sexy man’.  This was not something often heard when he walked along the streets of Luton, and even though, deep down, he knew they probably didn’t actually believe what they were saying, he didn’t care.  At this moment in his life, with one of the girls playfully groping around in his groin, he felt like a king.  And kings demanded more beer.

He’d been in Bangkok for three days now, and he absolutely loved the place, completely unaware that most Thais wanted to leave.  Divorced, balding and a stone overweight, he’d never had this much female attention, even when he was in his prime.  Had he even had a prime?  All the city needed was to be cooler and cleaner and truly he would have been in heaven.  Calling over the glowering Mama San, he ordered another round of drinks, knowing full well that “Lady Drinks” carried a premium.  He didn’t care.  Bob hadn’t felt this happy in years.

The shouts and the cries of terror from outside spoilt all that.  He had chosen this particular Go-Go bar because the music wasn’t too loud, and the interior was open and inviting.  With a central stage, an array of westerners sat, goggle-eyed, around it on seats set out in a tiered semi-circular fashion.  There was one way in and out, and agitated Thais now surged through that entrance.  Bob had heard the other day of several venues being raided by the army and he really hoped not to get wrangled up in that sort of trouble.  A bloke he had got talking to yesterday had recounted about how he had been held trapped in a nightclub venue whilst army thugs went about whatever oppressive tactics they engaged in.  The bloke said he’d ended up having to bribe his way out, which was likely the whole point of the raid in the first place.

Bob didn’t speak Thai, but he could tell the fear in people’s voices.  The two girls he was sat with were now completely ignoring him, drawn to the disturbance at the door.

“What’s going on?” Bob asked.

“Men killed,” the girl to his left said, before standing up and running out of sight through a back entrance.

When he had entered there had been two Thai men on the door as well as a welcoming party of five scantily clad Thai girls ready to entice all and sundry into this bastion of depravity.  The two men were inside now, one of them peering past the red velvet style door curtain that seemed to be a standard fitting to these sort of establishments.  The second man was shouting something, clearly audible now that the music had been shut off.  There was a general murmur, and the second Thai girl suddenly clung herself to Bob’s arm.  Looking down, he saw that she looked terrified.  She shouted something at the doormen, Bob not realising that she was telling them to shut the door. The Chinese whispers about what was spreading down the narrow alley towards them were running rampant throughout the establishment.

“There’s a riot”

“People are killed”

“It’s terrorists”

“Nang said it’s a demon.”

Bob didn’t understand any of that, but he knew he didn’t like this, so he decided it was time to leave.  From his top pocket, he extracted a thousand baht note and put it in the small pot on his table that was filled with the so far unpaid receipts for the drinks he had ordered.  Normally such an action would see someone swoop down to claim the prize, but not now.  The money went all but ignored.

“No, you no go,” the girl pleaded as he tried to stand.  She gave it her best to pull him back down, but despite being overweight, he was big and had at least a hundred pounds on her.  Detaching himself from her limpet-like grasp, he staggered forwards and surged towards the exit where the door was now being closed.

“Let me out,” Bob demanded in a voice infused with alcohol induced courage.  He was not a brave man, and he knew better than to start a fight with any Thai, male or female.  But fear can be a powerful motivator, and despite the protests, he managed to wrestle his way to the door which fortunately for him opened outwards.  Through pure momentum and weight, Bob was propelled into the chaos of Soi Cowboy.  There seemed to be a general surge in the crowd, and he joined it, allowing himself to be swept along trying to ignore the sounds of terror that were coming from behind him.

Bob went with the multitudes, not understanding what was going on, but just knowing he needed to move.  More westerners like him were fleeing, the establishments he passed being caught up in the rumour mill.  Someone tripped and fell in front of him, but the crowd pushed him along before he could stoop down to help her.  Not that he had any intention to, self-preservation now being his number one driver.  He was in a strange city, in a land with strange laws, and he needed the relative safety of his hotel room.  Behind him, someone stepped on the fallen woman’s neck, crushing her hyoid bone, sending her to death by asphyxiation as her throat swelled up.  As she was infected, it would be mere moments before she converted, her teeth finding the legs of those running around her.

Making it to the end of the alleyway, Bob merged into relative sanity, the people here still strangely naïve to the reality of what was coming.  Heart racing and out of breath, Bob slowed, constantly looking over his shoulder to try and spot the apparent terrors that were chasing him.  What the hell had that been all about?  Whilst the panicked mob still spilled out of Soi Cowboy, most of the people around him seemed oblivious.  A vendor tried to sell him one of a large selection of fake watches, and Bob shooed him away.  In the air, he felt the anxiety grow again, and he picked up the pace to a fast walk.  He wasn’t used to running, but fortunately, his hotel was less than ten metres away.

Bob would make it to his hotel room, but he would never again walk the pavements of his beloved Bangkok.  Days later, with the streets owned by the flesh eaters, the power out and the water to his room no longer flowing, he would be forced from his refuge due to hunger and thirst.  There in the corridor outside his room, he would find that it was not only the streets that were crawling with the undead.

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