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Lei Li Wai – Lillywhite – a short story (part 2 of 2)

Lei Li Wai – Lillywhite

Listen to the story here

Transcript below

Born Year of the Horse, May 8th, 1990

Died Year of the Pig, May 15th,2019

PANDEMONIUM, I LIKE THAT WORD, one that perfectly describes the situation over the past month: lots of noise and confusion caused by excitement, anger, or fear.

I suppose you all know about poor Chong Ping Poh. The fat policeman said his death was an accident, that he fell into the river and cracked his head open on the rocks. I knew all along that Pork Chop was the killer. Ping Poh had been preparing, making his grand plan to take over the town. We had the hidden video cameras recording everything that went on in the rooms above the little casino. And I had the data ready to go public, uploaded to the internet — a click away from being released. Emails with links ready to go to local media.

But I didn’t go through with it.

Why? Well it was my chance you see. The naughty videos would have wrecked the business. Destroyed the clients and left me and the girls with nothing, nowhere to go. We would have been jailed, or sent back to China. I saw the chance to take it all over, the pub, the gaming, the girls, and I had the videos to fend off the bigwigs.

Chief Pork Chop Porcini came to see me the evening after finding Ping Poh’s corpse. The mayor, Bob Flagstaff, was with him. Mayor Bob was a regular, both downstairs and upstairs, but mainly upstairs. He had a particular interest in being spanked by one of my girls, Mei Lin. Skinny little Mei would drag him round the room by his necktie while he crawled about like a dog, then beat his buttocks with a hairbrush while she yelled at him for being a bad dog. Strange behaviour, but not the weirdest, not by a long shot. Anyway, after Pork Chop said Ping Poh was dead, Mayor Bob told me they were taking over the business.

I was ready for them.

Had a few juicy videos queued up on the big screen TV. Showed Mayor Bob’s first. All colour drained from his ruddy face, his eyes bulged, a strangled cackle came from his throat. Then he shouted for me to turn it off. His face went from white to purple. Then the next video came on. Pork Chop dressed in ladies’ underwear, then in a tutu prancing about the room. His reaction was quite a bit more animated than Mayor Bob’s, threatening to kill me.

My English isn’t that good, but it was good enough that through a few words and gestures, click, internet, BAM! I threw my arms up with that last shouted word. They got the message loud and clear.

That’s when the pandemonium started. I knew the danger hadn’t gone away; I knew they would still come for me. With the videos as my leverage, I negotiated for all my girls to get their legal papers. I distributed most of Ping Poh’s money to them and off they went to live their new lives, their American dream. I was quite happy to stay in town and run the business.

But look at me now. A few days after my twenty ninth birthday I lie beneath six feet of dirt, buried under the floorboards of an abandoned warehouse. Perhaps thousands of years from now my remains will be discovered in an archaeological dig. The skeleton of a female warrior? My splintered ribs might be interpreted as battle wounds. The axe that did me in lying buried with me giving the impression of the weapon of an amazon.

My fears were well founded. I had kept my plans intact ready to go with a single click.

Pork Chop and Mayor Bob who had seen their videos were clearly wary but the others, people like the postmaster, chief justice and several other notables wanted me gone and put the pressure on the police chief to get rid of me. After all, what was one more murder to someone who had probably committed dozens? Come to think of it, I probably have neighbours down here. Once I figure this ghost thing out, I’ll do some exploring.

I had the trigger all set up on my phone. Pork Chop came at me with the axe, so ‘click’ I did

Internet, BAM!


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August 21, 2022 · 6:16 am

Chong Ping Po – a short story (Part 1 of 2)

‘Pork Chop’ Porcini

Listen to the story here:

Transcript below:

Chong Ping Poh

Born Year of the Horse, June 18th,1966 

Died Year of the Pig, April 11th,2019

SO UNJUST. EXCRUCIATING PAIN, DEATH FROM A CAVED-IN SKULL distilled into three simple words — blunt force trauma. Not that a dead man feels such things but I felt it at the time and I can tell you it hurt like hell, and then some. And then came the worst part. What could be worse than a bashed-in head, you ask? You just know it’s the end when you draw in lungfuls of muddy river water until it all goes black. Doesn’t go dark all at once though. Drowning is slow. And survival instinct isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. It prolongs the inevitable — extends the suffering until you just want it to end and let go.

“Yep, that’s Ping Pong all right.” Chief Porcini is gazing down at me over his immense gut. “Face all swolled up, but that’s the Chinaman for sure.”

Even in death he mocks me, calling me Ping Pong as he did to my face. Each time I just smiled and nodded, inwardly burning with rage. Well, he doesn’t know that everyone, his so-called pals included, called him Chief Pork Chop. I want to laugh out loud, scare the pants off those ham hocks. Can ghosts laugh? I guess that’s what I am now.

“If not for the river floodin’ and putting him onto the riverbank, we might’a never found him. Figure he musta got drunk and felled in upstream. Bashed his head on the rocks is what I reckon. Bag him up and send him to Morty at the morgue.”

Nobody will think to check Pork Chop’s truncheon for DNA evidence, the weapon he used to brain me, hangs off his belt. This town owes me but this is all the thanks I get. I helped build Unpleasantville over the past twenty five years. Opened up the gaming room behind the Poisonwood Pub. It took off right away. The new games I brought in were an instant hit. I learned them growing up in Macau as a kid. Lined many pockets, including Pork Chop’s from the profits of my gambling establishment. Used my own money to clear the woods and put a road through for the new development north of town. But this, doing me in, was Porky’s plan all along, well, his and the others who could actually make a plan. Yes, those chummy folk from the golf club that were glad to take my money but would never think of letting me join their exclusive community. Now they’ll try to take over the pub and the gaming room. Well, I have a surprise in store for them. Being alive to witness the shockwave hitting city hall, the courthouse and best of all, the police station would have been pure bliss, but knowing I’ll have my revenge from what will surely happen is almost as good. As they say ‘the house always wins’, and that’s a fact.

You see, it wasn’t just the gambling that brought all those country-club-types to my place. And running a gambling room wasn’t all I learned in Macau. I provided other entertainment to take even more cash off my fine patrons. I had the finest ladies transported all the way from China via Caracas and then Havana, and through the Gulf by fishing boat. Worth every penny. Didn’t matter that they couldn’t speak English. And, you see, as they expertly plied their very particular trade upstairs, my madam, my very own Lillywhite made sure that the hidden cameras were catching every move, every grunt. Lillywhite has instructions to make those images public the moment she learns of my fate.    

The body bag is being zipped closed over my face and yet I can still see through it. I think I like being a ghost. Maybe I’ll hang around for a while to watch the fun.

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August 21, 2022 · 6:01 am

Two-part story written for the Unpleasantville podcast

In July (2022) I was invited by Linda Gould, Managing Editor of ‘White Enso’ to contribute to her new project ‘Unpleasantville’. a collection of short stories turned podcasts.
You can access the collection here:
The two stories I wrote are called
Chong Ping Po

and, Lillywhite.

I hope you like them as well as all the stories in this collection.

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August 21, 2022 · 5:27 am

PEARL a short story

My short story ‘Pearl’ was recently read as a podcast. Listen here:
The Pearl by Marco Lobo
Kaidankai: Ghost and Supernatural Stories
Apple Podcasts
iHeart Radio

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June 25, 2022 · 5:43 am

Authenticity through Research for Fiction and Nonfiction

I was invited to give a short talk at this year’s Tokyo Writer’s Festival. For anyone interested in the subject of doing research for writing, please feel free to watch the video via the following link.

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October 10, 2020 · 11:23 pm