A gentle pitter patter of rain fell onto the muddy ground next to the stool where Deang was sitting that morning. It didn't bother Deang that much, as he continued to slurp at his bowl of noodles, whilst in the background the din of the morning news droned on from a television positioned somewhere overhead. Deang didn't give thr tv much thought at first. He had felt famished earlier, and had impulsively entered the side noodle shop, as nondescript in its appearance
as any of thousands of such tarpaulin - roofed joints that littered the Thai capital. It was not yet six, but the shopkeeper had already unfurled his sheets and got his daily trade going, a stove vat filled with clear broth of succulent pork that was coming to a gentle boil. Deang had not intended to stop by and eat, but as was the nature of things, he would not have been the first person lured by the early morning smell of the broth. The shopkeeper had made sure of that. He had positioned his stove prominently, as if his life depended on it.
A mongrel, brown and of undetermined origin, came sideling over towards Deang's stool. Deang could smell the dank fur of the mongrel, and he felt immediately disgusted with the wet sensation.He made a motion to shoo the dog away, to no avail. He briefly got off his stool, as if to have a go at the dog. The mongrel slinked back, whimpering as it did so, perhaps realizing its place in this world, perhaps familiar with the all-too-common experience that humans like Deang were to be avoided at all cost.
With an air of victory about him, Deang continued to suckle at the piece of pork bone, while the mongrel, now some distance away, stared longingly at Deang's food, its coat of fur wetter now as the rain was starting to visibly pour.
Deang reflected that he was starting to feel good. He allowed himself to savour the moment and relaxed a little as he sat there for a while without eating. It had been a hard night, but it's over now, he thought to himself. Overhead, the newscaster on tv continued her drone, now covering the latest news item, the camera panning across the torchlit scene of a Toyota pickup truck parked at the side of a road. The camera continued to pan sideways, the beam of its torchlight moving towards the front dashboard of the pickup，gradually revealing the shape of a man who seemed to be dozing off in the driver's seat. On his temple was etched the telltale sign of what had happened，a smooth .38 bullethole neatly inserted，together with the corresponding small hole on the half opened side window of the pickup. The driver appeared to have been taken completely unaware，and there was very little blood. Beside him, a grande cup of Starbucks latte, seemingly half full, lay unconsumed.
" At about 2 pm this morning, a drive-by shooting took place along the Petkasem road. The driver, a Mr. Paiboon Petasongkhram, 38 years old; was instantly killed by a bullet delivered to his temple. Police classified the case as a homicide, adding that the gunman is believed to be a professional hitman...."copyright protection206ＰＥＮＡＮＡtcHUWiZYUEns22.214.171.124da2