Book one: fear & the engine
A few days later, I was just leaving the Gajamadah market on the main street in Denpasar when a mocking voice called ‘orang asin’ – ‘foreigner’. I turned and saw several Javanese leaning against the low concrete wall that sided the bridge that spanned the local river/sewer. I didn’t recognize any of them; I didn’t need to. The Javanese criminal element ran in packs. Their main strengths were in surprise and numbers; pretty much the same tactic the AMPI group had used.
One of them; a leering, pocked-face prick was sitting on the low wall of the bridge, showing me his yellow teeth. He slowly ran his fingers in a cutting action across his throat, then pointed at me. I’d seen this shit before. But not days fresh after having one of my friends beheaded in his own home. Engine on!
I don’t know how many of them there were; it didn’t matter. This was a public place. They probably wouldn’t pull their weapons. The fall from the bridge to the concrete culvert/sewer below was probably about twenty five or thirty feet. The last time I saw that smiling prick, he was hovering momentarily in space, doubled over from the side-kick I sunk into his chest. His smile was gone; but he did remind me of one of those cartoon figures that kind of pause for a second or two with a weird expression before gravity does it’s thing and pulls them to their fate. I don’t know what his fate was, and I wasn’t hanging around to find out. But a ten meter fall, backwards off that bridge onto the concrete below, cannot have been that much fun. If he’s fallen into the sewer, it wouldn’t have been any better either.'