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The Spook Radio (part 2)

ภาค 2 ของดีเจอ้นซึ่งเป็นดีเจรายการที่เปิดให้ทางบ้านมาเล่าเรื่องสยองขวัญหรือเรื่องเหนือธรรมชาติ ได้รับแรงบันดาลใจมาจาก The Shock และ The Ghost  (Facebook คนเขียนคือ Atthasit Muang-in)

    This short story is like the parallel universe of the first part: the same characters but with the different plot , especially in the second half. DJ Aon was still working with the Spook Radio. His company never had the fateful field trip to that temple of Ayutthaya and met the holy spirit who severely punished it for its cruelties and endless mendacities. So, the course of Aon’s life was not changed at all like in the end of the first part. Our guy was still brooding about his estranged girlfriend and alienated with the job which ran counter to his own belief. His sardonic notion about himself as the shameless hypocrite tormented him even more when his popularity soared.


    Tonya looked cheerful today. She told me that she finally met the man of her dream , and I wondered how that guy would look like. Perhaps he could resemble Wit : lanky and pale , but it was certain that Tonya would be like his domineering boss or mother , that was her character. Besides , it was immensely delightful for her that she could collaborate with me in running programs at night because she had changed her apartment to be around here like DJ Wan’s advice. I was also doubtful whether Tonya really believed in ghosts , or she probably just tried to imitate me while she deep down inside scorned this kind of  superstition. However, I admired that she was much calmer than me as a DJ assistant and coped well with some irritating audiences who kept calling our station with too crappy stories to tell. I was therefore relieved that she was like my personal messiah as a myriad of ghost stories began to suffocate me. Besides, my dear angel , Nid-Noi, had brusquely ventured out of my life without any explanations. We had not spoken in months. When I called her , her parents picked up her mobile phone and told that she was going skiing in Europe with her friends - no definite time of return. I lamented this was one of the most painful tortures , even more horrible than in Europe’s middle age. I secretly wished that someday I would take a long break to kidnap Nid-Noi to somewhere like a remote island and force her to love me again like the famous TV series ‘Chamloei Rak’  (จำเลยรัก) with the sadistic method of slapping and kissing alternately (but in fact it was her who would solely slap me).

       I began to be absent-minded while pretending to be excited about the bland horror stories from the guests- like the soulless AI. But this accidentally helped boost my popularity because the public assumed that my haughtiness dwindled as I interrupted the stories less and less. To compensate for this , I began to talk more and more about politics and social problems (but I was not audacious enough to attack the credibility of the horror stories in the program because it meant I bit the hand that fed me). There were some criticizing me about my seriousness but most of my fans treated me like their Kim Jong Un , the great leader of North Korea : every word spilling from my mouth would be much appreciated and respected. I, however, noticed that this chronic fatigue befell every DJ in this company. So, they had attempted to alleviate this symptom by frequently joining with other programs either in our or other stations like football and showbiz. It dawned on me why my other colleague didn’t envy my success at all.

     DJ Wan fully supported this as long as it didn’t affect the work in our company much (actually it did). It was hilarious that the fiftysomething himself was the celebrity and lately became the most desired guest for plenty of programs in TV or YouTube , so he spent a little time in the company. He always drew the laughter from the audience by bragging about many things like when he was young , he used to kick the ball across the Chao Phraya River. He also adroitly led the ball to pass under the bellies of the dogs who were standing still. But the audience even liked him more as he was the great comedian. Apart from the prestigious moniker ‘The Godfather of Thai Horror’, many bestowed upon him ‘The Godfather of Prattle’.

      After all , this didn’t mean I was horribly unhappy about my job  (it was the reason why I didn’t resign from this company yet). Apart from the nice colleagues and the funny boss , some stories from the guests in my program could creep me out despite my incredulity. This was one of them :     


                                   The Serial Killers       


    The guest told me that his nickname was Dr. X , aged 63 .This name came from Malcom X , the US leader of civil movement for the black’s rights during the 60s , who was at last fatally shot by several lousy gunmen. Dr. X told me that he used to be a psychiatrist for the Royal Thai Police for decades before his retirement. I believed him as he seemed exceptionally erudite , and his jargons about psychology in the story were all accurate. Moreover , he spent almost 10 minutes venting his grievance against his former office like the good old police. I was impressed and didn't bother to interrupt him. His story wasn’t only about  himself but ….

Dr. X :Kun Aon, have you ever heard the word 'serial killer' ?

I : Yes , it means a person who gets addicted to killing people without clear motives or mainly for pleasure, sir.

Dr. X: (laughed in a sharp voice , which disturbed me a bit) You are well-read ! That is why you are so popular. And The Serial Killers is going to be the title of my story today. By the way , how do you know its definition ?

I :I have watched this sort of criminal from the series like Mindhunter in Netflix and searched for its background from internet. I guess your story will be exceptionally thrilling because nobody has ever mentioned ‘serial killer’ in this program. I bet a large majority of Thais are not even familiar with it. Did you directly experience this kind of person ? And how is it related to the supernaturality ?

Dr. X :OK, this story just happened last month , do you believe that ? My ex-student , who was working as the psychologist in a prison, urgently called me. He said that there was the most peculiar case he had ever seen ,so he needed my helps. His patient who was also the inmate claimed that the vengeful ghost was following him. I told him that it was ordinary : when living in such a deplorable condition of prison for long , that person might develop the symptoms of schizophrenia. Ah , I would like to explain this word : it is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. But my student still insisted that I came.

I : Mhm.....

Dr. X: Upon arriving at his office , I could see his patient in the small and dingy observation room through the large glass window. A short and scrawny man looked extremely anxious and was walking around the room tirelessly. Sometimes he was frightened and used his hands to cover his head while bending down like he was protecting himself from some invisible danger. My student told me that his name was Sommai , aged 30 years old , and his hometown was some province in Issan. He had been in this prison for several months as his crime was the homicides: he murdered 6 women , mostly the prostitutes.

I: That’s similar to the website I have read ! The victims of serial killers are always the sex workers who are vulnerable to the crimes as they have to loiter around the streets and go with any clients who have money and cars.

Dr. X : Yeah , this world is so cruel to them. I without hesitation checked Sommai’s life from the file my student made from interviewing him when he was still in the better condition. When Sommai was a child , he had to endure the repeated abuses from his drunken stepfather while his mother kept silent. Thanks to his diminutive body, he also had been bullied by his friends without protection from school for years. Sommai was lonely and began the habit of torturing and killing the insects and later the cats and dogs. Finally , when his patience ran out , Sommai fought back and pushed the big bully who then fell on his back and his head bumped on the concrete floor. That boy was sent to the hospital and spent almost 2 weeks there. The headmaster summoned Sommai’s parents , so that evening his furious stepfather beat him up so hard that his jaw was broken.

(I was drenched with sweat. I put myself in Sommai’s shoes : if I had been battered like him , I would have fought to death even if that guy was an adult.)

Dr. X: In the night Sommai quietly sneaked to use the scissors to stab the neck of his stepfather who was sleeping in the mosquito net. That guy didn’t die but later became permanently paralyzed  (I would say that serve him right !). Sommai spent many years in the youth detention center before being released. He was totally disowned by his own mother who had to care for her disabled husband and his siblings. But fortunately , he was helped by his uncle to work as a bus boy and a worker of the factory in Samut Prakan. Every colleague was fond of him as he was so generous and gentle , but in the night, he had secretly prowled on the street , looking for the young and pretty prostitutes. His crime began when one girl showed the contempt for him after he had forgotten the money with him. He killed her by using his shirt to strangle her neck and fled. The police seemed to be unconcerned because the victim was just the two-bit hooker. Sommai’s instinct of killing was then awakened. he gained the great pleasure from killing women over and over again whilst he was off the hook all the time. However, after his 2nd  murder , he decided to bury the corpses of his victims and skilfully destroyed all the evidence.

I : Exactly like in the US , the corrupt police seem to pay no attention to the poor people. This is the main factor of the widespread crimes in the big cities as the culprits will always escape from justice.

Dr. X : (sighed) Please don’t lure me into talking about our Royal Thai Police again. This will be too long. OK , one night Sommai was really frustrated that he could not find the hooker he desired. In the dark alley where he was standing idly and smoking , he saw a figure of woman walking toward him. The streetlight showed that she was a student from the college nearby. Sommai littered his cigarette and approached her. The girl panicked and immediately ran away but he was too nimble to let her escape or scream. He grabbed her neck … the rest was history; I won’t elaborate here because it is too gut-wrenching. After the killing , he rummaged through the bag she was carrying , but inside there was just one decrepit woman costume of Thai traditional dance. Sommai buried it along with the body of its owner in the near unoccupied land. Several days passed as he kept his ear on the ground but couldn’t find the news of his latest murder yet. One night Sommai was lying watching TV alone in the factory’s dormitory while all of his roommates went to the temple fair. He heard the Thai traditional music not far from his room. At first, he thought that it was from radio but remembered that there was nobody around here. He poked his head out of the window and saw a woman in the costume of Thai traditional music was dancing slowly and sometimes twisted her body. Her eyes were extremely bloodshot while some blood was dripping from her mouth. Sommai recognized that she was that poor student. She ferociously roared , pointing her finger at him before her neck would forcefully fold down on her shoulder.

I heard Tonya exclaiming quietly.

Dr. X: Although Sommai was a psychopath , the word I will explain here (again):  a person affected by chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior, he was scared shitless. He screamed and ran like hell to the factory where there were some workers on the nightshift. They were surprised and then derided him because they didn’t believe his ghost story. While Sommai was resting near the machines ,  he saw her ghost hobbling around him. He shrieked , ran out of the factory and tried as much as he could to be near the crowd. However , he still saw her ghost everywhere whereas the people around him didn’t. Sommai had to pass through a few suffering nights before his friend suggested him to ask for blessings from the venerable monk in the temple nearby. The old monk seemed to know well with his insight and said that Sommai had committed the atrocious acts and karma wouldn’t spare him even though he was repenting now (he still wasn’t). That ghost was exceedingly vengeful and hell-bent on killing him. Pestered by Sommai’s friend to help him for an hour ,the monk told Sommai to stay in Ubosot (hall), so he and other monks would perform the ritual to cast off that ghost. That night Sommai found himself surrounded by the white holy threads while the monks were chanting. Out of the blue , all the windows and the door of Ubosot were briskly opened by the strong gale. The rows of candle lights were extinguished,  so their place became utterly dark. Sommai heard everyone screaming in a frenzy and agony ; then they were in silence. He decided to turn on the flashlight from his mobile phone and found all the monks lying still around him. There was an enormous pool of blood on their severed bodies. He also found the corpse of his friend whose mouth was opened, and his tongue was cut in half. The same song of Thai traditional music reappeared in Ubosot ; Sommai knew that she was intending to torture him as long as she was pleased. He then darted to surrender to the police , hoping this would lessen her vengefulness . He was hence here before me.

(I had the big goosebumps on my arms, but then interrupted Dr. X by telling him that the number of viewers of the live You Tube was unprecedentedly high. Our program was also being flooded with the comments of admiring his story. Dr. X chuckled and I thought that was a bit creepy.)

Dr. X: I laughed and teased my student that he should not have been bamboozled by this rubbish. Sommai's story was certainly purely fictitious because he was schizophrenic, and I used to meet loads of patients like this. Before both of us would say anything , Sommai screeched loudly in pain ; his body hovered above the floor. We had panicked before my student told 2 of his staff to rush into the room but they couldn’t open the door. Kun Aon , I swear,  I saw the sprawling long hair dangling from the ceiling and gradually wrapping  around Sommai’s neck like it was hanging him while he was struggling so hard. Despite my great fear , I unintentionally moved closer to the window but then I flinched and fell on the floor because the woman's rotten face and sinister wide eyes suddenly bumped on the glass before me. Fortunately,  it appeared for only seconds , otherwise we will literally shit our pants. All of us were then too reluctant to do anything but trembled and grasped in horror. The observation room at last was totally opaque because of the hair covering all the glass window. 10 minutes slowly passed like forever. Sommai’s screams were heard no more, and that creepy hair was gone. One man was brave enough to open the door , finding his lifeless body was in the most horrendous form : many of the bones stuck out of his skin ; he was in a gesture of kowtowing on the floor, but his head was twisted to the opposite side and his extremely fearful eyes really popped out of sockets. The disoriented doctors found it impossible to write the sensible report of Sommai’s death ,so they made it up. But do you think this was going to end , Kun Aon ? No…. Since then, the inmates and even the guards gradually died under the mysterious circumstances , but most of their deaths were like Sommai’s. The prison warden invited the monks to perform the rituals to exorcise her ghost and held the large merit-making ceremony for everyone in this prison. However, the old man became the next victim as he was found dead at his office. My student immediately resigned and has never returned to that prison.

I : Sir, are you going to say that that girl’s wraths became so intense that it was indiscriminate ?

Dr. X : Not really. Did you mean like the movie ‘Juon’ ? Anyone entering that haunted house would be terrorized and killed by the vengeful ghost. It could even be transferred from one person to another although the latter has never set foot on that house.

(I complimented him on being a film buff but wondered whether the great psychiatrist like him borrowed the idea from the Japanese horror film just to make himself famous.)

Dr. X: In my story , several days ago , my student called me again and told me that the previous night he heard the song of Thai traditional music from outside. No sooner had he opened the curtain than he found that girl dancing on the lawn near his house. He was extremely frightened ; I immediately told him to go to temple , but he was desperate because even Sommai did not make it. I then called him the next day, but his wife picked up the phone and tearfully said that he died of the broken neck on the lawn. Do you finally understand the title ‘The Serial Killers’ of my story ? That also means the girl’s ghost! She absorbed the instinct of killing from Sommai and imitated him. Perhaps they both shared the same agonizing life experience. It is probably slightly different from Juon , but every character even the guiltless ones will face the horrible deaths.

I : Wow , I am really in awe of this story because it is scaring me and everyone shitless. If the audience nationwide were all in this room , you would hear the thunderous applause , sir.

Dr. X: (laughed) Thank you so much , Kun Aon. I have also admired you for such a long time , and I am so glad that I finally say this to you before I go.

I : Where will you go ? What do you mean ?

Dr. X: Last night I heard that goddam song and saw that girl dancing on my lawn too. I think I will not survive from her vengeance.

I : (almost stammered) Please don’t be so serious. You are totally different from your student. You mean well and…..

Dr. X: Listen ! Do you hear that song now ? Damn it !

(I tried to follow his order attentively and swore that I heard a faint Thai traditional music from his side.)

I : That is quite a beautiful …..

Dr. X: Urgh (groaned for 10 straight seconds) !!!

I : Dr. X, Dr. X !!

(The line was cut off. When I tried to call him back for multiple times, it looked not available for good. I glanced at Tonya. She just sneered but her face looked quite pale.)

I : (talked to the audience)  I want to admire Dr. X for being so brilliant in telling the scariest story of the year and stupefying us with this kind of fantastic performance. Now it is nearly 4 o’clock in the morning ; his story will be the last. Thank you for all your valuable comments , and I hope you my dear audience will have a good night/day sleep. Farewell to you all !

    Tonya shook her head and said , “Can’t believe that we finally stumbled on the great prank call from probably the psychotic. Pi Aon, do you think that he is the real psychiatrist whose neck has just been snapped by the ruthless ghost ?" 

      I sipped water from bottle and felt that my hand was shaking , so I couldn’t drink it properly. I said,

     “I don’t know. I really don’t know. But if his story is true , this means we are going to be that girl’s next victims , right ?”

    Tonya burst into laughter and punched my upper arm. I thought she was quite scared as well.

   “Don’t say this ! I am not married yet ! Let’s go home now. But if it is my destiny to meet that bitch , I will slap her to death again.”

     I chuckled before sitting and keeping tapping my fingers on the desk. Suddenly something was on my mind : perhaps this prank was the idea of DJ wan to transform me into a scaredy-cat like his ambition. But now I began to understand why the successful horror stories always had the ghosts as the female dancers of the Thai traditional music. This was probably because the mystic elegance of this kind of music , along with its slow dance which looked untrustworthy , was effective in creating the creepy vibes. But what would the victim or the audience feel if the ghost was accompanied by the Piano Concerto of Mozart or the greatest hit in the 80s like Bad of Michael Jackson ? 


     I laughed out loud alone.


The Spook Radio (part 2)


      This story was pretty scary too. My audience's chatters about it had reverberated nationwide until today ,despite how sham or fictitious it might seem. It was probably the invention of so-called memories passed down from generation to generation. Or it might be the unsavoury truth, which was difficult to believe in , only God knew.

                                 Diary of the Dead

      The guest was a young man , aged 26. His nickname was Too (ทู not ตู่) and his career was a graphic designer, but his lifelong passion was to immerse himself in the vintage stuffs.

Too : My collections included books , postcards, paintings ...etc. from Siam's good old days like the era of king Rama 6 or Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram. I earnestly spent my weekends hanging about all the antique shops across Bangkok and its vicinity. One gloomy and blustery day I found a mystic old book in a dilapidated bookstore. This crispy book had stunned me with its rugged and wrinkled cover like it was wrapped by the skin of unidentified animal. My girlfriend joked that it might belong to human, resembling the Book of the Dead in the series of Evil Dead.

I: So , are you going to say that there were the magical spells in the book that could invoke the vicious evils who were overjoyed to possess human beings and wreak havoc on its victims ?

Too : (laughed) No , sir. It was just a diary of someone who lived in a time quite far away from ours ....

I : During the era of Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn , right ?

Too : (made a sound of surprise) That’s correct ! It was first written in February 1966. Kun Aon , how do you know that ?

I : I can't tell ya. Once in a while , some strange hunches descend on my thoughts but I assume this comes from my obsession with history too. Your newfound diary could not have been written during the 1950s but at most the late 1960s or the early 1970s.

Too : That’s swell ! I am proud to say I and my girlfriend are your avid fans. You should be a clairvoyant as well and we will be your followers without a flinch.

(I chuckled but suddenly thought about Nid-Noi.)

I : And what about your girlfriend right now ? Is she soundly sleeping ?

Too : No , she is still with me and cheering for my storytelling. I bet you can hear her breathing via the phone now. By the way , I thought that I am so fortunate to successfully contact you after numerous dialing.

(I glanced at Wit who was then my assistant and both of us smiled. Actually, I wanted to rant that nowadays there were too many people dying to enthrall public with their bullshits because of their boredoms of life's emptiness or aspirations for fame , and my program was their perfect conduit. But I eventually chose to be a liar as usual.)

I : I am mighty flattered to hear that. Thanks to the social media like YouTube, people encountering the real supernatural phenomena have more chances to share the blood-curdling stories than our older generations could. But bafflingly , they have vied for my channel more than others , hence the complaints like yours. OK, it is time to begin your story now. What is its title ?

Too : Diary of the Dead. Does it sound familiar to you ?

I : Wow , this type of title is unique in my program ! I guess it is about the cursed diary , not Pret (เปรต) or Krasue (กระสือ) or the ghosts in the mundane stories like an unlucky taxi driver happened to pick up the mysterious young woman in the dead of night and found that she vanished into thin air after reaching her destination.

Both of us ,including Wit, roared with laughter.

Too : First of all ,would you mind If I read some short poem from the first page of this diary ?

I : This will be also unprecedented in the history of my 3-year- old career of DJ. Look at the comments from our audience ! They are overwhelmingly excited and curious about your poem. C'mon , let's do it !

Too : (cleared his throat) 

                 Under the shadow of evils, I roam around the barren valley of wretchedness.

                 Life is sometimes bewildering even more than death.

                 But that is he who entwines both.

(I was dumbfounded for 7 straight seconds. Some comment in YouTube later quipped : Too was probably the son of a famous politician who enjoyed writing poems to draw attention from public.)

Too : The name of the diary owner was Mr. Piwan but I won't say his surname here in case his descendants might sue me. He was the middle- aged man who earned his living as a driver of various vehicles : bus , truck , taxi - you name it. But I can't help being amazed at his talent for writing poems and the style of his writing was fabulous. Although he hadn't mentioned his education throughout the diary , I guess it was not so impressive. Let my story continue :  Unfortunately , Piwan was kicked out of the job of bus driver because he had heated argument and fistfight with a passenger. That time our economy was almost in an utter shambles as the authoritarian government didn't know the heck how to properly run the country, which was rife with corruption as well. Having been unemployed for 2 months , he was told by his cousin that a rich man in Bang Kapi was badly in need of new chauffeur. Piwan wrote that he was reluctant whether that job suited him as he would be treated like a humble servant and this hurt his pride , but he finally showed his intention of working there to his cousin. He was later informed that he had to go for an interview that night ; that was exceedingly weird ! After the dusk fell , Piwan stepped out of the Taxi and rang a large bell on the gate , waiting for barely 3 minutes before someone would rush to open the gate for him. That was an old man in a shabby dress who grinned with friendliness , but Piwan felt that he was secretly mocking him. Without even an introduction , the gardener hurriedly led him to the house which was quite far from the gate. I then was surprised at how meticulously Piwan described this house in his diary :

(Too began to read the diary ; I nearly could not hold back my laughter.) 

                                October 12

'On the path to his house - more appropriate word - his mansion ,  I was intimidated by its grandeur and European style like a castle of the powerful nobleman in ancient time. But the thing uncanny like the house itself was the garden : the vast green lawn was partly occupied by the gigantic trees with sprawling branches and vines , along with the bushes in strange shapes , surrounding the mansion. The electricity from the mansion and the poles along the path created their silhouette which looked mysterious or even sinister. A large pound not far from the mansion looked dreadful , as if there were some fierce creatures lurking beneath its dark surface. I also felt a great discomfort with the high concrete fence around them like this place was in the otherworldly realm.'

The rich man was waiting for him at the mansion’s balcony. He was farang or the westerner who was quite tall and hulky but looked arrogant with the big pipe on his mouth. Piwan said frankly in a diary that his blue eyes looked disturbing : they were so sharp like the sword that would slice his soul into a hundred pieces. The westerner spoke in a broken Thai , but he was later helped by a thirtysomething Thai woman who Piwan learnt later that was his wife. During the interview,  Piwan was not honest about his record : he told them that he left the job of bus driver because the company needed a younger driver. They looked satisfied with this and wanted to know whether he could really adjust to the lifestyle here : staying awake and doing most of activities at night. The middle-aged man told them that he needed a few days for the answer. At first, he thought that he would be immediately rejected for this job as this showed his indecisiveness , but it was not his great concern because he unexplainably hated everything about this mansion. Much to his surprise , they agreed and offered him a higher salary than that of their previous chauffeur who had just resigned because of his health problems.

I : I am truly sorry to interrupt you in this minute , Kun Too, because it is now a break for hourly news program and our sponsors. Please stay with us ; your story is getting more and more breathtaking.   

(The advertisements of sanitary napkin , energy drinks , Viagra for men were presented respectively before the news. I applauded myself for enduring these daily for years as they were mendacious and senseless like those ghost stories. Wit threw me a can of energy drink - the same brand as the ad.)

I: Let's return to our Mr. Piwan. Did he try so hard to make this important decision ?

Too : You bet. He spent a couple of restless nights putting his arm on his forehead on the bed and finally accepted his fate because his wallet was tragically thin while his landlady threatened to kick him out of her house if he didn't pay his rents which were 3 months overdue. He comforted himself with a plan that he would bite the bullet for not more than a year before leaving that mansion as he would probably save enough money for paying his landlady and starting a new life somewhere. But he might abruptly resign if something discernibly put his life in danger or in the situations he could not tolerate. On the first day of his working there , he had to share the decrepit house with the employees of this mansion : 3 house maids, 1 female cook and 1 gardener. They were quite cold and Piwan believed they were trying to put some distance between them and him like they were afraid to unintentionally spill the beans to the newcomer like him. However , Piwan was amused to see those women wearing a fancy maid dress all the time like they were in a European country. Piwan thus felt grateful that he was not ordered to wear the comical driver uniform like the chauffeurs in the Hollywood films he used to watch. The gardener was the only one whom he could talk to. The old man starkly warned him that he  was supposed to be neither nosy nor loud- mouthed and only thing he had to devote his life to was his duty. He thought this mansion was enshrouded in secrecy and gradually swallowed him.

(Too out of the blue sneezed and politely apologized before resuming the odyssey of Piwan.)

Too : Piwan also found that the westerner and his wife had a teenage daughter who was headstrong , impolite and always got furious with anyone who didn’t pander to her demands. He was taught to respectfully call his boss 'Nai Farang' (the white boss) although he had never known his real name or nationality. He also had to call Nai Farang's wife 'Madam' and his daughter 'Young Miss' unfailingly. The nocturnal activities in this mansion were monotonous but quite interesting. He didn’t know what Nai Farang’s occupation was because he rarely left the mansion , or nobody dared to talk about it. Perhaps he had inherited a substantial fortune from his deceased parents. The white guy mostly spent all night reading newspapers or books and writing in his study room. He also enjoyed prattling and playing the silly games with his wife and daughter, while the house maids had around the clock served their bosses and tried so hard to ingratiate themselves with those rich people. The interior of this mansion was also eerie : its spaciousness and decorations reminded him of the haunted church. There was a large cross on the wall but it was overshadowed by several huge paintings of strange creatures that resembled the ugly monsters which sucked human blood or devoured them alive. Other paintings which were much smaller displayed the landscapes of somewhere in Europe, but they were arid and in the twisted forms , evoking the feelings of dread and despair. What a strange taste ! Nai Farang also liked to play his record player with a peculiar style of music , always accompanied by the high-pitched voices of women ….

I : Wagner ! That was probably the operas written by one of the world’s greatest musical composers : Richard Wagner.

Too : Wow ! How do you know this ?

I : (giggled) Just joking ! I guess that Nai Farang was perhaps German and Wagner was their most favorite composer. But they could have been Mozart , Rossini , Verdi or even Puccini , depending on which nationality or tastes Piwan’s boss had.

Too (laughed) : OK . It always resounded through the mansion late at night , creeping Piwan out as he loved to listen to Luk Tung music (country music). Nonetheless, it was quite a disappointment for him not to regularly do his duty as chauffeur and many times he was assigned to do the same chores as those employees. Piwan was fairly humiliated , but when he had to drive for the first time, Nai Farang shivered down his spine by telling him to go the cemetery not far away from here at 2 a.m.

(Too amused everyone again by reading the diary out loud.)

                           October 27

‘Nai Farang told me to wait in the car before disappearing in that creepy dark cemetery. He looked extraordinarily lively like he was about to amble into a beautiful garden with the colorful birds chirping in a strong sunlight. Boy , I longed to sit in that paradise , not cowering in this cramped cold car and waiting anxiously for what would happen in any minute. I asked myself : should I have driven away if some blood-sucking ghouls had playfully knocked on my glass window or jumped on the roof of the car. A few hours passed like a few centuries, my boss slowly showed up ; he looked happier and hummed a song that I had never heard before, but it sounded unsettling. On the way back home ,we didn't have a conversation at all though I just want a word from him to allay my fears. But I could swear , there was a time I peeked at him via the rearview mirror , I saw he smiling at me viciously and something like the 2 long fangs protruding from his bloody lips. I tried to look again ; those damn fangs were gone while my boss was staring aimlessly outside the car - perhaps my misperception. I was, however, frightened and trembled so much that sometimes I couldn’t drive the car straight. '

    Too flipped over the pages of diary back and forth quite slowly like he was searching for the highlighted sentences. The rustling sounds of the old papers were so palpable that it made my program look like an impromptu reality show. Wit whispered to me that we should have interrupted him because it would unnecessarily prolong his storytelling, while other guests were patiently waiting for their turns. I disagreed by telling him that I appreciated this kind of style as I had been so fed up with the unimaginative one for years. Although the young graphic designer sometimes paused like contemplating, he  adroitly and passionately told the story like he was Piwan himself , so a significant number of audiences showed their admirations and enthusiasm to follow his story.

Too : (chuckled bashfully)  Please accept my apology for fumbling with this diary, and please go on listening to Paiwan's vivid account of what had unravelled in this house. 

                             November 7 

      I was assigned to run errands for Nai Farang in various parts of Bangkok all day and I was extremely exhausted. He was thus so kind to let me sleep peacefully in the night - the first time in weeks. But my happiness soon turned awry. When I laid my head on the pillow , I felt the nightly atmosphere here was eerie. Sorry not to have mentioned that the house for employees was mildly far from the lively mansion and tucked away in the garden that looked like a forest. I was still relieved that the old gardener’s room was not far from mine. ; he was the only one allowed to sleep at night because of the nature of his job. But it was the first time I heard him chanting loudly and the incantations from his mouth were not Sanskrit or Pali. It was probably Cambodian or the language of some tribe that vanished from the world 500 years ago. This, however, cast doubt on me that the old codger furtively practiced the sorcery. I also frequently smelled the strong scents of the joss sticks from his room. All of a sudden , I heard the pet dogs of Nai Farang howling wildly not far from the house , so I felt the large goosebumps across my body. Funny that I used to hear these numerous times but they sounded adorable from the mansion full of people. Tossing and turning , I heard the repeated sounds of something lashing against the wooden wall of my room. My imagination ran berserk that it was probably from the knuckles of a ghost from the cemetery my boss had visited . But I had the second thought that it might have been from the leafy branches of the tree shaken by the strong wind. When I dared to open the widow , I found that there were not any trees near the house and I saw the little candlelights from the creepy shrine nearby. So , this was possibly a warm greeting from the guardian spirit who dwelled there  - like the warning from the old gardener. I was scared shitless and also dejected to find that my only sanctuary consisted of a lousy mosquito net and a scruffy blanket. Tomorrow I would buy the offering for the shrine and also a knife.

                                 November 13

      The bizarreness in this mansion had not ceased to terrify me. Around 10 p.m. the employees were alarmed by the screams of a maid named Jim in the living room. Upon arriving at the scene , they were frightened to see Little Miss throwing a tantrum while thrashing Jim with a wooden stick. That poor girl was wailing and trying in vain to defend herself ,while everyone just stood dumbfounded and trembled in terror. Little Miss's parents were nowhere to be seen though this was extremely rowdy. On a closer look, the contorted angry face of Little Miss looked diabolical , not normal for the teenager like her. She kept roaring at the top of her voice like it was going to be the end of the world. Jim's guilt was to have accidentally broken the flower vase , the crappy one which seemed not her favorite or imported from France or Japan. Suddenly , I saw the blood from Jim's arm splattering. Little Miss had relented before other maids rushed to embrace the girl. But I swore that I saw the devilish girl wiped the blood from her stick and licked it from her finger a few times. She then looked gratified like her father just coming out from the cemetery that night. I was stupefied and looked at the gardener , not certain whether the old codger had noticed this like me. Madam eventually appeared on the door. Her pampered daughter threw away the stick and darted to her for a lengthy emotional complaint. The woman looked calm but glared at the employees ; it was so tense that everyone bowed their heads quietly. This was like the slaves waiting for a harsh judgement of the wife of nobleman. I couldn’t believe it was already in the 1960s – the remnant of barbaric ancient culture. I was dauntlessly staring at her and her daughter and promised myself if they trampled on the human dignity of those employees a little more, I would yell out in protest and storm the hell out of this mansion.

       Madam then picked up the stick and stared at it for a minute like she was being hypnotized by the blood stain before dropping it on the floor. I wondered if nobody were around here, would she even lick the blood from the stick ? However, she meekly dismissed everyone after warning Jim to be more careful from now on. Everybody just breathed a sigh of relief. Jim spluttered her gratitude to Madam like she had just bestowed on her a new life. The gardener sneaked a look at me and gave me a cryptic smile before going back to the house. 

      (Too spent a few seconds turning over to another page again. I interrupted him for the hourly news program and sponsors. I also told Wit to cancel other guests since Too’s story would probably take too much time.)   

Too : Piwan had pondered about leaving this mansion over and over again but one day he received a letter from his mother who lived in the North that she needed money terribly to pay for the huge debts, otherwise their rice field would be forfeited. Then it was the first time he had to borrow a hefty sum of money from Nai Farang. Alas , Paiwan was destined to be there indefinitely , but he incredibly came to terms with it in no time. He turned to be much braver and even whistled his favorite song while sitting in the car and waiting for Nai Farang doing some secret business in the cemetery.

     (I was amused by imagining that if this had happened nowadays, Piwan could have killed time by reading the Voice TV about the policy of Digital Wallet or the superfluous buzzword like Soft Power of Phua Thai party on his mobile phone. Or he might have filmed this strange behavior of his boss and sent its clip to the popular TV Program 'Hon Krasae' of Num Kanchai. Too began to read again.) 

                                        November 22

      I all at once became foolhardy. One night I decided to sneakily follow my boss into that cemetery. The sky that night was very clear, and the moon was almost full , so its light was strong enough to help me see him quite well. I climbed the short fence of the cemetery to see inside of this creepy place laid the countless graves in the Christian style. I then promptly hid myself behind a tree after seeing Nai Farang digging one grave with a shovel (which I didn’t know where he got from or probably from the undertaker ?) not far from the entrance. This strenuous labor had lasted for not too long although my boss was already in his 50s or 60s. He also stunned me by lifting up the coffin with not much effort and rummaged through it before energetically grabbing something into his mouth. Nai Farang was eating the corpse ! I almost exclaimed aloud but used my hand to cover my mouth. I was so nauseous and dizzy but successfully mustered up the courage to walk away. Suddenly, I stepped on a dry branch and felt that Nai Farang stopped eating ; he was probably looking around. So, I lowered my body , remaining as silent as I could. I was finally so glad that I heard him continuing his abominable activity , but I could not help myself vomiting when arriving at the car. On the way back home, I thanked myself for keeping the knife inside the glove compartment. If the westerner did something like trying to munch my head like that poor corpse , I would use it in an eyeblink to pierce the heart of this pervert. I ever since planned to escape from this mansion and notify the police though I knew that this was just a misdemeanor. But I was beset by the lofty morality : how would I betray Nai Farang when I was enormously indebted to him who actually did nothing to harm me ? Perhaps this family was only mentally ill and seriously needed the treatments. But who had the temerity to tell them to go to the asylum ? 

                                             December 1

          I was granted a privilege of sleeping in the night again. For some reason, I woke up around 2 p.m. and couldn’t sleep. So, I turned on my lamp and read a boring book. My reading was interrupted by some faint noises which I had to pay great attention to. They were like the muffled crying along with a tense chanting which sounded familiar. I quietly sneaked out of the house. The weather in this hour of winter was freezing but I was warm from the hot blood running in my veins thanks to my excitement. I saw the light near the large pound and immediately hid myself behind the bushes of the West Indian Jasmine when seeing all the members of this mansion gathering before the bonfire. It was like some sacred ritual : everybody was solemn and the leader there was the old gardener who was chanting like that night. The 2 maids were restraining Jim who was quietly wailing and struggling not far from the family of the rich man who were standing with the radiant smiles. The gardener kept chanting and then stopped in front of the poor girl , using his fingers to smear the black powder as a strange sign on her forehead. The old man looked at Nai Farang and when the latter nodded , he swiftly pulled a large knife out of his tote bag and slashed her throat. The blood gushed out like a red fountain before its owner fell on the ground without a sound. All of a sudden , I swore I saw the bodies of Nai Farang and his family shaking violently and gradually transformed into the abhorrent monsters in the paintings of their mansion. They roared and walked to heartily devour the lifeless body of Jim , while all the employees were kneeling down , bowing their heads and saying a prayer hysterically. I was absolutely appalled and ran away as fast as I could to the gate but it was firmly locked and the fence was too high for my escape. I was desperate and supposed that the only way of survival was to hide in my own room , waiting for the break of dawn …. I rested assured that they didn’t know about this and of course , I would survive to see my mother again…

Too : Hello , Kun Aon ,are you still with me ?

I : Ah , I am so sorry , your story is so exciting : I am completely blown away right now and don’t know what to say next. Is this the end of the diary ? I genuinely wish him a success , so do the audience in this program.

Too : Not quite, sir, the next 2 pages were blank, and I came across the last page which was written in a foreign language. Although I was capable of speaking several languages , I found it quite unique and puzzling. It looked like German and Dutch combining together. I accordingly contacted my friend who was studying the PhD in linguistics in France , and she was generous enough to carry out this investigation for me. It was like a blessing from deva (deities) that she could find a person who knew it ; that old man said it was the archaic language of a tribe in the south of Germany, and this page was more like a letter than a diary. This is its translation :

                                  December 3

        Guten Abend (good evening) to the person who stumbled on this diary !  I am Nai Farang of Mr. Paiwan. It was hapless for him not able to further his diary as the last breath had already left his body , so I am going to take his place briefly. I will be straightforward here that I belong to the unknown tribe of ghouls whose community is in Germany but utterly seclusive from the outside world for thousands of years. We are immortal and nocturnal creatures like Count Dracula but not really the vampires since we love to swallow a whole body of humans. It was perhaps God’s will that my generation had developed our own genes to the point that we could partly withstand the sunlight and were able to blend into the human race. I somehow became wealthy from doing some business and moved to the sweltering country like Thailand. I got married to a Thai girl and unwittingly passed this abysmal ghoul-ness to her and our daughter. I taught them to suppress these vicious instincts by eating pork or beef like humans did , and I decided to wean myself off by eating corpses in the cemetery instead by bribing the undertaker. My entourage , except Mr. Piwan, had known well about our nature and they longed to live the immortal lives like us. lately, Lily (my daughter) accidentally found the blood of Ms. Jim irresistible, and she fell ill so gravely that the doctors were at their wits’ end. Mr. Sai , our gardener-cum-sorcerer, gave the valuable advice that we needed to hold the ritual as a remedy for her. And the perfect sacrifice was Ms. Jim , the softie and the timid virgin. The ritual really worked, and I rewarded my entourage by biting them all to turn them into the ghouls.

       For me, Mr. Piwan was an excellent chauffeur- my favorite. He was decent and honest , not like his predecessor whose head I accidentally snatched because he had stolen some money in my car and denied adamantly. But Mr. Piwan appeared to be inquisitive and I knew that he once followed me into the cemetery. Mr. Sai also found his diary hidden under the bed one night and told me that he was probably the potential threat to us ,even though the old man used to send his ghostly minion to spook him and found him quite a coward. That fateful night I was so sorry that  he should have slept peacefully but woke up to witness our activity. What a pity ! I begrudgingly killed him in his very room not long after the ritual. Mr. Sai then suggested that we should have used some part of his skin as a cover of this diary to incarcerate his vengeful spirit and buried this diary under the ground of his room as the punishment. Therefore, if you met the short poem written by Mr. Sai on the first page of diary and read it aloud 3 times, Mr. Piwan’s spirit will be totally unshackled and looking furiously for a revenge. But I and my family have already moved back to my country for ages. I wish you the best of luck and long to see you someday if you survive and can travel in one piece to the deep jungle of Bavaria.


P.S. The music I always listened to every night and unknown to Piwan was the masterpieces of Herr Richard Wagner like Lohengrin and Die Walkuere. I used to meet him once in 1879 near the Bayreuth Festspielhaus .He was unbearably arrogant and uncouth. I desired to turn him into my delicious steak, but I was too smitten by his ingenuity.

I  : (applauded) Wow , thank you so much , Kun Too, for such a wonderful hair-raising story , and everybody wholeheartedly concurs with me . But please don’t mind if some mean comments say that you have copied the plot from the Hollywood films. Now It is 3.30 p.m. and ….

Too : (almost shouted) No , my story doesn't come to an end yet ! I was still dogged by the curiosity about the authenticity of this diary , so I sent a part of its cover to another friend who worked as a lecturer of the faculty of science in the prestigious university. And he confirmed that it was the real human skin !

I : Aha !


Too : The next situation was more thrilling : several months before visiting your program, I read the short poem in this diary before my girlfriend. Do you believe that I had henceforth felt that there were not only me and her in our apartment? There were always the traces that someone kept messing with our belongings but not burglary. One night I woke up and found someone ransacking my refrigerator. That was Piwan's ghost ! He was attempting to gobble down the raw chicken from the freezer but looked frustrated. This meant he as well became like that family of ghouls even after death. I was extremely terrified of his all black eyes and his rotten body which stank insufferably. He walked stiffly toward me with a hostility like I would soon be his good supper. But I could gather my wits to remind him how the man of integrity he used to be. He turned to cry instead , so I took him to the cemetery and let him do like his Nai Farang. I was over the moon that he looked satisfied , and we became the close friends as I felt attached to him so much from reading his diary. Our routine to cemetery had lasted for a month before Piwan emotionally showed me his gratitude for everything , saying now his spirit had to move on for a reincarnation (ไปผุดไปเกิด). We tearfully embraced each other ; Piwan waved his hand to me and disappeared.

I : The end is even more touching and moves me to tears , Kun Too ! I can assure you that during the contest at the end of the year , your story will certainly be voted one of the most horrifying stories of our program or even the champion on the final round. OK… it is almost 4 a.m. and ….

Too : (almost shouted again) No ! Not yet ! Please listen to me more. After that , I felt my appetite had gone. I could eat less since my favorite foods looked all disgusting to me. But I began to have the weird feeling that the flesh of my fellow humans looked … er yummy. I at last learnt that I became like both Nai Farang and Piwan. This ghoul-ness was able to be transmitted very easily or it was the curse from that old gardener - I am not sure. My girlfriend was the first one infected with that damn disease from me and we both hungered for the entrails like spleens and kidneys of human beings. One day I lured a pretty girl I had met in the bar into our apartment and ….

         (I suddenly hung up on him. I lied to the audience that there was a big glitch in our communication, and I expected Too to call me again tomorrow.)

        In my YouTube channel , plenty of comments showed their disgruntlement that one of the story’s climaxes was ruined. I expected there would be some severe criticism against me  (ทัวร์ลง) , but it was none of my concern as I always wanted my fame to be tarnished - self-hate , I presume .Nonetheless , my die-hard fans would always protect me like some comment said that Too’s story was a plagiarism of the Hollywood horror films and needed to be stopped.

       Wit was astounded to see me doing that for the first time. I told him that I was compelled to teach a lesson to some guest who’s gone too far. He switched off all equipment in our studio and said,

       “It must have been too nerve-racking for you to meet the person like this every day.” 

       I shook my head while nibbling cookies. “Not really , Pi Wit, I am still fine with it. I accept that this case is less audacious than Dr. X and our program is supposed to be a trash bin for all bunks. But we should sometimes protect our honor. This afternoon DJ Wan might voice an objection about this , but I don't care."

       Then Wit looked tense. "But if what Too had told us all really happened , do you think you have just made a grave mistake ?  Couldn’t you have interviewed him more and grabbed this opportunity to notify the policy to arrest him ? This is what some comments in our channel say."

       I was stunned. “No, no…. There is not a chance in hell that this story is real. I sensed that Too began to concoct his story when saying that he met Piwan’s ghost or even the whole story about that darn diary of the dead was just the short story fulfilling his fantasy. I had the strong urge to ask him how the disoriented man like Piwan could describe the night of ritual in great detail on his last page - barely an hour before being slaughtered. And most importantly, Too's phone line was perhaps untraceable- even the competent DSI Cyberforce couldn’t find him !"

      Wit burst out laughing. “Don’t be so serious , man ! Your face is so pale and the sweat is rolling on your forehead. Whether his story is a croc of shit , we can wait for the news that the cops find the mysterious remains of a woman. But I think you have the best hunch."

      I began to smile. “That’s right ! Let’s find something to drink . I think there are at least a few pubs still opening at this hour as they have paid bribery to the police. I will call Tonya because I know that she is still awake. But if all the pubs are closed , we still can buy cold beers and sizzling barbecue for a picnic in some cemetery. What an atmosphere!”

     The studio was resounded with our laughter.

The Spook Radio (part 2)

                       Village of the Specters

This story was about the poor students victimized by a herd of ferocious demons or ghosts , as we shall arbitrarily call , who had the blood-curdling performances at full throttle.

The guest was a man named Pong. He declined to identify his age but curtly mentioned that his career was a freelance writer. However, his voice and some hints in his story enabled me to learn that he was probably fiftysomething like DJ Wan.

Pong : This story happened like the centuries ago and I supposed that the memories about it had already vanished into thin air. But in actuality, it quietly dwells in a tranche of my treacherous mind. Perhaps I have lived alone for too long as a writer ; my mind undergoes the recurrence of both blissful and loathsome memories about my life.

I : It is true , Kun Pong. Some sage said our minds are like a wild horse. If you can't tame it well , it will go astray , probably to the dark places which will beget none but our suffering about the situations which had already passed  , or even our minds have wantonly concocted them. So , what is your story today ? Why have you brought it forth ?

Pong : Thank you , Kun Oun. The title of my story tonight is 'Village of the Specters'. Does it sound corny ?  I at last decide to confront it in the hope that this trauma might be effectively cured. Between the time I was still the freshman and the sophomore in university , I had eagerly joined the activities of the student clubs in the countrysides since I thought that confining oneself to only lecture rooms and books was such a horrible idea. In addition , my lofty idea was to serve our poverty-stricken, wretched fellows who had been abandoned by the corrupt governments. This was certainly a vestige of socialism popular among the students since the 1970s. At the end of 1993 , my club had a plan to visit a village and build a house for the folks there ... can I mention the name of that village?"

I : No, absolutely not ! Just mention its province and district , otherwise this might bring about the legal problems to us. I used to face these sometimes and they got under my skin until today even though I won all the court cases and today we resort to the technique to delay the time of conversations , so my assistant still has time to censor the forbidden words from the guests.

(I cast a glance at Wit who was still my assistant tonight because Tonya was having a date with her boyfriend. Wit smiled ruefully at me , as  he probably remembered that he was as well sued by the owner of the haunted hotel when a ghost hunter unwittingly mentioned the hotel's name in my program one night. And Wit was the one who had screened the story before being broadcast.)

Pong (chuckled nervously) : OK, it was in the picturesque Phu Reau , Loei. At first , we anticipated at least 50 students to join our week-long camping , but plenty of them seemed to go back on their promises , the number was pathetically diminished into only 7. Still , we could eventually pull off our activity thanks to our strong determinations. But our work would be just repairing the properties of the community or the temple and educating the young children in the school. Our journey from Bangkok there by a minibus was woefully arduous and full of missteps : we met the terrible traffic and the bus had to stop several times because of its deplorable engine. Instead of arriving there in the late afternoon, it became the nightfall even though we were about 20 kilometers from the village. Worse still , no one was waiting for us in front of the community office as planned. Please remember that time mobile phones were not available  for us yet. Our leader , Phibul , hobbled to the house of the village chief but to no avail. There was only an ageing woman -perhaps his wife- who was busy cooking telling us that he was on a business trip somewhere and would come back tomorrow. However, he did not apprise her of our arrival , including the place for our stay tonight. Our only solution was the temple which was several kilometers from there. The fate still smiled at us : the abbot was so kind to allow us to sleep in the little wooden hall as we found it impossible to set up our tents in the dark. Our bus had left in a great hurry as it was scheduled to pick up other customers tomorrow , and we just found out the next problem that the packs of our dinner were still in that bus. We ganged up on Phibul who had led us to this dire circumstance. Sai was the most passionate among us and became increasingly furious when Phibul tried to defend himself.

I :  I guess Phibul was the leader with a spur-of- the-moment decision like our dear former prime minister.

Pong: Not really. He was merely the perfunctory and forgetful planner. This was the main reason why a great number of our friends shunned joining our camping. Still , he was the well- tempered , decent and generous man. Do you believe, Kun Oun, Phibun and Sai years later got married. It is so like straight from the screwball comedy  : both male and female protagonists are hostile to each other before madly falling in love. Loads of my novels are like this.

I : Wow , that’s cool ! I really want to see how they look like now.

Pong : (chuckled) Ok.... our bickering immediately stopped when the temple boys brought some foods and water into the hall ; we tearfully paid wai (salute) to show gratitude to the venerable monk who even was not there. One boy sneered and cheekily told us : he was not sure whether 7 of us would have a peaceful sleep here ,as this temple was infamous for being infested with ghosts. Paeng shrugged and asked him : if it was so frightening , how did he and everyone dare live here ? The boy showed a necklace of little talisman dangling from his neck before saying that this was not still enough. When it was not utterly necessary , everyone, even the abbot, did not dare to venture out of their dwellings at night. He warned us not to step out of the hall even if something peculiar happened , but he didn't guarantee that this hall could be our perfect refuge either. Our dinner then was engrossed by a discussion : whether we should buy into that boy's claim or not. Ruen opined that this boy was merely a scoundrel who amused himself to see us intimidated. Everyone seemed to agree ,especially when I told them that we should hold on to a premise that superstitions were all ludicrous and we were like the Red Guards who denounced them during the cultural revolution in China. But I noticed that Ging became notably taciturn ; she was probably frightened but kept her feeling inside.

(I told Pong that it was then a break for the hourly news program and ads from our benevolent sponsors (ผู้ใหญ่ใจดี) . He looked quite disappointed because he appeared to immerse himself in this story like the good writer.DJ Wan called me up and said that Pong was his close friend , so I was obliged to treat him the best I could. I concurred but then exchanged views with Wit about the possibility that Mr.Pong had conspired with our boss to scare us like Dr.X. How did DJ Wan know that Pong was participating in our program while he was being in the wild party (as he told us) ? Or was it just coincidence?)

Pong : After the dinner , we felt the substantial temperature drop around the temple. The hall had enough courtesy to protect us with some thick walls though those winds still had a myriad of ways to prick our skins and benumb our brains. When the short meeting for the activity tomorrow ended,  Phibul exhorted everyone to pay homage to a large Buddha image in the hall and say a little prayer. But the atmosphere turned out to be creepier with our prayer and the scent of the joss sticks ,while the florescent lights in the hall were not bright enough to enliven our feelings. Instead of taking a bath which was tantamount to a self- torture,  the ladies were busy wrapping themselves with the sleeping bags and the thick blankets. The guys entertained themselves with the little flasks of alcohol and cigarettes along with the idle chatter even after the lights were switched off. We talked about the football matches in the Premier League which we were going to miss this week. But Tanan groused that sometimes he wondered why he had spent the countless hours sitting in the classrooms , listening to the insipid lecturers droning about the subjects which bored him to tears. Phibul threw away the cigarette butt and said that he had to come to terms with this : although the lecturers found the creative ways to draw the attention from the students , the inevitable seriousness still alienated many of them as they completely lacked the interests in those subjects. I solemnly said that universities aimed to domesticate young people to the market of capitalism. Thus, the only emancipation for the person like Tanan was to drop out of university and behave like an ill-clad hermit who kept wandering in the forests for the soul salvations. By the time we burst out laughing , Sai yelled at us to sleep because our talk was disturbing her and all of us were supposed to get up early tomorrow. The party was over. Our slumber had been so peaceful because it was utterly quiet and dark like a tomb (but we could not forget the truth that a forlorn cemetery was not far from the hall.) : not the sounds of cars or motorcycles made by the reckless youths we were accustomed to at night when we were in dormitories. Before sleeping , I enjoyed watching the quite full moon through the wire mesh : it was uncannily red behind the scattering thin clouds. But I heard Ging whispering to someone that this created the foreboding of evils - silly girl.  Regrettably , I was awakened by some weird noise from outside : the long-drawn murmurs from an old woman who kept limping around our hall and some repeated words from her mouth became audible like ‘how dare’ or ‘die’. Her occasional giggles made her look like a wicked witch.

I nudged Phibul’s arm and asked,

“What the hell is she doing here at 10 PM ?”

He said aloud to allay everyone’s fears :

“I heard that this village has an old nutcase who keeps roaming around neighborhood . Don’t worry , she must be fascinated by our arrival and intend to investigate us in her own way or to express her resentment that we are trespassing her turf.”

Tanan attempted to chase her away with his angry voice , but he stopped because he might resemble the villain who lacked the empathy for the crazed woman. 10 minutes later, Ruen’s scream at the top of her lungs startled us. We found her shuddering and crying alone at a corner of the hall. She said that just now she raised her head to see that woman. Although her body was just a dark figure , Ruen clearly saw it rapidly elongated out of proportion and fluttered. Ruen swore that she also saw that woman’s eyes glaring at her : reddish and baleful while her evil snigger resounded through her ears. I shined the flashlight outside the hall, but the old woman wasn’t there :  she might have been scared away by Ruen's trill. Paeng argued that Ruen was dead tired and became delusional because she didn’t see or hear like her claim. Ruen insisted that she was not that exhausted as she had had enough naps on the bus. Our pandemonium ended after the majority of us supported Paeng. Ruen indignantly moved to sleep near Ging who was visibly shaking. But it turned out later that nobody deep down inside believed in Paeng's speculation, even herself. Our sound sleeps then morphed into the stressful vigilance. Phibul whispered to me that he began to believe that temple boy : we would probably be unceasingly menaced by the ghosts tonight , but he was relieved that we would still be safe due to the sacredness of the Buddha image. I was on the verge of disputing that the temple boy also implied this hall might fail to protect us but then kept mum. The temple dogs began to howl in unison as if to herald that something more malevolent was underway. They were followed by the loud screeches from the mysterious big bird which was darting from a branch to another above the hall. Perhaps it was the one our ancestors unfairly accused of being the adorable pet of the Lord of hell. I heard Sai muttered aloud that she would certainly kick Phibul in the nuts if we survived this horrible night.

(I chuckled out of curiosity : how their such a bitterness turned to be such a sweet romance.)

Pong : We abruptly heard something stomping on the hall's roof. At first, we presumed that it was a large tree branch or some animal like a big cat,  but it had occurred for multiple times and became obvious that it was the human feet. All of us were stupefied before Tanan would show his exasperation and shout out the unbearable expletives to the roof. He told us that these were the pranks from those darn temple boys including the appearing of that old woman  (I wondered : they could easily trick her into creeping around the hall ?) . So , we had to complain this to the abbot or find the way to whup their asses. Before he would dash out of the hall , we saw a body hung upside down from the ceiling. Some of us screamed in terror whereas Tanan yelled out that it was the effigy made by those boys. I attempted to calm him down and turned on the flashlight to spot that body. Taking a thorough look, we were grateful for the heaven that the body was merely a scarecrow not a vampire or a blood thirsty ghoul who would swiftly turn a somersault in the air and suck all liquids in our bodies when reaching the ground. It , however , looked more like the effigy shoddily made for the ritual of the black magic which was also chilling. I heard at least 2 people breathed a sigh of relief after running around in a frenzy. Ging laid her hands on her chest and said that she was about to have a heart attack. Phibul told everyone to move to huddle near the Buddha image in the hope that his might in such a proximity would help us better like mobile phone tower and its signal. Tanan went berserk and would rush out of the hall again before we managed to restrain him , but his craziness was still exacerbating our vibe. Ruen furiously shouted at Tanan to shut up and told everyone that she would return to Bangkok tomorrow come what may. We were in awful disarray.

(Pong coughed a little , apologized and made some noise like he was picking up a lozenge into his mouth like a frail old man.)

Pong : I told my friends that we all should go to beg the abbot to let us stay in Ubosot [chapel in Buddhist temple] , which was doubtlessly much safer than here. Everyone unanimously agreed. But we changed our minds because the dogs were still howling and their presences sounded louder and louder like they were gathering near the hall. Sometimes they roared and fiercely bit one another - the barbaric fights like the MMA (Mixed Martial Art). We normally should have let the foolhardy Tanan volunteer for this task , accompanied by me or Phibul. But Tanan was like being possessed. He seemed to totally detach himself from the world by bending down his head and keeping mumbling to himself. Phibul said that he would brave the great fear to wake up the abbot and assigned me to take care of Tanan because I was stronger than him. As soon as I gave Phibul a big wooden stick as the almighty weapon , someone grabbed his shoulder. That was Sai who looked admirably daring whereas the other girls were cowering and looking at us anxiously.

She said, "Phibul , you are such a dumbass. I will come with you. Do you know where the dwelling of the abbot is ?  I'm afraid you will get lost somewhere in the dark or even pee yourself to death the minutes you step out of this hall."

Phibul smilingly shook his head but the girl adamantly insisted. Before leaving, he told me that if something happened to him (and her) , I would automatically be promoted to the supreme leader and obliged to steer our group away from this peril. I sniggered and quipped that I would lead our nation to prosperity and glory. We both chuckled before I wished him and Sai good luck. A few minutes passed; the sounds of both Phibul and Sai shooing away the dogs came through the darkness. Some dogs barked and were hit by a hard object  ;  they groaned and ran away. The situation in the hall , however, went downhill. Tanan was about to run amok again. I held him back tightly but was stupefied to find that his strength was increasingly surpassing mine. Paeng made me literally fall in love with her by hastily helping me. She also angrily demanded some helping hands from the other chicken-hearted friends. I forcefully shook or even slapped Tanan in the face to help him regain the sanity, but he seemed to descend into madness. Ruen had the sudden priceless Satori and told us to pull Tanan's hand to touch the Buddha image and it worked ! Tanan was subdued : he fell on the ground and looked like unconscious. But our ordeal hadn't come to an end when the repeated sounds of something immense lashed against the walls of the hall. Its operation moved back and forth like it was teasing us and I started to behave like Tanan. I uncontrollably threw a tantrum and grabbed another wooden stick to confront our tormentor. The girls rushed to restrain me instead, but I shook off their grasp and ran outside. Kun Aon, I swear that I saw a creature which appeared like a monster from hell squatting near the wall. It scowled at me with the reddish eyes and fiercely bellowed , showing the long fangs from its large stinky mouth. I was extremely petrified ; all my limbs became numb and completely immovable while that monster was rising up to its feet to show its massive body and its gigantic wings were quickly fluttering like it was about to savage me. Perhaps my destiny was to live a long life when Paeng bravely ran to drag me into the hall. She could barely latch the door because her hands were trembling so much. Everyone eventually was forced to examine the ugly anatomy of that monster when it flew to hold the wire mesh firmly and cackle to intimidate us like in the horror sci-fi flicks. We were hysterical but later felt at our ease that it couldn't break into the hall to disembowel us. Tanan all at once shrieked and ran to the door. Though pausing a little because of the latch , he used the inhuman power to yank the door. That creature straight away followed him. It made our hair stand on end when we heard Tanan passionately talked to the monster albeit inaudibly and then screamed aloud in great pain. I rushed to peep through the wire mesh : the monster was tearing him into pieces and grabbing his head for munching like a delicious snack. I found this stomach-churning and nearly vomited , so I turned my face to another direction , unable to see the whole homicide. But it suddenly flew away to the building nearby with the large remains of Tanan in its claws.

(Some comments in my channel accused that Mr. Pong was brazenly copying the villain from the film 'Jeepers Creepers'. But I was suspecting that Pong was also inspired by the story of Piwan in Diary of the Dead. If both stories were miraculously true ,  this monster might be the gardener of his Nai Farang who had still lived until the 1990s or even until now – creepy !  However, I later wrote in my Facebook that I had no rights to interrupt my guests though their stories seemed to be a plagiarism or a ridiculous imagination. My only tasks were to subtly help them to stop beating around the bush or digressing. I also shared my feeling with Wit and Tonya that I had pitied myself for how our program allowed the permissiveness of the guests , but what could I do when this was the policy of DJ Wan?)

Pong : I went back only to terrify the ladies with my straightforward account ;  they broke down and cried so hard. Our morale was shattered more when we had to face the stinking smell of blood and entrails of Tanan from outside. But I felt glad that at least he was finally liberated from the university life he had been fed up with. Now there was nothing we could do but huddle near the Buddha image. There was no need for me to close the wooden door of the hall either because it could not withstand that monster anyway. We just had to wait for a rescue from the abbot only if Phibul and Sai could meet him in one piece. The break of dawn was also our best chance of survival ; however , it was still 2 AM and the sunlight always came late in the winter.An hour later both of my friends staggered into the hall. Sai was struggling to sustain Phibul whose body was drenched with blood. The girls rummaged through the kit of first aid to tend to the severe wound on Phibul’s bloody flank. He pitifully whimpered but was later silent and closed his eyes.Sai began to tell us their story. Having ventured through the dogs , they arrived at the decrepit house which they guessed was the dormitory of those temple boys. Phibul knocked on the door and loudly called them but nobody responded. Both were then startled to find the 5 boys standing behind. They were unbelievably transformed into the rotting corpses whose eyes , arms or even head were horribly missing. The one whom Sai recognized that had warned us about the ghosts laughed maniacally and said ,

" In this hour , shall thou consider me truthful ? I am unjustly slandered for being a scoundrel who gains the pleasure by feeding the mendacities to thee. I shall denounce that thou are naught but the ignominious beings who are delirious of superiority to us , the rural folks, and deceive us to be the eternal slaves of the vainglorious Bangkokians."

I : (stunned) Really , Kun Pong ? Did he really say that ? I am shocked to hear such a style of words from a specter of temple boy who must have been so naïve and illiterate.

Pong : (laughed) No , Kun Aon , I was just kidding ! This is merely a dialogue from my own play.How could a boy say such the well- crafted sentences ? This also happened almost 3 decades ago and nobody could remember that so vividly. Haha, I got you , the best DJ of horror program in Thailand !

(I and Wit stared at each other and laughed too. But our laughter was from wondering why we stumbled on such the eccentric guest like him. The laughter had lasted for 20 seconds before I told Pong that some audience lashed out at us via comments because it was ruining the climax and the tense feeling. But I didn’t tell Pong that some said that he was an old fart.)

Pong : OK , let’s continue.The boy just asked them whether then they began to believe in ghosts and scared them more by digging out his own intestine and twirling it above his head. Phibul and Sai ran away to the sparse forest nearby, ah , Phibul told me much later that Sai tripped over something and he grabbed her body. It was the first time they touched each other. Despite the fear , they stared at each other with some feeling they couldn’t describe. OK .. they then hid themselves well in the bushes though they had to endure their thorns and it was fortunate that those ghosts didn’t follow them but giggled and kicked the head of one of them around the lawn like the Premier League or the Bundesliga. When those naughty specters disappeared, Sai and Phibul had a serious discussion on what to do next. Should they go to the Abbot’s dwelling as planned ? Sai proposed that the venerable monk was also the ghost , so they had better gallop back to the hall. But Phibul argued that the abbot looked too insightful and respectable to be the ghost ; those boys might have been only the minions under his spells. So laughable that they still had the guts to play Rock Paper Scissors. Phibul won and Sai had to grudgingly follow him to the 3-storey building by sneaking in on another route. They took liberties by quietly entering the building when finding its door was not locked. They went upstairs and found a room presumed to be the abbot's because It had the bizarre door with the gigantic mystic yantra in white chalk. Phibul still showed his good manners by calling the old man but he heard some strange sound behind it. The minute he opened the door , both of them were appalled to see the abhorrent monster -yes,  the same one that terrorized us from outside the hall- gobbling up the corpse in a pool of blood on the bed. Sai felt dizzy and began to faint but was sustained by Phibul. That monster suddenly became aware of their arrival and roared in anger before rushing toward them. Phibul, who had always bragged about being the adept baseball player , used the wooden stick to hit it. But the monster was adept too : it intercepted the stick and threw Phibul away. Sai managed to pull herself together and threw a heavy object which she couldn’t remember what it was to hit the monster’s head. The monster shrieked painfully and turned to attack Sai with its claws, but Phibul shielded her with his body ; the claws sharp like sword thus stabbed his flank instead. The monster was about to finish them off but stopped just to squat on the floor and held its head . It then looked visibly slow and wobbled ,perhaps its weakness was the head. They finally escaped from that building and returned to the hall like we had seen - neither the dogs nor the ghosts in sight.

(I wondered which size that monster exactly had. In Sai’s narration , it appeared quite smaller than Pong's , but I did not dare ask Pong. Only the interjections ‘ow , ick , wow’ were uttered from my mouth.)

Pong : Our situation became a bit more relaxing. But when Sai learnt about Tanan’s demise , she became despondent and slapped Phibul’s arm , saying that it was still his fault. But her voice changed as she was grateful for his heroism to have saved her life. Now it was 3.34 AM and our only solution was to wait for the first ray of sunlight. That monster returned and looked obviously more infuriated. It had struggled so hard to enter the hall but it was seemingly impeded by something. Ging said that temple boy was unforgiven for underestimating the sacredness of this hall. But we were still frightened and felt that our lives were hanging in balance like that twisted scarecrow below the ceiling. Some must have wondered if the hall was so cool , why had Tanan been possessed ? Why could the ghosts of those boys go into the hall ? Or was this just because of the Buddha image not the hall itself ? Phibul was still conscious though he had lost a lot of blood. He stared at Sai and profusely apologized to her ; she smiled and squeezed his hand. I longed to do that to Paeng but feared that she would slap me in the face.

(Suddenly , I felt a touch on my upper arm and found DJ Wan behind me. Much to my astonishment, he made a gesture to silence me and stood quietly to listen to Pong’s story. I smelled the alcohol reeking from his obese body and saw Wit looked a little bit distraught over his presence.)

Pong : When the sunlight was seen from a ridge of the faraway mountain along with the energetic crows from the roosters , the monster was gone. Still , we were cautious enough to wait for half an hour and tottered out of the hall with difficulty. Ging gave all of us a lively smile and told us to hurry to the nearest house. But something drastically hovered above her head and snatched her with it - that monster ! Contrary to our belief , it was immune to the sunlight ! The poor girl screamed and resisted it with all her strength. I brandished the wooden stick to hit that creature, but it had already flown higher and higher until it was no longer seen. We extremely panicked : wailing and running out of the temple. But the first house we stepped in was totally abandoned , so we kept running to another and found the same. Phibul fell on the ground and told us to leave him here , but Sai declined and told us that she would stay with him. We all knew that she had found the love of her life out of the guy she used to hate in just one night. We decided to use the nearest house as a shelter from the return of that monster. Everyone desperately resorted to the household items, even a broomstick, as their weapons. I found a long knife in its kitchen and told them that I would go to the house of the village chief by myself because each second of our delay amounted to the risk of Phibul’s life. I wished that Paeng would badger me into letting her go with but she just wished me the best of luck .  So, I sighed a little and embarked on the most dangerous journey in my entire life.

Village of the Specters (3)

Pong : On the way to the house of the village chief , I felt like either the lunatic or the guerilla fighter who walked and ran while looking around and skyward alternately. Though holding the knife gallantly , I felt that I would never use it to prevent the monster's attack from any direction. My eyes moistened as I reminisced about the precious things in my life : my grumpy mother and my mellow big sister and our dog. I was saddened that there was a slim chance that I would survive to meet them again or even to get married at 27 years old like a bet with my friends. The cold war just ended briefly ; the world turned to be blessed by the newfound peace and wealth from the overflowing capitalism. But I would not be lucky to live long enough to witness how this had unfolded until the 21st century. That creature was nowhere to be seen yet. Perhaps it was devouring Ging's kidney like the cornflakes as its breakfast, or it was just keeping her in its lair and went on a spree of hunting again : my friends in that house or me. I wished the second. I had visited several houses on the way, but they were all the same. Their state of being abandoned for a long time perplexed me tremendously because last night while our bus was passing these houses , I saw them illuminated by electricity with the people inside. Even at a little grocery were several old men hanging around. I was under the impression that this place was the village of the specters , full of the dead like the boys in the temple. Searching for the village chief was therefore futile as he would also be a ghost who forgot that in the previous month he had been contacted by Phibul about the camping in his village. So , he was on a business trip while his ghost wife was cooking in the house like she was still alive. I wondered what caused their sudden deaths . Were they the bloody carnages which that monster was the culprit ?  I lamented : what the fu .. oops ! Truly sorry... did Phibul lead me to ?  I finally stepped on the house of the village chief which I remembered well because there was a weird black pole above its roof. I hoped that even after death, he would be tender-hearted to leave a car or at least a motorcycle for me. Yes ! The rusty 1970s motorcycle in his ramshackle garage. But I had to find its key in the house , which was also one of the creepiest parts in this story.

(I noticed that all the time DJ wan was so preoccupied with this story that he sweated profusely and nonchalantly bit the nail of his forefinger . It was definitely not his usual top-notch performance in his own daily program.)

Despite being in broad daylight , the inside of the house was quite dark. I began to get scared but had no choice. Everywhere was utterly dusty and full of spider webs like other houses. I had to cover my mouth while walking unsteadily but holding my knife firmly , ready to impale anything that would be lunging at me. I  kicked something in the dark which was round like a ball, and it kept rolling to a room with the faint light, which I assumed was the living room without the walls like most of the houses in countryside. That object stopped near several people who were sitting on the wooden floor like some conference. They turned around their necks to see me simultaneously, but their bodies were still in the same position. The bald guy in his 60s who was probably the village chief (we were meeting at last!)  smiled at me with his severed lips below his left eye which was hung out of socket. He greeted me cordially,

" Hey , lad. How can I help you ?"

I screamed and ran away like hell. The ferocious knife was left behind on the floor. I hit some furniture , which hurt my shin so much, but I did not even have time to cry out. By a few seconds I was out of the house , I collapsed as my extreme fear and exhaustion had crossed the threshold of tolerance. Several hands later helped revive me by shaking my body and letting me inhale the balm. I was so ecstatic that those belonged to the police officers , the human not the ghost police officers. They were glad to see me too. They said last night our bus driver notified them about our fate. The old man said that upon visiting the grocery not far from this village to buy the energy drinks , the grocery owner told him that he just dropped off the university students at the village which had been long deserted and crawling with ghosts. The driver realized this mistake but was too horrified to go back , so he went to the police station. But the number of officers was not enough for them to go to such a dangerous place because more than half were sent to keep guard over the grand wedding ceremony of the daughter of a local influential man. This morning, they were thus on the way to the temple but saw me lying near this house. I sneered and thought we had fallen victims not to only the herd of the ghosts but also the corrupt and coward cops since they should not have left us languishing in this cursed village until dawn. I saw the army of the police on the truck with the pistols and the rifles. They wore the bulletproof vests and were extremely cautious like they were in the war zone. It was absurd for the police lieutenant to wear a necklace with the bunch of amulets. All my friends were eventually saved and Phibul was hospitalized on time. We embraced one another and cried our eyes out. The building in the temple was thoroughly searched and the remains of Ging's corpse were found in that creepy room ; they couldn’t find her vital organs. But that monster had disappeared. According to the chief of the neighboring village ,the abbot of this temple was an expert on the black magic, and it became increasingly powerful. Only of his minor oversight one night helped it vanquish and possess him. The abbot from then on became like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  :  the enlightened monk at day and the voracious monster at night. But he could still be the monster even during the daytime if he still held a grudge against something. His first group of prey was those 5 temple boys and then the villagers one by one , including our poor village chief. Only a few survivors were rescued, and this village became the forbidden zone . Other villages used the holy white threads to surround the village to quarantine [love this word] the monster and the ghosts. But those threads were somehow gone the night of our arrival. For us , we returned to Bangkok to live like the normal students but were forever haunted by these memories , in other words , the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I : Did you face the difficulty in explaining this to everyone , especially the parents of Tanan and Ging?

Pong : Of course, I forgot to tell you. We begged the police to do this for us but we had to undergo the wraths of those devastated parents as they said that it was still our mistake. Everyone in our class and our lecturers were incredulous, but they did not accuse us of murdering our own friends with their words.... but their eyes. That hurt !

(DJ Wan briskly grabbed the headphones from me and used them.)

DJ Wan : Pong , that is me! Do you recognize my voice ?

Pong : Phibul ? Son of a bitch ! I have tried in vain to contact you numerous times. Of course , you are the bigshot or the celebrity now. I watch every of your programs. You are funny and lively like nothing ever happens to your life.

(I was greatly surprised to learn that Phibul was the former name of DJ Wan and he was actually one of the protagonists in this story !  Wit was stunned too.)

DJ. Wan : No , Pong , we are still friends , comrades -in-arms, but I am too busy and my secretary has her hands full. Remember : this tragedy already happened 30 years ago , so you must move on !  I would confess that I still face it once in a while  ; perhaps laughing or doing funny things are my mechanism to gloss over this abysmal experience. Please understand me.

Pong : (laughed) Man,  I am just joking ! Now I got 2 great DJs in just one night , haha. How is Sai doing now ?

DJ wan : She is all right. She always grumbles that she terribly misses you and everybody in our group 'The Outcasts' and hopes for our reunion someday. It will be superb if we can sentimentally share our indelible experiences throughout 3 decades there.

Pong : Parfait ! [Perfect!] Phibul, I follow your Instagram every day and  yearn to visit your family to hug your cute and smart children :  Bai Pai and Bai Mon. They grow up so fast !

DJ Wan : Thanks ! When you feel that you are ready , call me and I will arrange for a meeting between 5  of us. Or you can come to my house someday ; Sai will prepare your favorite dish -Spicy Glass Noodle Salad  (ยำวุ้นเส้นสลัด) , I still remember.

Pong : Thank you , thank you from the bottom of my heart. I miss you buddy , but I have to end my story and leave now. Send my gratitude to DJ Aon. He has been of a great help tonight and such a nice interlocutor too.

DJ Wan : OK, I will. I miss you too , my buddy. Goodbye.

During the conversation DJ Wan was visibly remorseful and nearly cried - his first sentimentality I had ever seen. And the comments from the audience showed a great surprise like me. The majority of them also said they were so overwhelmed and about to shed their tears too, though some showed their skepticism whether this was true or just the show (สร้างคอนเทนต์) . DJ Wan at last expressed regret to the audience and me for the abrupt change of DJ. He said that he wouldn’t confirm or deny the veracity of Pong’s story and let the audience reckon it on her or his own. And although many people had coaxed him into telling this story from his own perspective, he steadfastly refused. Our program ended at 4.34 AM. DJ Wan sloughed on a chair with unexpected melancholy. I wished I would be impertinent to record his mood right now and upload it on YouTube with the title : The Depressed Comedian. The number of its viewers could reach more than 5 million within a day. Wit handed out the glasses of beer to all of us. Funny that in this hour we were supposed to enjoy hot black coffee and deep-fried dough sticks (ปาท่องโก๋) like the early birds , but we hadn’t slept yet.

DJ Wan said , “ Pong doesn’t know that although we haven’t met for ages, I keep abreast of his news all the time through the friends. He one day had nervous breakdown from splitting with his longtime girlfriend and his mental illness was exacerbated when his novel was attacked mercilessly by those bastard critics. He thus ended up at a psychiatric hospital for quite some time.

Wit politely asked, “Are you going to tell us that his story in our program was merely from his hallucination, and you just tried to play along with, sir ?”

DJ Wan looked at him.

“ Do you think that his story is wholly fictitious, and Pong is not completely cured ?”

Wit quickly shut up and lowered his head. I remained silent the whole time from witnessing such a solemnity of my boss.

DJ Wan chortled,

“ Don't be so guilty ! Everybody has the right to be skeptical , right ? This story is so mind-blowing and surreal that I think barely a tenth of our audience believe that is true. But this is the philosophy of our company to cater to people’s fantasy anyway. I will also let you 2 contemplate whether it is true, partly true or just a crock of shit from the old fart like Pong , it depends on you. By the way , don’t be so suspicious why I knew that my friend was one of your guests tonight. I always check the work of everyone via the smart phone in spite of my little intoxication in the party and that was a fluke. But I want to sincerely compliment both of you on the last night program : you did the great job indeed !”

We clinked the glasses of beer with a loud hurrah and enjoyed chattering as if we were not the boss and the subordinates. We finally left our office exactly when our maid came to work. Now the outside of the building became livelier as it was the beginning of a daybreak. The streetlights were automatically turned off while some shops nearby were gradually opened. The familiar harsh sounds of their shutter doors pulled up seemed to be against the merry chirps of the little birds on the trees near the street. We saw the monks walking in an orderly line for the food offering from the people who were humbly crouching and saluting.

DJ wan said aloud out of the blue,

“Actually , Pong was wrong to assume that it was the ghost of the village chief I used to talk on the phone about the plan of camping in his village (and he forgot) . I should have remembered the voice : that wasn’t him but someone else - perhaps the nefarious abbot who was intending to lure us into his lair. And this unforgivingly cost the lives of our friends , our sanity and this : ”

He then rolled up his Mauhom shirt to show us a large scar on his flank.”

The Spook Radio (part 2)

                       Escape from Pi Prets

The guest who told the most indelible story in my program tonight was a woman named Wilai , aged 34 , the accountant of a large company. But she was about to tell the story about her younger brother who had been working as the teacher in the school of a faraway province.

I : Good evening , Kun Wilai. You are the 4th guest tonight and I am wondering how long your story will be. Will you transfix us until dawn like some of our remarkable guests ?

Wilai : I don't know either, Kun Aon. Perhaps it will be 20 minutes or an hour considering that I have not much experience in telling this kind of story. Besides , I am not quite eloquent as I have mostly socialized with numbers not people. And I have to be utterly cautious because my brother insisted that I must keep his identity unknown. Most of all, his school and its village or Tambon (district) must not be named at all costs.

I : This is not beyond me since the Ministry of Education is so repressive and conservative. Your brother might face the harsh penalty for tarnishing the reputation of the school even though this is just fictitious. Please let me also opine that the ministry is led by the person who has even less knowledge about education than the students themselves . But he is just the sibling of the influential who shrewdly bargained with Mr.Thaksin- the shadow dealer-  for his position in the current government. No wonder the creative thinking of our young generation makes us so proud , only if comparing with our neighbors like Myanmar or Laos.

(The comments in my channel wholeheartedly agreed with and applauded me with the emoticons. They also teased me that I began to be like Ajarn Sirote Karmphaibul who was adept at being sarcastic with the government.)

Wilai : You are so insightful ! But I assure you that this is the true story.  My brother is a married guy with 2 kids and his wife is merely a housewife. If his salary is docked even for only a month , a hell will  break loose. But he is determined to expose the truth to the world , even though it is just a supernatural stuff.

I : That’s swell ! It might be as risky as exposing the murky records of some ministers in this government , I guess , ha ha. Please begin your story. What is its title ?

Wilai : I don't know how to create the title , but it was about Pi Pret  (ผีเปรต). Is it quite redundant in your program ?

I : I won't use this word as this means a snub to you. Let's say that plenty of people before you have used Pi Pret as main protagonists. But it will be a boon for your audience nationwide and me (and my sponsors) if your plot is scary and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. No offense if I will ask you whether you have listened to my program before ?

Wilai (chuckled) : No , how can I get mad at you ? I want to confess that I had rarely listened to your program as I thought that ghosts or black magic were a great hoax created by the entertainment guys like you and loads of nutcases who hunger for fame. This was essentially thanks to my firm belief in science. But only the experience of my brother who was transformed from a brave man into a scaredy-cat overnight makes me become superstitious and obsessed with your program. Ultimately, I am on cloud 9 that I can be your guest tonight.

( I went numb a bit since her character was like mine. But after listening to a myriad of horror stories for years , I was still skeptical about supernaturality whereas she seemed like my fervent follower.)

I : That sounds enthralling for a person like you who used to believe in nothing ! I am curious now how hair-raising your brother's story will be. But I am going to take liberties of giving the title of your story first. Ummm.. I guess your story will be about the guys running like hell from Pi Pret like a cult film : Ban Pi Pob (บ้านผีปอบ). Does 'Escape from Pi Prets’ sound reasonable ?

Wilai : Thank you. That’s awesome , sir!

I : First and foremost , I will introduce Pi Pret or Pret to anyone who might not know it well. According to the Thai Buddhism , it is a kind of uglily tall ghost who in previous life had committed the sins like beating its parents up , killing , stealing , or lying (I almost stopped reading the page of Thai Wikipedia and burst out laughing. If so , this world would abound with Pi Prets - perhaps more than billion ones). Pi Pret suffers the unbearable pains from its disabled body like diminutive mouth , so it is famished all the time. It is destined to roam the earth with its disproportionally lean limbs and keep imploring people for some merits until its sins run out.

Wilai : Thank Kun Aon so much for this explicit introduction. My brother used to teach in several schools in Bangkok before. But due to the wrangles with his boss , he was kicked er ... transferred to a school in Eastern Thailand several years ago. The animosity in his new school wasn't much different from his erstwhile one : he fell victims to a colleague's manipulations and frequently became the target of pranks and bullies from other colleagues who assumed that he was a lackey of that old woman whom they had greatly detested. However , my brother could pull it through when those teachers either resigned from the school or were transferred to others. But he was still frustrated that as a male teacher, he was always assigned to keep guard over his school at night.

I : As far as I know , the government has already halted the night duties for teachers because they are too dangerous , right ? I am doubting why schools didn't resort to the professional security guards instead.

Wilai (sighed) : So am I. How the heck would the lone unarmed teacher do to protect the school's properties when the perps came with long knives or pistols ! That time I and his wife were extremely worried about him because his district was notorious for the rampant crimes like burglaries , robberies and even homicides. But he said that his village was an exception as it was relatively peaceful. Er , I forget to tell you that his school used to be a part of temple before (โรงเรียนวัด). He said that it was quite old and creepy. The vicinity of the lawn of the school was occupied by the large cluster of stupas containing the dead's ashes. The sprawling sugar palm trees above them provided the passers-by with the shade from their gigantic leaves , but they looked like the huddled Pi Prets in the night and spooked him every time he had to walk by.The houses for teachers not far from those stupas were probably built a century ago : they were so decrepit that most of the teachers chose to live in the rental houses , although they were quite far from the school. But my brother grudgingly lived in one of those shitholes thanks to his financial constraints. He , however ,was so relieved that he still had not encountered the series of poltergeists or a long-haired woman standing near his feet while sleeping on bed. The night of horror was in April last year. It was quite sultry and cloudy ; my brother could see the occasional lightings not from a distance like it was going to rain soon. Still fortunate for him that another male teacher who also lived in the nearby house was obliged to finish the large pile of his work tonight and unintentionally became my brother's company. They were later joined by the caretaker who fled from his house because he had shared the unconciliatory ideas with his wife.

(We both laughed. I became aware that tonight I was alone as both of Tonya and Wit were busy with their families on this pleasant holiday.)

Wilai : My brother said that it was hilarious to see the 3 full-grown men sitting near the bonfire not far from the flagpole enjoying the frivolous talks and teasing one another like the young boy scouts. His friend seemed to forget all his work and joined them laughingly gossiping about their colleagues , especially headmaster. A pretty young teacher was also often mentioned salaciously even though 3 of them were already married – a terrible habit for men ! The caretaker offered them the rice whiskey but both men refused because it was a serious lack of discipline. If the headmaster accidentally fought with his wife and fled here too , they would be dead meat. All of a sudden,  they heard the repeated shrieks from the forest near their school. My brother’s friend assumed it was from animal like the big bird, but they noticed that the caretaker’s face was ashen, and he was visibly terrified. The middle-aged man said that those were from Pi Pret and the teachers could not help laughing so hard that their bodies violently shook. The caretaker was agitated and ranted that he was born in this village and knew its history much better than these insolent teachers who had been here for only a few years. My brother smilingly apologized and asked why he thought that kind of ghost was about to manifest itself. He cleared his throat and began to tell them : once upon a time , perhaps more than 100 years ago,  there was a woman named Ploy whose indescribable depravity had long unsettled the community. She was born and raised in a well-to-do family. Her loving parents pampered her too much , so she became ill-tempered and whimsical. The neighbors always heard she furiously lashed her poor servants who groaned in utter pain. There were numerous times she threw dishes or tiffin boxes out of the house when she became enraged. At the age of 17 more or less , she married to the son of a rich family. But her cruelties seemed to be unabated even though she had the children years later. She had always been drunk all day and invented the various sadistic methods of punishing her sons , while her husband did nothing because of his total obedience to her. Finally , those 2 poor boys decided to run away to their paternal grandparents' house and their mother didn't even bother to take them back. Out of the blue, she surprised the whole village by beginning to frequent the temple. Her parents dissolved into tears and 'wai' (paid respect) to the heaven in the hope that she would walk the path of righteousness. But the rumour had swirled among the market people that she had an affair with the handsome young monk. The couple later colluded to rob the hefty sum of money from the abbot and accidentally killed him after the old man had resisted. Both of them were arrested and sentenced by the authorities to death. From then on, the villagers were terrorized by their specters in the form of male and female Pi Prets who had been hobbling around the village and scaring them to death with their shrieks. Nobody dared venture out of their own houses as the dusk fell ; all they could do was lying trembling and saying a prayer in the mosquito nets all night. The village committee thus had held the grand ceremony of merit making participated by the army of venerable monks for 3 consecutive days. The hungry ghosts had at last vanished for ages but recently there were some trustworthy eyewitnesses confirming that one of them had roamed desperately near our temple ,especially in the nights of Buddhist holy day. And shockingly , it was tonight !       

(I told Wilai that it was a break for the hourly news and ads. I all at once had some strange urge to play a hit song in the 70s which I thought was one of the coolest in the world : Fool (If You Think It's Over) by Chris Rea before the program would begin again. But this would bring about the unhealthy relationship between me and the sponsors who thought that Thai traditional music was way more suitable for this story.)

Wilai : Where am I now ? Ah .... they had been quiet for a while before another shriek of Pi Pret startled them as it was too loud and drawn out to be animal's. After they all had risen to their feet, my brother told them that this ghost wouldn’t harm them because they were the civil servants who were performing duties for the sake of education. But his friend argued that there was no way that Pi Pret would respect them because during the era of king Rama 6 , the modern schools were still unknown to it , except it would search for their information from google. My brother asked the caretaker if this Pi Pret showed up , should they just stand still to show their compassions and good wills to it (แผ่เมตตาให้). The middle-aged man agreed but changed his mind by saying that he used to read the 5 Baht cartoons portraying that Pi Pret could put human lives in danger when it was exceedingly angry or vengeful. A few minutes later , the extremely lanky body which was as tall as a 6 - story building stepped out of the woods and walked toward them, grazing the sugar palm trees which were overshadowed by its presence. They were scared shitless and rapidly ran to the chapel (อุโบสถ) as the caretaker had suggested that it was their sole sacred sanctuary. They heard the large footsteps behind them, and its shrieks were agonizingly piercing their ears. But my brother still had time to take a glance that it was the female Pi Pret as it had the crazy unkempt hair and the long wrinkled boobs. With an incredible speed , my brother’s friend and the caretaker managed to disappear in the dark, but my brother was too chubby and slow. So, he made a U-turn to the school building because it was made from well-built concrete, and he remembered that its wrought iron gate was ajar. He darted into the building,  immediately locked the gate and hid himself in the basement. Though cowering in the dark, he felt that it was a pity that he didn't grab his mobile phone to record that Pi Pret before uploading it in TikTok, otherwise he would be world-famous and a nouveaux riche overnight. Or he even in this moment could have used it to record the blood-curdling sounds of Pi Pret which were still lingering around his building. He then heard the ghost of Ms. Ploy fiercely pounding the wall and the roof but to no avail as it was not strong enough to penetrate them. My brother was curious why it was so ferocious like it was harboring the utter resentment against him.

Escape from Pi Prets (2)

I : Excuse me for interrupting here. I think that your narration is admirably meticulous. Can't believe you are surrounded by just the numbers in the computer on a daily basis !

Wilai (laughed) : Thank you. I am flattered like I begin to fly now. I forget to tell you my little secret that I used to write the short stories when I was in high school and received some rewards.

I:  You have such a flair ! But please continue your story. Did your brother just stay in the basement all night ?

Wilai: Of course, and he was not ashamed to say that. Perhaps the basement was mildly ventilated and snuggly as there was a large old mattress there , so he fell asleep and was awakened in the morning by the uproar outside. That was the headmaster who looked furious to see nobody was at the school when he was arriving at the school early as his routine. He had to climb up the fence only to find  the messy traces of their escape near the flagpole and also the locked wrought iron gate of the building. It was quarter past 7 now and some parents were dropping off their children outside the gate of the school, but they were reluctant when seeing the school still closed . Beside were some teachers gathering and chattering with curiosity. My brother explained  the incident to everybody , and they surprisingly relented as they were superstitious and had also heard the recent news about Pi Pret. There were also the large footprints on the soil which couldn't be proved what kind of species they belonged to. Still , my brother couldn't find his friend and the caretaker ,so he and the headmaster went to investigate their fates an hour later. His friend was not at his house , so my brother took his boss to the temple and found him lying unconscious near its fence. His friend sputtered to them that  while struggling to cross the fence , he fell on his back and his head bumped on the ground. But before this happened, he could not find the caretaker who was running before him - like he had just vanished into thin air. But they ultimately found the reason : at the caretaker's house , his wife was crying before a body wrapped in banket on the bamboo bed. She tearfully told them that the middle-aged man hanged himself. From the police's autopsy , the caretaker probably committed suicide in the late afternoon , an hour after his wife had fled from the house thanks to their bitter bickering. The 2 teachers were stupefied :  large goosebumps were across their bodies and their hair stood on end because this meant they had had the lively conversation with the ghostly rookie (ผีน้องใหม่) for hours ! And it was the funny plot twist that the ghost who didn't know he himself already deceased was intimidated by another ghost.

I : Wow, this story is like the film 'The Others' starring Nicole Kidman !

Wilai : The headmaster told them that last week the caretaker was under the investigation since he was suspected of stealing something from the school, and this was kept secret from most of the school's staff. The fight with his wife was probably the last straw. My brother thought that the death at last freed the middle-aged man from his debilitating depression and anxiety. Even before the evening came, my brother's friend without hesitation moved to the rental house , so my brother was left alone in those houses for teachers.

I : I admire him for being such a lionhearted guy ! If I had been him, I would have certainly moved away in a heartbeat .Despite being broke , I would barefacedly borrow some money for renting the new house.

Wilai (laughed) : Nah. Your suggestion was the first thing on his mind. But the headmaster urged him to be brave like a man and even threatened him : if he moved away , his salary would be docked or even his position would be demoted. This was because the headmaster would be humiliated if the inspector from the ministry someday visited and found that there was no one living in those houses. And my brother's brilliant solution was to tell me to ask for the sacred amulets from the venerable monk in our hometown. He was revered by the villagers for black magic and astrology but later achieved the notoriety from making the holy oils by grilling the dead bodies of babies. My brother attached some amulets above the school's gate, and it really worked ! But other teachers who were on the night duties complained to the headmaster that although they did not see Pi Pret , its shrieks and the sounds of its moving in the forest freaked them out. The headmaster asked the abbot to hold ceremony to exorcise Ex- Ms. Ploy in the forest. The situation was dramatically improved as those nerve-racking sounds became rarer and fainter. But the teachers were still reeling and badgered my brother into doing night duties for them, and now they had to pay him money or some valuable things when he began to play hard to get, ha ha ! One night while my brother was typing the urgent work at the office, he heard the large footsteps from the forest and knew that Pi Pret had returned. He was less scared than before, but he still hid himself under the desk after switching off the light. The shrieks lingered as usual , but my brother felt flabbergasted to find there were some human words inside them. Spending 15 minutes , he managed to decode those : 'help'  and 'come out'. My brother bit the bullet and went out of the building. There Pi Pret was walking to and fro outside the school's fence. But from its body , he knew that it was male and looked much less hostile than Ex-Ms. Ploy. It waved its long hand to him like trying to communicate something with. Eventually , my brother became enlightened that it once used to be the caretaker! My brother barely held back the tears and knew that his ex- senior friend was seriously in need of his help. He loudly told the ghost that he would make merit for it tomorrow and hoped its sin would run out soon , hence its decent reincarnation. The ghost seemed to nod in gratitude and slowly walked back into the forest.

I : I just learnt from your story that when humans die , they won't turn into Pi Prets immediately but remain the forms similar to their former selves for a while, but nobody knows how long , right?

Wilai : I think so : it depends on the individual karma. It is extremely complex and the only persons who know this are the Buddha and his enlightened followers. That was the teaching of the monk my family holds in high esteem. But my story is not finished yet. My brother died in a bizarre car accident early this year.

I: Whoa Whoa , hold on ! Is it my apprehension that you used to imply that your brother still lives today ?

Wilai (quivering voice) : Did I ever tell you earlier that he still lives ? Oh , I so sorry to make you misread my story. He  told me about this story and insisted on being anonymous for fear of punishment : that is true but in the past [the Thai language doesn't have tenses to tell time like English].

I : O , I am truly sorry. It was a tragedy for your family indeed. How did this happen ?

Wilai : His car collided head on a truck in the night. Some witnesses said that it unexpectedly changed the lane like avoiding hitting something on the road , but they had seen nothing. This , however, was a real devastation for me and my sister-in-law. She had to be back to work again as a single mother. Regrettably, my support for her and her children was so scant each month because I had the financial problems myself. One night I had a dream :  my brother came visiting me while I was sitting in the garden of the former house when we were young. It looked so vivid that I barely couldn't tell the difference between the dream and the reality . He scared me with the extraordinarily thin body and his mouth almost disappeared , leaving a small hole instead. Although his height was the same as when he was alive , I knew he was being in the transition to Pret ! What did he do to deserve this ?  (Wilai was quiet for seconds)  He looked painful and tried to talk to me in the extremely muffled voice. This kind of dream recurred days in , days out - until I felt that my mind was swinging back and forth between madness and sanity. Making merit didn't yield anything and the monk said that my brother was longing for something more. Finally , I succeeded in catching up with the words he tried to say : 'friend' and 'phone' , but I was still baffled by what his intention was. I hysterically shouted at the darkness outside the house for more clues. Everything was falling into utter silence though I wished that even a single tiny howl of the dog would be greatly appreciated . Much to my horror , the computer near my bed was turned on spontaneously and displayed the news in a famous website. It was about a teacher who was fatally shot by his wife and the latter killed herself with the same gun. There was also his small picture below ; both of his name and face looked familiar to me. I gathered my wits until recognizing that he was my brother's friend who passed the chilling night with him. My brother once took him to meet me at my company for the advice about accounting, but he seemed self-effacing during my brother's funeral. The news didn't reveal much of the motives of homicide -only the jealousy  - but informed viewers about the address of his house. Having read one of the best mangas (Japanese cartoon) about detective , I assumed that the mobile phone hinted by my brother was in that house and was so important for him.

I : That manga is Detective Conan , isn't it ? I am its great fan myself ! (But I thought the messages from her brother were so obvious that even the persons who were not interested in any detective stuff could relate that.)

Wilai (chuckled)  : Yeah , I finally discover our similarity now. I thus became the sleuth to investigate there by myself. The family house of my brother's friend was at the farthest corner of Bangkok , and I had to endure the traffic congestion after work , so I arrived at that place by the time the sun had descended. His house was in the decades-old housing estate which had not been developed for years. Thus, there were many houses which were forlorn as they were surrounded by the deserted gardens , including my destination. I hobbled out of the car , feeling my heart beating so fast like it was going to explode soon. I admitted that I was scared shitless, and this would also be a crime like breaking and entering. But doing nothing or procrastinating would let those crazy dreams torment me ceaselessly. I looked around the house : not a single sign of the living things, except the cicadas which were singing jovially. The dull sound of a gecko from somewhere made the darkness around me more eerie. I climbed up the low fence and bent down below the yellow and black caution tape of the police around the house which evoked my imagination of how gruesome the crime was. After using the skeleton key to open the door, which was so easy , I  shined the flashlight around the house which was not completely dark because of some lousy neon lights. The white tape was attached on the floor of the entrance as the outline of the dead 's  body and I saw some red stains around it. I later stumbled on a large picture on the wall. That was the family of my brother's friend : he , his wife and their 2 children embracing one another with the cheerful smiles to the camera. This was a heck of warm and loving family , but it eventually turned out to be illusionary. Kun Aon, I am a sad spinster. My mother always reprimanded me for not marrying some nice or rich guy ,  but I argued that tying a knot didn't necessarily mean your life would be navigated to the happy ending, and this proved my theory so well !

I : Uh-huh. (thinking about myself) : kun Wilai , don't worry because you are not the only one. Now Thailand is facing the perennial problem about decline in the birth rate because the marriage rate has dropped to new low almost every year. Have you also heard the daily news of domestic violence or homicides ?

Wilai : That is music to my ears. Well , I then started from the living room searching for that presumed mobile phone which was still not found thanks to the police's perfunctory searches. But my mission had dragged on without success , so I became desperate and asked loudly around for help from my brother. Suddenly, I heard the shrieks outside the house. From a window , a super long body meandered from the garden, and this really obfuscated me whether I should congratulate myself on really encountering Pi Pret which I had been obsessed with since being told by my brother. As soon as it swiftly approached the house , I ran to hide and cower behind a large triangle cabinet. But it knocked on the window glass not far from me and finally broke it to show its long hand restlessly fumbling around the living room. I screamed as my fear became so unbearable that I ran out of the house and passed through the fence toward my car as if I were weightless. But I tripped over a large tree root and was unable to get up because my leg was sprained. The ghost stood right there before me , squealing and terrifying me with its round baleful eyes and rotten face. I thought that if there were really an afterlife , I must be proud to tell the fellows in the hell that my head had been ripped off by Pi Pret - the great honor.  But it then threw something at me before walking away. That was a mobile phone !  It must have tried to find it for me in the house , not threatening me like I had presumed. The next day I sent the phone to be unlocked by the expert. Because of a long queue of customers before me,  the phone had to be with him for a night. When returning his finished job to me , he shook his head and asked me where I got it from. I  thought he must have taken liberties of reading something inside the phone. Kun Aon , do you want to know what that thing is ?

I (thought that she was weird to ask that.) : Sure thing !

Wilai (quiet for a while before speaking in quivering voice) : I think this is the only way to lead my brother and others to the path of salvation by revealing what I had found in that mobile phone ...... I found a significant number of clips showing the sex scenes of my brother and his friends with numerous women. But the most dreadful one was that they were having it Ménage à trois with a woman. She was then seemingly intoxicated by drug or alcohol while being sexually assaulted on bed by the 2 men who took turn to film this or sometimes they did that to her altogether. There were also the conversations in the line application that they had viciously lured that poor woman for this kind of orgy. I found her name which I would call here : Ms. A. I called up my brother's headmaster , lying to him that my brother used to mention the name of Ms. A before he died, and this aroused my curiosity. The middle-aged gullibly told me that Ms. A used to be the teacher here and she was notorious for having the flings with many male colleagues , even though some of them were married and that included my brother. But last year she resigned from the school without a clear explanation. The school staff later learnt that she committed suicide by jumping from the 6-story building only days after returning to her hometown. I ,therefore, went back to check the remaining conversations in Line again and found that my brother's friend and Ms. A were threatening each other : he told her that he would send that clip to the famous pornographic website if she didn't let him and my brother have the threesome again , while she told him that she would notify the police. My brother's friend later told Ms. A to meet him for more negotiations in a building in her hometown which he knew quite well because he used to spend the nights there.

I : Ah... you are going to say that guy and your brother might have conspired to kill that poor woman and set it up as a suicide ?

Wilai (cried and sobbed) : That was I thought ! The wife of my brother's friend happened to see those clips and conversations in his phone and the rest was history.

I:  Pew ! Please let me also presume that Pi Pret whom your brother encountered last year was not Ms. Ploy but the vengeful Ms. A ! And finally, she got revenge by appearing in the middle of the road which his car was being driven on that night. Moreover, Pi Pret who threw the mobile phone at you was your brother's friend who wanted to show his repentance.

Wilai : Yes. I initially intended to bring this story to my sister-in-law or even police, but I thought it was impossible to believe and even if they could stomach it , it would beget none but the gross shame to my brother posthumously and even me .So,  I just kept it with myself all along and voila , your program.  Ah , I just want to add that from the conversations in that phone , my brother wasn't the nice guy or the poor victim he used to claim. He was actually manipulative and used other colleagues as the pawns to pander to his lust or hunger for power : he had lied to me all the time !  Kun Aon,  but I finally forgive him and have occasionally made merits for him including everyone in this story. Several nights before joining this program , while I was watering the grass lawn in front of my house , I heard the shrieks from the forest nearby. And I saw the group of Pi Prets standing behind the fogs near a large jackfruit tree . I guessed that those were my brother , his friend , the caretaker , and Ms. A. They were walking unsteadily and screeching with pain . When they saw me , they humbly nodded to me simultaneously before walking back to the forest. I fell to my knees and broke down in tears. I called out the name of my brother  ; one Pret stopped to turn his face to me before waving his hand and disappearing in the forest.

I : That is one of the most heartfelt stories I have ever meet. I will literarily cry now. But I think you should feel more comfort that your brother and others are eventually resting in peace in the better world now because they felt guilty and redeemed themselves by confessing their sins to you and the world. I think the merits are not as important as the truth. Humans cannot forever escape from Prets , in other words , the truth. Our souls shall be unbridled by its revelation to the world.

Wilai didn't respond me but kept wailing. I thus interrupted the program with the belated ads. and the hourly news. The comments in my channel were various : some felt sympathetic to those Prets,  but many felt that they deserved this unsavory fate. Somebody accused that Wilai had the bipolar disorder or the hallucination and fabricated the whole story. After all , everyone agreed that this reflected well the unpleasant truths of the ostentatiously prudish and conservative Thai society to a great degree. I hoped Ms. Wilai would find the peacefulness of her mind and feel free to call me back sometime.

There were also other guests who had told the run-of-the mill stories, and I became the professional actor who pretended to be excited and stupefied by them as usual for hours , but my mind still went to Wilai’s story. When my program finished at 4.21 AM , I felt exhausted and lonely as nobody was in my studio - only the old security guard who went to greet me from time to time. I sighed and walked to the make the hot coffee in the kitchen. Upon returning , I was frightened that the song ‘Fool (If You Think It’s Over)’ was resounding through the studio. Nid-Noi was the person ensconced on the seat of DJ ! I blushed , almost letting the cup slip out of my hand. She was so gorgeous and lively as usual and stunned me with her charms which I had failed to appreciate for years because of the monotonous lives we had shared together. I didn’t know what to do , so I put the coffee cup down on the desk and said,

“Don’t know that you have already returned from Europe.”

She giggled and grabbed the coffee cup to sip.

“I don’t go anywhere because I am always here , with you ! ”

I let myself sink into the swivel chair before her and said flatly,

“It is suffocating me that you are going to manipulate me with your sweet talk after all these days you just have left me. Look : you are smiling with your usual mischief again. Please tell me that you have someone new, and we will drift apart with cordiality. No lingering bitter vendetta, just the loving memories I will cherish until my last breath.”

She smilingly said,

“ I was both extremely shocked and impressed with the story of Kun Wilai. And the way of your response was so clever and insightful. Why didn’t you say like this to me every day before ?”

I pretended to smile.

“That is my job , so I try my best and even say or do everything just to be everyone’s favorite DJ. But you were a part of mine , in other words, we used to be like one person , so our reactions with one another were so natural.”

She spun the empty cup on her hands.

“That’s right. The public always mentions adoringly about you now. I shall bow to you in awe, the great DJ Aon. By the way , from those conversations with Kun Wilai , I felt that both of you were weary of human relationships. Her story was replete with the unfaithful and despairing persons, and you seemed to immerse yourself in it.”

I bitterly sneered.

“The pains in my heart have dictated all my words and mindset - all caused by you.” 

Nid-Noi chuckled.

“ Look, why don’t you think that I have been pained too , all caused by your hubris and selfishness.”

I was stunned as I harked back to my past : all she said was undeniable ! It was comical that I just saw those flaws from people because I always thought I was God who had the ultimate right to judge anyone with this career. I realized that now our estrangement was a mixed blessing like the suffering of those Pi Prets : it finally ushered us out of the ignorance.

I was shaken and muttered,

“I admit that is true and I am utterly sorry now , my sweetie pie. But if you are going to say that it is too late now and bid farewell to me. I will accept that, Ms. Sivaphon (her real name) the great painter.

She shook her head.

“Why are you resigning yourself to this kind of fate so easily ?  Do you think that our love is completely shattered?  It is true that our relationship has been in dire straits until now. It is also true that I almost fell for someone else in Europe but thinking of you has burdened my mind wherever I go. Still, your words right now show that you accept all the truth and repent , and so do I. We both are darn lucky that we have the chance to be the same , unlike Kun Wilai’s brother and others. Listen! We still love to listen to the same old song. Please accept the flaws of ours (luckily, not obnoxious like theirs) as we are only humans, letting our love conquer them and lighten our lives again like the coming break of dawn , will you ?

We both rushed to tearfully embrace each other for a big kiss while the same song was still being played vigorously in the studio :

….. New born eyes always cry with pain

At the first look at the mornin' sun

Fool if you think it's over

It's just begun ….


                                  The Ghost Hunters

The larger-than-life guest in my program tonight was Hia Kai (เฮียไก)- the nickname of Mr.Kairuek Somkammai , my long-distance teacher because I had studied his styles of running programs via the media, not tête-à-tête. It was beyond our beliefs that we eventually ended up as the good friends of different ages. This fortysomething was also an alumnus of my university for long , even before I would be a freshman. Despite being the upshot of the faculty of political science , he was involved in the supernatural shows on TV which I enjoyed watching since being just a student. When social media became an inextricable part of the Thai new generation's lives , Hia Kai had catapulted himself into the megastar of horror like DJ Wan via YouTube and even TikTok. Beginning as the rivalry , my boss later magnanimously accepted Hia Kia as his partner whom he could do business with and suggested me to invite the guy to be the guest tonight.

Also hilarious to say , both men were like 2 peas in a pod : the chubby , narcissistic and cheeky who impressed the public with their great but sometimes wacky sense of humour and some stunning gimmicks. But Hia Kai was a bit different from DJ Wan : he sternly bragged about being the so-called mantra expert (he claimed this word was way cooler than black magic) as he was one of the most earnest and proficient followers of Mor Kob , the self-proclaimed clairvoyant and the frequent visitor of Spook Radio. Hia Kai also had a clique of the like-minded who helped him run the popular show of ' The Ghost Hunters' which crews had travelled around Thailand or Asia to investigate the paranormal phenomena.

I : I felt so awed that my respectable guests , or I'd rather say , one of the coolest guys on earth, is right here in our program for an interview tonight. He is the renowned TV personality whose shows make our skin crawl every night. I wish there would be the audience here like a TV studio , the thunderous applause thus shall be heard. Now Hia Kai , you are cordially welcomed.

(It was only 2 of my assistants , Wit and Tonya, clapped their hands instead. The sounds were so cute that Hia Kai sitting beside me smiled wryly.)

Hia Kai : This is making my eyes moisten with pleasure, bro. You are my favourite DJ ; I am much honoured to learn that you have been secretly my student all along , so the large goosebumps spring up around my groin.

I (stunned a bit) : The honour is all mine too , bro. First of all , I want our audience to learn your brief biography.

Hia Kai : My family was quite humble. My father was a low-ranking civil servant, and my mother was just a food vendor. I was the middle child who always envied my sister for being pampered by my parents. I was always scolded for being work-shy and lacking ability of simple mathematics or anything about the numbers. But I was highly imaginative and adept at drawing pictures. I forget to tell you that I was born a little after the October 6, 1976 Massacre in Thammasart University. When becoming more mature , I was horrified to see the pictures of brutal killings of those students in their own campus or even in Sanam Luang. A guy was being hung from the Tamarind tree and one of the radicals hatefully hit his corpse with the chair while the people around were smilingly observing– that’s horrific !

I : That's why you chose to study in political science ? You wanted to change the society ?

Hia Kai : Yup , but those blood and gore fates of those students lured me into the realm of supernaturality as much as several of my ghost encounters. I wondered where the spirits of those deceased floated to. Did they go to heaven because they had meant well for democracy ? Or they had been burnt in hell for all eternity because they were allegedly the communists hell-bent on dismantling our sacred Nation , Religion and Monarchy ,according to the rightists ?  After graduating from university , I worked as an employee for a Subdistrict Administrative Organization (อบต.) in Chiang Rai for a year and found it boring and pointless. Our society was too corrupt to change anything, and I didn’t want to be a cog in its machine. One day my respected uncle helped me with his connection find a job in the showbiz company in Bangkok : first a reporter and then an anchor of the news programs about actors and celebrities. But my obsession with the creatures beyond the earthly realm drove me to the supernatural shows and the rest was history.

I : How old were you when you first encountered the thing like ghost, black magic or vampire ?

Hia Kai : My first experience about ghost was quite ambiguous. I was probably 15 or 16 years old -not sure. But I remembered having 3 girlfriends at the same time. You can imagine that even now I am still extremely attractive to ladies like Kun Paen (ขุนแผน). That night I was on the way back to my hometown in Phitsanulok by the air-conditioned bus. All my fellow passengers were probably sleeping but I kept staring absent-mindedly at the dark outside. While my bus was passing an intersection , I saw a tall and brawny guy standing on the roadside near the vehicles awaiting the green light. I firstly assumed that he was a drunkard or an insane who was just loitering , but he was standing stiffly like a scary sculpture and his damn face was utterly emotionless. Many days later I learnt that intersection was infamous for being crawling with ghosts because there were numerous accidents across it.

I : Wow, though it was quite unclear, I think it was a spine-chilling beginning for you , and what about your next encounter ?

Hia Kai : Well ... I was just a sophomore in university. Do you believe I used to join the Buddhism Club ? And I know that you studied in the same university as me ; you probably followed in my footsteps.

I : Don't be surprised that I joined the Buddhism Club too even though I used to proclaim myself irreligious. There I had unexpectedly gained the indelible experiences , which partly made me become the guy like today. But I will tell you later , as your story is prioritized.

Hia Kai : OK. I am sorry to have assumed that you had spent the whole time in the university studying or joining some silly club like Drama or Scrabble. It was then the annual activity of the club that in a specific night of Buddhist holy day, each member had to walk in meditation alone one by one to a deserted temple on the hill near our university. The direction was simple : from the student's activity building through another temple nearby and up the hill for half an hour to that temple. It would also be the place for our camping that night. Our senior members said : with only one small flashlight, we would fight the dark or something scary with our bravery- the way to enhance the strengths of our minds. When it was my turn , I did find the atmosphere so creepy ,especially when I was about to pass the stupas containing the human ashes before the way up to the hill. But how could I do anything when this was the only route and another member who had walked before me for only 15 minutes was a girl ? I then found several people sitting on the branches of the sprawling tree above the stupas. I was frightened but an assumption descended on my mind : this was the prank of my senior friends to spook everyone by disguising as the ghosts like I and my fellows used to do to our freshmen during the hazing. I almost teased them by shouting at but just kept walking impassively. At the chapel of the deserted temple , I became astounded that all the senior friends were present and who the heck were the people on the tree ? Are they hired by those students ? In the morning , I visited those stupas and found some pictures of the deceased similar to those of the persons hanging around on the tree.

(I wondered how he recognized those faces in the dark. Did he shine the flashlight on them ? The middle-aged guy didn't mention it at all.)

I : You were scared shitless and henceforth immersed yourself with supernaturality ?

Hia Kai: Not yet young man. Here comes another story which is much longer than the previous ones : I and my friends conducted the investigation at the haunted house not far from my dormitory. It was such an unforgettable thrill. I remember doing it after leaving the pub ,  several days before examinations.

I : You are such a good student  ! That's the reason why you had to study 2 more years (เปอร์) ! Ha ha. What is the background of that haunted house ? And what happened when your gang trespassed there ?

Hia Kai (laughed) :  Don't underestimate those 2 extra years. I become the great man like today because of them. Well,  that house was rumoured to once belong to a happy family : a couple and their 3 children. One night the men broke into their house and killed them in cold blood by hanging them one by one.

I: Ah! What was their motive for such a horrible homicide ?

Hia kai : It was a presumption of the police that the father earned money from the illegal business and double-crossed his partners ,who were the gangsters , before fleeing with his family there. But a reporter of some local newspapers launched a deep investigation and found that the husband was simply a good guy who had done the decent jobs all the time. Don't you ask me whether the perps were arrested later ?  Reckon the transparency or the incorruptibility of the Thai police nowadays , for example , they keep denying that prostitutes exist in Thailand, and you will find the answer. That was the unforgivable failures of both governments of Lung Tuu and Lung Nid : they both didn’t have the guts or the brains to reform the police , so this agency became like the mafia organization.

I (chuckled) : Aha , don’t change the topic now, otherwise I will unwittingly begin the serious discussions about politics instead. What’s next ?

Hia Kai : The unlikely victims were their neighbours who had witnessed numerous paranormal activities several days after their funeral. There were many times the fluorescent lamps in the house were turned on in the dead of night even though nobody was there. There were the sounds of the children playing on the lawn in front of the house and the laughter of their parents as if to show that they were still the one happy family. The smells and the sizzling sounds of the cooking from the dark kitchen had lingered around the houses nearby. These had unsettled the folks tremendously and they all decided to gradually move away. That house was undeniably a great destination for us who wanted to prove the existence of ghosts and also an inspiration for me to produce one of the most popular shows in Thailand today, ‘The Ghost Hunters’.

(He cleared his throat a little. I feared that he would boast about this show for half an hour or more, but luckily, he didn’t.)

Hia kai :That long boring night was in the sweltering summer , probably in 1996. I went there with 3 of my friends by motorbikes. The place was utterly dark and eerie , but the bottles of beer fuelled our foolhardiness. Turning off the motorbike's engines , we had the loud, frivolous talks -like we were in our dormitory- about making plan for what we should do if the ghost family showed up. Should we salute and convey our heartfelt condolence to them according to the Thai etiquette ? Or should we ask them for the prediction of the lotteries which would be won in the next few days ?  Daeng solemnly said that we should interview them about their perpetrators and pass this information to the police - the best way to avenge the poor family. Their spirits would thus be unshackled and dwell in the next better world. We also would be like the unsung heroes at last. Everyone agreed though this looked like the series in TV. The forlorn house was near the lake surrounded by the cluttered Eucalyptus trees. I used to go there in broad daylight and found it so idyllic : the sunlight reflected the lake’s surface while the leafy branches of those tall trees were moved to and fro by the gentle breeze , but regrettably,  the night transformed it into the macabre place where the gruesome crime took hold of its memories and the ghosts were following the routines as if they were not aware of their own demises. A dog’s barks and long howls were heard from the proximity like a plot of the horror films, managing to trigger our dreads along with the dramatic drops in the alcohols in our veins. Everyone began to freak out but would feel ashamed if making an about-face by getting the hell out of here.The 4 strong men thus became totally silent while approaching the haunted house. Though navigated by the bright torchlights  , we found they didn’t allay our fears at all. The shadows of the trees and the bushes around us were disfigured like the strange creatures glaring at us with some hideous purposes. The house like I used to see the other day was beautiful. Despite its dilapidation ,  it had the western style like the houses in Europe and was mainly painted in the cream colour which I adored so much. The white picket fence around the house was useless as most of them were broken and mouldy. We climbed it up without much effort but didn’t realize that we were breaking the law. The downtrodden and withered lawn before the house seemed like sadly waiting for our arrival. We just stood before the house for a while , waiting for anyone to show his fearlessness first , but nobody dared even move their toes let alone enter the house. Afraid that our investigation would finally be futile , Somrak , our reckless friend, shouted loudly ,

“Hey , the ghost family. Here we are! Come out and greet your guests !”

I was startled by his audacity but immediately kept my composure to avoid being branded as a coward. Wittaya then knocked on the cracked glass door of the house and repeated Somrak’s teasing with the stronger words. I followed suit but with the extreme care not to rouse more wraths from the ghosts. Only Daeng looked prudent before shushing us and saying meekly to the house  :

“ Mr. and Mrs. whoever you are , please don’t be angered by my rude friends. We come here to prove that the ghosts are real and most important of all , to be divulged who your killers were, and we guarantee that they will be finally punished by the law. Please show yourselves now !”

Suddenly , the coarse voice popped up behind the glass door :

“Are you sure you can do that ?”

“The glass door was then swiftly opened ;  we all had human knee- jerk reactions : feeling numbed , letting hair stand on end and being ready to run. But Mr. savvy Daeng still had time to examine the person who was greeting us without much cordiality. That was a homeless guy with unkempt hair and dirty dress , not a ghost guy who had the rotten face and the blood dripping on the rope around his neck. He yawned while looking vexed as we had such the temerity to have woken him up in the middle of night. The guy was quite sturdy with his height towering over us. But he was alone, so he wouldn't dare do anything to offend the 4 cantankerous dudes like us. Daeng politely apologized to him , saying that we were just proving the ghostly existences in this house. The guy chuckled and said that he had been illicitly living in this house for almost a week and all he had met were the cockroaches and the rats which later became his soul mates. Our highly anticipated climax was an utter shambles and we immediately left with frustrations like watching the horror film and finding it became the crappy comedy. We calmed ourselves by filling our stomachs with the delicious boiled rice in a food shop nearby while discussing about football or women for an hour. Somrak found the locket from his late mom disappeared from his pocket and assumed he lost it around that so-called haunted house. Abiding by the motto of Bang Rachan Village Blood (เลือดบางระจัน)  : we were all united to live and die together , 4 of us went back there but still couldn't find the locket around the house . We decided to wake that poor guy up again , hoping that he might have kept it . Knocking the door for multiple times and no response , we decided to take liberties of opening it. There , Mr. Aon , do you fu.. (censored) believe that at the corner of the house was a body hanged from the ceiling  !

I : Really ? Hia Kai , are you going to say that you and your friends met another ghost who might have hanged himself before ? Or might he have been hanged to death by the ghosts who were agitated that he trespassed their lair before your arrival ?

Hia Kai: I wish it would be so simple. The cops and the rescue workers arrived and found that corpse was a woman. We went through the serious interrogations about that homeless guy and were petrified by the police's assumption that he was the deranged series killer who was put on the police’s list of the most wanted criminals. He always disguised himself as a bum and had killed more than 10 people – women and teenagers. It sent shivers down our spines  : if I or my friends had been to that house alone, would we have been his next victim ?

I : Urgh ! That was more horrifying than the ghosts ! Actually , humans are the most wicked of all creatures. I've never seen the ghosts massacred more than thirty thousand people like Israeli army has recently done to the Palestinians. And what befell that serial killer later ?

Hia Kai : This is true ! Actually , we fell victims to him too. We became like a cat on a hot tin roof as the idea that the killer might be stalking us for a revenge hadn't eluded us for weeks. The news of his surrender a month later laid our minds to the rest. But we still kept abreast of his news even he was in the prison. The prison warden was kind enough to impart to us that guy, Mr. Winyu, confessed that he had befriended a loose girl who always skipped school to loiter in the park. He later coaxed her with money into the haunted house that night for a kinky sex before torturing her to death. But only minutes after they had sneaked into that house, they were interrupted by my gang's rowdy challenges. Being patient for a while, Mr. Winyu went outside to lie to us. And I thought that he should have received the Academy Award for such a top-notch performance.

I : From the book I read , serial killer is always psychopathic and incredibly adept at pretending to gloss over his true feelings to accomplish something always dastardly or to avoid being caught by authorities if he is suspected.

Hai Kai : Wow , you are also an expert on psychology; I used to hear this kind of your analysis several times. Someday I will invite you to persuade my wife to stop nagging about everything in my f (censored) life (both of us laughed). Well ... while Mr.Winyu and the girl were engaging in the raunchy overture , foreplay, in the erstwhile bedroom, they saw the ghost family manifested themselves as the huddled corpses hanged from the ceiling - what a view! The girl was too scared to even utter a word and as soon as she was about to run away , the rope flew to wrap around her neck and hanged her. Mr. Winyu couldn't move his body as well because the ghosts were tightly gripping him and twisting his neck. He had profusely apologized before one of the ghosts told him to surrender to the police. Mr. Winyu nodded but went back on his promise later. He thus had been ruthlessly terrorized by those ghosts everywhere,  until he rushed to tell everything to the police. Believe me if the ghosts hadn't taken matters into their own hands , such the dangerous serial killer would still have been on the loose and put more lives in jeopardy. They should have been awarded handsomely.

(My funny imagination in the form of comic :  the 5 ghosts were coyly receiving the good citizen award plaque from the smiling high-ranking police officers in the conference room. I almost burst out laughing.)

I : The ghost family seemed to be scrupulous but how come they killed that poor girl ?

Hia Kai: Ah, they had their own reason. In the next day a thuggish man named Mr. U (นายอู๋) darted to hug the girl's corpse at the hospital and broke down. He tearfully told everyone that he was the girl’s father and became so inconsolable. He at last decided to confess to the police that he killed the poor family in that house years ago. The father of the family had cuckolded Mr. U while he and his wife worked together at a factory (the reporter and the police didn’t know about this). Mr. U was extremely furious and had intended to kill only him , but he was later afraid that the other family members might be the witnesses for the police,  hence the heart-wrenching killing. Mr. U used to be a soldier in the special force , so he acted alone - wrong presumption again of the authorities. He hanged himself in jail months later because of his utmost guilt and belief that his daughter's death was from his own karma,  expressed through his long and emotional letter.

I : Wow ! What a story ! A perfect plot for the Hollywood horror flick !  Why didn't the ghosts hang Mr. U with their own hands ?

Hia Kai (shrugged): It was a baffling mystery. Don’t deride my story as a bullshit because the respectable prison warden who interviewed Mr.Winyu wouldn’t write the short horror story like this. The serial killer also wasn't prone to hallucination or drugs according to the prison’s psychologist. So, I will use my speculations to explain this to you. The ghosts probably couldn't do harm to Mr. U because he had some voodoo shits and the sacred amulets to protect himself as he used to fight in the bloody battles. But Mr. Winyu unwittingly did the ghosts a great favour by bringing Mr. U’s daughter to the house - the reason why they spared his life. killing that girl was the sweetest revenge for them because Mr. U had been agonizingly tormented by the passing of his daughter. And won’t you ask me whether Somrak found the locket?

I:  Ah, I forget to ask you. Did it matter ?

Hia Kai: You bet !  I will say that we haven’t still known about its whereabout until today! My friend probably lost it in another place or perhaps the ghost stole it from his pocket because this would compel our group to go back to that house. If we hadn’t done this , the girl’s corpse would probably have been left rotten there alone for a long time or even until today !  This could have been the ghosts’ premeditation when we arrived there , I guess. And this was also their revenge on Somrak for being so foul-mouthed.

I : And let’s presume if that serial killer hadn’t brought the girl to that house , you gang might have been mercilessly hanged by such the ferocious ghosts !

Hia Kai : Your scenario was reasonable, but I believe that is not my fate because I am destined to be the person who has helped loads of my fellow actors walk the path of glory and fame (เป็นเรือจ้าง). By the way, my gang’s story has not ended yet.

I : Sorry , Hia Kai. We have to stop your horseshit , oops , your blood-curdling story for a while because it is time for the hourly news and our sponsors. But I will appease you with a song that you request as a gratitude for being our guess tonight.

(After the advertisement, I played  ‘Living in Hell’ (ตายทั้งเป็น) of Pi Jae Danuphon Kaewkarn , the oldie in the 80s – Hia Kai’s most favourite song. He said this song reminded him of his childhood , especially when he woke up in the morning of Saturday and watched its lively music video on TV, which seemed to imitate the film 'Indiana Jones' .)

I : Read the comments of our enthusiastic audience tonight : some say your story is generally quite over the top and some wonder why you don’t get tired of admiring yourself. But don't mind their lame and mindless jokes as they are always your die-hard fans (Hia Kai laughed). Lo and behold ! I have just found an adorable comment. Kun Pawari gives you the long lines of heart and kiss emojis, saying you can divorce your nagging wife and marry her instead.

Hia Kai (laughed unrestrainedly) : Thank you , thank you. If one day I’m fed up with my wife, I will call her to join my Harlem in a heartbeat. I know I am charming, but I still love my dear wife so much… Ahem , what I said just now was merely a joke , ha ha.

I (laughed): I know that you are perfectly aware that your wife is watching my program right now (he laughed) . OK , Let’s go back to your story.

Hia Kai : We nonetheless continued our devil- may- care investigations. Perhaps we were too macho and thought halting it would make us become like the sissies if not the scaredy- cats. Moreover, we were in the very long semester break and didn’t have a care in this world. But we would call them  ‘experiments’ since this time we had resorted to the ancient manuscript instead.

I : Ancient manuscript ?

Hia kai : You heard it right. Daeng stumbled on it at an old second-hand bookstore. It was the dilapidated souvenir from the funeral in 1969 , replete with the various methods of how to see ghosts. Those were also claimed to be original from the era of Ayutthaya. The book later looked intimidating like a cursed one. Daeng began to get scared and kept it in the room containing the Buddha images and other sacred things. But some nights he seemingly heard someone walking or mumbling in that room.

I : What a vile book ! The majority of our audience are now dying to learn about those methods , so please give them the examples.

Hia Kai : Really ? I think that some are similar to the ones on the internet today, and some are comically bizarre or old-fashioned. The first : we went to a cemetery, put its soil to smear our eyelids and said some mantra for 10 minutes in front of a grave around midnight.

I : And did this work ?

Hia kai : We couldn’t say that thanks to its ambiguity like my first experience. At the end of experiment, we saw some dark figure walking by. We gallantly chased it and found it just vanished into thin air. Perhaps that was a villager or even the annoyed undertaker who just wanted to f (censored) with us ,or even an unidentified animal which contorted shadow looked like human’s. We turned to experiment with the second method in Somrak’s house while his family was out of town. At midnight again, Somrak stayed alone in the dark room with only the flickering candlelight . He was supposed to comb his hair slowly while staring at the mirror intensely. 3 of us were waiting outside the house and heard him screaming. He trembled and fearfully told us that he saw the 2 women with the blood on their heads standing behind him. They then extended their hands to him but disappeared when we rushed into the room. Our mission seemed like completed but we had not brought the camera to record anything yet. I had some hunch that Wittaya had blatantly concocted this situation , and funny that almost 2 decades later he confessed to doing so. The third method was quite hilarious : we all had to sit in line and hit the empty bowls with our chopsticks near the small intersection where some fatal accidents happened. We then summoned the ghosts in incessant loud voice while the camera was recording us. The dark intersection at 2.20 AM  was creepy with the rarity of the vehicles passing by. This made us increasingly nervous and drenched in sweat though it was the winter. The activity had lasted for 10 minutes by the time we saw the crowd walking toward us. We were extremely terrified but kept moving our wrists and yelling out. But we finally found that those were the police officer and the people who lived not far from here since they had suspected us of stealing the public property like the traffic lights (we both laughed).The fourth which would be our last experiment with was in the morgue of the forlorn temple. We had to lie for an hour in the empty coffin of the persons who terribly perished (ผีตายโหง) and occasionally say the incantations. The ghosts would wait for us outside or would have the courtesy to show up in the coffin before our faces. It was my turn and I had to grudgingly bribe the drunken undertaker with the 2 bottles of rice whisky . While I was lying in the coffin for just half an hour  -urgh !  It was super smelly and stuffy , I felt there were several people surrounding the coffin before shaking it along with the rude swears. I got angry and thought my friends sneaked into the morgue and played the prank on me. I hastily rose out of the coffin but found no one there. And what a pity that our hidden camera couldn’t record anything supernatural around the coffin ! Unexpectedly , Wittaya, who looked irritated, insisted that he would continue the same method that night. He told us to go back to the dormitory and return at dawn as he would lie in this coffin even for hours to see the ghosts with his own eyes and record them with the camera. We disagreed by saying that it was too dangerous , but Wittaya was too adamant. I was afraid that we had a foreboding this time.

My readers , please choose one of the scenarios you see appropriate or desire to happen to Hia Kai and his friends as follows : 

                Scenario A

Hia Kai : When we returned to the morgue at dawn , we found the lid of the coffin still closed , but the camera and its stand nearby had been knocked upside down. At first we thought that Wittaya just dozed off , but when we opened the lid. Oh , my Buddha !!! Wittaya lied breathlessly in the coffin. His hands were raised above his body and all his fingers were twisted like he was desperately pushing the lid away. Strange that although the lid was quite light ,  all he could do was to scratch its surface like his whole energy was drained out. Our poor friend looked extremely pale and grimaced, opposite to his eyes which were opened wide like he was encountering something utterly frightening. When we checked his pulse , it was long gone. We started crying so hard and had to endure the tense interrogations of the police again. Tragically, the camera was irretrievably damaged  and couldn't provide any evidence to help us. The doctor who performed the autopsy said that Wittaya had the cardiac arrest. He had some illness which we , or even himself , were not aware of, and it was exacerbated when he was in the suffocating narrow place like the coffin.  We later incurred the wraths from his bereaved mother and our families for our reckless experiment. Everything was  totally f (censored) up.  We totally abandoned the paranormal investigations but still firmly believed that the ghosts were the culprits in Wittaya's death, and I henceforth became superstitious. I painfully realized this world was such a dangerous place , so I secretly studied the mantra with several persons praised by many to be the great necromancers. I launched 'The Ghost Hunters' in honour of the late Wittaya and followed those methods of that book which Daeng gave to me a day after that incident took place every now and then.

              Scenario B

Hia Kai : When we returned to the morgue at dawn , we found the lid of the coffin on the floor , and the camera and its stand nearby had been knocked upside down. The coffin was empty, and we finally found Wittaya sitting trembling in the forest near the undertaker's house. He told us that after having been in the coffin for more than an hour , he felt the coffin shaken and several people scolding him with some strange language. When fully mustering up the courage ,he opened the lid and found the 4 guys whose severely disfigured faces were covered with blood and pus surrounding him. The feet of everyone were invisible like they were hovering above the ground. Wittaya screamed at the top of his lungs and ran out of the morgue to the undertaker's house, but he found an old woman with the sinister red eyes sitting on the stairs of the house. She stood up sticking out her long tongue like a big snake to greet him. Before he would run away , she disembowelled herself and brought her own intestine to show him with pride. He fled to hide in a bush , nearly collapsing. Tragically, the camera was irretrievably damaged  and couldn't provide any evidence to confirm his claim. After this incident, Wittaya became absent-minded and acted weird most of the time like he was possessed, and his mental health declined rapidly to the extent that he was submitted to the psychiatric hospital and stayed there for a long time. We later incurred the wraths from his mother and our families for our reckless experiment. Everything was totally f (censored)  up.  We totally abandoned the paranormal investigations but still firmly believed that the ghosts were the culprits in Wittaya's madness, and I henceforth became superstitious. I painfully realized this world was such a dangerous place , so I secretly studied the mantra with several persons praised by many to be the great necromancers. I launched 'The Ghost Hunters' in honour of Wittaya and followed those methods of that book which Daeng gave to me a day after that incident took place every now and then.

                Scenario C

Hia Kai : When we returned to the morgue at dawn , we found the lid of the coffin on the floor , and the camera and its stand nearby had been knocked upside down. The coffin was empty, and we were startled to find the blood stains along the way to another exit of the morgue. Wittaya was lying bleeding near the undertaker's house. We hysterically helped him to the hospital. The police who arrested the perp said that he was attacked by the undertaker's son who was the junky and out of curiosity sneaked to open the lid of the coffin where Wittaya was lying inside. That guy was then hallucinating , thinking that Wittaya was the ghost of his late enemy , so he attempted to stab him with his knife. Our poor friend successfully escaped but lost a ton of blood. Still,  he survived after 10 straight days in the ICU unit . We later incurred the wraths from his mother and our families in for our reckless experiment. Everything was totally f (censored)  up.  We totally abandoned the paranormal investigations but still firmly believed that the ghosts really existed,  and I henceforth became superstitious after seeing the video in the camera that there were some conspicuous shadows behind the undertaker's son while attacking Wittaya. The experts couldn't prove what they really were. Perhaps that junky was possessed. I painfully realized this world was such a dangerous place , so I secretly studied the mantra with several persons praised by many to be the great necromancers. I launched 'The Ghost Hunters' in honour of Wittaya and followed those methods of that book which Daeng gave to me a day after that incident took place every now and then.


     It was 4.20 AM again as the endless recurrence of my banal life was unfolding. Hia Kai idly sank into the sofa with his right leg crossed while sipping the lemonade. The song was faintly played in the studio to celebrate the end of our program. It was supposed to be the oldies in the 80s like ‘It’s Too Late !’ (สายเกินไป) by Koi Phimol Thammasarn of Ovation or ‘ The Rural Folks Like US’ (คนกินแดด) by Nick Niranam , but it was the Piano Quartet in A Minor composed by Gustav Mahler instead (none of his fans ever imagined that he would listen to such a song for the snobbish as he liked to sing the country songs in TV) . The middle-aged man put down the glass and looked at 3 of us who were gawking at him like awaiting something he was about to say in any minute. He said quietly like he was murmuring , but we still could hear it well.

    “ I am reminiscing about the first time I became an employee of a Subdistrict Administrative Organization (อบต.) in Chiang Rai. The person ever impressing me tremendously was Pi Charn ,   a pretty woman in her early 30s. Look at me : the ugly guy like me was kindly treated by her , my loving mentor. Her altruistic help to the naive newbie like me made me even obsessed with her as my secret crush though being aware that it would be an unrequited love. One fine day with the cloudless sky Pi Charn simply jumped to death from the 5th floor of the building. The scene of her suicide was so both spectacular and appalling. Some documents were in her arms while jumping and their papers were slowly descending around her bloody , contorted body on the ground. I was totally shocked and devastated. I learned later that Pi Charn had been forced by the chief executive of this organization to help him with the accounting fraud. As a decent accountant, she refused but had been ceaselessly threatened and blackmailed by him so seriously that she couldn’t even resign. She attempted to make the pleas to the authority or to notify the police numerous times, but it was like falling on deaf ears because that fucking perp had the strong connections with the upper echelons of the local government. Funny , if this had happened today , she could have asked for help from the social activists like Gun Chomphalang or Thanai (lawyer) Decha. Those documents were the solid evidence of the chief executive’s corruptions and she hoped that they would bring him down or at least give her the justice after her death. But regrettably , those papers were immediately forfeited and destroyed by my colleagues who longed to court the favour with their boss. I was extremely furious and wanted so badly to assassinate that motherfucker or do whatever to avenge my angel. I remember walking past him and grudgingly greeting him with Wai (Thai style of salute). He smiled beautifully and touched my right arm , admiring me profusely although he didn't know me well. And it was in my imagination that I swiftly brought the knife out of my tote bag and stabbed him a thousand times after yelling out that it would be great for the filthy swine like him to die today ! But I was too cowardly to do so. Eventually , I turned to the black magic by begging the Cambodian necromancer , also my teacher , to hold the ritual to send the 1,000 needles to attack that chief executive. Mr. Aon , do you know what happened afterward ? Nothing – not fucking thing ! Despite my other attempts – until I lost count- to harm him via the black magic with other necromancers, that guy was still living the comfortable life of corruption and abuses of power. Do you want to know his name ? He now becomes the famous senator because he has ardently supported the junta regime all along .”

    I said in a calm voice :

   “You are going to say, even after our vigorous interview  , that you consider the supernaturality - the essential of your career - is nothing but a croc of shit ? Wow ! This is the most shocking plot twist I have ever seen. You are one of the greatest supernaturality experts in this country's showbiz along with DJ Wan. ”

    Hia Kai sneered.

    “ The 2  protagonists in my story eased their troubled minds with confessions and I am unexpectedly consumed by this. I begin to confess to 3 of you the ugly truth I have kept to myself for decades. I don’t care whether tomorrow you will tell DJ Wan or the world to know this because I could claim that I was drunken or just quipped. You may accuse me of being the great hypocrite or scoundrel – that’s fine , because I have lived off those lies for decades like the actors and don't know how to find another job. Perhaps someday I will write the books to expose lies and deceptions of the showbiz in which ironically, I am the great part , and I will dedicate those books to Pi Charn who keeps haunting me all the time”.

      Tonya smiled.

      “Hia Kai, in your idea ; if  black magic doesn’t exist ,  ghosts don't exist either ?”

       The middle-aged man kept tapping the table with his finger.

      “ I don't think you can use that kind of inference , but it could be easily proved : if ghosts do exist , the ghost of Pi Charn would go to snap the neck of that chief executive the minutes she died. What about the ghosts of more than 30 thousand of Palestinians who have perished in this ongoing war ? Have they paid the unsavoury visits to Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu , the bloodthirsty Israeli prime minister, who has ordered the planes to bomb them mercilessly ? "

        She said like lashing out at him.

       “So , your experience of seeing the ghosts on the tree above the stupas that night or the story that your coffin was being shaken and you also heard the voices around you are just your barefaced lies , right ?"

       Hia kai shrugged and poured the lemonade into his glass again.

       “ Young lady , I want to ask you and everyone  , as the employees of this kind of company, do you really believe in the supernaturality, or you are just like me ? And you really enjoy working here ? C’ mon gimme a break !”

       She simply nodded and let the silence surround us. Hia Kai smiled triumphantly.

       “It is not important whether ghosts or black magic really exists. We just cater to the audience’s fantasy of supernatural phenomena for their own pleasure and our own benefits like the monks in our or other religions. I believe most of them don’t fully believe in those stuffs either, but it is just an entertainment ! Like the motto of your boss , DJ Wan.”

         Wit also raised the question , but he was more cautious.

       " You said that the bloody massacre of students in 1976 deeply influenced you. And what is your opinion about it now , when you are the full- blown capitalist like this ?"

          Hia kai still smiled but his eyes showed a little sign of being brooding.

          “Good question ! I always think about the guy who was hanged from the tamarind tree. If he had not believed in socialism or democracy and joined the protest leading to massacre, what would he do now? He probably finished his study , found the good job and had the warm loving family. He must be right now the happy pensioner who keeps watching his grandchildren grow. Yes ,  I am talking about ideologies which bear resemblance to superstitions. We all must believe in some of them regardless of who we are. Apart from that student’s death,  let’s calculate the statistic in the human history: how many do humans die for ideologies like nationalism in the wars ? This was even though those 2 are intangible and have the self-contradictory discourses or the blatant lies all across them like the ghost stories  I have just told you. Ideologies are thus illusionary. You can choose the scenario of life and society you like but it will be miraculously fit with the ideology holding sway over your minds. You want the society of equality or prosperity  ? Democracy , capitalism or even socialism can give you both ! By the way, do you know why I always keep admiring myself ? That is a gimmick to create the popularity for myself. It is true that some might dislike this like the comments Mr.Aon said , but remember we can't make everybody like us , whereas such the subtle narcissism can manipulate people - perhaps millions or billions of them ! Let’s reckon Ex-President Donald Trump who is extremely conceited. Plenty of people around the world loathe him and deem him the buffoon , but why is he still popular and might become the American president again at the end of this year ? A significant number of people are desperately seeking the perfect leaders who look confident ,albeit excessively. They thus are unbelievably ready to follow or even die for those leaders who incessantly feed the public with the images of the false gods and more importantly the endless mendacities like their ideologies. We the people are all like the name of my program ‘ The Ghost Hunters’ , the persons who are hunting for something which doesn’t really exist and become possessed by it."

       Hia Kai suddenly grabbed my shoulder.

       “And what about you , Mr.Aon , one of the greatest DJs in Thailand ? How can you be at peace with yourself with the life of the actor who has thrived on the fabrications of the bullshits days in , days out ?" 

       I was dumbfounded.

บล็อกของ อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์

อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
The Spook Radio (part 2)ภาค 2 ของดีเจอ้นซึ่งเป็นดีเจรายการที่เปิดให้ทางบ้านมาเล่าเรื่องสยองขวัญหรือเรื่องเหนือธรรมชาติ ได้รับแรงบันดาลใจมาจาก The Shock และ The Ghost  (Facebook คนเขียนคือ Atthasit Muang-in)
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
(เรื่องสั้นสยองขวัญภาษาอังกฤษเรื่องนี้ลอกมาจากเรื่องสั้นของราชาเรื่องสยองขวัญของเมืองไทย ครูเหม เวชากร ตัวเอกคือนายทองคำ เด็กกำพร้าอายุ 12 ขวบที่อาศัยอยู่กับยายและญาติในชนบทของไทยในช่วงเวลาประมาณ พ.ศ.2476)
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
The lingering sunlight from the dawn kissed my eyelids and I could hear faintly the flock of big birds, whose breed was unbeknownst to me, chirping merrily outside window ,as if to greet the exuberant face of a new day.
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
เรื่องของรปภ.หนุ่มผู้ค้นหาภูติผีปีศาจในตึกที่ลือกันว่าเฮี้ยนที่สุด  เรื่องนี้ได้แรงบันดาลใจมาจากรายการ The Ghost Radio(the altered version)
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
เรื่องของผู้ชาย 3 คนที่ขับรถบรรทุกแล้วต้องเผชิญกับผีดูดเลือด 3 Friends and The Ghosts                                                (1)
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
This short novel is about a guy who works as a DJ for the radio program 'The Spook Radio', famous for its allowing audience to share their thrilling experiences or tales about the superstitious stuffs, especially the ghosts, via telephones.
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
นวนิยายภาษาอังกฤษเรื่องนี้เกี่ยวกับคนไทยที่ใช้ชีวิตในเยอรมันช่วงพรรคนาซีเรืองอำนาจ  เขียนยังไม่จบและยังไม่มีการ proofreading แต่ประการใด                     Chapter 1  
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
บทความนี้มาจาก facebook  Atthasit Muangin สมศักดิ์ เจียมธีรสกุล มหาศาสดาผู้ลี้ภัยอยู่ที่กรุงปารีส ฝรั่งเศส ในฐานะเป็นเอตทัคคะหรือผู้เป็นเลิศในเรื่องเจ้า (The royal affairs expert)  พบกับการวิพากษ์วิจารณ์และโจมตีอย่างมากมายจากบรรดาแฟนคลับหรือคนที่แวะเข้ามาในเ
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
 (มีบทความอื่นอีกมากมายในเฟซบุ๊คของผมคือ Atthasit Muang-in) 1.สลิ่มไม่ชอบอเมริกาและตะวันตกซึ่งคว่ำบาตรและมักท้วงติงไทยหลังรัฐประหารปี 2557  ในเรื่องประชาธิปไตยและสิทธิมนุษยชน โดยพวกสลิ่มเห็นว่าทั้งสองฝ่ายเป็นพวกหน้าไหว้หลังหลอกเช่นเคยบุกประเทศอื่น
อรรถสิทธิ์ เมืองอินทร์
ตัวละครบางตัวได้แรงบันดาลใจมาจากอิ๊กคิวซัง เณรน้อยเจ้าปัญญา The Abbot and The Noble           (1) In our village , Abbot Akisada was enormously respected by most of our