by Jim Algie
(Originally published in the Dark Dreams e-zine in 2008 and long-listed for the Bram Stoker Award for the Best Novella of that year)
His body melted into dreams rising like smoke from an opium pipe, where his wife tickled his face with her hair. “I love to see my cute little mouse wake up with a smile on his face,” she said. When See Ouey opened his eyes, the only thing tickling his face was a creepy-crawly scurrying across his forehead. He swatted the insect away. He spat a curse and sat up in the back of the rickshaw. Every night was the same. No sooner had he drifted off to sleep than insects ruined his rest.
See Uey sparked a match, the smell of phosphorus wrinkling his nose. As the flame flared up, he moved the match across the wooden planks of the rickshaw, crawling with chubby brown cockroaches. He smashed a few of them with one of the rubbers sandals he’d cut from a car tire. With every smack, he recalled his mother berating him as a boy, some Buddhist or Taoist saying, “If you kill an insect you’ll be stupid for a week.”
Smashing them was a futile pursuit anyway; the insects scurried away too quickly. Sweat raining down his chest and forehead, See Ouey breathed a sigh of defeat and put on his sandals.
To read more of Jim’s gripping short story based on the life of See Ouey, Thailand’s most notorious cannibal, download the full text of Feasting on Famine here.
by Jim Algie
In the middle of the MBK mall in Bangkok, one of hip-hop’s most notorious anti-heroes was out shopping for DVDs and computer games. He was walking around with his blonde and buxom wife Coco, and his portly, right-hand DJ Afrika Islam, when an old Chinese man came running up and said, “Ice-T number one!” Soon the three of them were encircled by snap-happy Japanese tourists. Far from the fear and revulsion that Ice and Afrika provoked in the late 80s, here was the living proof of hip-hop’s ascendance from the ghettos of black America to the mainstream of globe-wide mall culture.
As Matt Hammond of the Q Bar recounted these anecdotes to us in the club shortly before we were supposed to interview the rapper and actor, I had to ask him, “You mean Ice was cool with this?”
“He shook people’s hands, posed for pictures. He’s very down to earth,” said Matt, who helped to pull off one of the biggest musical coups in Bangkok in 2005 by booking Ice-T to hand out the awards for their “Battle of the MCs” contest and do a live set.
To read more of Jim’s interview with Ice-T download the full text here.