An International Woman

Entry by: Seaside Scribbler

11th March 2016
By morning, all trace of the blood was gone. The sea had risen and fallen, taking the man and the blood away. Andrea had been worried she'd read the tide tables wrong - the translation from Greek was clunky and confusing - but she's got it right. She walked casually with arms swinging loose and a loping gait along the shoreline. She didn't stop at the place it had happened, but strolled on, once she was satisfied there was no trace of him.

It was no coincidence that her name meant' warrior'. There was a reason she'd been left an inheritance. All things were written, as was her destiny. It had taken a while to find but now she was on her path, she was following fate. She smiled, letting the early morning sun warm her face, as she pushed her hands down deeper in her pockets. They twitched, her strong piano-playing fingers eager to continue.

But not here.

She was booked on a flight to Thailand in three hours. There was just time to go back to the hotel and pack, take a taxi and leave Pythox. It had been a most satisfying visit.

She'd tracked the man from Athens after hearing about him down the travellers' grapevine. He'd been described in various ways, and none of them good. The allegation of rape was what pushed Andrea into action. Her first murder had been an accident; this one was meticulously planned. She followed him for a week, just to see what he was really like. It turned out he was really, really bad, as the women had said. She nicknamed him Stephen the Evil, whilst watching him stalking his prey on the deck of the ferry. The woman in this case was fine - Andrea had a discreet word with her and when Stephen the Evil returned with drinks, the girl had made harself scarce. Andrea watched him frown in confusion, scratch his balls, shrug and down both drinks. His next attempt was less subtle. A few drinks later, he groped a woman who was alone on deck, taking photos of the sunset. Andrea appeared behind him twisted his arm up and made sure she hurt him. The girl - who was so young she shouldn't have been travelling alone, surely? - scuttled off, thanking Andrea with a red face. Andrea wondered if she'd get away with chucking him off into the Aegean there and then, but decided caution was better.

'Next time, you won't see me coming,' she hissed, and let him go.

He staggered off, rubbing his shoulder.

'Bitch,' he said through gritted teeth. 'Fucking bitch.'

Andrea stood and watched him go. Killing him was going to feel wonderful, she thought.

And so it had. Knives are easy to buy in Greece. Once they got off the ferry in Pythox, she'd disguised herself and shadowed him all the way to his grotty backpacker hostel. She stood behind him whilst he checked in, listened to the reception staff allocating him a room - 'private with big bed' - and shuddered as she imagined why he'd requested that. She left, found a hotel for herself, changed disguise and went out to buy a knife. It wasn't a huge knife, but she knew where to put it and she was confident it'd do the job.

It was done later that night. He'd tried coming on to several women, all who refused him, thank God, or things could have got difficult, and he was getting angry. She thought he was probably the kind of man who'd take what he wanted if he wasn't given in; certainly this is what the stories about him had suggested.

He'd been blind drunk by the time she came onto him, and the rest was easy. A snicker-snack, just like the jabberwocky, and he was done and dusted. There was more blood than she'd expected, which meant he died more quickly than she'd wanted (she didn't get to explain fully why she'd done it, to him) but it taught her a good lesson - throats bleed. A lot. better to go for the chest next time, and give herself chance to say a farewell.

She was slightly tense at the airport, but nobody arrested her. He'd been travelling alone, which meant he might not be found for days, when he washed up somewhere else in Greece.

On the flight she felt more at peace than she had done for months. And she was thankful. She had been beginning to feel a little lost, purposeless and alone. Now she had a mission, she was grateful to the world for giving it to her. Mother Earth was looking after her women and she, Andrea, was going to help.

The first murder had been more like manslaughter. Andrea hadn't meant to kill him. She'd only meant to push him away, as he bit into her neck in over-zealous foreplay, which she knew was going to end badly. She'd only gone with him out of sheer lonliness and as a means of burying her past. If she could be with a man again maybe it meant she'd outrun her demons...? But she hadn't, because the minute he began letting himself go, she froze, frightened and fierce, and pushed him away. The trouble was, they were on a clifftop and he was drunk. He screamed as he fell and the sound made her shiver, with delight.

She waited for a whole week, hiding in her room, going out only for supplies, waited for Turkish police to come banging at her door to arrest her for murder. But there was nothing. He wasn't reported missing on social media or in the newpapers. He wasn't talked about in the local bars (once she ventured out she became an accomplished eavesdropper). She couldn't believe it: she'd got away with it. She left the resort town and headed to Greece, the lightness in her step increasing all the way to the border until she was fleeing freely away.

She knew Mother Earth was protecting her.

Thailand was hot. It was busy. It was full of travellers. She checked herself into a dive on Khaosan Road, and went hunting. She found a gaggle of tie-dyed girls in a bar and got friendly with them by buying them buckets of alcohol. They'd been here for weeks, seduced by cheap prices and cheap clothes. They kept coming back to Khaosan Road and then going away again, to islands, to the north. She asked them if they'd heard of any creeps, because she was doing a story on men who go hunting abraod. She was an undercover journalist, she said.

One girl, Summer, went very quiet whilst the others roared at shared stories and mis-remembered drunken nights of what sounded more like wild orgies than holiday romances. At the end of the night, Andrea offered to walk back with the girl, who said she was going home early, she was tired.

It was easy to get the story out of her.

'It was a bar owner. On Koh Samui,' Summer said. Her eyes filled and for a while she could hardly go on. 'He drugged me - I think. I think he put something in my drink. When I woke up... I was bleeding. There was - stuff - all over my bed. Blood, and, you know...'

Andrea's flesh crawled in remembrance and she gave the girl a hug. 'You poor thing,' she said, and cuddled her until her breath slowed down.

'I've not been able to tell anyone. Me and my friends, we have a reputation. We're known for getting drunk and being wild and I knew nobody would believe me. Sven - the guy - is in with the Thai police. They are so corrupt. They've never believe me. My friends don't know, either. If I told them...'

She stopped talking and Andrea wondered, what? What would they do if you told them? But she thought she knew. She understood; this girl didn't want anyone hurt. If she and her friends took revenge, they'd be the ones who ended up in difficulty. That made it easy. She took the girl back to her room, went back to her own and took out her map and travel book. Tomorrow she'd go to Koh Samui.

Sven took longer to die. And she did it in his room, so he'd be found quicker. She wanted other people to come forward, to know they were safe from him now. She wanted to know she'd helped.

By her second day back in Bangkok, the papers were full of it. SWEDISH BAR OWNER BUTCHERED screamed the English paper. Andrea bought a copy and took it back to her room at the Sheraton, to read over breakfast.

She had to go, and she needed a new plan. What now... She wandered about in cyberspace for a while, clicking on links to different attractions in Asia, then she had an idea. With a few clicks she found herself on a travellers' forum called CreepAlert which was 'a place women could go to report anyone dodgy'. For a second Andrea was annoyed at not having thought it up herself, but as she read on she realised what an amazing discovery she'd made. Here was a fountain of knowledge, a mecca of discovery, a collection of creeps. No more eavesdropping or tracking people herself! Her eyes gleamed as she thought of the possibilities.

She scanned down the lists of threads. One caught her eye:

Creep in Cambodia!

She read the comments and whistled through her teeth. Here was a man who needed sorting. His name was Pierre, and his parents were foreign dignitaries, and he could get away with whatever he wanted. And frequently did. Woman after woman reported being harrassed and sexually threatened by him. There were no rapes reported, but this didn't mean they hadn't happened. Or wouldn't happen in future.

She smiled as she packed her bags. Andrea: London, Paris, Rome, she thought but then realised that was wrong. It should be Andrea: Athens, Bangkok, Phnom Phen.

'To the future,' she whispered, as she tucked her passport into her bag.