Friday, January 15, 2016

Free Fiction: Runaway Bride Part Two (A Lenny Parker Serial) by Jochem Vandersteen

Last episode Lenny Parker, roadie / PI was hired to find out why a young woman (Jill) left a young man (Tommy) without any good explanation...

Lenny figured the best place to start was Tina Tristam’s. He debated with himself if he should ring the bell or be a bit more covert in his actions. He decided it would be wise to be covert first. He could always ring the bell after that. So he sat in his Dodge Ram, playing the new Iron Maiden record and watching Tina’s house. She lived in an apartment building in a nice area of San Diego, all white stucco and potted plants on the balconies.
A Honda drove up the parking lot. A chubby brunette left it after it got parked. She fit the description Tommy had given Lenny of Tina. Lenny watched her walk to the apartment building. She was wearing one of those power suits and was curvy enough to still look feminine in them.
He figured he could get out of the Dodge and ask her some questions. He also figured she wouldn’t want to talk to an overweight PI with arms full of tattoos. If Jill didn’t want to talk to Tommy her friend probably wanted to keep her mouth shut about anything she knew as well. Besides, the Iron Maiden record was really good.
Tina disappeared into the building. Lenny waited, putting on the Iron Maiden cd a second time when it was done. Another car appeared on the parking lot. An Audi, a preppy looking young man exiting it.
More waiting, the Iron Maiden record being replaced by the new Lamb of God album. A few more people arrived, a few more left. And then things got interesting.
The car that parked then was very different from the Audi, Honda and other run of the mill cars that had been arriving the last few hours. This was an honest to gosh Cadillac. It was red, had some fuzzy dice in the window if you can imagine that.
Out stepped a huge black guy in a leather jacket. It reminded Lenny of the one Samuel Jackson wore in Shaft. He loved that movie. The guy was wearing a ton of rings and bling around  his neck. He was wearing shades while it was already in the evening. Yeah, this guy stood out.
The guy glanced at Lenny’s car. Lenny ducked and banged his head on the steering wheel. The claxon honked. The black guy was startled, but when he saw Lenny rubbing the painful spot on his forehead he chuckled. He shook his head and walked towards the apartment building.
Lenny wondered what he should do now? This guy made him. Well, made him… Noticed him. He didn’t really seem to have him identified as a private investigator.  Maybe he should just get rid of the car. He’d been taught by his mentor, Old Man Jackson, that people focused on the car, not the people behind the wheel. Except when you were a good looking woman. All rules changed then. Lenny was neither good looking nor a woman.
Lenny drove off and parked the car a street down the road. He got out, carrying the latest copy of Metal Hammer and walked to the parking lot of the apartment. He leaned against a tree, pretending to read the magazine while he in fact kept a keen eye on the building.
He stood there for about ten minutes when the black guy and a pretty young woman left the building. He almost yelped out when he realized the woman was in fact Jill. She wore white shorts, a pink tank-top and stiletto heels. She was even better looking in person than on the picture Tommy had shown him with her long, smooth, milky white legs, small but firm bosom. He’d found her already! He was even better at this than he thought. Maybe he could do this fulltime, ditch his roadie job. He’d probably miss the life on the road, though. Hanging out with the bands, seeing the sights. Of course he could do without the hangovers, aching back and lousy motel beds.
Then he understood this might have been only the easy part of the job. He found her, but he still had no clue why Jill left Tommy. Unless of course she left him because she had a new lover, namely the big black dude. They didn’t look like much of a couple though. He had an arm around her, but they weren’t strolling like lovers. It was more like he was dragging her along.
The black guy opened the door of the Cadillac, seemed to shove Jill inside and slammed the door. He got in as well. They drove off.
Lenny ran to his Dodge. He made it halfway until he had to stop for a second, wheezing, hands on his knees, throat burning. He didn’t work out as much as he used to. And used to was a few times a year. In January, the first few days after his usual new year’s resolution. He just wasn’t built to run.
He watched the Caddie disappear from view. He made up for his lack of stamina with his razor-sharp mind though. He’d memorized the license plate of the Cadillac. He was going to find out who owned it soon enough.

See, he was pretty good at this job.


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