Thursday, March 8, 2018

Free Fiction: Man's Ruin Part One (A Lenny Parker serial) by Jochem Vandersteen

Lenny Parker, PI / roadie / metalhead is back in a new serial. He’s my slightly more humorous version of the PI. He doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing and sure as hell isn’t the martial arts master my Noah Milano is. Also, starting with this new serial I will be showing more of my love for metal by posting a link to a metal video that someway is connected to the episode, this time a live performance of Code of the Slashers by death metal legends Cannibal Corpse.

For more Lenny Parker stories look here.


Lenny Parker thought his band, The Necromantic Poets, was killing it that night. After their most popular song Zero Tolerance and their new song Maim, Kill, Slaughter they did an encore playing a cover song, Cannibal Corpse’s Code of the Slashers. Lenny had a blast with the steady bassline and how it played off against Casey’s insanely fast drumming. Their aptly-named guitar player Mohawk gave his all with the buzzing riffs and their vocalist Mikey amazed Lenny once again with how gruff and guttural a guy of his stature could sound.

Their audience consisted of roughly only twenty people, the half of which was more interested in drinking their beer or their phones, but that didn’t really matter to him. He just wanted to play and The San Diego Batcave was always happy to give them that chance, offering them as much beer as they wanted as their pay. Didn’t every great metal band start that way?

Lenny was sweating like crazy when he walked off stage, cracking open a beer as he he did, holding it against his head to cool off somewhat. The other band members patted him on the back, telling him how well he played. He told them he was pretty about it himself.

One of their only local fans, a huge dude with even more tattoos than Lenny walked up to him. Keith had made a career out of getting shit-faced and visiting metal shows. He had a day job as a garbage man, nice and honest work that earned him enough money to pay for his habits. He was a pretty stand-up guy. He shook Lenny’s hand. Lenny wasn’t a weakling, but even he had to admit Keith’s grip was pretty strong. Sweaty too.

“Hey man, great show!” Keith told Lenny.

“Thanks, dude. I appreciate it,” Lenny said.

“Next time play Leatherface Should Kill Britney though. I love that one.”

“Yeah, our drummer Casey hates that one. She thinks Britney is hot. Go figure.” Of course Casey had the sexual appetite of a class of sixteen year olds on Viagra.

“Can I buy you a beer?” Keith asked.

“Still finishing this one, but thanks!” Lenny said. He didn’t mention their free beer arrangement with the Batcave so he wouldn’t sound ungrateful.

“Okay, just let me know if you want one. Say, I heard besides working as a roadie you also do some PI work?”

“Yeah, every now and then between tours.”

“I think I can use your services then.”

“No kidding. Tell me more.”

“Let’s have a seat,” Keith said and led Lenny to the bar. They sat down on the barstools, Keith ordering another beer. Casey was downing shots of Tequila with Mohawk. That girl could drink like a fish. Meanwhile, Mikey was talking to some teenage jailbait who was admittedly pretty cute, as he was wont to do.

As the DJ started his death metal mix with some Gojira Keith confided in Lenny. “I got robbed of a million dollars yesterday.”

Lenny’s beer went out through his nose. “What? How much exactly do you make on that garbage truck because maybe I should think about a career change.”

“No, it’s like this… I bought this lottery ticket… And yesterday I went for some drinks in town, met up with this hot Asian chick… We ended up at my place, you know, fucking… Then I saw on the ‘net that my ticket fucking won… A million bucks man, can you believe it? To celebrate we had some more Jack Daniel’s and some weed and fucked some more, you know… At some point I must have fallen asleep and when I wake up my lottery ticket is gone.”

“Wow, that’s some story,” Lenny had to admit. “So you tried to get it back from her?”

“That’s the problem, I don’t know where she is. All I know is she called herself Jade. I want to hire you to find her. I’ll pay you 10% of the prize when you get me the lottery ticket back.”

Lenny whistled. That was a lot of money. Maybe now he could build that home studio he’d been dreaming about. “Sounds good.”

“You’re the only PI I trust with that ticket, man. I know you’re the most stand-up fucking guy in the whole of San Diego.”

“Well, thanks. All right. Can’t say no to a job like that. I’m going to need some more information about this Jade though.”

“Sure. She about five-ten, slender, Asian… Hair dyed silver and she’s like covered with tattoos. And she’s insanely hot.”

“That’s actually a description that should get me somewhere,” Lenny had to admit. “Where did you meet her?”

“Dive bar called the Tower Club, you know that one? I walked in for a little nightcap after a show here and when I saw her dancing by herself, holding a vodka in one hand and an unlit cigarette in the other I just knew I had to have her. The way she moved, the way those tattooed legs looked in the Daisy Dukes she was wearing… Dude, she was something.”

“All right. She tell you anything about where she worked or lived. Or something about her family?”

“No man, it wasn’t that kind of night, you know? I just know she liked rough sex and prime weed.”

“Right. Of course. Well, I guess that’s a start. Sounds like I should start at The Tower Club then.”

Keith squeezed Lenny’s shoulder. Lenny winced. “Thanks, dude! Thanks!”

It had been a tiring night but for the kind of dough that was to be earned with this job Lenny figured he shouldn’t waste any more time and as the DJ segued into Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast he walked out the door, ready to play the PI.


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