Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Free Fiction: Doggone Part Six (A Lenny Parker serial) by Jochem Vandersteen



Lenny Parker, PI / roadie / metalhead is back in a new serial, blending a bit of comedy with a hardboiled detective story, one feet into metal culture. This time he is hired to track down a missing dog. Read the other parts here.

SIX

Lenny met up with Baby Jackson at a local Starbucks. The other patrons, especially the male ones looked up from their Macbooks and iPhones when she walked in. Tall, athletic with a model’s cheekbones Baby cut an impressive figure. She was wearing tight jeans, a long leather jacket and wore her hair in cornrows as she always does.
She walked over to Lenny’s table. He handed her a cup of coffee. “I already have yours. Black, like you want it.”
“Good to know you remembered something from training with us.” She was referring to the time Lenny spent with Baby Jackson and her dad, Old Man Jackson to get his private investigator license.
“I seem to remember a very large part of my duties were supplying you with coffee and donuts,” Lenny said. He was having a big White Chocolate Mocha himself. He liked to treat himself to something sweet every now and then. Like daily.
Baby sat down. “So, spill. What do you need?”
“You’re hurting my feelings a bit. Maybe I just wanted to see you again. Chew the fact. Talk about your love life. Your health.”
“Who I fuck is none of your business. And you can see I’m in perfect health as always. Now cut the shit. We never meet socially.”
“All right, all right. Sheesh, I can see you’re a top investigator. Seeing through my lies like glass. Okay, I need some advice on a case I’m working on. It’s about dognapping.” Lenny filled her in while Baby listened patiently and drank her coffee.
When Lenny was finished she put down her coffee and leaned back a little. “Dognapping is more common than you might think. It hardly shows up on the news, but daily dogs are stolen from their owners. Sometimes they are stolen so they can get a ransom from the owners. Sometimes the dog is of a rare and expensive breed and they just sell them. And then there’s the whole dogfighting thing. They are either used then to fight or just train the fighters.”
“I was hoping dogfights were an urban myth or something. I heard about it on tour in Asia. But it’s a thing here in the United States?”
“Shit, Lenny… How can you still be such a na├»ve little shit. Yes, there’s such a thing. Fuck, it’s huge. There’s a considerable amount of money to be made gambling on thes fights. And where there’s money to be made, people are willing to commit atrocities.”
“Yeah, I guess. Well, since Mr. Janson never got any ransom amounts and Ozzy’s not a rare breed I’m afraid we’ll have to consider he is indeed in the hands of dogfighters.”
Baby nodded. “That sucks, I know. I like dogs better than people.”
“I’m not sure you actually like people at all.”
Baby shot him with her finger. “Bingo.”
Lenny chuckled. “You’re something else, Baby… So, do you have any experience with a case like this? Any idea how I could track down Ozzy?”
“Doesn’t he have a chip implanted? A lot of dogs these days have.”
“I guess not. Janson never mentioned it.”
“All right. Then you might have to look around the dogfighting circuit.”
“I wouldn’t know where to start or find anyone who knows anything about it.”
“I might know a guy who can help. A snitch who’s got a good knowledge about the local illegal gambling scene. If you want me to, I can set something up. I’m not sure if you current pay can cover your expenses though.”
“Damn, they can hardly cover this coffee. I like Mr. Janson and I just want to see him reunited with his dog. I’m not in this one for the money.”
“Fucking sap. I thought we taught you better. No pay, no case.”
Lenny shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a do-gooder.”
“You fucking are.”

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