Give me five things and I’ll give you a story

Being bored, I asked my buddy Peter to give me five things which I would then write a story from. These are his words: penthouse overlooking a river, a pencil, a sexy used panty, sunburn, and a lawnmower.

Here is the story.

Detective Lang

Head pounding and throat dry, Lang brought himself back from his deathly hangover slowly as he reached for his ringing cell phone. Work… Must be another body of someone nobody cared about. Lang looks down at his phone, its Dale.

He answers, “yeah?”

“Lang, we got a fresh one over on Mulberry and fifth. How soon can you get over here?”

“Jesus, I’m off today and got about half a bottle of Macallan still working in me. You really want me on the scene?”

“Damn, you crack open that bottle of 18?”

“I don’t own anything younger than 25, guy. And you really want a more-than-half drunk detective over there? I’ll bet you a case of this 25 that Carter would be a better bet. At least he can walk straight”

“Just get your ass over here, I got this feelin’ you’d want to see this.”

“Alright, give me half an hour.”

Lang sits up slowly from the floor. Couldn’t even make it to the couch, this time. Empty bottles are littered all around him. One is still has a little juice left in it. He takes a swig to keep the party going.

The room is in disarray. Looking out the window of the penthouse, he looks down the river at the fishermen by the shore. Smoking, drinking, and relaxing, not too bad of a time. Maybe he should give it a try. Just another thought from his daily revival.

Lang throws on the same crumpled, custom fitted suit from yesterday, grabs a Cliff bar and his keys, and heads out the door. The Uber ride is waiting for him downstairs and takes him to the crime scene.


“What the fuck, Lang. What took you so long?” said Dale.

“Fishing,” said Lang.

Officers are on the scene smoking cigarettes and shooting the shit, a typical suburbian tract house with a well manicured lawn. The envy of every middle class family in the 70’s. The only difference is this house has a dead body in it. Lang steps over the yellow tape and into the garage, chewing on his Cliff bar.

A body lies near a lawn mower with the motor still chugging along. The victim lies, a clean bruise line showing on his neck over another faint one. He has a facemask with something bright peaking through from under it. Several electrical cords from gardening tools and extension cords line the wall. Must have been one of these that did him in, thought Lang.

“Why didn’t you turn that mower off? Smells like shit in here,” said Lang.

“We wanted to preserve the crime scene for you, buddy,” said Dale.

“Well shut that shit. I can’t even breath in here. What have you got so far.”

“We figure this was some kind of robbery gone bad at first. Seeing as the garage was closed and the vic had just finished mowing the lawn, some junkie probably slipped in as the garage was closing and tried to steal some crap to sell.”

“Alright…” Asked Lang.

“Well, nothing was missing. Inside or out. So we ruled that one out.”

“This isn’t really junkie town either.”

“Crackheads come in all sizes and places. So now we’re thinking this was some kind of planned murder. Catch the guy on a lazy Sunday mowing the lawn, and take him out as he closes the garage. We’re looking into possible suspects and motives to see who’d want to kill this slackdick. Looking like it’s gonna be a long day for you, Lang.”

Lang walks towards the body and bends down. Looks like your average, sexually-repressed, middle-class husband with the beginnings of a sunburn. Must not mow the lawn often. He pulls out a freshly sharpened pencil and picks out the cloth from underneath the facemask.

A sexy used panty.

“You got a couple of these coming the mail from Japan, Dale? Asked Lang.

“That’s a thing?”

“Girls out there will keep their underwear on for days, the longer the time, the more money they charge. Some guys get off on that”

Dale rubs his chin, “ain’t that some shit.”

“No murder here,” said Lang.

“Well you’re gonna have to elaborate on that.”

“We have absolutely no sign of struggle. Nothing from the fingers to the toes. No extra footprints, nothing out of place. Vic finishes mowing the lawn, cleans up, closes the garage and leaves the mower running.”

“We figured that much already.”

“Well, now its time for the whacker. Vic’s a perv. He’s had the used panties under his mask the whole time he’s been working the lawn. Those masks keep the smells out, so he’s getting pure nasty-panties this whole time and probably sexed up now. Keeps the mower running so he can be as loud as he wants to be as he rubs one out. As he’s about to finish, he slips his head around one of these electric wires to choke himself out. The carbon monoxide buildup must have done him in at the same time.”

“People choke themselves then they jizz?” Asked Dale.

“Give it a shot sometime and let me know.”

Dale looks around the garage, looks at the body, sees the cord near the victim and the stain in his paints. “Well, I guess that’s a wrap. You going to finish that report at the station.”

“Have Carter do it.”

Lang walks to the Uber that he’s had waiting and heads back to his penthouse.


Back home, Lang watches the fishermen by the lake. Still a couple of hours of daylight left, he thinks. I got a six pack I could bring down there and see if one of those dudes could show me the ropes.

Lang opens the fridge and grabs the sixer. He places it on his marble countertop next to a bottle of Macallan 30.

Well, maybe one drink first to celebrate the open and shut case.

Lang pours a triple shot to kick-off the night.


That’s all folks! If you’ve got five words for me, I’d love to give you a story!