The Adventures of Tee Bone

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man – Chapter Four: Tee Bone Man And The Rink Of… Doom? (By Aaron KMA)

CHAPTER FOUR:  TEE BONE MAN AND THE RINK OF… DOOM?

by Aaron

Tee Bone Man was exhausted. Going to hell will do that to a guy. Our masked hero was collapsed on a chaise lounge of rock in the basement of Deke’s Palace, drinking fine scotch with the ever-amazing hero Superdekes, his trusty partner in (repeatedly) saving the world.

Superdekes was saying something wise and interesting about Eddie Van Halen’s tapping technique on the guitar, and Tee Bone Man was trying desperately to pay attention, but he was falling asleep. Being Canadian, he naturally felt bad about being rude, but unconsciousness was very quickly gripping him despite his best intentions. What was going on? And then….

Where was he? This wasn’t Deke’s Palace. Superdekes wasn’t there. This didn’t even look like Earth… It was a vast, darkened room with a high ceiling, an echo that was only exacerbated by the cement floor. As Tee Bone Man’s eyes adjusted to the darkness of his surroundings, though, he saw a score clock, hanging from the ceiling of the room. He saw white boards with yellow dashers and thick glass around the top, with ads on them… he was standing at the hash marks of a hockey rink. In summer, clearly, because the floor was cement rather than ice.

Even though he knew he was dreaming, in that weird dream logic he also knew that this experience was completely real and his heightened super senses put his guard up immediately. His exhaustion vanished as his eyes darted around and his ears strained to pick up any noise of danger in the empty space.

Suddenly the score clock lit up, and loud music began blaring through the rink. The message on the board read Welcome To Your Doom, Tee Bone Man!, and the timer on the clock started counting down from ten minutes. Moving to the center ice circle, Tee Bone Man walked around the clock from underneath, but saw nothing of danger, no bomb, no guns, no evil henchmen. Not even a single demon to be found.  Then he heard laughter echoing around the massive space, and saw a light come on in the announcer booth above the stands at center ice. A silhouetted figure stood there, arms wide, laughing.

The music stopped and a gravelly voice came over the PA, still laughing, saying “Welcome to your demise, Tee Bone Man. You have been brought here to be decimated once and for all. There is no escape. Your time is running out, now less than nine minutes. Your end will do the world a favour!”

Facing the dark figure, Tee Bone Man struck the most awesome super hero pose ever, and said loudly “Who are you? Why are you doing this? Stop this madness at once!” The voice boomed overhead, “You know who I am, you love to hate me. I am a hero myself, but the heel of every situation. I am a friend, but also always the enemy. It is time for me to be the hero, and to do that I must end you to make way. Good bye, Tee Bone Man.” And with that the light in the announcer booth went dark, leaving Tee Bone Man alone at center ice with an inexorably ticking clock overhead.

His eyes having fully adjusted to the dark, Tee Bone Man made a quick survey of his surroundings. Nothing impeded him from free movement on the floor of the rink, so he headed towards the zamboni gate but found it locked. Quickly crossing the floor to the far side again, he headed to the team benches, hopped the boards, then climbed the shorter glass into the bleachers. Taking the stairs three at a time, he made his way up into the concourse. All the concessions were closed. Damn. A pretzel at the end of everything would’ve been nice, would’ve helped him think.

Running around the concourse to the announcer booth, Tee Bone Man was able to see the clock ticking down, now under eight minutes. As he ran, he thought about this situation. He knew it was a dream but it felt so real. Who was the figure in the announcer booth? What would he find when he got there? Rounding the last corner of the walkway, the announcer booth came into view. Tee Bone Man slowed up and started a cautious approach. No one was visible. He ducked down a few rows into the stands and approached the booth from underneath. Less than seven minutes now as he crouched and watched for any sign of movement, any booby traps or henchmen. There was nothing.

It seemed he was alone in the building. Had the figure already left? And if so, why did bad guys do this? Why construct some elaborate death trap and then leave a full ten minutes for the good guy to figure it out. And why leave, so there’s no way of confirming you’d been successful? He supposed that this was why the bad guys were always caught: they weren’t necessarily always the brightest.

Seeing no movement, he crept forward as the clock ticked past six minutes. Soon he was directly underneath the announcer booth. He carefully climbed the steps and, constantly checking his surroundings for booby traps and attack, he approached the booth. The door was locked. But now he heard a faint struggling sound behind the door. Looking around, he saw the handle of an old Sherwood hockey stick, solid wood and missing its blade, leaning against the wall. Grabbing it, with now five minutes left on the clock, he smashed the door knob with one mighty, well-aimed swing of the stick, surely a five minute major penalty so hefty was that swing. The door swung open slowly, revealing the gloomy interior of the booth.  The struggling sound got louder.

Rushing into the room, expecting a fight with the mysterious figure, Tee Bone found only a different figure, tied up, lying on the floor. Flicking on the light switch, he saw Superdekes bound and gagged, lying at his feet. Quickly undoing the bindings, our two heroes got caught up. “Thanks, Tee Bone, that was a close one.” Quickly scanning his pal for injury, Tee Bone Man asked him “What happened? Who tied you up? Why are you here? Does this feel like a dream to you too?” Rubbing his wrists to return circulation after being bound, Superdekes said “I don’t know who is doing this. I was drinking scotch and then woke up here, tied, in this dark room. I’m very glad you found me. As for being a dream, yeah, it all feels unreal somehow.” Tee Bone Man recapped his own story so far, and then the two heroes talked about next moves. There was now three and a half minutes left on the clock. They left the booth to search for clues.

With two better able to cover ground than one, they pair quickly searched the main areas of the concourse and found nothing of danger. With less than two minutes on the clock, they found themselves near the exit to the rear parking lot. Behind them was the door to the dressing rooms. “C’mon, Superdekes, we need to check here as well.” Our intrepid heroes, well aware that time was running out, crept through the door and down the hall to the team dressing room. Slowly pushing open the dressing room door, they found the light on but no one in view. Relaxing slightly, Superdekes was just turning to Tee Bone Man to say this was a dead end when wham-o, he was crosschecked from behind! Tee Bone Man swung around to face the assailant and saw a short, strong man in a black hood standing over Superdekes!

“Tee Bone Man, you found me! Your time is almost up!” Looking at a watch on his wrist the figure laughed and said “Less than a minute now!” Moving faster than he’d ever moved, Tee Bone Man sprang forward, swinging the Sherwood stick handle he’d never set down, catching the villain flatfooted with a mighty blow to the chest, sending him to the floor. Superdekes was getting up, stretching out his sore back and looking for revenge as Tee Bone Man stood over the figure. Kneeling on their assailant’s chest, Tee Bone Man snatched the black hood off the figure’s head to reveal… Brad Marchand! The evil Bruins forward, notorious rat, shit disturber and face licker, now holding up his hands in self-defense, crying now that it was all a joke and he’d meant no harm. Grabbing Marchand’s wrist, Tee Bone Man saw on the watch that the time had elapsed to zero but there’d been no explosion, no consequence at all.

Grabbing Marchand by the front of his collar and yanking hard, Tee Bone Man hauled Marchand up and, with fire in his eyes that was a look that could kill if there ever was one, shouted “What happened here? The clock’s run out, what happened? Speak, you fiend!” Marchand looked pained and fearful, repeating “Nothing! Nothing! It’s never anything! I was just trying to have some fun…” Quickly binding Marchand’s hands, our dynamic duo turned around to see police officers filling the hallway and bursting into the room. The day was saved. Marchand was taken away to serve his time, and our heroes were free to go home to try to make sense of it all.

 


Tee Bone Man started awake on the chaise lounge in Deke’s Palace. There was an empty bottle of scotch on the table, and Superdekes was just coming around as well. “Man, I had the weirdest dream, just now,” said Tee Bone Man. “You were in it, and we were in the Owen Sound rink, and…” Superdekes nodded and said “I know, I was there. I remember it all too.” They looked at each other a moment. “But that was a dream, so how…” Superdekes shook his head. “I dunno, brother, but I’m nursing a pretty good headache at the moment, and the one thing that helps with that is the good ol’ hockey game, the best game you can name…” And with that he snapped on the TV and there were the Toronto Maple Leafs facing off against the Boston Bruins! And the announcer was just saying, as they tuned in, “…and the Bruins will be without their star forward Brad Marchand tonight, out with a concussion sustained in the Bruins last game against the Rangers…”

Tee Bone Man and Superdekes started laughing, and settled in to watch the game. Tee Bone Man cracked a new bottle of scotch and Superdekes passed Tee Bone Man a pretzel.

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man – Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be

Previously…

“Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be” came Tee Bone’s reply. “Let’s do this”

The Australian pressed the accelerator, and with the roar of the eight-cylinder engine, the car lurched forward and began its journey towards Hell. The needle climbed with every passing second, but even with the power of Tee Bone’s Scotch coursing through it, the old Ford was not what it used to be.

The Australian began to worry. They were not going fast enough, and they would run into a turn or, worse, another car soon. He threw his head back towards the direction of Tee Bone

“I don’t think we’re gonna make it!”

“Hold on!” Tee Bone yelled back. Then he began to wind his arm around a couple times, gathering air. The supercharger roared with delight. Then he hit the loudest power chord he had ever played, and the car surged forward as the world seemed to disappear in a flash of white.

For several seconds the only sound either of the men heard was the engine in front of them. Then colour returned to their vision. The colour red.

They had made it to Hell. Now they just needed to find the source of these disturbances, stop them and get back to the real world without dying. Somehow.

CHAPTER THREE: HELL AIN’T A BAD PLACE TO BE

“How did I get into this mess?” asked the Australian to himself, hiding behind a rock. “48 hours ago, I was grooming my moustache in my room, listening to the superior Blaze Bayley…and now here I am trapped in Hell with a madman!”

The flying madman in question, dressed in tights and cape, and wielding an electric guitar, was like a whirling dervish in the middle of a hellish landscape too twisted and horrific to describe.

Yet the sound of it all was music to the mustachioed Australian’s ears.


Earlier…

The spell had worked, and the pair entered Hell. With world-rending earthquakes set to ravage the Earth, Tee Bone Man and his young accomplice sought to find the source of the seismic waves, at the very core of the underworld. Surely they did not expect the entrance to the everlasting fire be unguarded, but what they faced before them was beyond their sickest nightmares.

Staring the pair down were thousands upon thousands of monsters. Assorted ghouls from the tradition of fire and brimstone: demons, goblins, evil spirits, orcs, darkfriends, dragons, and worse. If Tolkien had crossed paths with George R.R. Martin to write the ultimate battle scene, you’d still be looking at a day at a picnic compared to what our heroic duo now stared down!

Tee Bone Man was unshaken.

“Hold this?” he asked casually of his smaller friend, handing over his trademark black Van Halen mask for safekeeping.

“This means business.” Tee Bone Man reached behind his electric guitar, and unscrewed a compartment.

“Secret stash,” he winked as he grabbed a tiny capsule. “Scotch on the rocks.”

Tee Bone Man opened the capsule and downed the noxious substance inside. Suddenly he glowed in radioactive green light as he seemed to grow two times in size.

“Listen, friend,” Tee Bone said to the Australian. “I’m sorry you got dragged into this. But we’re not alone. Use this transmitter, call for help. Ask for Superdekes.” He handed the smaller man a pager-like device with a picture of an amp head on it. “We’ve opened the gates of Hell, he should be able to get in without having to do the spell over again, right?”

“Affirmative,” answered the Australian. “But the portal only stays open for one day. If you’re expecting help, help better hurry.”

Tee Bone Man winked again. “No problem for this guy. He’s inventive.”

With that, the hero grabbed his guitar, and began shredding. Lightning and flame ripped from the instrument, striking the demons and orcs charging their way. Tee Bone Man then ascended above them and dive-bombed the demons with the kind of power riffs they had never heard before. Even for hellspawn, the brain-melting power of the music was far too much to handle. Dozens at a time, the monsters were slain by the flying guitar slinger, banking to and fro in the air, dodging spears, axes and arrows.

“Take cover!” he yelled below to his friend.

Hiding behind a rock, the Australian pushed a button on the transmitter given to him by Tee Bone Man.


Somewhere in the tundra of Thunder Bay, Superdekes was fretting.

The quakes were worsening. They were worldwide. And he had not heard from his friend Tee Bone Man. Tracking him was usually routine, but this time he disappeared off the map. Not that Tee Bone Man couldn’t take care of himself, but this was the most critical adventure yet. This wasn’t just saving a bunch of southerners from a Sasquatch, this was saving the world!

A crackle on the radio.

“Come in? Tee Bone?” begged Superdekes into the microphone.

He paused and waited. “Anyone there?”

Suddenly another crackle, louder this time.

“Hello, I’m looking for Superdekes,” came a voice with a unique accent that was uncategorizable. “Come in Superdekes!”

“This is Superdekes, who’s this on Tee Bone’s radio?”

“This is Harrison Holden in Australia…well, Hell actually. Tee Bone Man and I are outnumbered and we need your help! Can you track us from this signal? The portal will only be open for 23 more hours and I don’t know if Tee Bone Man can hold them off that long!” A short pause followed and then the voice returned. “I am completely unarmed and hiding behind a rock. Not the most comfortable position to be in while being divebombed by parademons.”

“Oh boy,” said Superdekes to himself. “What did Tee Bone get himself into this time?” He pushed the button on his device again. Into the radio he spoke. “No problem kid. I can be there in a jiffy. I’ve been working on something. As for being unarmed, I got your back. Sit tight. What did you say your name was again?”

“I’m Harrison, from Australia,” the young man answered. “They call me the Man with the Moustache.”

“See you soon, Moustache Man,” answered Superdekes. He opened the door to the garage of their headquarters, Deke’s Palace.

Deke’s old black motorcycle helmet and suit hung on the wall, but the bike in the center of the room was brand new. It glimmered with a fiery red sheen, seemingly independent of the ambient light in the room. It evoked power, speed, and stealth all at once. It was a beauty.

“I was hoping to give this baby a trial run first, but duty calls. And you always gotta do your rock and roll duty.”

Superdekes opened a weapons locker, packed a couple bags, and sat atop the bike. With the push of a button, the whisper-quiet engine was engaged. Superdekes lowered the visor of his helmet and revved. The garage door opened and he rode out into the Thunder Bay arctic sun. It was frosty for August, as his breath formed clouds in front of his face.

With a sudden charge, the fire-red bike tore off, down the secret driveway onto the road.

“Here we go,” said Superdekes with a tinge of concern. He opened a control panel on the dash of his bike and flipped a toggle. As he accelerated down the road, flaps emerged from the sides of the bike, forming horizontal wings. At 160 kilometers per hour, Superdekes began to climb!

The flying motorcycle set course for the south Pacific, and Superdekes engaged the afterburners. Like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed, the bike disappeared in the air as it raced to save the world.


Wave after wave had fallen but our hero fought on!

With a stab, he impaled a hideous troll through the back with his guitar. A swing of the weapon removed the head from another. A kick to the face, and another one bit the dust. Focusing all his power, Tee Bone Man created the ultimate power chord and aimed it directly at a dragon overhead. With a thunderous cry, the mighty beast fell, unable to withstand distortion of that magnitude.

But they were getting nowhere! With young Harrison pinned down behind a rock, and Tee Bone fully engaged battling enemies, there was no way to find the source of, and stop the earthquakes.

“This is ridiculous,” said the young Australian. “I’m not hiding here behind a rock all day! I’ve got to find the source of the quakes.”

Venturing out, the man evaded the eyes of evil. He slunk along a line of rocks, using his keen Australian sense of seismic forces to triangulate the quakes. As Tee Bone Man blasted beasts overhead, the young man leaped from cover to cover, sensing he was getting closer.

A flying insectoid beasty landed right before him! It bared its fangs and approached.

“Meesa in big doo doo this time,” sighed the Australian as he prepared to defend himself hand to hand against the giant bug.

As the beasty dove at him to attack, it was distracted by a sound overhead. It looked up.

“Hey, Harrison! El Moustachio! Catch!”

The young Australian looked up and gasped at a sight he’d never seen before: a sleek flying motorcycle, slicing through the air like an arrow! Atop the flying bike, a rider in black. He tossed the young man a weapon.

A moustache-shaped weapon! A sonic boomerang!

“Thanks Superdekes!” shouted the young man with a smile on his face. He raised the moustache-shaped weapon and aimed. He’d been throwing boomerangs all his life, since Grade 1 Boomerang class at the local school. With deadly aim, he fired the weapon, which hummed with sonic cutting power. It swiftly removed an arm and two legs from the beast, leaving it Anakin-crippled in the hot sand.

“I hate sand,” mumbled Harrison Holden to himself, as the moustacherang returned to his deft hand.

Flying overhead and shredding chords, Tee Bone man saw that he had been joined by Superdekes. The tide was turning!

“Nice bike,” said Tee Bone. “When were you planning on telling me about your flying motorcycle?”

With a smirk Superdekes answered, “Since you can fly and I can’t, I was going to surprise you one day when you were on your morning scotch run. Surprise!” With that, Dekes nailed a couple flying demons with the sonic blasters attached to the wings of his bike.

Like old pros, the two formed up a position, and deftly took down a dozen or more airborne threats in one efficient strike. Below them, young Harrison Holden was tearing through a row of demons with his new favourite weapon.

“I do like this thing,” he said to no-one in particular.

Another one down, and the Australian noticed something in the rock wall dead ahead.

“Guys! This is El Moustachio,” he shouted into the transmitter. “I think I found the source. There’s a big door up ahead in the mountain face!”

Tee Bone Man looked down and saw the same thing. “I’ll clear you a path. Get to that door!” He blasted a clearing through the monsters with a supercharged solo from the Satriani book of rock.

As if on cue, the Australian bolted like Harry LaSalles towards the stone entrance. To his surprise, it opened right before his eyes! Could it be a trap? He was prepared for anything. Almost.

Harrison kept running until he entered…a beautifully decorated and lit 18th century hallway, right out of the most luxurious mansion he’d ever seen depicted. He came to a dead stop and looked around him. Paintings adored the walls; sculptures decorated the corners. There was a brightly lit room straight ahead, unguarded, and so he entered. What he saw, he could not believe. A Ming vase…a priceless Stradivarius violin…a Da Vinci sketch…a signed Gretzky rookie card…this place was beyond “millionaire” and straight into “billionaire”. What was it doing in the middle of Hell?

“Welcome, young Holden,” said a sinister voice from a dark corner, the only dark corner in the room.

“Show yourself!” demanded the young man.

“But of course,” answered the voice. On switched a light, and before him Harrison saw a red figure. Exactly as Derek Riggs had drawn him on Iron Maiden’s album covers, sat the Devil himself, comfortably in a plush chair.

“Please allow me to introduce myself, but I think you already know my name.”

“I do,” said Harrison with a lump in his throat. He certainly didn’t expect to have to face off against the great Satan all by himself. Then he remembered the transmitter in his pocket and covertly opened a channel.

“What do you want, foul one?” he said mustering all the courage he could find. “What do you want with the world? Stop your earthquakes or I’ll finish this myself!” He could not believe he was hearing himself say these things, but here he was! He felt stronger and more confident than he ever had before.

The unholiest saw through it. “You cannot hurt me, boy. But you do not have to hurt me. Let’s get to it. What I want, you have already brought with you.”

Now truly scared, Harrison answered defiantly, “Oh yeah? What’s that you evil wretch? Whatever it is, you won’t get it!”

A smile went from pointed ear to pointed ear. “I want Tee Bone Man’s autograph.”

A long pause.

“Say that again?” asked the young man.

“What I want,” said the sinister Devil, “is Tee Bone’s autograph. You see my collection here. Over there to my right, in the frame on the wall?” He pointed a long red fingernail at a record on the wall. “That’s an original. Beatles Yesterday and Today with the ‘butcher’ cover. Beautiful picture, I might add.” Lucifer paused and snickered to himself. “You know, it’s funny. All the shit that John Lennon took about being ‘bigger than Jesus’? You’re probably too young to remember that. They all said he’d be going straight to Hell for saying that. But do you see John Lennon here? No. Some of the people who swore he’d be coming here are now my neighbours, but one thing I don’t have in my collection is John Lennon.” He paused a moment, seemingly in sadness. Could a being this evil ever truly know sadness? “At least I could have Tee Bone Man’s autograph.”

A muscular figure loomed in the doorway. “If that’s what it will take to end this, then let’s talk, Devil.” Tee Bone Man, weary from the battle and covered with demon blood, entered the room. His supercharged presence lit the area even brighter. He winked at Harrison. Turning on that transmitter was a good idea.

“But why the hell — pardon the pun — why the hell didn’t you just ask me?” asked Tee Bone quite logically.

“Ask you how, exactly?” the great Satan answered. “Nobody plays records backwards anymore, there was no way to get your attention. If God can talk to people in the form of natural disasters as they claim, why can’t I?” He seemed pretty defensive, for a guy who’s supposed to be the ultimate evil.

“Listen,” the Devil started over again. “I’m not all that bad. Yes, I’ve done a lot of bad shit, but most of what goes down on Earth? That’s all you. Humans being shitty to each other. Until now, I haven’t intervened in human affairs in many years. Not since George W. Bush. He was the last one I swear. Since then, honestly, you guys have been doing a pretty good job of my work for me.”

Tee Bone Man looked down in contemplation.

“If what you say is true, then I truly have my work cut out for me up on Earth,” he said after a thought. “But dude, we just fought the armies of Mordor to get here. That was completely unnecessary!”

“It sure was awesome though, wasn’t it?” answered the demonic one.

Tee Bone sighed. It was the Devil, after all. Evil’s gonna evil.

“You can have your autograph, Lucifer.”

The Devil jumped up out of his chair and did a little dance. Just as he did, Superdekes entered the room and removed his helmet.

“Oh my God is that…did you bring…Superdekes? I thought he couldn’t fly? Sorry I’m such a big fan. Can I have his autograph too? I didn’t think there would be any way I could get both your autographs! In fact I never thought I’d ever see either of you here in Hell.” The Devil danced across the room as if on ice. He slid over to a massive bookshelf and removed his treasured autograph book.

“See? I already have a page set aside for you with your picture on it!” said the Devil to Tee Bone Man. “Sorry your picture is not in here, but I truly never expected to see Superdekes!”

“Mildy creepy, but OK. Got a pen?”

With that, pens appeared in Superdekes and Tee Bone Man’s hands.

As they signed the book, the Devil noticed young Harrison standing behind, slightly aloof.

“Come here, you,” motioned the Devil. “I want your autograph too! As far as I’m concerned, you’re part of the team now.”

With a smile, young Harrison Holden saw a pen in his hand.

“See, Tee Bone Man? What happened on that battlefield today made this young man with the moustache into a bonafide hero. The evil that I do often has a purpose.” Satan smiled from one pointed ear to the other again, his sharp teeth gleaming white.

Harrison the Hero leaned over and signed the book right under Tee Bone and Superdekes. Then he paused.

“Wait a minute,” he asked. “How do I know I didn’t just sign my soul over to you?”

Satan laughed. “Look, I may be the Devil, but the rules of contracts are very specific. For me to take your soul via a signed contract, the contract must be clear and understood by all parties. You signed my autograph book, that’s all. Look, check out page three.” The Devil magically flipped to the correct page. “That’s Elvis. And that one? Bruce Lee. You know how hard it was to get those autographs? Those guys aren’t here either. But Hitler is! I could give you a thousand numbered Hitler autographs to sell on eBay, if you want?”

“Uhhh, no thanks!” the three answered in unison.

“Then I thank you for your additions to my collection. I can’t wait to invite Adolf and Joseph to check them out! Farewell, you heroes!”

The Devil snapped his fingers and the three began to fade.

“Bye guys…” waved Harrison to the other two. They both waved back as all three disappeared, leaving the Devil alone with his new treasures.


Deke’s Palace, Thunder Bay.

The two materialized back in their old headquarters. Without a word, each took an armchair and sat, exhausted.

Long silence. An hour. Two hours.

Then Tee Bone stirred.

“Hey Superdekes. Pass the scotch? I could use a drink.”

“You got it, pal,” answered Superdekes. Their glasses clinked, a record spun, and the two friends drank. “You never got that replacement AC/DC vinyl on the Albert Productions label,” he reminded Tee Bone as an afterthought.

“Oh yeah,” said Tee Bone with a yawn. “No worries. We’ll go back and thank that Harrison Holden kid for everything one day. Then we can get you all the new vinyl you want.”

“Right on pal,” said Superdekes as the two friend clinked glasses again.

Until the next adventure!

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man – Chapter Two: Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

CHAPTER TWO:  HELL FREEZES OVER

by Harrison Kopp

In the snowy climes of Thunder Bay, two friends sat in the basement of Deke’s Palace listening to records. The name of the establishment was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that this place was most certainly not anything resembling a palace. Those that had the dubious honour of visiting the place would often claim that the only thing holding up the walls were the cockroaches. Legend even has it that Sloan actually refused to play there.

Of course, this was all in service of a very deliberate attempt to keep prying eyes away, because underneath this dilapidated structure was the well-equipped basement these two friends operated from.

As the Scotch flowed and the needle hit wax, their discussion continued.  They had just defeated a mighty sasquatch, saving some new friends from utter doom in the process. Not usually normal conversation topics for a pair of Canadian buddies, but these were not ordinary individuals.

“You know, from a distance that sasquatch kinda looked like my brother Rugg,” said the first man, the spandex-clad superhero Tee Bone Man. A devil on the guitar, he was a champion of arena rock, fine alcohol and Canadian hospitality.

“That’s true, the resemblance was uncanny,” said the second man, the reliable gentleman and (currently) regular hero known as Superdekes who assisted Tee Bone in his heroic endeavours.  “But back to the tunes.  I don’t care what that Brainiac from Southern Ontario thinks.  5150 is killer.  Sammy Hagar was no Roth, but comparisons are silly.”

Tee Bone took a moment to think.

“True, his friend, that meaty guy, seems to agree with you though.”  He paused to sip his drink.  “Drop the needle, let’s play it again.”

Superdekes leaned over the turntable.  “Just like old times man,” he proclaimed as the needle fell.

“Hellllllllllo baby!” screamed Sammy Hagar as the record started playing.

Then came a strange noise that was definitely not the opening guitar squeal to “Good Enough”. While it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that the noise the two men were hearing was indeed Eddie Van Halen, it would have taken some interesting hand positions to pull it off.

Then a skip. And the record seemed to start again. “Hellllllo…Hell…Hell…Hell…”

“Uh oh” proclaimed Superdekes.  “That’s not a good sign.  That’s the danger vibes again!  Someone needs our help.”

Tee Bone turned to the nearest computer.  “You’re right.  Something’s wrong.  And it’s global this time.  It seems… earthquakes everywhere!”

Suddenly Superdekes had a hunch.

“My metal senses are tingling,” he said.  He placed AC/DC on the turntable.  Dropping the needle on “Highway to Hell”, the skipping was far more pronounced. The danger signs were clear.

“Australia is the epicenter,” said Superdekes.  “Looks like you’re on your own this time.  I’ll monitor from here and do what I can.  Why is it again that you’re the only one who can fly?”

Tee Bone grabbed the nearest guitar and donned his cape.  “You know the origin story as well as anyone, let’s not rehash it. You’re my roadie, remember?” he said with a wry smile, motioning towards the motorbike leaning against the wall. “Quite literally”.

“Har har,” came Superdekes’s reply. “You know that’s not how it goes”.

“I know, and I’m still looking for another one for you, but they don’t sell spares Dekes over at Canadian Tire. So where in Australia am I heading?  It’s not a small country you know.”

Superdekes listened carefully to the skipping record.  “I can’t pinpoint it,” he said in frustration.  “But you’re gonna need to find the Highway to Hell.”

Then he had an idea.

“Give me that guitar a minute. I think I can help narrow it down”

Tee Bone handed his guitar across, and Superdekes began tuning it. After a short time, he handed it back.

“I’ve put it in the same tuning as the danger vibes. It should react the closer you get,” Superdekes explained.

“Thanks, Super Roadie” Tee Bone replied with a smile, flying off into the sky with the guitar.


Tee Bone Flight 666 direct to Australia was pretty uneventful, other than the guitar occasionally humming as he approached the country, and soon enough he was hovering above the western city of Perth.

And he was sweating like never before. This place gave a new meaning to the word hot, and if Tee Bone didn’t know better, he’d have said that it was hotter than hell in this place. Heck, it was even hot in the shade! He was at least somewhat pleased, however, that the inhabitants hadn’t been literal when they said that everything here was trying to kill you.

Then the world began to shake underneath him. He knew it must have been another earthquake because he hadn’t had enough Scotch to affect his vision yet.

The tremor passed quickly, and he flew down to see if anyone needed his assistance. He was relieved to find that no one appeared to be hurt. But then something caught his attention. It was the sound of music. He didn’t recognise the baritone singer, but he knew good riffs whenever he heard them.

He followed it to its source: a house occupied by a moustache-clad young Australian. To go with his shoulder-length hair and moustache was a small tuft on his lower lip that completed the look.

Tee Bone silently remarked that the man’s facial hair was arranged in the shape of an arrow. He wasn’t really sure who needed directions to this man’s nostrils, but whoever they were, they had them.

Needless to say, the moustachioed man was taken rather aback by this sudden development. He was not in the habit of inviting spandex-clad superheroes into his backyard, not that he’d really had the chance too before.

But there was a sense of familiarity about the man hovering before him. Perhaps it was the Van Halen logo on his mask and enjoyment of the music, but the Australian felt like he was in the presence of a friend.

“Hey, uh, Mr. Van Halen. Can I…help you with anything by any chance?” He cautiously asked.

“Call me Tee Bone Man, and, actually, I think you can,” Tee Bone replied “I need to stop these earthquakes, and to do that I need a return ticket to hell. I’ve been told the only way to get that is through the Highway to Hell, which I’m going to need some directions to.”

The moustachioed man thought for a second.

“I know the place. There are a few slight wrinkles though,” he said. “One does not simply drive into hell. There’s a specific ritual that needs to be done”.

“Well, what is it?” came Tee Bone’s reply.

“That’s the other wrinkle,” the Australian sheepishly replied. “The ritual is said to be written on the vinyl sleeve for the AC/DC album Highway to Hell, and I…err…don’t own that album.”

Tee Bone smiled.

“Well lucky for you, I know someone who does,” and he pulled out his phone “Hey Deke, I need you to do something you’re not going to like.”

Superdekes most certainly did not like that suggestion.

“You want me to do what!? Submerge the sleeve for Highway to Hell in the vintage ’66 Scotch? Are you out of your mind?”

“It’s the only way to read the ritual process,” Tee Bone countered “We need it. I’m in Australia, I’ll buy a new copy”

This perked Deke up a little.

“Well now that you mention it, you are indeed in Australia. How’s about you pick up an original Aussie pressing for me.”

“That’s pretty rare you know, they don’t exactly grow on trees. Not that I see many trees around here anyway.”

Deke stood his ground like a bass player on stage.

“Alright, you win. We’ll get that LP for you.”

“Excellent” he said, with a slight grin “You’ll want the Albert Productions vinyl. Shouldn’t be too hard for a man of your abilities.”

“Not at all. We’ll get on it as soon as we finish up here.”

Mollified, Superdekes went to work grudgingly defacing the vinyl sleeve. Sure enough, bright red text appeared on it and, soon enough, he had the answer the two men needed.

“Alright, here it is: You need to drive down the Highway to Hell at 142 kilometres per hour*, in the chariot of death, to the tune of pure rock.”

“Great, that’s going to be a hassle”, Tee Bone grumbled.  “Thanks Deke, we’ll figure it out somehow.”

He hung up and turned back to his new Australian acquaintance.

“I’m guessing it’s been a while since there’s been any chariots around here, so I reckon we’ll need to find a regular old car that suits the criteria.”

It was the moustachioed man’s turn to smile.

“Well lucky for you, I know somewhere that will have what we’re after.”


The Clairemont car show was quite the spectacle. There were certainly vehicles that caught the notice of the two men. Shiny, chromed muscle cars abounded, but none of them had the presence the men required. Until one did, towards the very end of the building, tucked away in the back. The way it caught the attention of both men was ironic, given its black-on-black paint job, but they knew this was the machine they were after. It was difficult persuading the owner to lend it to them, but an unending bottle of Scotch courtesy of Tee Bone and a mobius strip of a guitar solo did the trick.

And so the two men drove their new ride to the site of the ritual: Canning Highway. When they arrived, Tee Bone noticed an immediate problem.

“It’s too crowded now. It would be too dangerous to try and reach those speeds with all these other cars around. We’ll have to wait until night-time.”

The moustachioed man agreed, and decided to kill the time with the Canadian man inside one of the legendary Bon Scott’s favourite haunts along the road, the Raffles Hotel.

Over the next couple of hours Tee Bone found himself treated to some of Australia’s finest Scotch, a revelation about the actual number of people called Bruce in the land, and a particularly amusing crowd interaction with one of the songs on the jukebox.

“No way. Get fucked. Fuck off!” came the crowd’s reply every time the singer asked a seemingly sincere question about seeing someone’s face again.

Tee Bone raised an eyebrow in the direction of the Australian beside him.

“Australian tradition since 1977. We can be an odd bunch sometimes.”

Tee Bone silently wondered if the heat might have had some sort of effect on the people living here, and then went back to his drink.

Eventually nightfall finally came, and the two men left the respectable drinking establishment, more than a little hydrated. As they returned to their new vehicle, Tee Bone put his hand on the moustachioed man’s shoulder.

“Hey, I’ve got something to help this baby hit the speeds we need.”

Resting a bottle of Scotch on the bonnet, Tee Bone played a fiery guitar solo, imbuing the alcohol with an orangey glow.

“Put this in the fuel tank to give it an extra kick” he said, handing the, now very warm, bottle of Scotch to the moustachioed man, who obliged.

Tee Bone breathed in the cool night air and casually observed the road to make sure there weren’t any cars nearby. Satisfied, he turned back to his partner.

Now having finished adding the Scotch mixture to the fuel, the moustachioed man instinctively reached for the driver’s side door, but paused, looking at the Canadian superhero next to him.

“You’d better take the wheel,” Tee Bone assured him. “You’re familiar with the road rules here, and which side of the road to drive on.”

“Right. Good point” came the Australian’s reply.

“And you haven’t just drank a tonne of Scotch,” Tee Bone continued, mounting the car, guitar in hand.

With no rear window, Tee Bone was able to situate himself atop the car, looking forward. Not only did this cut a much cooler image for anyone lucky enough to witness the coming proceedings, but it also allowed him to see any hazards as they came and react to them in time.

The Australian, meanwhile, had taken his seat on the right side of the car and took a brief moment to gather himself for the coming task. It was not going to be easy, but that wasn’t going to stop him from giving it his all. There was no turning back now. He quickly adjusted his moustache, tuned the radio to rock and keyed the ignition. The familiar hum of an internal combustion engine filled him with some warmth.

His nerves somewhat settled, he turned his head back towards the man he might end up spending the rest of his life with, if things went south here.

“Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be” came Tee Bone’s reply. “Let’s do this”

The Australian pressed the accelerator, and with the roar of the eight-cylinder engine, the car lurched forward and began its journey towards hell. The needle climbed with every passing second, but even with the power of Tee Bone’s Scotch coursing through it, the old Ford was not what it used to be.

The Australian began to worry. They were not going fast enough, and they would run into a turn or, worse, another car soon. He threw his head back towards the direction of Tee Bone

“I don’t think we’re gonna make it!”

“Hold on!” Tee Bone yelled back. Then he began to wind his arm around a couple times, gathering air. The supercharger roared with delight. Then he hit the loudest power chord he had ever played, and the car surged forward as the world seemed to disappear in a flash of white.

For several seconds the only sound either of the men heard was the engine in front of them. Then colour returned to their vision. The colour red.

They had made it to hell. Now they just needed to find the source of these disturbances, stop them and get back to the real world without dying. Somehow.

 

 

To be continued in Chapter 3: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be

 

 

* 88 miles per hour

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man – Chapter One: A Friend in Need

CHAPTER ONE:  A FRIEND IN NEED

 

The quiet of the north was broken by the usual morning drone of cars, trucks and the activity of the modern world.  Covered with a light dusting of snow, the grass and leaves woke from their nightly slumber.  As the frigid tundra of Thunder Bay Ontario slowly warmed in the rays of the July sun, the citizens of the city emerged to begin their daily routine.

Except this day was hardly routine.

Thunder Bay is the great Canadian crossroads.  One cannot drive from one side of the country to the other without passing through frosty Thunder Bay, the land of perpetual winter.  Other routes involve going off the beaten track, but only fools dare cross into the United States of Chaos.  The level-headed travel the Trans-Canada Highway.  All roads eventually wind back to Thunder Bay.

Down the highway, came the Caravan.  They came from the warm southern reaches of the province, unprepared for the sudden July cold of Thunder Bay.  They called themselves “The Sausagefesters”, a merry band of rock and rollers who adored the taste of red meat and distorted guitars.  The Caravan powered its way through the Canadian shield, the tall majestic evergreens shading their journey.  Bound for a new music festival called Sausagefest West (an offshoot of the original southern variety), their spirits could not have been higher.  Happy songs rang as they made their way to Thunder Bay.  If only they knew the dangers that lay ahead, they would not be singing so merrily.

Their trip had started peacefully enough, but now, travelling at speed down the cold asphalt, they found themselves careening towards a dark, towering figure ahead.

“Watch out!” yelled the passenger in the lead vehicle, a big meaty man with a scruffy exterior.

“I see it!” exclaimed the driver.  “But I don’t know what I’m seeing!”

The driver, normally quite the brain, found himself frozen in shock.  For what was ahead would chill the bones of any man.  The massive figure ran towards them.

“It’s a sasquatch!” answered the meaty man.  “Swerve!”

It was too late and the beast swatted the lead vehicle like a fly.  The rest of the Caravan came to a screeching halt behind.

“Stay in your cars!  Stay in your cars!” came the chorus of voices from behind.

Unconscious, the driver hung limply from the broken window.  The meaty man got out the passenger’s side only to find the giant beast waiting for him.  Its roars nearly deafened the man, who fell back to the cold ground.  He managed to grab his phone from the snow.  Retreating, he dialled a number as the beast advanced.  It lunged again and the phone fell, hanging up the call.

He heard the phone immediately begin ringing back.

“Beth?  I hear you calling!” the man screamed trying to reach the phone.

The beast crushed it with a mighty big foot.

“I can’t come home right now,” the man whimpered as the sasquatch moved in for the killing blow.  The cars behind honked and flashed their lights trying to distract the sasquatch, but no one dared get out.

Then, suddenly, the beast looked up, his eye caught by a flash of colour.

A sound approached: a sonic boom, and then a roaring melody of distortion from the sky.

The beast began to retreat as the sound grew closer, and louder.

Like a bolt from the blue, a figure appeared overhead.  From his back he pulled an electric guitar and the sound grew deafening.  He flew towards the sasquatch.

Now truly afraid, the beast backed off, retreating to the treeline.  The guitar-wielding figure landed and ripped out a wicked solo.  With a shriek, the sasquatch ran into the woods.

The flying guitarist moved his weapon around to his back, as he leaned over to help the meaty man up.  “Here,” he said extending his hand.  The meaty man noticed that the hero wore a mask bearing a distinctly stylized “VH” logo.  He clasped the extended hand, and then as if by summoning, a motorcycle could be heard approaching, and soon rolled over the hill.

“You took quite a tumble!” the hero said with a heave-ho.

“Woah, thanks man.  I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, except covered with hair.”

The man on the motorcycle, clad in black, pulled up.  The dark rider dismounted and unlocked the compartment on the back of his bike.  The meaty man was stunned to see that it contained ice, and cans of beer.

“Drink this.  This will make you feel better.”  The rider handed a cold can of beer to the meaty man who eagerly cracked it open and sipped its nourishments.

“Thanks man,” he answered.  “My friend driving, he’s knocked out.  Can you help him?”

“Sure can!” answered the black biker.  Stepping over to the driver’s side, he checked the brainiac behind the wheel.

“Hey man, you awake?”  The driver opened his eyes.  “Here, inhale this.  This will make you feel better.”  He handed the driver some kind of heated inhalant, which revived the man immediately.

“Woah!  Thanks…what happened?” he asked in confusion.

The flying hero with guitar on his back, sauntered over.  Below the mask, he sported bright spandex and a cape with a drawing of a steak bone.  His voice boomed when he spoke.

“You guys ran into a sasquatch on the highway, a particularly nasty sasquatch.  Not your fault, we get a lot of that up here in Thunder Bay.”  The black rider nodded his head knowingly.

Feeling just as confused as before, the meaty man asked, “But who are you?  Where did you come from?  How did you know we were in trouble?”

The hero, with a kind look behind his glasses, answered simply.

“I’m Tee Bone Man.”  A crack of thunder broke overhead.  “The guy on the bike is my partner Superdekes.”

“Hey guys,” said the new arrival as he removed his sleek black helmet.  “Me and Tee Bone here are powered by the fusion of arena rock, good Scotch, and guitars.  We were sipping some drinks and rocking some Van Halen on the old turntable when we got a vibe that something bad was going down at the old current river.  We play vinyl exclusively, because those danger vibes only come through the grooves.  That’s how we knew something was up.    So I hopped on the bike — Tee Bone can fly, but I can’t, and I’m not exactly sure how that happened.”

“It’s complicated,” shushed Tee Bone.  “Origin stories can be told another time.  The point is, anywhere my fellow rockers need help, I’ll be there.  Wherever evil threatens rock and roll, I will answer to it.  Tee Bone Man stands for music, lyrics and rock and roll!  When any one of those things are in danger, you can count on me!”  He paused.  “And Superdekes too, if he’s within motorcycle riding distance!”

“We really gotta talk about the flying thing,” retorted Superdekes.

Then, there was a painfully long pregnant silence.

“Are you…are you pissing?” asked Tee Bone Man of the meaty one.

“Heh.  Yeah.  Had to go, you know.”  Zipping up, he thanked the guys once again for their help.

“No problem,” the heroes answered.  “No handshakes though.  You take care of your buddy and drive safe!  And don’t drive until that stuff wears off, give it a few hours.”

“We will!” they both answered, as Tee Bone Man lifted off.  Waving goodbye, the hero flew.  Superdekes kicked his bike into motion and was gone in mere seconds.  The two friends watched them disappear into the distance.  Their entire Caravan observed from the windows.

“Do you think that’ll be the last we’ll see of Tee Bone Man and Superdekes?” asked the driver to the meaty one.

“No way,” he answered.  “Not even if hell freezes over!”

 

 

To be continued in Chapter 2:  Hell Freezes Over…