Archive for the ‘Lee Jacob Pulps’ Category


The headline screamed Start 2019 in Love. The by-line was by a local MLA, Melanie Moon, writing about the horrors of hate and how it had taken a life at a gathering meant to inspire. Lee crunched the paper at his breakfast table. He missed the days when Rick Saturn would write and rally the troops (writer’s nod: yes the original Bionic Knight’s secret identity). Unfortunately, with the former mayor, Rick and his kids had vanished. The new mayor was trying, as were the new heroes. Lee admired Mel for what she was able to do as an anomaly MLA in Alberta Politics raising issues and poking the bear.

“Populism will destroy the Just Society if good people say and do nothing.” the gravelly voice said. Lee turns slowly, he really had to examine the list of folks with keys to the residents portion of the Church.

“James, bit early for you isn’t it?” James walks by the counter and pours himself a black cup of coffee before sitting across from his old friend. “Ms. Moon is doing the best she can. I mean it’s not like a super hero is offering to help your end hate crusade. Oh wait they were.”

Lee just smirked cheekily. He knew his old friend didn’t get it, but stirring the pot would not work if it did not end with the normals. “Just keep stirring the pot, the group has been called out and the city fully alerted. Two jackanapes are in custody. See what else shakes out of the shaken tree.”

The door buzzer was one of those annoying chimes that attempted to sing a song, a bad leave over from the 1980’s. Lee kept meaning to unplug it, but like most old buildings tracing proper wires was an impossibility due to all the MacGyvering over the decades. Lee rises and walks to the door, that James had not re-locked upon his entry.

A peek through the peephole revealed a lithe purple and yellow haired teenage girl. “Sorry already bought Girl Guide Cookies and Scouts Popcorn.”

The girl didn’t move. Maybe he should have tried the Despicable Me fake recording voice. “Father Lee, my name is Beth Venus, I was there at the Cosmic Mass…I…” (yes astute reader, Beth Venus is the new Bionic Knight’s secret identity). “I lost my kid brother to an overdose and, well, I want to help.”

Lee hears James chuckle, “well damn grumpy old Padre, let her in.”

Lee begins to turn the door handle when a smell hits his nostrils. “James OUT!”

James responds as Lee flings the door open and in a fluid motion knocks Beth to the ground rolling away as a road is heard…

Blue flames billow out first the lower levels then through the entry door.

James shoulder rolls, his body feeling all its years. He see the form running. Khakis and red polo shirt. Pushing up hard he huffs and puffs as he takes pursuit.

Jacobs eyes watch St. Jude’s burn.

Beth pulls her phone from her pocket and is already dialing 911, fighting the impulse to say the words. Lee was right, if this was to end, it had to be humans, not Supras that shone the light into hate’s darkness and confounded it.

Sirens wailing.

Lee scans the parking lot and sees James knock the form through the chain-link fence. There’s blood as Lee pulls Beth up and moves towards the fallen forms. Khakis is not moving as James has him face-down and straddling his back.

St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes. Padre Lee Jacobs watched as the pumper trucks poured into the parking lot and unleashed the water. The police hauling away the arsonist and taking their statements. The church had been a gathering point for those who felt they had no where else to go, for those in life recovery, for those from other nations, for those who wanted a better world: for those who believed LOVE trumps all.

“Hate won.” Beth said.

Lee shook his head and looked at the teenage girl. “Why do you say that?”

“They got St. Jude’s.”

James chuckled.  Lee looked at the newest convert to the cause of battling hate. “St. Jude’s was just a building, rebuilding that is what insurance is for. What St. Jude’s stood for is in the hearts of all that came through her doors, and lived in the light that shone out.”

“Pollyanna much?” Beth said.

Lee just nodded. “Yes, yes I am. Good beats evil. May take a while, but love wins.”

 

 

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When Jacobs’ wife and child had died their wish was to have their lives continue on through organ and body donation. He lost the fight through court injunctions as Alexandria’s mother (Lee’s mother-in-law) battled on the false basis that the whole body needed to be buried and intact. Lee fought this bad theology viscerally, but in the end the courts sided with the Mother-In-Law. It was the darkest time of his life, and the light of hope he had was snuffed out.

Scant months later the mother-in-law succumbed to lung cancer, Jacobs’ almost did a jig.

Now in these quiet moments after stirring the pot, he finds himself sitting in the cemetery leaning on the headstone. He was not one for these ancient practices of bodies decomposing in the ground for he knew that once someone transitioned they were with you always. “So Lexie, I have done what you always hated when seeking truth and a better world. Stirred the pot. Now we wait and see what happens.” Their child hadn’t lasted many days after birth, but he had a name when he transitioned. John. In quiet moments Lee did wonder what it would be like to be in a pulpit in the area they lived with a child?

“If you and John were still here, would I still stir the pot?” He could hear her smart ass retort of yes. He blamed himself. He had stirred the pot the night before the accident that put Alexandria into pre-mature labour…the night he lost his world. His ears perk at the snap of a dead branch on the brisk winterish morning. Lee rolls up to a stance, he feels every bump, bruise and break over the years.

The shimmer of armour. Jacobs had known the predecessor. The hero had been a good man, did much for the city. Saved the universe a few times too if he remembers the by-lines of yesteryear. The newbie, well, she was young and brash.

“You must be the Bionic Knight?” Lee said.

“That I am Father Jacobs.” The voice had a Star Trek computer tinge to it.

“I ain’t a father. Lee will do just fine.” Jacobs stated. Everyone sees the collar and assumes Roman Catholic orders and all.

“The Great Crime Fighters have heard of the resurgence, and would like to offer aid to you and your community.” The voice said. Lee smirked. From what he had heard, the great team currently was just two members, but she was keeping up a good facade so many citizens did not lose hope. Super powers and super heroes would be a quick way to deal with the idiots trying to gain traction in this populist world that was trying to emerge again.

But what message would it send?

“The gods come from down on high and do battle with the lowly mortals? What message does that send that the only way to beat aggression and hate is with aggression and more power?” Lee winces as he shifts his bruised knuckles. Obviously one of those do as I say, not as I punch kind of moments. “Honestly, it is tempting. Like when Satan came to Jesus and said throw yourself down from here, and He will save you.”

The computer voice sounds like it was doing a spit take. “I ain’t Satan.”

Jacobs waves the comment off. “Satan is not a big bad, he is a favour giver. A tester of the faith, Hollywood has turned him into the cloven hoof evil. Think closer to the delightful Lucifer series. Besides Jesus himself called Peter, Satan, you’re in good company.” Off the cuff theological diatribes, Jacobs was feeling like he was having coffee with the Seminary students again.

“Look, it is a problem, in less than 2 days it will be gone.” The computer voice stated as the golden armour shimmered showing that it was an adolescent girl within.

Jacobs tired old eyes looked into the glowing green armoured eye slits. “Tempting, but no. In the heart of humanity at this point in history beats a song of hate. It is not having more might that will snuff the darkness out. It is light of hope. It is the heart of humanity replacing hate with love. Humanity, us mere mortals, standing on our own in the face of the darkness. It may take longer, may cause more pain…”

“But you hope it will last longer the change?” Said the computer voice.

Jacobs simply nodded. “Okay, Lee, if you need us we will stand with you.” the voice stated, as it shimmered out of view.

Lee scratched his salting beard. Stirring the pot and seeing what falls out. “Was not expecting that.”


Many wondered why Jacobs chose to remain at St. Jude’s. It was a struggling parish in some respects with fluctuating membership due to the transient nature of renters and owners in the area. Yet it was home. As he would say, it was like having the world on the outside of your doorstep. It was also nice for the way the church had been built long ago. No one really knew how old it was, as the archives room had burned a while ago. It happened the last time, about 20 years back when stupidity such as the red X on the doors yesterday had happened. Jacobs had not been around then as the padre, just a reporter. But things change. Some nights he missed the old days as a reporter or outreach worker. Yet, in many ways settling in at St. Jude’s had changed things for him.

But the living quarters for the minister, what is termed the manse, were actually built in as part of the building it an upper back area. Which made the commute to work nice for him and rather quick. On nights like this when he couldn’t sleep due to the outside sirens, and the sound of the police helicopter on patrol it allowed him to quietly stroll down to the sanctuary and sit before the altar. The moonlight shinning through the stain glass window on the western side of St. Jude. A dip of his fingers into the baptismal font, making the sign of the cross as he stepped inside. Moon had been right, that stirring the pot he did not know what was going to come of that, but he had declared war on unsavoury elements that were threatening to the community.

His eyes in the dimly lit moonlight noted the square gray hairline of the brush-cut that was one of his Elders. Retired Constable James Sean. Jacobs smiled ever so slightly. The former cop was always skittish when Jacobs decided to stir the pot. He sat beside his friend. “James.”

“Padre. Been hearing weird things about some crazy cleric.” James said, as he took a pull from his flask. Out of courtesy he offered it to his padre, who James knew was 20ish years sober.

“Such as?” Jacobs said feigning ignorance.

James placed the flask back in his leather coat inside pocket. Even retired he still wore his white shirt starched, and black dress slacks. He missed his uniform on the beat, and had crafted himself a new one. Jacobs stated it made his friend look like a door to door Bible salesman. “Padre, you asked me to be an elder in this refuge for hopeless causes not because I may or may not believe all the schlock but cause you needed someone to keep you honest you said.” Jacobs nodded at this assessment. Many of the Elders, like the core of volunteers, had been the stable core forever and as such were more about maintaining a status quo than to make any radical change. To not be a lighthouse, as much as just a prairie house. It was how most churches had gone, with struggling to keep the lights on and forgetting what they were meant to be. Most clergy had settled into the work a day world and happy with that status quo as it did not create many emergencies or brush fires that needed putting out. Most that shook the boat, were quietly or passive aggressively ostracized. Jacobs had never played that game, even though others saw the wisdom and heart he led with. When asked what was next, he steadily answered why worry about tomorrow, when today we are living. Or something else to that effect, not caring about accolades or titles just about the work of helping.

“Well, most figure at any given time you are the smartest man in the room, so why in hell are you being so stupid at poking this bear?!” James question statement. James hadn’t settled well into retirement, he still liked a good mystery and wanted to help. It was why he did some of the social outreach at the church. It still made him feel relevant in his old beat.

“They came into a place that should be safe. They took life.” Jacobs stated it in a slow and low monotone whisper that James’ had to strain to hear. “I made a covenant with this church and community, I take that seriously. They are not going to take the kids from us.” James nodded slowly. He had known Jacobs for many years.

“What do we need to do?” James said.

Jacobs looked at his old friend. “I’m going to keep stirring the pot. See what shakes out.”

James chuckled. “God help us all.”


It’s funny when most people think of politicians they picture the bourgeois that needs to be overthrown due to its corruptness. Not a high ranking profession, believe in some instances with recent revelations certain clergy fall into the same distrustful category. But as Lee steps off the bus outside of the small truck stop for my meeting, Lee knows this Member of the Legislative Assembly is different.

The servers wear pink scrubs, the walls are a pastel pink, with a model train that goes around the roof. In a corner booth sits my coffee companion. Lee slides in and turn a cup over sending a waitress over with a fill up. Melanie Moon is an abnormality. “Ms. Moon.”

“Please, Lee, call me Mel.” Stated the reluctant politician. She was dressed in a Montreal Canadiens hoody and jeans with her hair in a braid. Wisps of silver was visible in the red, that only highlighted her face freckles to Jacobs and, her dimples which made her appear younger than her years. Jacobs knew in phone contact until they met her, many thought due to her young sounding voice she was quite young.

Please call me, Mel was a by-election candidate in the area after the dynasty ended. She ran as a Social Credit candidate which baffled many. As she spoke to the media on her by-election run, it was due to a Great Uncle she had met at a family reunion when she was a teenager who had spent hours with her teaching her the ins and outs of the political system, but also Social Credit. She signed up then. She won a by-election which then saw a general election 10 months later, and she retained her seat. A party that was supposed to be D.O.A., and here she was. Then travesty hit in her mind as her party changed names to appeal to a very specific so-con movement, becoming the Pro-Life party. Mel had not decided if she was going to run again, definitely not with that party that had drifted from what her values were. She had received permission from the speaker to complete her term as a SoCred, as she wanted to honour her Great Uncle and mentor that way. “Can I guess by stirring the pot it has to do with the C.M. death?” Mel, had attended St. Jude’s since before she ran, she enjoyed Jacobs’ panentheistic-original blessing take on her family faith. It made it come alive to her being able to openly debate, discuss and discover what God was doing for her now, especially with the change looming she was playing cards close to her chest. She also understood that any change was a process and journey of grief, she felt the heart pain for this transition.

Lee sipped his black coffee. It was strong enough to melt a spoon, never mind let it stand up. He ordered a breakfast special- scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and raisin toast. Mel just chuckled as asked for it to be times two. “Who gets to expense this?” Lee joked as he asked for a refill on the coffee.

“I think its your turn.” Mel said. “Now, about stirring the pot?”

Lee chuckled, he scratched the whiskers turning into a beard it had been a bit since his last shave. The salt was over taking the pepper making him just look old not wise. “Decided to take the fight to those that were, up to nefarious deeds.” His crows feet crinkled when he winked at her. Mel was never to sure what to do at breakfast out with a cleric.

“I heard about the drug dealer take down at the park.” Mel said. “I also saw what happened to the church doors.”  Part of the SoCred history was a focus on personal salvation, and Christianity. Sadly, like the Social Gospel movement that gave the country the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (which begat the New Democratic Party) eugenics had been a miserable sin of the ideologies. Mel and Lee had spent time discussing how to exorcise that particular demon from the movement St. Jude’s was trying to renew. “Fuck Nazis.”

Lee chuckled. “Yeah, I miss the days when anti-fascism was the default setting for society, and not a question on a multiple choice test.” Lee had spoken openly from the pulpit about many things the church needed to repent from, including its role in white supremacy. Some of the Elders and parishioners also knew that the Padre’s face that looked like an old boxer’s was not because of boxing but due to years of street fighting with hate movements in Canada. As Jacobs was fond of saying `I wasn’t born a padre’.

“And after cleaning the doors?” Mel asked. Lee told the tale of the alleged assault in the mall bathroom of the sex trafficking recruiter. Noting that the non-uniform uniform was the same as the dealer. “And what do you hope comes from the pot stirring?”

Jacobs’ grins a grin that says `I have no clue, but it’s going to be alright and one heckuva ride.’ “Honestly, it’s like doing theology, just bouncing around the darkness looking for where the light can poke through.”

Melanie Moon laughed. “Ever think you should have been a private eye?”

 


The mall at one point had been thriving. But with a Wal-Mart at one end, and the other end having a bankrupt empty spot where Sears used to be (how could Sears not transition from catalog to internet?). The stores may be shrinking, but the food court was still bustling with folks. That is what Lee Jacobs was here to watch. He tugged the non- descript black ball cap a little low as he scanned the crowd.

Ever since the city over 20 years ago had come to realize children were peddled on the streets, they have attempted to hide it. At that point shutting down the vice unit, it was back up and running. Finally, the mainstream had caught on what was now dubbed sex trafficking was a North American problem as much as an “over there” in the developing world problem.

Sean had reminded Jacobs as they painted over the white supremacy graffiti at St. Jude’s if he was looking for a recruiter, head back to the mall and start back in the old ways. There it is. The table that the scuzz had set up at. As they leave to the bathroom, a smart move would be to take their table, disrupt the flow, usually leads to a threat perhaps police arresting them and get them banned. But Jacobs did not have time for that. Follow the non-descript polo shirt, khaki man with that weird hair cut of buzzed sides, and long comb over. The hair was the fake blonde brought about by too much bleaching.

Wait a beat. Only person in there. A kick to the back of the knees and the gent’s chin bounces off the bottom of the urinal. Jacobs looks down at the fresh blood now dripping off the porcelain. Teeth look like discarded Chiclets gum on the linoleum floor. Jacobs squats down and stares into the man’s obvious colour contact lens green eyes.

“Let’s make it clear chump, St. Jude’s is off limits. Spread the word or next time I won’t stop with your teeth.” Jacobs hissed lowly.

“who you?”

“The Padre.” Might as well take up that which drove him batty from Sean. Jacobs rose and with the tip of his boot kicked the gent in the head.

As he walked out his phone vibrated.

“Jacobs.”

“Hello Ms. Moon, yeah I will be there in 10 minutes. Just stirring the pot.”

 

 


Skid and slip. Is this stuff falling rain or snow? Jacobs wonders as he rounds a corner slowly. There was so much on the to-do list for today. He was supposed to be meeting with the MLA, Melanie Moon (Member of Legislative Assembly) for the area to discuss many things, among them actual electoral reform. Then a follow up coffee for a grieving widow whose life partner had just passed, and the hospital visit for the lady who on her hundredth birthday slipped and fell at the entrance to the church.

Yet here he was, playing detective. Tracking down the ne’er do well that had brought death to the Cosmic Mass. The predator had brought in fentanyl laced with carfentanyl so the Naloxone didn’t work. Worse yet, scuttle butt from some of the other attendees was that there had been attempts to recruit some of the youths in attendance to the sex trade as well. The description wasn’t some dark bogeyman that Jacobs’ congregants had built up in their mind for the nefarious deeds. Nope, they looked like prep school boys and girls, just hovering or just over the age of legality at 18.

A vibration in his front left jean pocket, Jacobs pulls out that which the youth mock, his old flip phone. “Lee here.” in a hushed whisper.

The voice sounded like it had smoked too many cigarettes too quickly. That raspy-smoulder quality. James Sean. Former beat cop for the area, and congregant. He had been working some angels when he heard what the `Padre’ was up to. “Padre, we got a bead down at the park three blocks from the church.”

Jacobs thanked James and disconnected the call. He pulled the collar up on his leather 3/4 length coat and tugged tighter on the gloves. The park that was three blocks from the church was the one he was staring at now. Lad of average height, and build, some may say charmingly handsome. Dressed like a staff from the bankrupt Target Canada. His satchel was a beige colour to match his khakis. Jacobs replayed the Cosmic Mass in his mind. The rhythmic beats of music, dancing, swaying, chanting, sharing of food… being one within the Holy Mystery…and the glow from the almost bleach blonde hair in the back off of the black lights and strobe lights.

Jacobs watched the obvious transaction. They had become more overt since the legalization of Marijuana, many not realizing that yes the substance was legal but it was not legal to purchase from your street corner dealer you still had to use a licensed dispensary. Unfortunate this attitude had been taken to many parking lot, park and street transactions. Jacobs had called the police on more than one dealer he walked by on the church steps/ramp heading in to work.

The slush splashed up on the cuffs of his jeans as Jacobs moved quicker into the park. The boring ones as the kids in the parish called them, sanitized from anything fun. Two simple ride `em animals, a short slide, and one swing. Blonde Target worker was sitting on the swing. Jacobs walked up, and mumbled something about how much.

Blonde Target Worker looked up, he saw the glint of the white cube collar and tried to run, but Jacobs pushed the chain holding the swing back causing the khaki clad lad to splash into a slush puddle as Lee scooped the backpack and held it.  Tears formed in the dealer’s eyes.

“I ain’t doin’ nothin'”

“You are not doing anything wrong is the correct grammar. And yes you are.” Lee said, as he unzipped the top of the backpack to view the product. “Last night you were at my church.” There was sirens in the background, Retired Constable James Sean had called his friends, which was unfortunate Jacobs was hoping to get more out the dealer but at least he would be off the street.

The dealer attempted to hork onto Jacobs but wound up choking, so as the police car pulled up what they saw was Jacobs hauling the dealer up and performing the Heimlich Maneuver until he expropriated the clump of mucus. Jacobs let him fall to the muck again, pulling the wallet from his back pocket. He was a university student, Brock Marshall. “So Brock, whose your boss?”

“F- you man.” Brock yelled in a raspy just finished almost choking to death voice. The two cops were moving slowly towards them, Jacobs could tell they were trying not to stifle a laugh at the scene.

Upon reaching them, Jacobs handed the backpack to the one. “Probably will find it fits with what happened at St.Jude’s last night.” The constables both nodded.

Brock was trying to sound tough in his squeaky raspy voice. It was a laugh. He looked right at Jacobs. “Oh man you are a dead man.”

Lee looked right at Brock. The Padre had dark brown eyes that some said looked almost black. One parishioner stated when sitting for spiritual direction it was like Lee was staring through you into the depths of your very soul. Brock still had tears trickling down his face. “You do not scare me.”

“Oh Father, you and all you people will be the first to die.” Brock said, giggling like a pre-schooler watching Barney and Friends as he was led away in handcuffs.

Lee Jacobs watches the car pull away. You people. Much of the populism had been aimed at immigrants, migrants, and the lower socio-economic classes. All existed within the largest multi-cultural and socio-economically diverse area of the city.

Lee walked slowly back to his church. His eyes fixed on the bright spray painted across the double entry doors as he ascended the stairs up. The weather was causing his bad knee to ache, and having to dead lift a drug dealing dumb ass had not helped it. Now this.

Jammed in between the door seam was a flyer “It’s okay to be white.”

“Not this shit again.” Lee silently cursed as he stepped inside the church.

End Part One.