Posts Tagged ‘Ashram’


“You’re not MacKay?” retired agent Louie Regis said. He appeared just around 60 years old, but was closer to his mid-70’s having chosen to retire after seeing far too many of the heroes he had known in his long and not so illustrious career make the transition to Valhalla. It was supposed to be a time of relaxation, possibly writing the memoir he had thought about. Instead his personal home phone had gotten a voicemail from MacKay asking for help. He probably should have updated that voicemail to actually track things like dates however.

Though finding a… Priest…in a dried blood soaked kitchen was not what he was expecting. His hand went to the snubnose .38 he was carrying illegally (Canada didn’t have open carry permits, and handguns were on the restricted list). He pulled back the hammer. “Well Padre, who the hell are you?”

Jacobs eyes scanned the kitchen. Trying to shake the cobwebs from his brain. He used to box, well more like fight as he wasn’t so keen on the rules boxing brought with it, but it had been a while since his bell got rung like that. Time to bide sometime, was this some old guy pulling a Frank, from god bless america (Bobcat Goldwait’s movie about a couple of spree killers trying to end the mean narcissistic culture by killing the rude, and hapless reality stars of the country).

“Don’t call me Padre, only my friends can do that.” Jacobs said. In the back of his mind he worried about Beth Venus showing up, the kid would be a liability in this situation, bad enough they almost got blown up together at St. Jude’s, he didn’t need her getting shot by the angry senior.

Jacobs rolled up into a crouch, the muscles and joints of his tired old body screamed at the sudden movement. The senior leveled his gun at Jacobs. “Did you kill MacKay?”

Jacobs chuckled. Using his right index finger he flicked the white cardboard square from his collar and undid the top button. He slowly rose to a standing position, the old man may not be happy but he doubted he would risk a gun shot in this trailer park. Rainbow colours began dancing on the wall behind the old man, Jacobs squinted closed his eyes and let out a slow exhale hoping to refocus. That was messed up. He opened his eyes, and the bearded face rippled through the rainbow before it vanished.

“No, Ms. Storm let me stay here after some rat bastards of hate fire bombed my church’s manse.” Jacobs said. “Who the hell are you?”

The old man seemed taken aback. He startled a bit like one who had been through a bit too much in his life to deal with aggression. Jacobs lowered his tone, “Can we lower the gun?”

The older man seemed stunned he was holding the snubnose, he slowly lowered the hammer, and placed it back in a back holster. “Retired Agent Louie Regis, and you are?”

Jacobs rubbed his chin, all he had wanted was a cup of tea and an early night. “Father Lee Jacobs, rector of St. Jude’s.” He offered up his hand, and Regis shook it. Jacobs motioned to the living room, he took up an arm chair while Regis sat on the couch.

“I got a voicemail from MacKay saying he needed help. Friend calls, you come. Then I find you Lee.” Regis said.

Lee scratched his whiskers. “What kind of help?”

“Didn’t say, but then there’s blood, no MacKay and you.”

“You say he’s a friend, that blood is really caked in and dried out, MacKay passed a while ago. Think you are a bit late on the call for help there, Louie.” Jacobs said.

Louie exhaled slowly. His suit was rumpled, many during his tenure at the Supra Agency had made comparisons to Columbo and him. Always underestimated, but always came through for the win. Now this priest was busting his chops about not making it in time to help his friend. Which, was true. He was so lost in his own self and the work he had missed a lot.

“Ate his gun didn’t he?” Louie asks. Jacobs noncommittally nods. He hadn’t worked out all the details, but evidence did jive with other gun suicides he had attended in his journalist days. “Damn.” Louie had chosen retirement to avoid the demons eating his soul, MacKay’s demons chose his life for him.

Louie rose slowly from the couch. “I’m sorry for bothering you, Lee. I will be on my way.”

Jacobs stood and shook the man’s hand. Regis walked by the bay window at the front of the trailer. Jacobs saw a glint of red. He shoved Regis onto the floor, “down!”, as the bullets fly through.

Regis feels a rib or two give way as he hits the floor. A bullet blows off the tip of his ear, and a few others whizz past his hair. Jacobs feels one tear through his left upper arm muscle.

Regis sees the blood. “Lee!”

Before he blacks out Jacob retorts, “Call me Father Jacobs!”

To Be Continued…

 


The wind blew through the cardboard that had been a window. Lee tips the empty scotch bottle up right and rights the chair. The blood had become brown stained with time. It was a trailed in a place called “The Ashram”. The child, Beth Venus had invited him to live here after hate tried to snuff out the light of St. Jude’s. One does need a place to lay their head, but he was not expecting entering the trailer of a dead man. One not touched by time since he had taken his own life.

The minister in him had done a blessing and clearing of the space. Letting any lingering spirits know that they could rest. MLA Melanie Moon had helped lending her office space for services while the insurance company dawdled on whether or not to pay out for the damages.

Lee was not sure if he would ever get the soot off his boots, and what had crunched into his soles’ walking through the burned out mass that had been a sanctuary and refuge for those without hope.

A place to find hope.

The trailer needed some tlc and clean up that was for sure, that would be for tomorrow, today he would crash on the couch, the television still got a signal. He tossed a book from his back pocket he had picked up from the library, Robert Gleason’sĀ The Evil Men Do, if nothing else Trump’s `Merica had reinvigorated the espionage novel that had been slumping since the end of the Cold War. He took his dollar store bag to the bathroom, splashed warm water on his face. In the morning he would connect with James Sean about where to go with rooting out those that attacked St. Jude’s.

A knock on the door, “Father Jacobs?” He really wish the child would get that his name was Lee, Father just sat wrong with him.

Lee stroked his salting beard as he looked up in the mirror, for a minute he saw a slimmer of another bearded face, but then his own. A trick of traumatic fatigue. He walked the short hallway to the door and opened it.

Beth had brought a friend. “Father Jacobs, this is Kayla Storm, she’s the landlord.”

Lee extended his hand and nodded, “Thank you Ms. Storm, and it’s Lee.”

The blonde lady had the lithe muscular build of a runner. There was something familiar in her blue eyes that had irises shaped like a diamond mosaic. Lee just couldn’t quite place it. “Alright Lee, but Ms. Storm was my Mum, I’m Kayla. Sorry we couldn’t get it cleaned up I wasn’t expecting to loan it out since Mr. MacKay….” Her voice trailed off. Lee was not to sure about what the full story was with the previous tenant, but she seemed more shaken up than simply a landlord whose renter took his life. (astute readers remember who MacKay and his son were in the life of Kayla Storm-check out Bionic Knight Pulps for all the Great Crime Fighter tales).

Lee begged off with an apology of just wanting sleep so the two would leave the stoop, as he closed the door in the glass behind the door of the built in souvenir shelf he swore he saw the face of… “Madame Mayor?” Lee pinched the bridge of his nose. He really needed sleep he was starting to see things that were not there.

Stumbling into the kitchen he searched the cupboards and found a kettle, tea pot and two bags of Red Rose tea hidden in an 1970’s era orange Tupperware container. It didn’t matter, some tea would settle the mind. As he put the tea to steep he looked out the small trailer window, whisps of wind that looked like twins.

“Dear God, I am going…” His external soliloquy was interrupted by a riotous rapping on the back door. “Beth I said I just wanted to rest.”

A grunt, “No Beth here, mate.” The voice was unfamiliar. Lee slipped a butcher knife out of the knife block as he moved to the door where the rapping became more intense. Lee peered through the window. The porch light was burnt out so he couldn’t see anything. Slowly he slicked the safety chain off, and undid the dead bolt.

The door knob hit him in the mid-section knocking the wind from him as the rest of the door slammed into his head knocking him back and through the kitchen table. The knife skittered across.

An oriental man close to sixty stood over him in a rumpled navy suit with a snub nosed .38 pointed at him. “Damn, you ain’t MacKay, who the hell are you?”

Lee groaned as his eyes tried to focus the domed kitchen light searing into them he didn’t see his reflection, but a greying goatee and bald head. A mouth he could barely make out the words of “camelot.”

To Be Continued…


Some would say it is always dark and rainy. Lightning dances nicely, small pea size hail falls. Thunder shakes the foundations holding the double wide in place. The tumbler sits before me. Been many years since I took some stiff shots to steady up before a fire fight.

Though, when was the last time one was expected to lead an army against an invading. Well we were not rightly so what was invading. The ginger coloured liquid hit the glass. The aroma strong, and smooth. Scotch. Neat. Third glass. Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone had a rule he attempted to keep to of only 2 drinks at night to battle his addiction. I was smart, I switched to coffee. Somethings make you crave that which you had put away. For me it was knowing that the life had taken my boy, and there was nothing I could do to change the outcome.

I failed him.

Lightning illuminated the darkened trailer. Should turn on a light. The liquid burns the throat in a good way, goes down smooth Number four pours easily. Live rounds or hold to the standard Rick set out for me? Kayla, was so far down the grief spiral I was not going to hold her to coming. Beth, the new Bionic Knight, thinks I don’t trust her. She just doesn’t get what war, death, and choices of life and death can do to a soul.

They’re here.

-Enigma

Agent Regis had the Agency’s best on stand by for me. Five is a nice number. The top of my head is burning. Feels like someone has driven a spike through it.

I failed Johnny. My son. He is dead because I am worthless.

Rick and his family are missing.

Because of me.

The new mayor is running to keep Susan’s legacy alive, but Susan vanished, someone tried to kill her because I pushed her to make the city better.

Rick’s hand was young when he offered it to me. A chance at redemption for my soul. I screwed it up. Not the blood on my hands because I took lives, but blood on my hands because I couldn’t stop lives from being lost. Good kids, left to me to train.

Like Johnny.

My son.

From love they were birthed, from love the returned.

The trailer rumbles with the thunder. Hail and rain dance on the tin roof like the ratatatat of a tap dancer or an old machine gun from an action movie.

The door creaks.

I left George in his own piss and crap, cast out, due to his failure to back his team up. Should’ve been me cast out. But when you’re the boss, a multitude of sins can be covered up.

What if the legend of St. George and the Dragon was wrong?

Legend has it a dragon came, and claimed a village forcing them to sacrifice the best live stock, when that was gone. The Dragon still hungered. The beast asked for the first born. Until the day they ran out, and were left with the King’s first born, tied and left as offering. Rescued at the end of the joust and blade of Sir George…

What if it was wrong?

What if they both had saved the world?

The front door creaks. Move forward. Not fully locked the wind has caught it. The wood hits my face and I feel skin break a tooth goes loose and flies. The coppery metal tastes mixes with scotch and vomit follows the tooth out as I fly through a wall that separates my living room and kitchen. Hate wood splinters in the back. Pretty sure the ring a ding through the noggin’ is not going to help my concussed life.

Or falling through the kitchen retro- 60’s table.

Gun?

Leather flap of wings.

My phone is vibrating on the ground. Use my pinky and flip the old brick open.

The Story was right.

-Enigma.

The razor claws. Skittering across the floor.

George in the alley, left broken covered in his own soiling’s in the rain. Cut to ribbons. The cutter has returned home to roost. Not an armada, or invading force.

“Dragyn.” Judas betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. “Why?”

A toothy bloody grin. Recently fed. Someone’s dead. The piece of cloth. George’s blood. His supposed friend. “To simply feed.”

Mystical lightning always strikes different than regular. Glows green too. Little known fact. The front room bay window becomes shard as wind and rain fly through so does the shimmering gold armour.

Dragyn licks his lips. Bionic Knight lands hard, drawing her blade. My 12 gauge is just inches away. Begin crawling. Leg screaming. Look down. Wood through and through. If I pull out it will pump blood like an exploding storm drain, leave it in and hope. Just a few inches.

Knight and Dragyn battle as they have for thousands of years. A few claws. Armour chinks, some human blood. Armour gauntlets, magic blasts, and sword slashes.

A good right hook. It’s a fight, not boxing or MMA (major difference- rules). A knee up to where Dragyn’s breeding apparatus would be. The reptilian is down.

Bionic Knight freezes.

My hand is one the rifle. Push up with the good leg. Pop in two cartridges. Sawed off’s are nice for this reason.

Dragyn’s yellowy blood eyes stare up at her. “George was a fool. He had no guts. Could not destroy me. He was last of his kind. Now he is dead.” My former teammate (yeah he is so off the team), looks my way. “So easy to fool, through innocuous messages and identity of friends who vanish.”

Bionic Knight looks at me. I nod. It’s not rocket science, and one does not have to be Sherlock. Enigma, was the Saturns. They aided us, even when starting a family. Dragyn corrupted the last positive thing I had of my missing friend.

“Give me your hand Shotgun. You can be someone new.” Said Rick Saturn, the Bionic Knight.

Beth Venus, the New Bionic Knight swings her blade towards the Dragyn’s exposed neck. My one trigger barrel is faster.

Orange blood splatters her golden armour. Her helmet vanishes to reveal her face as she looks at me. Dragyn’s head is gone. “I had it.”

“Beth, you do not want death on your soul. You can be the greatest. Remember that.” She is gobsmacked as I hobble out the back door and into the rain.

Johnny, my son. Rick and Susan, my friends… all the others Kyler, Jack, John…hell even the bastard Zed, “I miss you.” Moisture on my face, not from rain. It is time for the pain to end.

“Shotgun!”

Her voice is lost in a thunder rumble. Used to tell my son when he was scared it was simply Thor’s goats racing Apollo in the sky.

The Dragyn is slayed.

The world is safe.

The hero’s soul is pure.

My second trigger and barrel are not as fast…

Thunder cracks.

 

 

 

 


They’re Here.

-Enigma

It was the message the ended my conversation abruptly with Beth, the new Bionic Knight. She believes that I do not trust her. She has many adventures in missing the point, too many of the young and old have died. Beth needs to be the Bionic Knight, once I have FUBAR’ed this moment in history because some hero has to save the planet.

The rain dribbled off the top of my cowboy hat. In the alley, Agent Regis had the collar of his rumpled trench coat up and a Bogie fedora tilted just right to keep the rain from going down his neck. The call had come in and he had called me as I was heading back to my trailer at the Ashram.

“Bullets in the ground there and there.” Agent Regis points with a laser pointer.

“Were mine.” He looks surprised that I was using live rounds. “He had been around maybe…” I let the last bit trail off, it made very little sense to blame this alien, wanna be hero, for what happened to Johnny. But who said grief made any sense?

“C.O.D?” Regis asked in that cop tone where it makes one want to call their lawyer.

“I would say whatever sliced and diced him like the Ginsu from the old shopping channel on cable. Broken nose, ribs, and some of the lumps are mine, and probably the urine of his running down the drain with the rain. He was scared but alive when I left him.” I wait a beat. “And he also knew he was evicted from the Ashram and off the team.”

Regis stands up from his crouch and looks me in the eye. He pops a piece of gum into his mouth, trying to fight the cigarette demon last I heard. “We are ready for what is to come, you don’t have to fight this alone old man.”

“Pot or kettle on that one, Louie?”

He hrumphs. The graying at his temples betrays his age, there was a time when all of us where on the less salt side of salt and pepper in this game. Those were the days the rain did not make one quite so cold with the wet, and worry about the next mornings aches and pains from a night out in it.Ā  “Enigma messaged again.”

I do believe it was a chortle or maybe a guffaw that escaped Regis’ mouth. “And what does the erstwhile tech ghost have for us.” More a statement of disdain than a question.

“They’re here.” I do believe the coughing fit was due to Regis almost aspirating his gum.

“She ready?” Regis asked.

I shake my head. “Not risking anymore kids. I got this one.”

“Suicidal?”

He could be right in his question. Only so much death one can handle. Only so much of outliving friends and family. But more. Sometimes there is a tiny voice in the back of your mind that challenges you to be better. “Just times up for whatever evil is coming.” Regis simply nods.

He is one of the folks that never got Enigma. The player that came online as the Bionic Knight faded into the background for a bit to have a life. It was the voice guiding the heroes still attempting to stay on track out of the dark and gritty. A voice echoing in the dark to save the world. That suddenly went silent.

My eyes move to the diced corpse of George and the purple blood washing off the cement as Agency Agents and staff clear up the mess and prepare to move the body. “I will let you know when it’s go time.”

“You realize MacKay you aren’t in charge of us?”

“You realize Regis, without the GCF you…well y’know.” I walk back into the shadows and head to my truck. Two new forms right beside it. Took them long enough to show up.

“Dragyn. Bionic Knight.” A crackle of lightning and a clap of thunder. Close together.

THEY’RE HERE.”Ā  I nod to Dragyn’s statement. Remember Rick and George challenging me on the fact that maybe the legend of St. George and the Dragon was wrong, what if the dragon was the hero of the story.

I look to Beth. “We’re here to help.”

“Him. You stay put.” I state. What if the story was wrong, but it leaves open the option that the story was right.

“I’m ready MacKay what the hell are you scared of?! I’m not your son! I’m not my predecessor! I’m not going to die!”

The sawed off 18 gauge is in my hand and the space between us is cleared. The end of the nozzle is in the neck chink of her armour. I can smell her fear. Back like when I used to kill people like her for a living. She could fry me where I stand, but doesn’t know what to do, or is toying with me.

“Simple Knight. Do you really think a dragon and a cowboy are going to save the universe? We’re the distraction. But keep it up and there won’t be a Knight left to play hero.” I slowly pull back the gun.

“Yooo-uu ddon’t scare me.”

“Good, B.K. because when it is all said and done. History doesn’t remember guys like me, they remember heroes like you.”

To be Continued…

A Cowboy and a Dragyn walk into a bar