Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption
Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 11: Patrol
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One night, Frank had Mathew along for a ride when they were called to a community hall on the edge of town where a wedding reception was taking place. Even in modern times, many wedding receptions on the prairies are not considered the wedding of the year until the fist fights start. After the reception the next day, many coffee shop conversations detail the amount of the scraps, who was involved, how many were involved, how many sutures and black eyes along with how many were hauled off to jail to sober up overnight. The better the scraps, the better the party.
Frank and Mathew got called to the reception dance, it was probably going to go down as the reception of the decade. Upon arrival, what Frank saw was a dozen people involved in a knockdown, drag-out brawl. Two of the bridesmaids had a young man in a western shirt wearing jeans pinned to the hood of the car and were pounding on him. The groom was sitting on the steps holding his bloody nose, his bride standing beside him with her hands on her hips. As they were driving up, a man approached the groom. As he reached out to grab the groom, the bride punched him in the face, knocking him out. A groomsman was getting punched out pretty good by three women in dresses.
As Frank parked the car, he told Mathew backup would be here in a moment, and they wouldn't get out until then. Across from them, two men in cowboy hats opened up the doors on each side of a pickup truck and retrieved baseball bats. Frank mumbled "oh shit" when he saw the baseball bats while reaching for the radio to call for more back up. When Frank turned to talk to Mathew, he was shocked to see him out of the car and walking towards the cowboys. Frank got out of the police car and moved to intercept Grandfather but he wasn't quick enough.
Mathew stood in front of the two men and said, "Put the weapons down."
The one cowboy laughed and replied, "Fuck you, old man," as he took a step towards him. Frank was reaching for his taser as Mathew reacted. Grandfather caught the baseball bat mid-air as it swung towards him, stopping it cold. He then pushed the baseball bat handle towards the young man, catching him squarely in the stomach. The winded young man crumpled to the ground.
Grandfather manipulated the bat so he had each end in his hands, and snapped it into two pieces. After dropping them onto the ground he looked at the second young man and extended his hand out with the palm out. Mathew waggled his fingers to send the message "give it to me." The young man stood still, so Mathew waggled his fingers again. The young man gently gave him the baseball bat.
"Sir, would you do that again?"
Grandfather smirked, "You mean this?" as he snapped the bat in two as simply as he would a twig.
This time a few people nearby commented about it. Comments such as 'wow' or 'cool' and even 'you see that shit'. One of the guys fighting had stopped and run to his pick up truck to get his baseball bat. He walked over and gave it to Grandfather Mathew.
"This has to be a trick but I know this bat is real."
Everyone had stopped fighting, and even the ones who had been on the ground now stood up to join the crowd watching Grandfather. Mathew was smiling at the group. "You've seen me do it twice, but I'm getting bored doing it."
"One more time please" the bride called out. "I missed it pounding the shit out of Clyde."
"Yah did not pound me, Mary."
Grandfather raised his hand, "No more fighting and I'll do it for you."
The group murmured amongst themselves but agreed finally.
"I have to ask," as Frank stepped next to Mathew, "Why are you fighting?"
The bride leaned over to kiss her new husband, "Its what we do as a family at gatherings like this."
Frank laughed, "You mean these are all family members?"
One young man who was leaning against one of the bridesmaids added, "Some of us are close friends and we race against some of them."
"Race?" asked Frank.
The bride answered "Horses, wagon and chariot racing."
"All of you?" asked Frank.
The groom's nose had quit bleeding as he said, "Most of us here, but we're all horse people or cowboys."
The mother of the bride joined the group. "Dammit, you kids. We can dress you up but can't take you out in public."
"Come'on mom. We were just having fun," said the bride.
The groom stood up straight, but on wobbly legs. "Hey Mrs, Mrs, Mrs - aw shit. Mom, watch this here what he does."
Grandfather smiled again as he once again grabbed the bat at each end. "Ready?"
The group responded with "Yes!"
This time Mathew took the bat and twisted sharply causing it to splinter apart until the bat was in two pieces. The crowd cheered the stunt.
After a couple moments, one rather cocky, drunk young man approached Mathew with an aluminum bat. "Neat trick but what can you do with this old man."
The bride punched the young man in the side of the head causing him to fall over. As he stumbled she yelled at him, "Be respectful you dipshit. There's no reason to insult this older gentleman."
The young man picked himself up, "I'm sorry Mary, and you too, sir."
Grandfather looked at the crowd which had gathered. "I'll make you a deal. I'll do it one more time but afterwards, everyone has to go back into the hall and back for the reception. No more fighting."
The crowd murmured and finally agreed.
One final time, Grandfather lifted his arms with the palms of his hands on the ends of the aluminum baseball bat. He held it there for a couple of moments, allowing the crowd to cheer and encourage him. Finally, Grandfather began to bring his hands together causing the bat to begin crumpling as easily as a beer can. When he finished, Grandfather had an aluminum disk in his hands. The crowd went wild cheering.
Mathew raised his hands to get everyone's attention. Once they settled down, he said, "I've done as I said I would. Now it is time for you to do as you said you would."
The bride's mother moved next to Grandfather and said, "You heard the man, move your asses indoors before I start kicking them." Several comments of "Yes mom", "Yes auntie" or "Yes Mrs. Fast" were heard as they started back into the community hall.
Additional police units were arriving as the crowd was moving back into the hall. "Mathew, how do you keep doing these amazing things?"
Mathew looked at Frank and smiled broadly at his friend. "Because I am simply amazing."
"Not getting any argument from me, Matt."
"Is it time for coffee and donuts yet? Don't you cops have the right to coffee and donut breaks?"
Frank laughed heartily. "You've been listening to Tyler too much. He thinks donuts are a right."
"Can I buy coffee tonight?"
"Anytime you want, you can buy."
"Call Tyler to meet us please."
Frank looked at Mathew for a moment, but the smirk his old friend was sporting told him there was more to the request than he knew.
Frank waived the other units who had arrived for them to keep going as they were no longer needed before he got back into his unit. Frank had called Tyler for a meet and mentioned Grandfather was paying. Tyler acknowledged with the sound of his siren in the background. His comment was he wanted to get there before Grandfather changed his mind about buying.
In the coffee shop, Mathew and Frank were already seated with a coffee and donut each. Tyler arrived with another police officer, and each picked up their coffee and donut.
"Grandfather, this is Marty. He just transferred in and he's travelling with me tonight to catch the lay of the land."
Marty extended his hand, "Grandfather, a pleasure to meet you."
Mathew stood and took his hand, "Marty, the pleasure is mine."
As they were sitting, neither saw Grandfather snap his fingers. Marty poked at Tyler, "Hey dude, someone took a bite out of your donut."
Tyler looked at the donut on the plate, "What the hell? When did that happen?" Then he looked at Mathew, "Really?"
Grandfather gave Tyler the 'what? Me?' innocent look.
"You've been around Liam too much, Grandfather" Tyler stated with a smirk. He turned to Marty, "My grandfather is quite the practical joker."
"That's so cool. I never even saw him do anything," Marty replied.
"Oh, he's very good," Frank commented, but then added, "Actually, he's amazing." Mathew took a napkin, covered the donut with it. When he pulled it off, the donut was gone.
"Grandfather, you give us hell when we play with our food," whined Tyler as Frank laughed.
"It's not my food I'm playing with," deadpanned Mathew. "It's yours." That caused Frank to laugh even harder.
Tyler gave Mathew an exaggerated pout. The old man reached over and placed the napkin over the plate again. When he lifted it the donut had returned.
"You're really are good at this" Marty said.
Tyler smirked, "He's capable of so much more than playing with my food."
"But this is so much fun, Tyler" replied Mathew.
"Liam really has had an influence on you, Grandfather," said Tyler as he grasped the donut.
"May I call you Grandfather?" Marty asked.
"Of course you may."
Marty looked at Mathew and asked in a mixture of French and a little Cree common in the Metis culture. "It is an honour to meet someone of your status Grandfather."
Mathew smiled and replied in the same languages, "I am just a man who walks on two feet. It is you in your role protecting the people which is much more important."
Tyler spoke in Cree, "Marty, I didn't realize you were Metis."
Marty's face portrayed his shock at Tyler's words. "You speak Cree?"
"A couple of the people's languages Marty, but that's a really long story."
In English, Mathew said, "But we have Frank here and need to use a language which is understood by my friend."
There was something in the way Mathew said 'friend' which caused Frank to feel warm inside. He knew it was both very sincere, and a true gesture of his personal commitment.
"My apologies Frank," Marty said. "No offence meant. I had heard the elders talk about Grandfather Mathew Bear, I was startled this was the legend sitting here in front of me doing magic tricks to irritate Tyler."
Frank was surprised when he realized Mathew was blushing a bit. Mathew looked at Marty with a big smile, "To those who do not follow my instructions, I give wedgies too."
Marty almost spit his coffee across the room. "Marty, I have been on the receiving end a couple of times. He is very effective at them," added Tyler. "He got 6 of us at once one time..."
Marty laughed even harder.
"I've seen him give them, and they are quite effective" Frank added.
"This is not what I was expecting of Grandfather after all the stories," said Marty. "I really like this side of him."
Grandfather smiled at the young constable. "Tyler, who is that?" he asked and pointed. Grandfather reached for Tyler's donut but found his grandsons hand already there protecting it.
"I'm not as dumb as Liam, Grandfather," Tyler said with a chuckle.
The old man smiled, "The wolf does you well, Grandson."
Marty was surprised. "You're related to the greatest messenger the Creator has ever had?"
"It's a long story, Marty," Tyler began to explain. "Frank is involved as well but we have a large family of brothers who are fortunate to have Grandfather as our patriarch."
"Unbelievable," Marty replied.
"Marty, please tell us about you," asked Grandfather. "Where did you grow up, where have you been posted so far."
"I'm 27 and Metis from Northeastern Alberta. My family is descendants of the Metis who were involved in the Northwest rebellion and on the side of Louis Riel. Because we don't have status, we didn't have land entitlements. In many cases, we mixed in with the full bloods as their bloodlines were getting more mixed all the time with the settlers."
Marty looked at Frank, "Sorry, that's a rude term."
"But accurate," Frank stated.
"Lots of fights growing up especially when you're caught between the settlers and the full bloods. You're not white to the settlers, and you're not brown to the full bloods. The high school especially, there were a lot of gangs forming, and violence. My parents were hard-working people who taught me to keep clear of it as much as possible. I tried hard to do that. I finished high school and went to university getting a B.Ed, and then into the force. Because I was brown, I was posted to the mid-north right out of training because they needed a bridge between the police and the community. I did ok. Three years of that and I was transferred down here to get experience in municipal policing."
"What languages do you speak?" asked Frank.
"French of course, Bush Cree, and Saulteaux with a bit of Dene."
"Cool," said Tyler. "But, we need to get back out there."
Marty finished his coffee, stood and extended his hand to Mathew. "It was an honour to meet you, sir."
"Marty, I am Grandfather. If you call me sir again you will experience a wedgie."
Marty smiled, "Grandfather."
The two young constables left, heading to their car in the parking lot.
"Well, Matt? You had enough tonight?"
"I think so, Frank. Would you drop me off at the village?"
"Of course I would my friend"
"Frank, I truly enjoy spending time with you. I enjoy our friendship, its something I've not had with someone for a very long time."
Frank held the door for Mathew to leave the donut shop. "Mathew, I can't tell you how much your friendship means to me as well. In fact, since I've met you and your grandsons, my life has done nothing but get better each day."
"Thank you, Frank. Its the path we walk."
The two men got into the police SUV. "So how old are you really Mathew?"
Grandfather laughed. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Frank looked at him with a puzzled look.
"I use Oil of Olay to keep me looking young."
Frank gave him a smile. "Let's get you home before the wander alarm goes off on your apartment."
Without missing a beat, Grandfather replied, "I put the leg bracelet on Shadow. That oughta keep the nursing home staff busy chasing him all over."
Frank shook his head and laughed. He thought to himself, "Mathew is so dammed sharp and witty. That's the third time he's told me I would never believe him. I'm going to quit asking because I'm actually afraid to know now."
End of Chapter Eleven
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