Moise Berri and the Reconstruction of the Haitian Space Agency, by Jude Antoine Jarda

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 60 (v.1) - The Coffins

Submitted: January 27, 2018

Reads: 30

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Submitted: January 27, 2018



Moïse Berri 
and the Reconstruction of the Haitian 
Space Agency 
by Jude Jarda 
The Coffins 

Residents of the Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie neighborhood never witnessed such intense police activity on Beaubien Street. A joint operation involving the Sûreté du Québec, the SPVM and the Longueuil Police Department, targeting an important network of arms dealers, just took place right before their eyes at the Passage Legitime funeral home. The reporters already on site are eager to collect any valuable information on the current situation, but the police spokesman is not allowed to comment on the subject. Concerned citizens are worried. Some wonder if that spectacular police raid is linked to the shoot-out that occurred in the city of Longueuil last night. Are the streets gangs becoming more and more uncontrollable, like it was written by an expert columnist in the newspaper last week? Are the Mafia conglomerates or the Biker gangs behind all this mess? 

Laflèche Beaupré was busy feeding the pigeons on the rooftop of the Ming Li grocery store, when two elite snipers from the SPVM S.W.A.T. team came out of the shadows, tackled him down and ordered him to stay immobile and remain silent. 

The deliveryman of the popular Asian supermarket is crowned king of the backstreets, when he begins to tell his audience about what he saw, smelled and heard. For the children, the housewives and the old pétanque players listening, Laflèche Beaupré's description of the events is worth a thousand movie tickets. He captivates the youngsters by altering his voice to play the different characters. Laflèche reproduces the noises, mimics every sound and movement, does his own stunts and even uses people in the crowd as extras and actors to bring more life to the tale. 

In short, Laflèche Beaupré reveals that everything started with a major argument between high ranking officers of the different police forces present on the suspected crime scene. The search warrant was in the hand of an RCMP Lieutenant, but a Chief Inspector of the Longueuil Police was calling all the shots and trying to take over the entire operation. The SQ finally decided to knock down the funeral home's front door using a portable battering ram. They threw multiple teargas grenades before entering the establishment. Automatic weapons with laser pointers were abounding, night vision glasses also. It was like in an action flick. Minutes later, the tactical police squad, with their gas masks on, came out of the building with a young White female and a Black man in his fifties, well dressed and wearing a top hat. The forensic experts arrived in great style with their windowless laboratory trucks. A team entered the funeral enterprise using the emergency exit. 

“Can you guess what they found in there?” Laflèche Beaupré asks his new fans, hanging on every word coming out of his mouth. The children grab their mother's legs. The mothers ask themselves if they really want to know more. It was certainly not part of their plan to stay up all night because their young ones are having nightmares. Laflèche Beaupré can tell when a mom is anxious. He makes an adult decision. He'll keep the rest of the story to himself or sell it to a news channel for the price of a Dell Alienware gaming computer. 

“It's out of the question! Tell us everything! Tell us what happened next!” kids and grown-ups shout. Drum roll. Laflèche takes a couple of big breaths and demands a folding chair to sit down. 

“The police came out of the place with an assortment of coffins. I counted twelve that looked metallic, one made out of cherry wood and another one shaped like an African conga drum. One of the steel caskets was damaged. An officer forced it open with a crowbar. The funerary box was packed with high tech weapons like you've never seen in real life; I mean, firearms you only see in G.I. Joe movies or in the hands of Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. You could tell that the agents had never seen such equipment, not even in hunting magazines.” 

Laflèche Beaupré takes a pause so he can think before going further. The deliveryman has a good vocabulary, but he is a little bit slow. Laflèche doesn't have the maturity of a twenty year old, but he understands that the rest of the story could traumatize the children below eight. He himself cannot control his shaking legs. But the moms insist; they want to know the end of that tale. It's a known fact; most kids have been exposed to worse watching television after ten. 

So Laflèche Beaupré tells them one of the coffins, the one shaped like a giant drum, contained the corpse of a one hundred year old Black man. Little Dimitri starts to cry, but he can barely be heard because is sighs are covered by the shouts of the mothers, now angry at Laflèche Beaupré for saying too much. Dominique's mom calls Laflèche a retard, born from his own sister. Another one says that he is the worst liar that ever lived. Dimitri's mom tries to reverse the emotive charge of the situation by joking that the dead woke up just like in the movie The Mummy 2. 

confirms. “The old dude, dark as coal, got out of the coffin and told the police that he was dying of thirst and that he could not pee anymore. He also told the officers that they'd better hurry and pull out his buddy from the cherry wood box before he died of suffocation. That's the problem with immigration, multiculturalism and all these reasonable accommodations. It's a real circus. Nowadays, we have foreigners bringing in zombies from their land in our country and we can't say zit. That's why I will vote Yes with a capital Y on the next referendum.” 

Laflèche Beaupré suddenly hears a strident noise, a blast comparable to the sound of thunder. He automatically loses his balance. It takes him three seconds to realize that he has been hit with a cast iron frying pan on the left temple by Veronique, the mother of little Dominique. With a IQ five points higher, Laflèche Beaupré would have immediately chosen to run for his life and quickly lose Veronique, a chronic smoker with a weight problem. Instead, the poor guy looks for his bicycle, attached to a fence or to a tree somewhere he doesn't remember. When Laflèche finds his bike, he is way too dizzy and nervous to unlock it fast enough. By the time he mounts it and gain some speed to flee these angry women, growling like wolves and talking about blood, strangulation and testicles, Laflèche Beaupré goes through a really rough time that will leave him with physical and mental scars. 

© Copyright 2018 Jude Antoine Jarda. All rights reserved.


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