Once Upon a Time on the Rez

Once Upon a Time on the Rez

A Story by Kevin Chelsea

Times were changing, Dave finds that he is being extradited to the rez in trade for an RCMP officer.


    Meet Dave Collingwood.
    A man who would steal something from you then tell you it's your fault for not hiding it right. That's the best of him. There are people in this world who think that they are above everything because they have their rights behind them. The worst to fear from the main establishment would be a paid vacation from the streets in a place that will feed you, cloth you, and give you a place to sleep at night. In Canada anyway. Slowly, Dave's life caught up with him. From becoming the petty criminal scum from his early teen years to a near psychotic serial killer. By the time he was caught, he had raped and killed twelve women and given a stretch of road a very bad reputation.
    The funny thing about Dave Collingwood was that he treasured his own life. Constantly feared for it, prayed for a better one every sunday, and even lived healthy. As healthy as it possible considering his circumstances of always wanting to be on the move. For a decade, he almost settled down in a specific area of British Columbia. Moving between a few small towns every once in a while, for a year and a half, he called on of the small towns home. That was the longest he stayed there. Nobody in the area thought nothing of it when he moved out a few weeks after the disappearance of Diane Harpson.
    One day, while unpacking the contents of a worn, green dufflebag of the temporary apartment in another small town, there was a knock at his door. It must have been the deep ingrained instincts of the career criminal who first thought that it had to be the knuckles of an RCMP officer. He sauntered to the door and opened it a crack, ready to slam it in case it was someone who wanted to take payment for something Dave owed. He saw the gun belt first, festooned with the normal assortment of brickabrack that the cops carried around. The cops face didn't give anything away so he opened the door a little further, maybe they were just hassling him.
    “Mr. Collingwood? Dave Collingwood?”
    “Yeah?” Dave almost laughed, this was one of the things he loved about being Canadian, every one was polite up front, no matter the circumstances.
    “I am Sgt. Henry Barker of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and I am here to serve you these papers which,” Sgt. Barker blinked and Dave could see that the veil of politeness was being dropped, Sgt. Barker was wondering why he was being nice to this man, “look, you're under arrest for the murder of Diane Harpson, Kathleen Angstrom, and Betty Walkingfeather.”
    Dave had already tuned out, already planning his stay in a prison for who knew how long really. Already planning on that fabled 'time off for good behaviour', maybe knock a few more years off for the locations of a few bodies. His mind was walking faraway lands as Sgt. Barker cruised through his rights. Dave really should have paid more attention as the rights ended and the conditions of his surrender was stated. When there was a long silence, Dave just put his hands out in front of him. The handcuffs that Sgt. Barker already fished out of one of the many compartments belted around his waist felt cool around his wrists..
    Dave took a long breath of the cool spring air while he walked to the cruiser. Dave did a double take of the 'cruiser', it was one of the long ¾ tonne pickups that were painted with the RCMP colours. They sent a truck for the ride down to the station? Dave only shrugged, stepped up in the back, and scooted over when Sgt. Barker closed the door behind him. It was nice and warm inside. He sat for near ten minutes while Sgt. Barker's partner went through the apartment Dave just vacated. Watched as the landlord was brought over and signed a paper on a clipboard. Nodded and shook the other cops hand. All the while Sgt. Barker was tapping away at the onboard laptop, giving a few brief words into the radio when he heard certain squawks. The younger of the two cops were headed back to the truck with Dave's gathered junks heaped back into his duffle. Dave smirked, he knew that was one of many broken chains in the lines of evidence and the landlord would make a perfect witness to it all.
    Dave couldn't believe the carelessness of these fools. Still smirking to himself as the truck rolled passed the intersection that would bring them to the station. This was something that Dave noticed right away.
    “Hey man, where we going?” Dave leaned and asked through the small holes drilled into the safety shield between the prisoner and driver section of the truck.
    Dave saw Sgt. Barker's eyes flick to the rear-view and he only shook his head. The younger of the cops swivelled in his seat and gave Dave a look that burned into him.
    “Extradited. You know what that means, right?”
    Dave wasn't a stupid man, rather well book read and self-educated so he knew the meaning of the word. “Extradited? To where?” The words came out in a way that actually sounded like he was surprised to hear them coming out in the way they did. This was almost like hearing that they planned on shooting him to the moon.
    “Your days as a Canadian are over.” Sgt. Barker said over his shoulder, his tone gave away nothing.
    For the rest of the ride, he never asked anything. Dave sat and wondered if the US may have wanted him for something he did. The thoughts of being strapped down and having his veins jammed full of death worried him. His mind going over little bits of information he could recall from his victims. Cards? Money? Identification? Tattoos? Accents? Everything he could think of that might mean he was headed for the states. On a dirt road? The road had become a lot more bumpy in the little while he thought, the sound of the gravel ticking along the underside of the truck made him look up. In the rear-view, Dave saw Sgt. Barker's eyes flick over and look at him. Then the eyes were hidden behind a pair of sunglasses. The morning sun was behind a light haze of cloud and morning fog, but it was still bright.
    The small psychological meaning behind this action struck at Dave somewhere deep inside. Whoever he was being delivered to, were worth the separating between the two cops and this criminal. The questions Dave wanted to ask were thrust out of his mind and replaced with an almost animal need to appease or escape.
    “Please, sir, where are we going?” Dave would have hated the sound behind his voice if he were in any state of mind to even notice it. “Where? My rights?”
    “We're far beyond that now,” Sgt. Barker said without turning his head.

    The gravel road they were on became an even smaller road, only the small telltale ruts of logging trucks squirting up mud between the dual-wheels of the load bearing axles. Bits of bark and thrown off branches littered the sides of the road. Dave stared through the safety glass and over the dash to try and see where they were headed. The small road opened out into a large open field, a lake on the southern side. The lake filled the bowl of rolling hills, the trees didn't come all the way down into the valley. Across the way were a few pickups parked along the lakeside, a few dented and broken looking cars parked on a field. One of the pickups had one of the little cherry spinners that Dave only knew from the old cop shows he saw. Dave saw that one of the cars had one as well. As they drove closer, only a few hundred meters to go, Dave saw that the car looked beaten to hell and back, but the front rode low, the back sat higher. The hood had an air-scoop, Dave looked at the truck and saw that it was made for the off-roads, sat high on big tires. It also had a well used look to it.
    “You know the deal, I'll be back in a few minutes.” Sgt. Barker said as the truck rolled to a stop, he jammed the shifter into park and stepped out.
    “What deal?” Dave's worry was slightly faded now that he saw that he wasn't being sent to the states or somewhere else.
    “Quiet.” The younger cop threw over his shoulder at Dave.
    Dave knew he was near the reservation that was south of town. These were all native that were gathered by the looks of it. A shot of terror when through Dave when he saw that they were all armed, in plain sight of the approaching RCMP officer. He saw Sgt. Barker stop and look down then brush something on the ground with his boot. He raised his hand and one of the natives looked over and waved, a hard grin on his face.
    “Parrow, you know that a*****e would have be here.” The young cop shook his head. The little of which Dave could see had the grimace of someone looking at something he didn't want to see.
    Before Dave could ask what he meant, he saw that one of the guys didn't look away from Sgt. Barker, but motioned over his shoulder. Flicked his first two fingers and from between two vehicles, Dave could see two guys helping a third off the ground. The third guy's feet didn't seem to want to work right, even with two other men trying to get him to his feet, he swayed with the effort. The guys head finally popped out from the shadows, Dave saw that his hair was long and black. Maybe matted with days or weeks of going without any kind of care. When Dave saw the man's face, maybe the hair was matted with blood as well. People's mouths were working, but since the windows were closed Dave couldn't make out any of the words.
    Then Dave noticed something that froze him solid, turning his spine cold as ice. The dirty, dishevelled, and beaten man was dressed in the street uniform of the RCMP officers. The grey of the torn short still showed the patches and insignias. Through the curtain of hair, the man's bruised and beaten features of the of a native showed.
    “Who is...” Dave cut off his words when he saw Sgt. Barker look over and gave his head a little nod.
    The young cop gave Dave a brief glance and opened his door and got out. Dave still sat, frozen to his seat. The dawning of what was happening crept up on Dave. He was being traded. If he could see his own face, he would have recognized the look. The pulling down of the corners of the mouth, the widening of the eyes, the last brief flash of real humanity as everything was being changed. Dave's victims all showed that as they realized that their own fate was wrenched away from them. That moment came for Dave and he began to blubber. A series of 'wha? wha?' noises tumbled from his mouth. His mouth was dry, but his wide eyes began to leak. Without knowing he was doing it, Dave was digging his heels into whatever he could find. The younger cop was strong though, he easily wrestled Dave out from the truck.
    “Walk.” The command startled Dave, all he tried to do was catch the eye of the younger cop and try to beg. “Walk!” The yell made Dave visibly shake as though an electric shock went through him.
    Dave was half dragged, half marched to Sgt. Barker's side.  The words that were being spoken on both sides had a very official canter about them, just to get them out of the way. Dave understood none of them, he didn't want to meet the eyes of anyone over on the other side of the spraypainted line he noticed on the ground. What Dave noticed was a different language being spoken, his head snapped up, whatever was said had been barked at the other prisoner. The native cop had fallen and nearly crumpled all the way to the ground. He was leaning on his elbow, head hung forward, his shoulders jumped when he heard the order. It must have been an order to get to his feet. When the two guys who helped him earlier tried to help him again, he brushed them away. Slowly, the long job of getting his feet underneath him was done, he staggered a little when he bought his face up to look across.
    Sgt. Barker made a curt gesture, it was without any kindness, as to make something he didn't want to take care of come along. The man staggered forward, managed to get to the side of the truck and reached up to hold on so he wouldn't fall down. Sgt. Barker helped him into the back of the truck, he had a look of disgust on his face. Whatever this cop had done had to have been a form of treachery and betrayal. The RCMP didn't want to have anything to do with him, neither did the people across the small orange line. When the door was closed, the prisoner safely tucked away, Sgt. Barker looked over and motioned to the younger cop. Sgt. Barker held his index finger up and then just swiped it down in front of him. The 'go ahead' cemented Dave's feet to the ground.
    “No. No, please.” Dave's heels dug into the ground as the younger cop shoved at his shoulder.
    “Go. Go now.”
    “No, please, I'm sorry!” Dave's voice was climbing as his feet were pushed closer and closer to the line.
    “F**k this.”
    Dave heard the swift sound of velcro then the sound of an object clearing a leather case. A split second later, Dave felt all of his muscles tense. Shock shook him and he crumbled to the ground. On a few of his victims, Dave used a taser to calm them down, but he had no idea how must have felt. Now he did, what little he did have in his bladder had let go and he squirted a little piss into his pants. Dave was rolled over onto his stomach and his shoulder screamed in pain, the younger cop was just dragging him by his elbow towards the line. The cuffs digging into his wrists. All that Dave could manage was the low mutter and slobbering.
    The language of his new captors sounded primal to his ears.

    In moments, Dave felt a few pairs of hands wrapping around his arms and dragging him the rest of the way. Dave was trying to turn and watch the cops, maybe they'd help. They were already putting on their seat belts. As Dave saw his feet drag across the orange spray-painted line, he heard the engine turning over and the truck sat idling.
    There was a brief back and forth between the guy Sgt. Barker had been talking to and a larger native. Dave stared at their lips, trying hard to figure out anything they were saying. The sound of duct tape being wrapped around his ankles pulled his attention away. The two guys who were doing the grunt work with Dave looked up at the same time when they heard what sounded like a command. They left Dave alone and stood to go fetch something from back of one of the pickups.
    Dave took this split second to try and scramble to his feet and hop towards the line. A surge of strange gladness surged through him as he found he would make it before anyone would catch him. The sound of guns being drawn behind him spiked in his mind. He stopped and turned around in little hops.
    “Can you read?” The native who had been talking to Sgt. Parker was holding a clipboard with paper on it.
    Dave only stood, he didn't expect this kind of question. Any kind of question. Maybe to be riddled with bullets for trying to escape. Dave nodded. At least it was civilized in a way, no longer being treated as an object to be traded and handled as a piece of meat. The guy with the clipboard barked a couple of orders, the two young natives who were taping Dave's legs together were standing in the back of a pickup. One of them had a rifle pointed at Dave, the other just resting his elbows on the cab, watching with a small smile on his face. They hopped out and helped Dave over to look at the piece of paper. Maybe it was only to get Dave away from the line, but it was better than laying on the ground so Dave went quietly.
    What Dave expected was a long page of legal speak, according to section this and the guilty is sentenced to that, all the kind of speak. What he got was two small paragraphs that outlined what he did and what was to happen. He hoped that any kind of deliberation would last long enough to maybe barter a better deal with these people.
    “You understand?”
    “Yes, sir.” Dave nodded.
    “Okay, yeah, look at here,” the man turned and pointed at the hotrod cop car, there was someone sitting in the passenger seat, “that there is the one going to be saying what happens, right?”
    “But, he's...”
    “That guy is Betty Walkingfeather's dad. We only let one guy come.”
    The name sounded vaguely familiar, his mind whirred as he tried to track it. Then just snagged on where it came from. Sgt. Barker said that he was guilty of her murder. Dave started to panic, the paper said that whatever the sentence was, it would be carried out as soon as the sentencer wanted it to. The thoughts of one of the native women he had murdered flashed through his mind. They were all fighters, but this one didn't quit until she'd stopped breathing. But Dave had been thinking of the wrong woman, Betty was a small and meek woman. Always helpful and Dave had found her walking along the side of the road one day. The last hours of her life were a screaming terror.
    Dave tried to turn, to try and escape, he felt something drive into his knee, he looked down and saw that one of his legs were bent at a very odd angle. He screamed with pain and fell to the ground, the two young natives fell on him and wrenched his hands away from his leg. There was a brief scuffle as they uncuffed his hands then bound them behind his back. Dave kept alternating his eyes between the orange line and the man with the clipboard walking over to talk to Betty's father. Dave tried to dig his feet into the ground and push towards the line, his leg kept him still, the pain was too much.
    Between his own sobs, Dave could only hear the sound of low muttering between them. It only took a minute, but his fate was decided. The man with the clipboard reached in and gave Betty's father a pat on the shoulder.
    “Eh!” The man straightened and gave a gesture, his palm up and he gave it a little lift. “Ci`t'lcste.”
    Dave didn't understand what he said, but felt hands under his arms pulling him to his knees. When his leg burst out in a fresh moment of pain, he fell back to the ground.
    Dave felt a boot ram into his stomach then felt the hands helping him to his knees again. Dave struggled to stay on his one good knee. Through eyes filled with tears, he looked up and tried to catch his sentencer's eyes. The man in the car had his hands over his face, his shoulders bobbing up and down in sobs. Dave tried to croak out an 'I'm sorry', but before he could get any of it out, a huge flash of pain tore through his temple.
    “Shut your god damn mouth.” One of the guys holding him up barked while flexing his fingers to see if anything was broken.
    The man with the clipboard walked over and held it out. “You're supposed to sign this, but,” he gave a chuckle, “don't look like you can. Oh well, it's from your world anyways.” The guy threw the clipboard on the ground like it was only a piece of paper.

    Dave was expecting some sort of speech, to at least know how he was going to be punished. What he didn't know was that his life was forfeit as soon as Manuel Walkingfeather, Manny to his friends, gave the word. Only able to whisper “kill him” to Nolan Parrow. Dave saw Nolan pull out a large semi-automatic pistol and thumb off the safety.
    “Ela7”. Nolan gave the gun a little flick and the two young natives walked and stood beside him.
    Dave's last thoughts, any grisly schemer's constant last thoughts, were that of a way to get out of this. There were bodies he could show them, he would trade them fo-

© 2010 Kevin Chelsea

Author's Note

Kevin Chelsea
This is actually one of 2 different starting chapters to a story line that my lil bro was telling me about, "hey, you should write about..." and I wrote this one and another. Both are leadins to a longer tale that I'll filddle around with. But I figured this would make an interesting little short story on its own so... I'm uploading it. Actually the other story I can probably edit to fit in after this one because Nolan Parrow is introduced a little more.
And for those wondering, the couple of native words you see in the story are actually from my language, secwepemc (or Shuswap if you're curious).

"Ci`t'lcste" is one of those words that mean a lot more than just the simple 1 word it is, it mean "get him/her to his/her knees", works if you're standing or laying down. I'd tell you how to pronounce it, but that would take forever.

"ela7" is a weird one. To us it's just natural to say it in the context we need to. It can mean "Pardon me, good sir, mind stepping to the side if it's not too much trouble?" if you say it kindly. Or you can say it all gruff like to someone you hate and it'll mean "GTFO the way you god damn moron, jesus christ, go stand somewhere else you stupid ugly piece of crap." The way Nolan says it here means, "move aside, this might be messy." One little word in our language can mean a whole lot.

ps... I only did a really quick check through for major errors, if you see any, let em slide, eh partner? =p

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If that's what that Dave did to so many women I'm not sure he suffered enough. LOL but then I like my bad guys to suffer in kind.
I like the trade off that happens. I still kind of wonder what the native cop did to be treated so.

Posted 11 Years Ago

Tell you little brother his idea works well. Sounds much like some crimes were handled in this area 50 or so years ago. Thanks for the clarification on the words as well.

Posted 11 Years Ago

I found this a reviting story, I got a phone call in the middle and couldn't wait to get back to reading. I also knew a jackass from Canada and his name was "Dave". Call me sadistic, but he was a real moron and I liked the fact your Dave was killed. I also liked the fact that the Indians got revenge for his daughters death. I to have Indian ancestors from the Cherokee tribe from Oklahoma- so we have something in common. I would like to read more of your writing too.


Posted 12 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on March 23, 2010
Last Updated on March 23, 2010
Tags: native, alternate reality, crime


Kevin Chelsea
Kevin Chelsea

IR#4, The Cariboo, Canada

►My Blogger website, Stories from #4 I'm just a happy-go-lucky-guy from the rez. Working on putting the links to the stories I moved to blogger here, just smaller. I'll still upload new st.. more..


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