*I recommend listening to this while reading this portion of the novel:

https://flowersofhell.bandcamp.com/

And in the third season, there was a wedding in Airdrie, Alberta.  Marie’s second cousin Amalie, who had moved to Alberta the previous summer, was getting married for the second time.  She had come to Alberta in order to escape her first husband, Jean, an abusive drunk. Her two year old daughter was the flower girl at the small ceremony in the groom’s back yard.  Marcel hated weddings and had a viable excuse not to go as he was scheduled to work early the next morning so Marie talked Luc into being her date instead.  Luc agreed on the condition that he could bring a couple of his friends.

The wedding, in Luc’s words, was a “fuckin’ gong show”.  Amalie had always experimented with various drugs and exclusively chose men who enabled her.  Victor, the groom, especially liked his puffs.  The ceremony was short, and the party lasted well into the night.

The pot ran out by midnight.  Victor cursed himself for not inviting his dealer to the wedding.  Everyone was high and wanted more.  The groom commissioned Marie to ask Luc to score more pot. Luc was already pie-eyed.  He had made an oath to himself, after the fracas at his older brother’s wedding, not to drink in excess at public gatherings—he smoked instead.  On this evening, Luc was high and well-behaved.

“Luc, we’ve got a big fuckin’ problem here.  Pierre’s out of pot and everyone wants more.  Do you or any of your buddies got any?”

Luc rolled his glassy eyes.

“Christ, ma, you trying to get me fuckin’ arrested?  Brother Jean’s right over there!”

He then smiled and shot her a wink: she understood and went to tell the caterers to follow his lead.

Carved pumpkins littered back yards and front porches of the neighborhood in preparation for Halloween.  Luc surveyed the yard and called one of the caterers over.

“Take this knife over to one of those pumpkins and cut the fucker open, wouldja?”

The caterer, who Marie had spoken to only moments before, complied with Luc’s demand, hastening over to the largest pumpkin in the yard with Luc’s Boy Scout blade in hand, and pumpkin murder in his eyes.

He attacked the sacrificial pumpkin with a rage usually reserved for sex offenders.  The blade, barely two inches long, didn’t make it through the orange squash’s thick exterior.  He then noticed that the pumpkin was not hollow.  The sounds his fists made as he pounded into the orange were not cavernous beats he had anticipated; his prey, surprisingly resilient.  When the pumpkin finally opened like a rare, orange, fleshy flower, he discovered why.

The pumpkin was tightly packed with the finest, most aromatic strain Purple Push the caterer had ever smelled.  Fresh bud: dense, green, and succulent filled the squash’s cavernous guts.  The caterer looked around to see if his attack on the pumpkin had attracted the attention of the wedding party.  It hadn’t.  Nobody paid any mind, and continued their conversations.

The caterer pocketed some of the green, and brought the rest to Luc on a silver platter.  Luc smiled, and quickly rolled some joints with ease. He then personally handed out doobies to every guest.

Pumpkin pot was sparked and smoked. Wedding guests became captive to a collective hallucination.  They all saw Christ that evening, and they saw Louis Riel too. Two visions danced in gray matter brains.

Riel’s execution came first– the executioner’s face, well hidden, with a hempen Saskatchewan in his hand.  Riel, all prophetic and dark eyed, looked surprisingly calm as a sac was placed over his head.  The wedding guests were surprised and revolted by the brutality of the hanging, and by the response of those gathered in front of the gallows.  People cheered blood-thirsty cheers as Riel swayed dead in front of them.

Next, Jesus.  He dies on a garrulous, wooden cross, in contrast to the golden incarnations of the thing hanging from the necks of many of the wedding guests.  Old wood, unadorned, unsanded, and stained with a mixture of Christ’s blood and darker blood of many previous enemies of the state.  People cheer as they watch him die.  Dice are tossed, linens torn.  The king of the Jews and the king of the Métis die side by side.

“Where the fuck did this shit come from?” the wedding party asked aloud.

“I have no idea”

“Must be from BC.”

“Yeah, man: nothing good comes from BC, except for pot, I guess.”

Laughter.

“Why the hell didn’t we smoke this first?”

“I don’t know.”

Exhausted, the guests eventually leave in the early morning light in search of coffee shop. Brake lights lit up and shut off.  The party was over.

This was the first of many strange occurrences documented concerning Luc’s life in Alberta.  While other stories are in circulation, don’t believe them, lest you be deceived.  After the wedding, constantly harassed for pot by many of the wedding guests, Luc continued on up to Drumheller.  He needed to escape the city for a while.  He needed to be alone.

 

 

 

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