Here We Go Again. . .Or Do We?
By Audrey W.
1012 Clinton Drive. It was a familiar address. One they’d been to a few times before. It’d been nearly a year since the last time. Now they had to wonder, what were they in for this time?
John Gage and Roy DeSoto were first sent to the Teals’ house when Dorothy Teal had passed out during a séance. Determined to contact her dead sister Alice, the woman had hired a medium to perform the ritual.
But the medium had come across as a phony, thus no one believed that the spirit was really ever present.
The paramedics were next dispatched to the same home later in the middle of the night. The husband had asked them to search the interior of the home, just to assure his wife that Alice wasn’t there. Both Johnny and Roy came up empty of ghosts, just as anticipated. Although both admitted to each other later that they did feel something in the home. They just couldn’t say what. Johnny attributed it to them watching too many monster movies.
Another run there the next shift they were on duty was for Harry Teal with a head injury. He’d tripped over something upstairs, however his wife still insisted Alice had played a part in it. With his head bandaged, the paramedics suggested then that perhaps he should get his wife some medical attention. They helped him trick her into going to a doctor’s office by telling her she needed to take him. It at least got her out of the house for awhile.
The final blow was when Station 51 responded to a house fire at the same address. Harry Teal suffered smoke inhalation and burns to his hands and arms. Johnny was shocked when Harry asked his wife why she had to set the house on fire. Again, Mrs. Teal insisted it was Alice.
She’d eventually been sent to a mental facility after that incident and the calls had stopped. Now they wondered, was she home and starting the cycle all over again?
Roy brought the squad to a stop in front of the Teals’ home. At just after one o’clock in the morning on October 29th, it was like a daj’avu arriving in the dark of night.
Dressed in turnout pants, white t-shirts and long-sleeved blue jackets, the men climbed out of their truck. They grabbed the basic equipment, then headed up to the front door, where an outdoor light illuminated the porch.
“Man, I really thought we were done with this,” Johnny remarked.
“He probably did, too. If she’s back and onto the same obsession again. I’m not so sure we should hope we’re here for another reason. Not in this line of work.”
Johnny didn’t verbally agree. He didn’t need to. Roy knew they were thinking along the same line.
He rang the doorbell and waited. After a few seconds of waiting, it opened.
The paramedics couldn’t hide their looks of surprise when a man other than Harry Teal answered the door. Johnny even found himself glancing at the number on a post of the house to make sure they really were at the correct place.
“You guys got here quick,” the man remarked as he stepped back and motioned for them to come in. Though he did seem to carry uneasiness about him, at the same time he seemed anything but anxious to explain why they were there.
Johnny and Roy entered, their curiosity piqued.
“I. . .I’m not really sure I should’ve called for you guys,” the man offered as he closed the door behind the paramedics. “I just wasn’t sure what else to do.”
Johnny furrowed his brow in puzzlement. “Sir?”
“It’s my wife. . . Melinda.” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “It’s . . .really it’s pretty bizarre. My wife woke me up not long ago. She . . .” He paused a moment, and struggled with the notion of sharing the information before he finally pressed on. “She was scared to death. Said she woke up to pressure on her chest. . .like hands holding her down. . . and a woman’s giggle. Only there wasn’t anyone there. She kicked me until I woke up and she said that’s when the whole thing stopped.”
“She had a nightmare?” Roy wondered. However, he couldn’t help but think back on the antics that were blamed on ‘Alice’.
“I guess so. But she’s insisting she was awake. I wanted to take her to the emergency room just in case the pressure on her chest was from something else. . .and the rest kind of blended in with it from a dream. But she refused. Says she’s not sick.”
Johnny was having the same thoughts as Roy when he noticed the woman in livingroom to their left. It was the room they’d first treated an unconscious Mrs. Teal in. Melinda was standing in a well lit corner with her back to them. She had one of her hands covering her mouth, the other on her waist as she stared upward. The woman was obviously distracted and hadn’t noticed their arrival.
The men kept their voices to near whispers.
“We’ll check her over if she’ll let us,” Roy offered.
“Baker. Josh Baker.”
“Josh,” Johnny continued, “is this the first time anything like this has happened?”
“Yeah,” he shrugged.
“Josh?” Melinda suddenly cried out. “I heard footsteps upstairs. . .I--”
She turned to face the men and startled at the new arrivals.
“It’s all right, Honey, these firemen are just here to make sure everything’s okay.”
“I’m John Gage and this is my partner, Roy DeSoto.” He motioned toward Roy with his free hand.
Roy gave a reassuring smile, then added, “Your husband was a little concerned about you. We’d like to just make sure nothing’s going on that a doctor would need to see you for.”
“I’m not crazy.”
“No one said you are.” Johnny sighed at the look of doubt he got. “Look, Melinda, we aren’t here to judge you. We’re just here to make sure your physical. . .as in bodily. . .health is fine. That’s all. Then if everything checks good, we’ll be on our way.”
Josh gave the medics a grateful glance, then shifted his gaze to his wife, hopeful she’d agree and not get angry. It was his turn to breathe a sigh of relief when she gave the okay, though hesitantly.
Once they were done with a brief examination of Melinda, the paramedics readied themselves to leave. Other than what they’d expect with a normal case of nerves from what she’d claimed to have felt and heard, she seemed perfectly fine. They had then called to have the ambulance that was nearly there cancelled.
“Sorry to’ve dragged you guys outta bed for this,” Josh said as he followed alongside to the front door.
“Hey, no problem, it’s all parta the job. Right, Roy?”
“He’s right. That’s what we’re here for.” His own comment gave Roy another de’javu.
“Okay. Well, I guess Melinda and I can get back to bed now, too.”
The three men eyed her as she stood up from the couch.
“No. I can’t go back upstairs.”
Johnny and Roy sensed what was coming next and before Josh could even suggest it, Roy spoke out.
“If it would help for us to search the house. . .you know, see if we can spot anything out of the ordinary. . .we’d be glad to help.”
“We’ve kinda been through somethin’ like this before.”
But Johnny didn’t want to let on that it was in the same house. That was the last thing he needed to let be known since it was apparent the young couple didn’t know about the trouble with ‘Alice’.
“You don’t mind?”
Both men assured Josh they didn’t.
With another hesitant agreement by Melinda, Roy started with the downstairs while Johnny went up.
Why do I always get the upstairs? Johnny wondered as he made his way from one bedroom to the next. At least it was only a three-bedroom house.
As he stepped into the third bedroom, Gage heard footsteps come from down the hall toward the doorway.
“Man, this is--”
Expecting to see Roy come inside, he cut his words off when no one was there.
Roy made a quick sweep of the other down stairs rooms with no results. He just wanted to get the routine check done and reassure the couple all was fine.
With that thought, he decided to go up and see how his partner was fairing.
“Roy?” Johnny hesitantly called out as he made his way back to the hall. He glanced into the room again, then shifted his gaze to the hallway when he once again heard footsteps. Roy came to the top of the stair case.
Gage breathed a sigh of relief. He waited for Roy to come to where he was.
“I don’t suppose you were just up here a coupla minutes ago.”
Roy shook his head. “No.”
Again Roy shook his head ‘no’.
“I was afraid of that.”
Johnny explained the unexplained footsteps to Roy. Neither one knew what to make of it. They weren’t big believes in ghosts, however. . .
“So how do we go downstairs and say we didn’t find anything at all when we might’ve?”
Roy shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“One thing for sure, we can’t hang out here all night. We’ve already broken the cardinal rule of not getting involved with a victim.”
As they started toward the steps, trying to figure out what exactly to say to the Bakers, Johnny glanced over his shoulder. The thought of the footsteps with no apparent explanation gave him a brief chill.
It was decided the Bakers should know the truth, though Roy and Johnny weren’t 100% sure what the truth was. All they could say for certain was that Johnny thought he’d heard footsteps upstairs while no one else was around. So that was how they explained it.
“It coulda’ been my imagination working overtime, though.”
“There’s something else you should know about.”
Roy went on to tell them about their other visits to the house with the previous owners, including that it was determined to be Dorothy that went so far as to set fire to the home and then claim it was her dead sister. When he was done, he assured them, “I’m not saying we think your house is haunted by Alice. We just thought you should know all of this so you can make a decision on what to do next.”
Josh eyed his wife. “Well?”
“I don’t know. . .I mean, if it was the wife doing stuff and thinking it was her dead sister. . .then to me that means Alice never really haunted this house. At all.” She shook her head. “I just don’t know. Who would have a reason to haunt us?”
“You just want to go to a hotel for the rest of the night?”
“No, Josh. I’m not running.” Melinda glanced around the room. “I’m not going to leave our new home. I won’t.”
Roy and Johnny had to admire her determination, but both had to wonder if they’d be back before long.
As they returned to the station, Johnny glanced at Roy in the darkened cab of the squad.
“Do you think there’s someone really haunting that house now?”
Roy gave it careful thought before responding.
“I don’t know. Maybe. I suppose it’s a possibility.”
“But you don’t buy the idea yet.”
“It’s like I told ya last time we went through this. I don’t believe in ghosts. Right now I’m more inclined to think Melinda’s could’ve been a dream, yours could’ve been your imagination, like you said.” Roy shook his head. “I’m not ready to jump on board anything yet.”
“I guess you’re right.”
But Gage still couldn’t quite convince himself those footsteps were his imagination. He’d been so sure Roy was coming into the room to join him.
“How’d it go?” Came Captain Stanley’s voice in the dark dorm room when his paramedics returned to go to bed.
“Okay,” Roy stated.
“It turned out to kinda be a false alarm,” Johnny added.
They each got into their beds.
“Good night,” Roy put in.
“Good night, John Boy,” Chet Kelly remarked from his bed across the room. “Now can we all get back to sleep?”
Johnny snorted a laugh, then all was quiet.
Johnny lay awake, his gaze fixed upward, hands behind his head. He was thinking about the call they’d just come from. After several minutes, he glanced toward Roy. The older man was clearly asleep.
Gage pulled his hands from behind his head, then placed his left forearm across his eyes. Maybe he could finally get some sleep as well.
But he still couldn’t get past the feeling he’d been in the company of something unknown while searching the upstairs of the Bakers’ home.
I know what I heard. . .
Surprisingly, the remainder of the night went without incident. Somehow Johnny had managed to fall asleep, though he wasn’t even sure when.
Station 51’s A-shift was off duty at 8:00 in the morning. They’d be back on the morning of October 31st.
For a reason he couldn’t fully explain, Johnny felt compelled to drive by the Bakers’ house on the way home. It would take him out of his way, but with no one to answer to, that didn’t matter.
Gage brought his white Land Rover to a stop in front of the house, then shot a glance at a neighbors’ dog. The shepard mix was standing on the Bakers’ lawn barking at. . .
She was certainly barking like there was someone or something there that had her very disturbed. But as far as Johnny could see, there was only empty space above the grass.
The dog then suddenly stopped and turned away. She ran off to the next yard over, interest suddenly lost in whatever had her riled up.
The off-duty paramedic furrowed his brow. It was a bit bizarre. But it still didn’t prove anything.
Great, now I’ve got *two* things ta wonder about.
As he drove away, he didn’t see a small rock come flying across the sidewalk and land near the curb where he’d just been parked.
When Johnny got home to his apartment, he ate some breakfast, then showered. All the while he kept thinking about the footsteps and the dog. With the two strange occurrences now, it was really going to be difficult to shove it all aside.
But he’d have to try. He and Chet were taking two nurses from Rampart out on a double date later in the day. It would sure make him a drag if his mind was preoccupied.
For the time being, however, he could ponder everything and try to come up with logical explanations.
Roy told his wife Joanne about the Bakers, and what Johnny had thought he heard. He was surprised by her comment.
“Maybe ‘Alice’ is making herself known because she’s upset her sister doesn’t live there anymore.”
“You really believe there could be a ghost?”
“I don’t know. But it is close to Halloween. . .’All Hallows Eve’. . .when the supernatural are supposed to be more prevalent. Maybe there’s more truth to that than we realize.”
She went upstairs to check on their two small children while Roy stayed put at the kitchen table with his cup of coffee and the morning newspaper.
He kept the paper held loosely as he gave her words thought. Roy really had hoped for her to shrug it all off. He’d expected it.
Could it really be that Alice or something else was in that house? What would the other paramedics experience while he and Johnny were off?
So many questions, but no concrete answers.
Late in the evening, Johnny was back at his apartment. The date had gone well and he’d momentarily forgotten about the other stuff. Chet and the ladies had no clue that he was even a little bothered by anything.
He hadn’t been able to come up with any real valid explanations, and was even tempted to call Roy a few times during the day to see if he had come up with some. But he didn’t know for sure that Roy was even still thinking about what they did and saw during their shift. For all he knew, his partner could give him a hard time for still being on the subject. It wouldn’t be the first time.
After about an hour of watching TV, Johnny decided to turn in for the night. Little did he know, he’d have even more to think about in the morning.
Roy had thought about calling Johnny a few times during the day to let him know what Joanne said. But he knew the younger man had plans and would likely have put all else aside for his date with a cute nurse. Not to mention, Chet probably gave him more to rant about later. The mustached fireman had a way of pushing Johnny’s buttons with the subtlest of comments. He wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t mess with him some on their double date.
Roy kissed his wife ‘goodnight’ and the two soon fell asleep, Joanne ‘spooned’ against Roy’s body.
This time Johnny had no trouble falling asleep. It was always easy in the comfort of his own bed. After hours of sleep, however, he had a rather strange dream.
He was sitting in the livingroom of his apartment, when a young woman with long brown curly hair came into the room. Where she came from, he didn’t know. She was just suddenly there.
Her soft skin was almost glowing with an orangish golden tone.
Johnny looked up from where he was seated on the couch.
“Do I know you?”
She smiled and reached out for him.
Johnny woke with a start and sat straight up in bed. He glanced around his darkened bedroom, the first sign of the sunrise barely creeping between a gap in the bedroom curtains.
He glanced at his right hand as he recalled the small section of dream he remembered.
Where in the world did *that* come from?
All he could figure was that his mind had been too centered on ‘ghosts’. That was it. He was going to have to fill his day up with what ever he could to keep busy and get his thoughts on other stuff.
Gage ran a few errands, including grocery shopping, after washing and waxing his Land Rover. Once he was home again, he hung the two uniforms he’d picked up at the dry cleaners in his closet, then put away his two bags of groceries.
Next on the list of things to do was his regular laundry. He hoped the public machines in the laundry room on the first floor of the building were available. At least two of the ten there.
Luck was on Johnny’s side. No one was using any of the machines. He got his two loads going, then returned to his apartment on the second floor to grab something to eat.
As he came into his kitchen, Gage heard a faint female giggle from behind.
He immediately whirled around, but no one was there.
Josh Baker’s words were brought to mind: A woman’s giggle.
Now he was hearing the same thing. Was it the same woman? Could it really be?
“What’m I thinking?” He said to himself, surprised the thought even entered his mind.
Shrug it off, Gage. Shrug it off.
But he found himself occasionally glancing around the apartment, and even the laundry room, the rest of the late afternoon and evening. He just couldn’t help it.
About nine o’clock at night, Johnny climbed into bed. He had to get up early in the morning in order to make it to the station before the shift began at eight o’clock.
There’d been no more strange sounds or anything else, thus he was at ease again in his own home.
A few hours into his sleep, Gage was awoken by a loud ‘thud’ from outside the room. He peered blearily at the alarm clock on the nightstand. It was just after twelve thirty. He set it back down, then sat up in bed after turning on a lamp beside the clock.
He knew he was going to have to investigate what could’ve made the noise. If he didn’t, he’d lie awake the rest of the night wondering.
Curiosity killed the cat. . .But a cat has nine lives anyway, so. . .
It was time to figure it out.
“Anyone there?” He called out.
There was no answer, which he really didn’t expect there to be.
He slowly made his way out of the room, back to glancing around as he did so.
For the first time, Johnny could swear he felt a presence of sorts. Like something. . .or someone. . .was watching his every move.
Johnny turned on lights room by room, as he investigated. First in the hallway, then the livingroom. Once he saw nothing was out of place there, he made his way to the kitchen.
He didn’t know whether to frown or smile when he didn’t find anything anywhere that could’ve made the noise.
Maybe I was dreamin’. . .
He figured as long as he was up, he may as well use the bathroom. It was then he saw what likely made the thud sound.
His shampoo bottle that had been in the corner edge of the tub all day had suddenly fallen inside and now lay near the drain.
After a remainder of the night with sporadic sleep, Gage awoke to the sound of his alarm clock going off. That was a sound he’d expected. But not at. . .
Seven o’clock in the morning!
He shot up in bed and threw back the covers after turning the alarm off. Seated with his legs over the side of the bed, he picked up the clock and examined it front and back.
“How could it be going off now?” He wondered out loud. “I know I set it for six thirty. I sat right__here on the edge of the bed and set it.”
A power outage wouldn’t have caused the change, because it was battery operated for the very reason that electric alarms could be unreliable.
Maybe the battery is goin. . .?
But then that would just make the alarm go off at the time this one was set at and later with another clock…in other words, it still was set for seven in the morning, regardless.
But he jumped up and hurried to his watch on the dresser to verify the time anyway.
Am I even later than I think?
The watch was at the same time as the alarm clock. Either way it meant that he messed up on setting his alarm or someone was playing one hell of a joke on him. The first possibility was the only one that even made sense.
There wasn’t anymore time to give it much thought. He had to hurry and get in the shower, grab some breakfast, then be out the door.
“Look who finally got here,” Marco commented when Johnny came into the locker room to get changed for work.
Mike and Chet were in the room
as well, nearly ready for the start of their shift.
Chet glanced at his watch. “Cutting it kind of close, aren’t ya?”
“Yeah. . .yeah. . .I’ll make it,” Johnny responded with disinterest.
“Chet was just telling us about his date with Shelley last night.”
That caught the paramedic’s attention. Johnny looked from Mike to Chet.
“You already went out with her again?”
The curly haired fireman gave a nod. “Gotta jump on it while she’s still interested. Persistence. That’s your trouble, John,” Chet assured while the paramedic put on a blue uniform shirt. “You lack persistence.”
Mike and Marco looked at Chet in disbelief. If Johnny was anything . . .with any subject. . .it was persistent; and then some.
“Roy’s not gonna appreciate that advice,” Mike mumbled to Marco.
“Whatever, Chet,” Johnny said with lack of interest as he continued to get ready. “Where’s Roy? He here yet?”
“He was going to talk to Dwyer.”
“He didn’t say.”
Johnny figured Roy was likely finding out if they’d need to make a supply run right after roll call.
It turned out that Roy had decided to see if the other paramedics had gotten any calls to the Bakers’ house. Joanne had really gotten him thinking on the subject and he was almost ready to accept that perhaps Alice had existed in that house in some form.
But there had been no paramedics sent there that Dwyer knew of. Certainly not him and his partner.
“No?” Johnny asked once he had more time to talk to Roy alone after roll call. They were doing their routine morning check of the squad and the equipment inside the compartments.
Roy shook his head. “Not one trip over there for anything. He isn’t sure about the other squads, but no one he ran into at Rampart during the shift mentioned it. So who knows. . .”
“And Joanne thinks they’re really being haunted?”
“I think she just left it up for a possibility. Life is stranger than fiction sometimes, you know.”
“Yeah,” Johnny said with a slight laugh. “You can say that again.”
His life had sure been strange the past couple of days and nights. Ever since they’d gone to the Bakers’, which gave him more to ponder.
“Roy. . .”
But he wasn’t ready to let anyone else know the few strange instances. Not yet. Not until he was sure something unexplained was going on. Otherwise, who’d believe him if he couldn’t yet convince himself?
“Nothin’. Never mind.”
Roy eyed him curiously. He sensed there was something. . .something very important. But he’d learned over time that if Johnny didn’t want to talk about a problem, there was no getting it out of him. If he did, then good luck getting him to stop. There were instances it made John Gage both likeable and annoying at the same time.
The day had gone well so far; just a couple of runs in the morning, and nothing out of the ordinary.
However when they went on a rescue for a motor vehicle accident, Johnny got more than he bargained for.
He’d just help treat and place two victims inside an ambulance, which then pulled away with Roy inside to accompany their charges to Rampart.
Johnny turned in the direction of the squad as the emergency vehicle left, when the wife of one of the injured approached. She’d been very fortunate and escaped the accident nearly unscathed, just certain to have a couple of bruises. Ava’s husband Martin wasn’t quite as lucky since they were hit on the driver’s side, though his injuries weren’t life threatening.
Ava was a woman about in her mid thirties with long blond hair. What stood out most was the very heavy blue eye shadow she wore. It was still the trend for the times, but hers seemed a bit excessive.
“I know you need to go. . .but can I ask you something?”
“Sure,” he shrugged.
“Your girlfriend. . .how long’s she been with you?”
Johnny just kept a curious gaze on her, his eyes squinted in the sunshine. It sure wasn’t a question he anticipated. It threw him off for a moment before he could answer.
“Uh. . .I don’t have a girlfriend. . . right now. . .”
“Oh. . .I just thought . . .” Ava eyed him carefully, then hesitantly supplied, “You don’t see her. . . do you.”
“While you were putting my husband on a stretcher. . .I sensed a young woman’s presence nearby. I saw her form just to the side of you.”
He’d felt ‘something’ during that time, but hadn’t given it any thought with the victim being his only concern.
“I’m a psychic,” Ava explained since he hadn’t said anything more.
“John?” Captain Stanley asked as he joined the two. “Everything all right here?” He looked from Ava to Johnny.
The paramedic gave a nod. “Yeah. Yeah, it’s fine, Cap.”
“What’s the hold up?”
“She was just givin’ me some extra information on her husband.”
“Okay, well, we’re about done with our part of the cleanup here. I suggest you get going or Roy’s going to think something happened to you.”
“I’m on my way.”
He motioned for Ava to follow him and the two walked toward the squad.
“Maybe you can explain somethin’ to me. Why would a ghost hang around someone it didn’t even know?”
Ava smiled. He knew more than he’d let on.
“Could be a transient haunting.”
She shook her head yes. “A spirit that roams from place to place, then stops when it finds someone or somewhere it sees as maybe vulnerable or interesting. The spirit stays for awhile, then moves on again.”
Johnny gave it thought then opened the driver’s side door of the squad. “So how long does a ‘transient’ ghost stay in each place?”
Ava smiled inward even more. She always felt joy at the confirmation the afterlife existed. And though John Gage wasn’t saying that he was indeed being haunted, his questions told her he probably was.
“It depends. It can be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months. . .just till it decides to go to a new place or person.”
He shifted his gaze to the ground in thought, then returned it to her. “I’d better get goin’. Cap’s right. Roy’s gonna think somethin’ happened to me along the way.” He then added a delayed, “Thanks.”
She watched him leave, then headed for the police officer who said he’d give her a ride to Rampart since the relative of the other victim rode in the front seat of the ambulance.
When Johnny met up with Roy near the base station, his partner echoed what the captain had said.
“I thought something may’ve happened to you.”
“I jus’ ran a little late. How’re the victims we brought in?”
“Both doing good.”
“Great. That’s great.”
He didn’t fill Roy in on what he’d been told. He wasn’t comfortable with the newly acquired information yet.
On the way back to the station, Johnny was quiet. He gave Ava’s words more thought.
Is Alice haunting *me* now? Was it ever Alice in that house or did a new spirit come along? A*real* one? Did she think I was vulnerable so she latched onto me? Do ghosts *really* exist?
Roy left his partner alone, figuring that what Johnny hadn’t mentioned earlier was on his mind again. Or maybe like him, Johnny was wondering if they’d spend ‘All Hallows Eve’ at the Bakers. Before they came on shift, Roy had certainly anticipated being back there again.
Soon the paramedics arrived back at the station. The engine crew was seated around the table in the dayroom, including Captain Stanley. They were playing a hand of Poker to unwind.
Johnny headed for the sink, where he knew dirty dishes from lunch awaited him. Roy grabbed a towel to help.
The dark-haired paramedic filled the sink part way with soapy water and began to scrub the first plate. After it was washed and rinsed, he handed it to Roy to dry. By the fifth dish, Roy was turned watching the Poker game as he dried one of the plates.
Johnny’s attention was strictly on the task at hand when he heard a hushed female voice say, “It’s wet.”
Gage instinctively responded, “Huh?”
“It’s wet,” came the voice again.
He quickly glanced in Roy’s direction then turned to see what the others’ reactions were since DeSoto didn’t seem to notice the sound. They were carrying on as if nothing had happened.
That was it. He was imagining things. He figured that Ava may have had a part in it since she suggested what she did. That had to be it. The power of suggestion had caused his imagination to conjure up an imaginary voice.
Maybe *she* saw me as vulnerable, he thought to himself.
He frowned as he handed Roy the next dish, then started on another. He didn’t consider himself the vulnerable type and didn’t like the idea at all.
When the dishes were done and put away, Johnny suggested he and Roy go see how the Bakers were doing. He wasn’t sure why, but he’d suddenly felt like he had to know if they were still experiencing the ‘hauntings’ like earlier.
“Maybe they’re afraid ta call the fire department again. . .maybe they’re not sure they’d get us an’ don’t wanna hafta try to explain it all to someone else. . .”
Johnny wasn’t sure if he was trying to convince himself or Roy or both.
“You know this is going to be twice now we’ve broken the cardinal rule.”
“Hey, that leaves us one more,” Gage said, his voice full of playful relief. They climbed into the squad, him on the driver’s side. It wasn’t often he got to drive when they were together. But since it was Halloween, he’d joked that he was going to be ‘Roy’ for the holiday. Thus the two agreed that after lunch, they’d switch their usual roles.
“Third time’s a charm,” he added once they were ready to leave.
“Yeah? Well, let’s not try to make it that many. . .’Roy’.”
Johnny glanced at him with a smirk, then drove the red rescue truck into the street.
It turned out that since the paramedics had left their home, the Bakers had had no more odd things happen; none what-so-ever.
It was good news, yet at the same time not quite what Gage wanted to hear.
Where did that leave him? That either the psychic was right and he’d picked up a transient spirit from the run they’d made or from when he’d stopped by that next morning. . .
Could that be it?
It was time to bring Roy . . .or ‘Halloween John’ . . .in on the matter once they were back at the station. Johnny motioned for him to follow him to the dorm, then made sure they were alone. Johnny took a seat on his bed, Roy sat on his own across from the other.
“What’s this all about?”
“I’ve had a few ‘experiences’. . .you know. . .over the past few days.”
He went on to explain each as best he could, sometimes stumbling on the words as he did. Hearing it said made it all sound a bit crazy to himself. He could only imagine what was going through Roy’s mind.
When he was done, he waited for a response. When he didn’t get one, he prodded, “Well, whataya think?”
“I don’t know.”
But he finally did know what had been on Gage’s mind lately. He’d have never guessed it in a million years.
Johnny frowned as he pulled back. “Roy, that’s not helpin’.”
“Okay. You want my honest answer, right?”
“I only know as much about this stuff as you do. Maybe less now. But if it was happening to me, I’d be inclined to believe there was something. Not a ghost per say. But something.”
Roy gave a slight nod. “Yeah, I think so.”
“So you aren’t gonna suggest I contact that medium. . .Mrs. Butter or whatever her name was. . .or that I take a long trip?”
Johnny was referring to more of what had come up with the Teal situation.
Roy cracked a smile. “No.”
“So whata’ I do?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. As an after thought he added, “But one thing you shouldn’t do. Don’t set fire to your apartment.”
Johnny sighed as he rested his chin on his palms, his elbows on his knees. He sure didn’t quite know what to do next either.
Johnny went the remainder of the shift without anymore surprises. It was disappointing, since he’d hoped for something. . .anything. . .to happen while Roy was around.
However, all that went on during the rest of the hours on duty were a few more rescues, including a house fire from a candle that was left burning after a family went to bed.
Johnny and the others headed home when it was time for B-shift to take over the next morning.
“Call if you want,” Roy had offered his partner and friend.
Gage opened the door to his apartment and walked in, immediately coming to a stop just inside when he felt a sudden chill, the hair on his arms and legs standing up on end. It had happened so suddenly and was totally unexpected. He barely caught what appeared to be a small ball of light that moved up the inside of the front door and vanished midway right before his eyes as he turned around. The chills he’d felt were gone just as fast.
What or whoever it was, wasn’t done with him yet.
Maybe it was time to try something new. Ask.
“Who are you?” He called out. “Whataya want?”
But there was no response, verbal or otherwise.
Roy stopped by later in the morning and the two men waited for more strange happenings. But just like at the station, all was quiet with DeSoto present.
Johnny went to bed that night ready for another ‘thud’. It would no longer be a surprise. But when he woke to the sound of the National Anthem playing, he sprung up in bed.
What in the hell?
Dressed in grey sweats and a white v-neck undershirt, he scrambled out to the livingroom, to the source of the sound. The television that had been off was on and the station it was turned to was closing off for the night. It was two o’clock in the morning.
As soon as the anthem ended, the television screen went to the usual station identification symbol, then static.
Johnny stood rooted in stunned silence. He had absolutely no doubt. ‘she’ had been there. It was both unsettling and yet, in a sense, an honor at the same time.
Johnny would later discover that it wasn’t only a send off for the channel that had played in the wee hours of that morning. But it had signaled the end of his time with the ‘transient ghost’. Apparently, she had a sense of humor.
He wondered where she’d stop next. But Johnny would never know.
This was inspired from real life experiences of myself, my brother and my mother, though how they are presented is fictional and not necessarily with the same objects and situations. They also originally took place over a span of months or years, but I crammed them best I could into a few day period. I couldn’t use all of our experiences, as some didn’t fit the story. It’s amazing how much you have to ‘see’ or 'hear' before you finally say, “Okay, maybe there’s something to this. . .” However, none of our experiences are proven to be anything supernatural.
If you want a great real life scare, watch ‘Ghost Adventures’: ‘Goldfield Hotel’ and ‘Goldfield Revisited’ on youtube or the Travel Channel site. What happens in the basement and later with a voice they captured is scary as heck!
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Halloween Stories Stories Page October Picture 2009