And Ghosty Makes Three

By: Peggy J. Bedingfield





   The dark car weaved back and forth across the two-lane road, its driver unaware of his erratic path. Another car  blinked its lights from dim to bright and back again to ask the weaving vehicle to dim its lights, but the driver just swore and continued on his way.


   Suddenly the car moved into the path of the approaching vehicle and a loud crash, followed by a sickening thud, echoed across the deserted roadway. The drivers of both vehicles slumped over their respective steering wheels.


   It was early morning before the accident was spotted by a passing motorist and called in.....






    STATION 51......M. V. A.....COUGAR  CANYON  ROAD.............TIME OUT.... 08:02


   “Station 51, 10-4....KMG365,” Captain Stanley acknowledged then headed for his place in the engine.


   “Cougar Canyon Road?” Johnny, the tall dark haired paramedic muttered to himself. “Go right from the station and stay on this road until we cross the overpass for Highway 10.” He studied the partially opened roadmap open on his lap. “Cougar Canyon is about a quarter of a mile past the bridge.”


   “It’s been a while since we had a call there,” Roy Desoto answered, his concentration on the traffic ahead of them. He glanced into the side view  mirror to check on the engine’s progress behind them. Satisfied they were following closely, he turned his attention to the up coming rescue.


   Johnny grunted in agreement, then glanced once again at the map. He checked off road marks then said, “Okay, our turn’s just ahead. It’s fairly sharp, so you might want to slow down a bit more.”


   Roy slowed the squad and deftly made the sharp turn, then slowed more until he could see the engine turn in behind them. With a thrust of his foot to the gas pedal, the squad jumped forward and rushed on toward their destination. Several minutes later Roy ground the truck to a halt and jumped from the squad. He rounded the vehicle and began helping his partner pull equipment from its many compartments.


   Captain Stanley rushed past the two paramedics and approached the vehicles cautiously. He peered into the dark car and shook his head in surprise.


   “This victim’s still alive! Johnny, you handle this one. Roy, you come with me and check on the occupant of the other car.”


   “Okay, Cap!” Roy called and trotted after his commander.


   The second vehicle was a tangled mass of metal and glass. The model of the car was nearly impossible to determine, but the smell of gasoline permeated its interior.


   “Marco, Chet, get a two and a half over here and wash down the road!”


   The two firemen grabbed the hose from the engine and headed toward the indicated area. Within seconds a wide stream of water belched from the hose.  Once the gasoline had been washed away Chet and Marco went to help the two paramedics.


   “What do you have, Roy?” Chet asked as he trotted up to the pile of metal that had once been a very expensive car.


   “Nothing, he’s not got a scratch on him.”


   The driver laughed and began singing a bawdy song as he tried to leave the vehicle. He stood and balanced himself, using the car door to hold himself upright.


   “What’s going on? Why’s that car pull into my lane?” he slurred. Suddenly the man reared back and pointed at a spot by his wrecked vehicle. “Who’s that?” he bellowed.


   Roy and Chet looked at the spot where the man was pointing, then at each other.


   “There’s no one there, sir. Now please, sit down and let me help you,” Roy said, trying to calm the agitated driver.


   “Nyah, by God! I see a woman standing by the car! She’s bleeding all over the place!” The driver pushed Roy away and stumbled toward Captain Stanley and the police officer he was speaking with. Roy made a grab for the man, but nearly impaled himself on a jagged piece of glass protruding from the windshield.


   “Cap!” Roy called. “Chet, grab him!”


   Chet stepped in front of the man and blocked his erratic run. With a deft hand he spun the man to face the paramedic. “Here, now!” he admonished and guided the victim back to the car where treatment waited him.


   “You’re in need of some help, Sir,” Chet said in a firm voice and pushed the man into a sitting position beside the car.


   “I don’t need any stinkin’ help from the likes of you! Le’me go!”


   “Well, then, we’ll need you to sign this release form and you can be on your way.” Roy handed a form letter to the man and offered him the use of a pen.


   The man scribbled his name across the bottom of the form and again tried to rise. His progress was stopped by the appearance of two booted feet stepping in front of him. With a nervous swallow the man looked up and met the flashing eyes of a Las Angeles Police Officer.


   “Uh, hello, Officer. Nice day, huh?” he gave a short laugh, but grunted in surprise when the officer reached down and helped him to his feet.


   “Sir, I need to see your license and registration, please.”


   “Uh, sure, Officer!” the man was suddenly sober.  He pulled his wallet from his hip pocket and handed the policeman his license. “The registration’s behind the visor here.” He quickly reached in to the remains of his vehicle and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper.


   “Do you need us any more, Vince?” Roy asked.


   “No, go ahead and help your partner. I’ve got this under control.”


   Roy gave a quick nod then trotted to Gage’s side.  He assessed the situation then opened the bio-phone and contacted Rampart Hospital.  The voice of Dr. Morton floated over the airwaves in a flat tone. Minutes later the victim was loaded into the ambulance.


   “I’ll go with them, Roy.  See you at Rampart!” Johnny climbed in to the ambulance and heard the two slaps as his partner notified the driver that all was secure.


   “I’m telling you there’s two people standing right here beside me!” Roy heard the first victim screaming at Vince, who was calmly putting handcuffs on the now sober driver. “I need to go to the hospital! I musta hit my head and didn’t know it! I’m seeing things!”


   “Sir, I’ll take you to the hospital. If you hadn’t signed the waiver you’d be on your way now.” Vince never raised his voice, but with firm pressure he had the man in the squad car and closed the doors.


   “I thought he saw only one person by the car?” Vince asked Roy as he walked around the vehicle.


   “That’s what he said,” Roy confirmed. “Maybe I should take another look at him?”


   Vince shook his head, “I’ll take him by Rampart before getting him in to be booked. People like him will try almost anything once they realize the trouble they’re in. See ya there!” Vince started the car and pulled away from the scene.


   Roy shook his head in disbelief, then turned to finish helping with the cleanup taking place.






   Later that night Vince stopped by the station and filled the paramedics in on the morning’s victim.


   “He’s had three prior DUI’s and was just off probation. He decided to ‘celebrate’ by having a drink or two with some buddies. According to the bartender, he talked with a couple of invisible friends until closing, then staggered off. The bartender tried to get him to take a cab, but when he got violent he just let him go.  How’s the other victim by the way?”


   “He’s going to make it, but he’ll be paralyzed from the waist down. So, what happens next?” Johnny asked, still affected by the morning’s rescue.


   “He’ll go before the judge again, probably get his license revoked; might even spend a few weeks in jail. He’ll pay a fine and do some community service.”


   “Then after all that, he’ll be driving again,” Roy stated flatly.


   “Do you know what’s weird?” Vince asked, pausing as the two paramedics eyed him. “He kept talking like there was someone with him in the backseat. Said something along the lines of ‘and ghosty makes three’.  I didn’t get it then, and I don’t get it now.” Vince shrugged. “Well, just wanted to let you guys know.  See ya another shift.”






   Morning dawned, quiet and still. Johnny stood and watched as the sun slowly cleared the mountains. He puzzled over the story he had read in the morning’s paper. With a sigh he entered the station and found his partner pouring out two mugs of coffee. With a grin he accepted the proffered cup.


   “What’s got you up so early, Jr.?” Roy asked.


   “Have you seen this morning’s paper?” Johnny asked. He tossed it on the table, then pulled out a chair.


   “No, why?”


   “Look at the headlines on page three.” Johnny pushed the folded paper toward Roy.


Roy turned the paper so he could read the lettering “Death At Local Jail Puzzles Officials” then whistled softly. A picture caught his attention. He glanced up and quirked an eyebrow at his partner.


   “Yep, same guy.”


   “Well, now we know what he meant by ‘and ghosty makes three’ hmm?” Roy tossed the paper back to Johnny and left the room.


   Johnny glanced once more at the story and followed his partner to the locker room. 


   “Odd,” he thought it strange that it happened that night. Maybe Roy did not believe in ghosts, but for something like this to have occurred on the stroke of midnight on October 31st, well, who else but the third ghost?


   The now discarded paper lay spread open to the story. Suddenly, unseen hands folded it and tossed it into the trashcan. A soft sigh floated through the station.


   The third ghost had delivered one drunk driver to the grand judge.





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Stories By Peggy J.  Bedingfield      Halloween Stories