Disclaimer: Just having a little fun with the marvelous Emergency! characters. No claims of ownership intended.
Angeles Arms Apprehension
By: Vanessa Sgroi
It was a dark and stormy night. Los Angeles County rarely experienced storms such as this, but tonight’s was a doozy. Johnny Gage jumped as another huge crack of thunder rattled the windows of Station 51. Shaking his head, he went back to assembling his sandwich. Putting the slice of squishy white bread coated with grape jelly on top of the one with peanut butter, Johnny pushed down slightly causing the jelly to ooze over the sides. Grabbing a paper towel, he sat down at the table. After one bite, the dark-haired paramedic popped up again to pour himself a glass of milk.
Glancing over at his partner who was seated on the couch reading the newspaper, Johnny said, “Gettin’ loud out there.”
Roy nodded but didn’t say anything.
Slightly miffed at Roy’s silence, Johnny muttered, “What’s so interesting in the paper anyway?”
“I was just reading up on the string of recent burglaries over in the Angeles Arms apartment complex.”
“Oh, yeah, I heard about that. How many have there been?”
“Three so far.”
“Think they’ll catch the guy?” Johnny muttered around a mouthful of peanut butter and jelly.
“I hope so.”
The klaxons sounded, coinciding with another sharp crack of thunder.
“Squad 51, unknown type rescue, Angeles Arms Apartments, number 2D, at the corner of Washington and Plummer. Time out: 20:49”
Johnny groaned and threw down his half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He followed Roy out to the squad.
They arrived at their destination in 13 minutes. The pouring rain had added a couple of minutes to their response time. The two paramedics jumped from the vehicle, grabbed the drug box and biophone and ran for the second floor. Reaching apartment 2D moments later, Roy yelled, “Fire Department!” and reached out to knock on the door. Just as his knuckles met wood, lightning streaked through the sky and a boom of thunder rolled almost simultaneously. The lights inside the apartment flickered and died.
The door opened slightly at DeSoto’s knock. He looked at Johnny in surprise before pushing the door all the way open. Peering into the darkness, he again called out. A muffled grunting, whining sound came from within.
“I’ll get a flashlight,” said Johnny. As he turned to go, another flash of lightning briefly lit up the room, and the two paramedics were astonished to see a middle-aged woman tied to a chair.
Forgetting about the flashlight, they rushed forward to help the woman, but before they could reach her, a shadow detached from the corner and sprinted for the door. Shock held Johnny and Roy immobile for a second or two before Gage finally took off after the shadow. He grunted as a cardboard box thrown by the unknown assailant connected with his shoulder. The shadow cleared the door and tore down the outside walkway with Johnny nearly on his heels.
As Gage took off, Roy felt his way over to the victim. “Ma’am, I’m from the fire department. Let me help you.” Roy carefully removed the woman’s gag. The lights flickered and came on for a few moments before failing again.
“Are you hurt?”
“N-no. No, I’m fine.”
DeSoto slowly unbuckled the black leather belt that held her bound to the chair.
“You’ve a bruise on your cheek, Miss . . .”
“Carlton. Trina Carlton,” her hand flew to her cheek, “oh, I forgot, she did punch me when I opened the door.”
“Yes, she. She came to my door saying her car had quit running and asked if she could use the phone. But before I could answer, she punched me.”
“Then she tied you up?”
“She told me she’d hurt Joseph if I didn’t sit down and be quiet.”
“Joseph? There’s someone else here? Your son?”
“Oh no, no. Joseph is my dog. My French Bulldog.”
Miss Carlton reached out and gripped Roy’s arm. “I haven’t heard Joseph in awhile. I think . . . I think she locked him in the bedroom closet. Can you check on him for me? Please?”
Unable to say no to the pleading in her voice, Roy responded, “All right. Let me just get a flashlight.”
DeSoto had just reached the door when Johnny came barreling through bearing a coveted flashlight.
“Roy, you’ll never guess! It was a . . .”
“Girl. I know.”
“How . . . how . . .”
“Miss Carlton told
“Oh. Yeah. Yeah, makes sense. Can you believe it? A girl burglar. Do you think she’s the one they’ve been talking about on the news?”
“If I had to guess, I’d say yeah.”
“Is the lady here okay?”
“Shook up a little, but okay otherwise.”
“Good. I tackled the girl and held her till Vince got here. He’s putting her in the cruiser now then he’ll be up.”
“All right. In the meantime, Miss Carlton wants me to look for Joseph.”
“No, her French Bulldog. He’s locked in the bedroom closet.”
Roy grabbed the flashlight and headed off to find the bedroom. A few moments later, he grabbed the handle of the closet door and pulled. Shining the light all over the closet floor, he saw no sign of the dog. However, by sheer chance, DeSoto shined the light up on the high closet shelf. Joseph was peering down at him, with what Roy would almost swear was a grin.
“C’mon, Joseph. C’mon down, boy.”
Joseph whined and began to bark.
Seeing that that wasn’t going to work, the blond-haired paramedic shined the flashlight around the room to find something to stand on. The beam of light found a step ladder in the corner. Quickly retrieving it, Roy set the step ladder up and climbed.
“C’mon, Joseph. Let’s go,” DeSoto reached in and grabbed the dog. The French Bulldog promptly began licking the paramedic’s face. Roy couldn’t help but laugh. “Okay, okay.” He wiped his wet face on the sleeve of his navy blue jacket as he returned to the living room.
“OH, Joseph! Joseph, you were such a GOOD boy!” Miss Carlton grabbed the dog and gave him a big hug. “You saved us both!”
The apartment lights suddenly came on once more and stayed on. Vince Howard entered the apartment and approached the trio. His pen and pad of paper were out as he prepared to take notes.
Trina Carlton quickly explained how she’d knocked the phone down on the floor and managed to dial with her toes, but because she was gagged she couldn’t alert the operator as to what was going on. However, Joseph started to bark continuously and wouldn’t be quiet no matter how much the burglar yelled at him. The intruder had finally had enough and locked Joseph in the closet but by then help was on the way.
Roy smiled. “That’s some dog you’ve got there, Ma’am. Now are you sure you’re okay? You don’t hurt anywhere?”
“Oh, I’m just fine. Thank you, boys. I’m so grateful for your help.”
“Okay then, Miss Carlton, we’ll be going then.”
The two paramedics grabbed the drug box and biophone and quit the apartment. Halfway to the squad, Johnny began to laugh.
Roy raised an eyebrow. “What’s so funny?”
“Just thinking about the headline--JOSEPH THE WONDER DOG SOLVES CRIME SPREE! Can’t you just see it?”
DeSoto also started to laugh. “Yeah. Yeah, I can.”
Thunder accompanied their laughter.
* * * The End * * *
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Guest Dispatchers Stories by Vanessa
Use these five items in an E! story of 2,000 words, or
a step ladder
a black, leather belt
a cardboard box
and, a half-eaten PB&J sandwich
Also the story has to start with the words, 'It was a dark and stormy night'.