The characters of Emergency! are owned by Universal and Mark VII. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

 

The Battered Babysitter

                       by LaJuan

 

 

 

It was a dark and stormy night and as Johnny stepped off the porch to gaze at the black rolling clouds, cries of the children broke his concentration.  "Uncle Johnny! Uncle Johnny!" yelled Chris and Jennifer as, with big grins, their parents backed out of the driveway heading for some well-deserved date time without children.

 

"Hi, Sport.  How's my Jenny Bean? Come on in.  I got something special to share with you tonight."  Going through the mudroom, Johnny grabbed a stepladder and headed for his Fibber McGee closet in the hallway.  "Stand back, kids.  I haven't opened this door since last summer and it could be dangerous," Johnny teased, showing a crooked grin.  With concerned looks the 5-year old girl and 8-year old boy crowded against each other as they backed toward the great room.  Gingerly and gently, Johnny eased open the door, stepped up onto the ladder, reached high and grabbed a cardboard box jammed at the top.  With the shifting, stacks of other things on the shelf slowly moved and rapidly picked up speed on their way off the shelf. Quickly, items cascaded down onto Johnny and sent the kids screaming out of the hallway. 

 

When all the noise ceased, the children tiptoed toward the closet, dreading what they may find.  Johnny was sitting in a pile of debris, peeking out from under a newspaper with a silly grin lighting his face. He was clutching the box in one hand.  "Uncle Johnny, look out!"  Chris yelled, as a black leather belt came slithering down to hit Johnny's upturned head.

 

"Ouch!" Johnny wiped his face and brought his hand away smeared with blood.

 

"I'll fix you up, Uncle Johnny," as the excited Jennifer raced to the kitchen to get the first aid kit.  Chris ran to the bathroom to grab a wet cloth to wipe the blood away.  Their father Roy, Johnny's firefighter/paramedic partner, had taught his children first aid and they were determined to take care of Johnny as they'd practiced for the first time. Jennifer put pressure on his forehead and taped the gauze down. Chris made short work of clearing a path to Johnny's torso.  Chris rapidly ran his hands down Johnny's arms and legs and reported no breaks to his sister. He did find some cuts and bruises on the arms and his sister was soon covering Johnny with gauze and Band-Aids.

 

Johnny's eyes twinkled, watching and listening to the children doctoring him.  His chuckle died in his throat when Jennifer, complete with hands on her hips, became a miniature Dixie, his favorite nurse at Rampart Hospital.  "Now, Uncle Johnny.  You be VERY still and keep this in your mouth.  I have to take your temperature." She shoved the thermometer under his tongue and pushed his lips shut.

 

In minutes, the two budding medics had conferred; decided Johnny would live without calling Rampart Hospital, and guided him to the sofa.  Johnny started to get up to retrieve the box, but was pushed and pulled back down, told to stay and to behave himself.

 

The children went over and dragged the box back to the sofa, sat down and begun to pull items out.  "Uncle Johnny, what's in these?" asked Jennifer as she awkwardly mishandled two of the books.

 

"Well, Jen.  Those are photo albums." As he took the gray covered one from her hands, "This one contains pictures of your Dad and I when we first started to work together."

 

"What about the blue one?"

 

"Chris, that one has pictures of my family on the reservation."

 

"What's a reservation, Uncle Johnny?"

 

"Well, Jennifer, my Dad was a Seminole Indian and my Mom was white.  Throughout the United States there are areas that only Indians live on. They are called reservations."

 

"Ohhhh.  What's in this red book?"  Johnny could tell the children were more interested in what was in the box, so they began to go through the picture albums.  Twenty minutes later, the trio was startled by a brilliant display of white light followed by a large clap of thunder.  The house quickly turned quiet as all electrical items stopped working and left them in the dark. Rain could be heard dropping off the roof in a steady torrid.

 

"Uncle Johnny???" quavered Jennifer.

 

"It's ok, kiddo.  Just a little lightening has knocked out the electricity. Can you locate the flashlight in the drawer of the end table by you?"  He could hear her movements as she slowly went in search of the flashlight.

 

"Got it, Uncle Johnny." Then she turned it on to a welcoming soft glow.  Johnny told the children where other flashlights were stored.  Soon, everyone had light.

 

"What can we do now, Uncle Johnny?" asked Chris.  Before he could answer, Johnny's stomach let out a loud rumble. "I know what we are going to do Jennifer.  Uncle Johnny can stay here and you and I will fix us all something to eat."  Johnny listened to their peals of laughter as they skipped off to the kitchen, bobbing their lights ahead of them.  Johnny laid his head back on the sofa and sighed.  He had just come off of a three-day shift with overtime and was tired.  Now his head was hurting from the earlier closet avalanche. His thoughts started drifting as his body relaxed. With no electricity, the kids could not get into trouble.  Probably, he was looking at a sandwich in his future. Hopefully, they would remember his love for milk when they poured the drinks.  He sunk into sleep as he listened to their giggles in the next room.

 

"Chris, what can we fix that Uncle Johnny will eat and that we don't have to cook?"

 

"Jennifer, Uncle Johnny eats anything and lots of it!  We just have to look around and see what he has."  Both children started opening cabinets and the refrigerator.  Peering in by the light of their flashlights, they pulled out various things to make sandwiches.  In no time, they had pulled chairs up to the table and while one held the flashlight, the other was making their meal.

 

********************

 

Just as Roy and Joanne walked into the restaurant, the lights went out.  Looking out the door, Roy observed the lights in the parking lot and the streetlights going dark.  Turning to his wife, Roy grabbed her arm and tugged her back outside.  "Looks like we have a wide area power failure.  Let's get out of here."

 

"Roy, I have a strange feeling.  Let's go check on how Johnny's doing with the kids."

 

"Just being a worried mommy?" Roy chided her.

 

"No, just a feeling.  I'll feel better knowing everything is ok."

 

"Alright, we'll go.  Maybe we'll find a restaurant with electricity on the way."

 

********************

 

The children were quiet as they put the food down on the coffee table in front of the sleeping paramedic. "Uncle Johnny, wake up.  We made you something to eat."  Jennifer whispered as she gently shook Johnny's shoulder.  One bleary eye opened at half-mast and shortly was followed by the other.  Both opened wide as he saw the dripping sandwich come within inches of his nose. 

 

"Oh. Ah. Thanks, kiddos.  Why don't you put it down on the plate and let me sit up straighter.  It sure looks good."

 

The children did as he asked and beamed at his praise.  They sat down on the floor and began to eat.  Johnny had eaten half his meal when he heard a knock on his door.  The children protested when he got up, saying he needed to stay down because of his owies.  But Johnny knew the children had no business answering the door.  Opening the door, Johnny was surprised to see Roy and Joanne shedding water on his front step.  Roy was surprised to see Johnny in bandages with a flashlight in one hand and a dripping half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the other.

 

"Come in, Roy and Joanne.  We were just eating," Johnny mumbled around his full mouth.

 

"Yeah, so we see," replied Roy as he entered and looked down on his beaming offspring.

 

"Daddy, we took care of Uncle Johnny, tonight.  He got owies when he went into the closet and we checked him over and doctored him and let him sleep while we fixed him something to eat and the lights went out and it scared us andů"

 

"Whoa, Jennifer.  Slow down.  We have time to hear your story," admonished her father.  Just as he finished, his stomach growled.

 

"Daddy, would you like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?  Chris and I do a good job.  Uncle Johnny says we do."

 

Catching the eye of his partner and noting Johnny's crooked grin, Roy replied, as only a father could.  "Sure, kids.  I'm starving."

 

"Let's go into the kitchen and you can show me how you make them," Joanne suggested as she led her children out of the room.  "We'll let your Dad check over Uncle Johnny while you make his sandwich."

 

"Well, Junior?"

 

"It's a long story, Roy and one I think the kids want to tell you.  I'm ok, just a few cuts and bruises and tired.  They were letting me take a nap and were taking care of me."

 

"Let's have the flashlight and I'll see how you're doing."

 

Satisfying himself that Johnny only had cuts and bruises, Roy wandered over to the fireplace and stacked firewood in it.  Looking around for some paper to start it, he saw Johnny point to a box in the corner and then to the bright red fireplace matchbox on the mantle.

 

By the time Joanne and the kids had made more sandwiches and straightened the kitchen, the fireplace was crackling.  With the added light, the flashlights were turned off and the children sat down to tell Roy about their night.  Johnny watched the children interact with their parents while they ate and his body started to relax.  An hour later Roy heard a soft snore coming from the sofa. Quietly walking over, he took the afghan from the sofa back and draped it over his partner's lanky body.  Putting a finger to his lips, he indicated his family should be quiet.  They picked up the dishes, took them to the kitchen, and were walking back to the great room when the electricity came back on.  Johnny never woke up, so the DeSoto family cut off the lights, tiptoed out of the house and locked the door behind them.  They left the battered babysitter blissfully sleeping in front of his fireplace.

 

 

The Challenge:

Use these five items in an E! story of 2,000 words, or less:

a step ladder

a black, leather belt

a cardboard box

a newspaper

and, a half-eaten PB&J sandwich

 

Also the story has to start with the words, 'It was a dark and stormy night'.

           

 

Thanks to Audrey for her insightful suggestions to improve this story.  LaJuan

 

 

 

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