Close Shave


Audrey W.





Johnny slowly awoke, turning over and reaching for the alarm clock on his nightstand near the bed. He cracked one eye open and looked to see how much time he had before he needed to get up for work.


Seven o’ six.


He closed his eyes and lay there for a few more seconds before the time registered in Johnny’s still half asleep brain. Suddenly his eyes flew open.


Seven O’ Six? It can’t be!


Johnny quickly sat up and looked around the room. The early morning sun was shining on the foot of his bed through the blinds. Not wanting to believe the sun was up already, Johnny threw back his covers and got out of bed in one smooth move. Clad only in red boxers, he ran over to the window and opened the blinds.


Ouch! That sun is bright!


He winced, shielding his tired eyes from the brightness outside.


This can’t be! I know I set my alarm for six thirty. I know I did! Last night…last night…


Johnny leaned against the wall and thought back to the night before.


I was gonna reset the alarm when Renee came over and…Renee…


The paramedic grinned remembering how the beautiful brunette who lived across the hall had stopped over to thank him again for helping her to get into her car the other day after she had locked herself out. Last night Johnny had taken the opportunity to ask the woman for a date, to which she had agreed. He had been thinking about what to plan for their first date the remainder of the evening. The memory of the night before brought Johnny to one realization.


Oh man! I never reset the alarm after she left! It’ll take a miracle to get me to the station on time!





Johnny ran into the bathroom and turned on the water for the shower.  As he began to take off his boxers, he thought about the quickest way to get ready.


I’ll just wash up and shave in the shower! That may save me a little time.


He stepped out of his boxers that now were in a clump around his ankles and picked up the razor off the counter. Johnny got into the shower, drawing the curtain closed behind him. He grabbed a bar of soap and sudsed up, quickly scrubbing and rinsing off, except for his face. Johnny left the soapsuds on his face as he reached for his razor from the soap dish and began to shave. He was nearly done, when he nicked his chin with the blade.


Ouch! Damn it!


He put his finger to the small wound that was now bleeding steadily. Pulling his finger away, he looked at the blood spot on his fingertip. With the warm water and the steamy bathroom thinning Johnny’s blood, his small wound began to drip at a regular interval. Johnny looked at the droplets of blood that had landed on his chest.


Just get the shower over with, and then worry about it.


As he put the razor back down and reached for his shampoo, blood dripped in the tub and washed away as the water hit it. 


Man, I’ve never cut myself this bad before. I’m really bleedin’!


He grabbed his shampoo and popped the flip cap up, dispensing a small amount onto this right hand. He then snapped the cap shut, sending a tiny amount of shampoo flying through the air. Johnny didn’t have time to close his eyes to protect them before the shampoo made a direct landing in the center of his left eye.




It hurts, it hurts!


Dropping the bottle of shampoo, Johnny instinctively stuck his face in the running water and tried to open the pain filled eye. He rinsed the other shampoo off of his right hand and then pried his left eye open, again putting his face in the stream of water.


I gotta get this stuff out!


Feeling like he had gotten as much of the offensive shampoo out of his eye as he could, Johnny shut off the water. With one eye open, he pushed the curtain back and picked up a nearby towel. He wrapped it around his waist, then stepped from the shower. Johnny glanced down with his one good eye and saw the blood drops on his chest.


Oh man! The guys’ll tease me on this to no end. I gotta stop the bleeding.


Sticking a small piece of tissue to his chin, Johnny hurried into the bedroom.




Once he was fully dressed and ready for work, Johnny allowed himself to look at the clock.


Seven forty-three…I’ll just make it if I leave now.


He stopped in the kitchen on his way out and grabbed a can of coke out of the refrigerator.


For  energy.




Although the morning had started off rough, Johnny felt like he had come out on top. Yes, his chin had a piece of tissue stuck to it. Yes, his left eye was hurting every time he tried to open it. Yes, he had to break a couple of speed limits to get where he was now. But he was going to make it to work on time. And now that he was about to pull into the station parking lot, he was sure nothing else could go wrong. That feeling of reassurance lasted till the half-full Coke can Johnny had set up on the dashboard landed in his lap as he turned into the station driveway.


No! Not now! I was there...I was winning the game…I made it to work by seven fifty-five.


Johnny hung his head and sat in the Rover in defeat. After a minute he opened the truck door and wandered across the lot and into the apparatus bay. There he could see the men lining up for roll call. Johnny tried to hurry across, hoping the Captain wouldn’t spot him. But his wet, sticky pants were uncomfortable and it made walking difficult. Just as he was going into the locker room, a loud “Gage!” stopped him.


He slowly turned around and grinned sheepishly, his left eye still wanting to close.


“How about you join us for roll call soon,” Captain Stanley yelled. “Five minutes enough time?”


Johnny nodded. “Sure Cap! No problem!”


After all, what else could go wrong?


Johnny would regret that thought when he was answered by a water bomb in his locker, obviously planted by the Phantom.


Well, there’s one bright side. Johnny thought, sitting down on the bench, his shoulders slumping.  The way this day is starting out, I’m sure to at least get a concussion during this shift and with a little luck I’ll forget the whole morning.


Johnny looked at his watch and saw that it was now eight o’ six. He stood up and changed from his wet clothes into his uniform. He glanced again at the make shift water bomb the Phantom had put in his locker.


Well, if it’s gonna be one of those days, no law says I have to go it alone.


Johnny grinned as he lifted the trap from his locker and placed it in the one belonging to Chet. He took the small can that had been on the launching platform and filled it in the bathroom sink. Snickering to himself, he rigged the water bomb and carefully closed Chet’s locker.


Hehehehe…This day is looking up already.




After roll call, Johnny was called into Captain Stanley’s office to explain why he was late. As he came out to help Roy with the equipment checks for the squad, a yell could be heard from the locker room. Roy stood up from where he had been squatting near the floor.


“What in the world?”


“Oh that’s just Chet,” Johnny snorted. He rubbed at his irritated eye. “You know, I think this day is gonna be a good one afterall.”






Thanks to Kenda for the beta read. And a big thanks to my friend, Tracy, who helped me to find my way to the end of this story by getting me thinking. And another big thanks to my husband who could laugh at his rough morning and let me use it to torture Johnny a bit.  :o)