Helping Mr. I. M.

By Audrey W.


Roy opened the door and greeted his partner, an orange plastic pumpkin with a handle in his grasp. "You ready to go?"

"Where're the kids?" Johnny asked, peering behind Roy.

"Jennifer's staying with Jo's sister Eileen and her family, so she's going with them. Chris is upstairs with the measles. Joanne's with him now."

"The measles?"

"Yep. They showed up this afternoon."

"Oh man. Tough break."

"Yes, it is. That's why we're gonna go around for him."

Johnny looked at his friend with surprise. "We are?"

"Uh huh."

Gage held up his hands in defense. "Now wait a minute, Roy. I may be younger than you, but I'll never pass for your kid."

"No, not you AS my kid. He's gonna be between us."


Roy held up a finger indicating for Johnny to wait. The dark-haired paramedic stood on the porch, safe from any measle germs, and waited, not sure he wanted to know what was up.

Soon the older man returned with a long piece of heavy thread and slid it between the plastic handle and main part of the plastic pumpkin. He handed one end of the thread to Johnny, while he took the other. The pumpkin hung between them as if suspended in air.

"Okay, now what?" Johnny asked.

"We go house to house with 'Chris' as the Invisible Man."

"The Invisible. . .Roy, are you NUTS? No one's gonna buy this."

"Maybe not. But if that doesn't work, there's always the truth."

Gage sighed. He motioned with his head for Roy to follow as he stepped off the porch, the thread still in his hands.

"The things we do for friends."


An hour and a half later, Johnny and Roy returned, both beaming. Neither could wait for Chris to see all the candy they'd gotten him.

When they stepped on the porch, Joanne was there to greet them.

"So, how'd it go?"

"Great!" Johnny answered before Roy could. The senior paramedic shot him a look that said, 'excuse me?', then smiled and looked at his wife as Johnny just shrugged.

"He's right, Jo. People loved the Invisible Man idea."

"Yeah, Chris ought to not go trick-or-treating more often," Johnny added.

"Well, I'm not sure you'll get him to stay home next year," Joanne said, "but this will sure make him happy."

"Thanks for the help." Roy waved to Johnny as he started down the walk. Suddenly the younger man stopped. "Hey, Roy?"

"Yeah?" Roy could see the question on his partner's face. After all, they HAD done a lot of walking. He tossed a couple of Payday candy bars to Gage. "I don't think Chris'll miss 'em."

Johnny caught the bars and nodded. "Thanks. See you tomorrow."


The door closed behind Roy and Johnny got into his Land Rover. Driving away, the younger man thought back to their night of trick-or-treating. He'd never forget some of the expressions he saw when they said Chris was dressed as the Invisible Man.

The end... :o)

Thanks to Lizabeth T. for the inspiration!  And thanks to the others  for saying, "Sure, post it." I had fun. :o)

*Click on the picture to send feedback to Audrey


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