It was an uncharacteristically quiet time at the station. Johnny and Roy were sitting around the dayroom talking about Halloween that was coming up the next day.
“So what are the kids going to be this year?” Johnny asked.
Roy took a sip of his coffee before he answered, “Jenny is going to be a princess, or course, and Chris is set to be a werewolf,” he answered. “According to Chris the creepier the better”
Johnny smiled, “I remember that when I was a kid we wanted to scare all the neighbours” He chuckled to himself. “That was the best part of Halloween”
Roy sat his coffee down, “we better go finish our chores,” he said as he stood up.
Johnny got to his feet also and headed for the storage cupboard to get the broom. As he opened the door he let our a terrifying howl, “damn it Chet,” he grumbled. Dangling from a string was a very intimidating looking spider.
Johnny pulled it down with disgust and threw it into the trash can. He continued with his cleaning as he fumed under his breath. Roy smiled sympathetically from the kitchen area where he was making lunch. The morning was finally broken up by the tones sounding.
Squad 51, Engine 51, Truck 110, Station 45, Battalion 14, Structure Fire, 8829 Ballingwood, Cross Street Hamilton Time out 11:15
Roy tossed the lunch ingredients into the fridge as the two headed to the squad. “Hope we get back in time for supper,” Roy said as they rolled out of the station.
By the time the squad pulled up at the warehouse Engine 51 was already there. “John, Roy make a sweep of the first floor,” Captain Stanley yelled as he turned to the rest of his crew.
Johnny and Roy donned their gear and went inside the blazing building. The space was filled with boxes and debris. The atmosphere was so dark it was almost spooky as the ceiling hung low with smoke.
“We better make this fast,” Johnny said as he and Roy continued their search. All of a sudden they both heard a blood curdling screech.
“What the heck?” Roy said, spinning around.
“It’s coming from over there,” Johnny said pointing to a corner. The two paramedics hurried across the room expecting to find a trapped victim. They moved things around as they searched everywhere.
“I don’t see anything,” Johnny said.
“There has to be someone here somewhere,” Roy said, “we both heard the noise,” he reminded his partner.
The smoke was getting worse. The fire growing hotter as they kept searching.
The sound of Battalion Chief McConikee deep voice boomed over the radio. “Evacuate immediately!,” he said firmly.
Roy and Johnny were torn. They couldn’t ignore a direct order but they both knew they heard someone. Johnny and Roy looked at each other. “One more look,” Roy said as he turned to convince his partner to say a bit more.
Johnny hesitated before he finally nodded. There was one more pile of boxes to pull apart. The two made quick work of it tossing the boxes any which way to get them out of the way. The screech sound was almost on top of them as it resounded through the room. Roy pulled the last box out of the way as a cat jumped down onto Johnny's shoulder and dashed off.
The stunned look on Johnny's face said it all as the two turned to go. Roy grabbed onto his partner as they dashed towards the door.
The radio was blaring at them as they ran as fast as they could to get out of there.
“51 evacuate,” Captain Stanley’s voice kept calling to them. They were dodging flying debris as they ran.
Just as the two dashed out the door the building erupted behind them. The two were thrown like rag dolls as the force of the explosion hit them. They both hit the ground hard.
Roy groaned as he rolled over and tried to get to his knees. Hands were reaching out to help him.
“You okay?” Chet asked as he helped Roy to his feet.
Roy nodded as he tried to get his teeth to stop rattling . Roy finally found his voice. “man was that close, wasn’t it Johnny?” he said thinking his partner was right beside him. “Johnny?” Roy looked around. He suddenly spotted Johnny a little ways away. Johnny was still laying where he landed. Roy pushed away from Chet and ran to his partner.
Marco had already put some O2 on Johnny's face, having noticed that Johnny's face mask had been broken in the fall. Roy dropped down beside Johnny. “damn,” he cursed as he immediately started to assess his injured partner.
Roy took Johnny's vitals as he spotted Mike rushing up with the biophone and drug box. Mike established contact with the hospital as Roy kept checking Johnny further for any noticeable injuries.
Roy was relieved that he didn’t find any obvious broken bones.
“Rampart this is squad 51,” Mike radioed as he looked to Roy for the paper with the vitals.
“Go ahead 51,” came Kel Brackett’s voice.
Mike continued, “Rampart we have an unconscious paramedic as a result of an explosion. Vitals are BP 100/70, pulse 110, respiration 20”
“51 is there signs of trauma?” Rampart asked.
Roy grabbed the biophone, “Rampart Johnny has a small bump on his left temple. He is responding to painful stimuli. He has been unconscious since the explosion”
Rampart ordered an IV, oxygen and spinal precautions. A short time later the ambulance was heading to the hospital. Roy stayed beside the gurney as they rushed into the waiting treatment room.
The activity was controlled but hectic as x-rays were done and blood work was drawn. It was a long 24 hours for Roy as Johnny remained unconscious. Roy never left the hospital as he waited impatiently for his partner to wake up. Roy looked at his watch, knowing the longer Johnny stayed unconscious the worse things looked. The x-rays had been negative but still Johnny just didn’t wake up.
The door bumped open as Roy was startled out of his thoughts. He had been lost in his world of guilt thinking that it was his fault that Johnny was in the bed. If he hadn’t insisted the two stay and continue searching they would have made it out of the warehouse without any harm. ‘a damn cat’ he cursed to himself, ‘Johnny is in that bed because of some cat’
“Hope you don’t mine but Dr. Early said the kids could come in for a minute and show you their costumes before we go trick or treating, “ Joanne said as she approached her husband.
Roy forced a smile on his face as he looked at his two children. Jenny was beautiful as a fairy princess with a pink taffeta dress and a gold shiny crown. Chris was a frightfully wonderful werewolf with huge teeth and furry skin.
“You guys look great,” Roy said as he hugged his two kids. “Hope you understand why I can’t go tonight with you,” Roy said as he dropped down to his knees in front of the two children.
“Daddy when is Uncle Johnny going to wake up?” Chris asked looking over at the man in the bed.
“Soon I hope,” Roy said, “Dr. Brackett said it could happen any time” He prayed that he was right.
Jenny went to Johnny's bed. “I sure wanted Uncle Johnny to see my costume. He always calls me his princess,” she said, sadly. She climbed onto the side of the bed and took Johnny's hand. “Uncle Johnny I know you’re sleeping but I wanted you to see me,” she said softly. “Mommy said she would take lots of pictures so you could see my costume. Please wake up soon,” she said quietly. “We’ll even save you some of our candy if you do,” she said with the innocence of a 7 year old.
Johnny blinked his eyes several times as he opened them slowly. “even the licorice?” he asked softly.
Jenny grinned widely, “even the licorice,” she said as she hugged her favourite Uncle.
Jenny climbed off the bed as Roy rushed over. “Welcome back,” he said with a true relief tone to his voice.
“Did I go somewhere?” Johnny asked, looking around.
“You got a big owwie Daddy said and you slept for a long time,” Jenny explained.
Johnny grinned in spite of the headache, “guess that explains the headache,” he said as he rubbed his temple gingerly.
“We better get out of here and leave you to rest,” Joanne said as she gathered up her two children. Just before they left Chris and Jenny ran back to the bed. “Thanks for waking up,” Chris said, “this is the best Halloween ever!” he grinned.
Johnny smiled warmly at the two DeSoto children, “you two have fun tonight and don’t forget you promised to share your candy with me,” he said with a smirk. “I’ll be over soon to collect”
After hugs from both kids and a kiss on the cheek from Joanne, the room emptied out except for Roy. Dr. Brackett made his appearance a short time later. A routine examination and Johnny was declared on the mend (again).
Roy sat back down to talk to his friend.
“I’m sorry, “Roy began.
“For what?” Johnny asked, confused.
“I was the one that insisted we stay behind to search,” Roy reminded him.
“Ah heck I would have stayed anyway. That sound was something incredible,” Johnny said. “We both thought it was a person”
“But. .” Roy started.
“But what?” Johnny cut him off. “So I got a bump on the head. Look at it this way, I wasn’t stuck with any Chet pranks, no tricks in my locker, no water bomb ghost balloons. That bump on my head saved me from a night of aggravation from the phantom” he smiled.
Roy grinned, “you’re something else you know”.
“Besides now I have the inside track to a good candy haul,” Johnny teased. “And I will be over soon to raid the candy bowls, so you tell those kids of your to save me some of the good stuff”
Roy smiled, “I will,” he said.
“Now get out of here and join up with you family,” Johnny said. “I’m fine”
Roy shook his head. “It’s okay, I think I’ll stay with you,” he said.
Johnny frowned, “Would you just lose the guilt thing. Go and trick or treat with your kids. It’s not very often we get Halloween off” Johnny reminded him. “Besides I need you to protect my candy,” he joked.
“You sure?” Roy asked, eyeing his partner.
Johnny smiled warmly, “I’m sure,” he said, “thanks for staying” he added. “Now go!,” he said more forcefully.
Roy grabbed his coat. “I’ll be back tomorrow,” he said as he headed for the door. “Happy Halloween Johnny,” Roy said as he closed the door behind him.
“Happy Halloween!,” Johnny said as the door swung closed. Johnny glanced out the window at the full moon. He smiled slightly just before he closed his eyes.
He quickly turned back to the door, “Hey don’t forget about the licorice!” he shouted.
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Holiday Challenge Page Stories by Canadagal