A Munstrous Halloween
By Audrey W.
It was Halloween evening and the crew of A-shift was on duty for the holiday. The evening being uneventful, the men were watching television to pass some time.
“I can’t believe they finally put a couple of episodes of ‘The Munsters’ on TV for Halloween,” Chet said as he turned the channel to the series. “These shows are the best if you ask me.”
“They’re okay,” Johnny commented. “I haven’t watched them for awhi --.” He stopped in mid-sentence as he turned and caught a glimpse of Marilyn Munster on the screen. Oh man. I forgot how pretty she is. . .
Roy noticed his partner’s reaction and shook his head. “I have a feeling I know why you liked the show.”
Johnny didn’t answer. His eyes locked on the screen, he pulled a chair away from the table and absently placed it facing the television set. Never taking his eyes off the character of Marilyn Munster, he sat down.
“Hey,” Mike said as he entered the room. “The Munsters! I love that show.” He also grabbed a chair and sat down near Johnny. “Herman cracks me up.”
Roy leaned against the table in the dayroom and folded his arms across his chest. Watching the screen, he noticed some of the strange things in their house he hadn’t paid attention to before. “It’s creative, that’s for sure.”
“Creative?” Johnny asked. “It’s a masterpiece.” Although it sounded like he was referring to the show, the paramedic was actually talking about Marilyn. Man, what I wouldn’t give to be in a room with her. I wonder what it would be like to be in that house?
Marco watched from his seat at the table. He hadn’t seen the show before, so he was intent on trying to figure out what it was about.
Ten minutes after the second of the Munster shows ended, the klaxons sounded.
“Squad 51, unknown type rescue, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, One three One Three Mockingbird Lane, cross street Transylvania Avenue. Time out 21:13.”
Johnny and Roy ran to the squad, quickly getting in. Johnny reached behind him, getting his helmet. As he tightened the strap under his chin, he turned to Roy, a bewildered look on his face. "Roy, there is no Mockingbird Lane in LA county."
Roy was just as confused. "Or a Transylvania Avenue for that matter. But that's what the man said. Call in and verify. Maybe we heard wrong."
Johnny nodded and grabbed the mic. "LA, this is squad 51. Can you verify the address on the call?"
“10-4, 51. Address is 1313 Mockingbird Lane.”
The paramedics exchanged puzzled glances as the apparatus bay doors opened. They pulled out into the street, not sure whether to go left or right.
"What’re we gonna do, Roy?" Johnny wondered aloud. "We have no idea where we're going."
"I have a feeling we don't have to know. Look. . ." Roy pointed ahead to where the end of the street was bathed in an eerie light, giving it an almost black and white appearance.
Johnny sat forward, looking closely out the windshield. "What the…Roy, what is this?"
"I don't know, but it looks like we're living what we were just watching…maybe we were enjoying it too much.” Roy gave Johnny a sly look. "You didn't wish you could meet Marilyn, did you?"
"Well. . .I. . .it’s not that I. . .look, that shouldn't have anything to do with this! I'm certainly not magic!"
"Johnny, it's Halloween! Anything can happen."
"So what’re you saying?" Johnny splayed his right hand on his chest. "That I did this?"
“Well, there’s gotta be some sort of explanation.”
“Roy, I--” Johnny stopped in mid sentence as he and his partner, as well as the interior of the squad, appeared to change to black and white. “Oh, this is great. . .just great!”
“Look, there’s a street sign. Can you tell what it says?”
Gage squinted his eyes to see through what seemed to be a growing haze in the air outside. “Mmmo. . .Mockingbird Lane.” It only took a second for the name to sink in. “Did I say Mockingbird Lane?”
Roy nodded. “Yeah. I guess we turn here.”
“But there is no Mockingbird Lane in LA," Johnny said again. "How--”
DeSoto shrugged as he made the turn onto the street. “I’m sure once we get there, we’ll figure out how this happened. I just hope we can get out.”
“Yeah, no kiddin’.”
The paramedics recognized the house belonging to the Munster Family right away. It looked exactly as it did on television. After parking in front of the fence, the men slowly got out of the squad and opened the compartment doors, getting out the basic equipment.
“What was the call for?” Johnny asked.
“It was unknown.”
Johnny snorted. “Of course.”
The two men opened the gate and hesitantly made their way up the sidewalk to the front door. They exchanged glances once again, before Johnny heaved a sigh and knocked gently on the door.
“They aren’t gonna hear that,” Roy said, annoyed.
“Good. Then we can go.”
“Johnny, someone may really need us.”
“Look, Roy, this whole black and white thing has me unnerved. I mean. . .” Johnny could tell by the expression on his partner’s face, it was a losing argument. “Okay, I’ll try harder.”
As the younger man raised his hand to reach for one of rings on the ornamental knockers, the front door opened, revealing a beautiful blonde woman. Johnny’s jaw dropped and his brown eyes suddenly had stars dancing about them. “Marylin,” he whispered in awe.
“I knew it,” Roy grumbled to himself. “I knew it had to be him that did this.”
Hank went into the dayroom soon after the paramedics were toned out. The other three members of the engine crew were sitting in chairs in front of the television watching a scary movie.
“Hey, what was the address dispatch gave for that last call?”
“What’s that, Cap?” Chet asked, not taking his eyes off the screen.
“The address. . .did dispatch say Mockingbird Lane?”
“Yeah, they did,” Mike answered. “I wrote it down. 1313 Mockingbird Lane.”
Not giving it anymore thought, the three men watching TV kept their attention on the television. After a few seconds, Mike glanced over his shoulder at the captain, who was still looking baffled.
“There is no Mockingbird Lane in LA County,” Mike said.
Hank slowly nodded. “So where’d they go?”
Johnny continued to stare in awe at Marilyn as Roy spoke.
“Uh. . .we got a call for an unknown type rescue?”
“Oh. . .you must be with the fire department.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Roy said, nodding. He glanced at Johnny and shook his head. He’d never seen his partner quite so lost on a woman before.
“Come in, please,” Marilyn said, stepping aside and motioning for them to enter.
Roy started into the doorway and noticed the younger man hadn’t budged. “You coming?”
“In. We’re going in. . .you wanna come along?”
Johnny looked sharply at Roy, finally snapping out of his stupor. He shot his partner an annoyed glare. “I’m comin’, I’m comin’.”
As they entered the house and stepped past Marilyn, Roy glanced over his shoulder and rolled his eyes when he saw Johnny looking at the blonde again, a goofy grin on his face.
Marilyn closed the door behind them and hurried to lead the paramedics to the victim.
Roy lagged slightly behind the other two and eyed the strange interior of the house as Johnny kept his focus on the woman in front of them, the uneasiness from turning to black and white forgotten. Just inside the entryway to the right was a coffin standing up on end. DeSoto recalled that as being the telephone ‘booth’. Directly in front of them was a wide staircase leading up to the second floor. As they started to the left where the livingroom was located, Roy noticed a little wolfman looking boy he recognized as Eddy Munster, run down the steps and pull one of the decorations on the ends of the banisters. The middle of the steps lifted and a roar could be heard as flames shot out from the opening.
“Eddy!” Marilyn called over her shoulder. “You know what your father said. No playing with Spot till after you put the trash in the waste baskets around the house.”
“Okay,” the boy said, disappointed. He lowered the steps and headed upstairs again.
Roy stared back as he walked forward, chancing a glance at Gage, who still had his sights set on Marilyn. The dark-haired paramedic didn’t even seem to be aware the pet had made an appearance or that Marilyn had said that Eddy was to ‘fill’ the waste baskets with trash. As they walked farther into the house to the left, Roy was amazed at all the spider webs that hung about. Including the one his distracted partner was about to walk into.
Gage stopped just in time and looked over his shoulder. “What?”
“Uh. . .I’d walk a little more to the left if I were you.”
The younger man looked to his right and saw the giant web extending down. “Oh, right. Thanks.” He stepped slightly to the left and carried on behind Marilyn.
Roy shook his head. ‘Oh right?’ He’s hopeless.
Captain Stanley and the others stood out on the sidewalk in front of the station, still wondering where the paramedics had gone. Dispatch was unable to reach them through the radio in the squad and no one could get a response on the HT.
“Whata we do, Cap?” Mike asked.
Hank shrugged. “Well, we’ve got headquarters on it. Nothing more we can do from here. Just hope they contact Rampart or somebody soon.”
Standing in the livingroom behind the couch, Marilyn lifted the trap door leading to the basement. “He’s downstairs.”
“Downstairs?” Roy asked, looking at the square hole in the floor. Why’d it have to be downstairs? He noticed his partner getting ready to climb down the hole as if it were this way on any given call. I wish I could be as at ease about this as he appears to be now.
“Aunt Lily! The fire department is here!” Marilyn called as she went down the narrow steps. Johnny followed behind, glancing around when they got to the basement floor. Reminding himself they were apparently here for an emergency, Roy tried to block out what he’d seen so far and started down the steps also.
“Oh good!” Lily Munster said as she came rushing over to Marilyn. She looked at Johnny and Roy, who had stepped up beside his partner. “It’s Grandpa. He’s really done it to himself this time.”
“Ma’am?” Roy asked.
“Right this way,” she motioned for them to follow across the room. It was then they noticed Grandpa Munster hanging upside down in the corner of the room. His eyes were closed. “He put a sleeping spell on himself and now we can’t wake him up. He could take the spell off if he wasn’t asleep, but he can’t wake up to take it off.”
“I see the problem,” Roy said as Johnny stepped close to the upside down man and took his pulse. “How long’s he been like this?”
Days? Roy thought.
“I can barely get a pulse.”
DeSoto shook his head. “He’s a comatose vampire. What else would you expect? Try his carotid.”
Gage looked warily at his partner, then slowly turned to face Grandpa. He gently laid his fingertips on the old vampire’s throat.
Good. Maybe it’s finally sinking in where we’re at, Roy thought seeing Johnny’s reaction.
“He’s not just a vampire, Roy. He’s Marilyn’s great, great, great, great. . .well, you get the idea. ..grandfather.” Johnny removed his fingers. “It’s not any stronger there.”
“Well, at least he has a pulse.”
“Is he going to be okay?” Marilyn asked, stepping forward. She looked from Grandpa Munster’s still form, to her worried aunt, then to the paramedics.
“I hope so,” Gage said. He eyed DeSoto. “Should we see if we can get him down?”
Roy couldn’t hide the dread on his face. He knew they needed to do something. But taking a vampire down from his sleeping place? An involuntary shudder ran through his spine.
“You okay?” Johnny asked.
“Yeah. Great. I’m just not sure. . .” he could see his partner was waiting, a blank expression on his face. Roy sighed. “Let’s do it.”
“Okay, on three. One. . .two. . .three.”
With that they gently pulled the vampire from his hanging place to the dirt covered floor. Once they had him stretched out, Johnny set up the biophone while Roy pulled out a bp cuff.
“Oh, you won’t need that,” Lily said. “He hasn’t had any blood to drink for awhile. He’s running a little low.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Roy said, awkwardly folding up the cuff. He then got out his penlight to check Grandpa’s pupils.
Lily and Marilyn looked on with worried faces. Noticing their anxiety, the senior paramedic reassured the women. “It’s routine with an unconscious victim. We just need to see pupil reaction to light.”
“What’s normal reaction with a vampire?” Gage asked his partner.
Roy shrugged. “You know, you’ve got a good point.” He flipped the penlight back and forth on each of Grandpa’s eyes, then put it back in his pocket. “This isn’t right. We have no idea what we’re looking for.”
Johnny was already preoccupied with the biophone. Unable to get a reply on the other end, he set the receiver in the box and stood up. “I can’t get it to work.” He turned to Marilyn, stars dancing in his brown eyes again as he gazed at the beautiful woman before him. “Do you have a phone I could use?”
“Certainly. It’s upstairs.”
“Uh. . .Johnny. . .”
“Yeah?” He turned to face DeSoto.
“The phone. . .it’s. . .uh. . .” Roy noticed all eyes were on him. He decided his partner would see the coffin phone for himself soon enough. “Nothin’. . .see you when you get back.”
Gage gave the blond man a curious look, then followed Marilyn towards and up the narrow staircase.
“How’d he do this to himself, anyway?” Roy asked Lily.
“Oh, it was an experiment he was doing. Grandpa’s had insomnia and was trying to cure himself. He hung upside down, then pressed a button on little box connected to a wire. Smoke came out of another box under him and next thing we knew,” she said, snapping her fingers, “he was out and hasn’t woken up since.”
“Isn’t there anything around here that might work to bring him around?”
“Not that we could find. But no telling with Grandpa.”
Roy nodded and looked back down at the unconscious man. He tried smelling salts, but they didn’t work. He started to shake Grandpa, but after a few minutes, he’d given up and was glancing around the room once more from his squatted position near the floor. Soon Johnny and Marilyn returned.
“Well. . .any luck?”
Gage shook his head. “No. I can’t get a hold of anyone.” He sighed. “Looks like we’re gonna have to figure this one out on our own.” Johnny nodded towards Marilyn. “She said the local doctor won’t come near this place since he was here when her Uncle Herman had a bad case of the hiccups. The doc ended up leaving in a bit of a rush . . .nearly broke right through the front door.” Gage squatted beside his partner. “What’ll we do?” he whispered.
“I’m thinkin’ on that.” Roy answered. In a hushed tone he added, “Interesting phone they’ve got, huh?”
The younger man knit his brow in confusion. “Whataya’ mean?”
“Didn’t you notice anything strange about the phone?”
“No. Like what?”
“It’s in a coffin maybe?”
DeSoto shook his head. “You astound me.”
Johnny stopped in mid sentence when he noticed Roy looking past him with a stunned expression on his face. Turning around, the younger paramedic’s eyes fell on Marilyn. Oblivious to everything else, his eyes locked on her beautiful image.
Roy watched as Herman Munster came down the steps and stood looking at Grandpa on the floor.
“Lily? What happened to Grandpa? What’s he doing on the floor?”
“Oh, Herman!” Lily exclaimed.
The senior paramedic continued to watch as the odd couple hugged. Lily pulled back to explain Grandpa’s situation since her husband had left for work before anyone had a chance to check on the old vampire. When Roy managed to take his eyes off the pair, he noticed Johnny was not even aware that Herman had entered the room. DeSoto slowly stood as Lily introduced the paramedics to her husband. Reaching out his right hand to shake Herman’s, he swallowed hard.
“Uh. . .we’re. . .we’re trying to get. . .uh. . .Grandpa to come to. Uh. . .you wouldn’t know of a . . .um. . .a remedy he may have. . .would you?” He knew he hadn’t hid his nervousness very well. Roy glanced at Johnny. The dark-haired man was now checking Grandpa Munster’s pulse again.
Isn’t he fazed by any of this?
Captain Stanley hung up the phone and sighed. It had been over twenty minutes and still no word from his paramedic crew. He couldn’t shake the feeling that someone had set them up. He only hoped it was an innocent Halloween prank and not something of a more serious nature.
Unfortunately, it was too soon to get the police involved. Hank leaned back in his chair and chewed on the end of a pen that he’d been writing with. The waiting and not knowing was getting harder by the minute.
Herman Munster took two large steps over to the table where Grandpa Munster kept his experiments he was working on. “Maybe you missed it before and it’s here on the table,” he said, eyeing the multitude of items. He picked up a wire and followed it to a small square box with a button on it. “Hmmmm….maybe this is it. . .” He began to push the button.
“Herman, no!” Lily cried out.
It was to no avail. The flat-headed Frankenstein looking man couldn’t stop his finger in time to avoid activating the box that contained the stuff that put Grandpa to sleep. Roy scrambled back from the gray smoke, avoiding breathing any of it in. But his partner wasn’t so fortunate. Johnny looked up in time to see the cloud of smoke as it enveloped him. He tried to stand up to reach clean air, but became woozy from the substance he was breathing in. Instead of getting up, the paramedic fell to the floor on his back, his eyes slowly closing as he gave in to the sleepiness.
Marilyn gasped, “Uncle Herman, you got the fireman!”
Roy rubbed his forehead, then glanced at his partner’s unconscious form on the floor. Oh great. Now what do I do? The smoke having vanished as quick as it had appeared, he rushed over and checked Johnny’s respirations and pulse.
“Oh dear,” Herman muttered, regretfully looking down at Gage. “Well, look at the bright side,” he said sheepishly.
DeSoto warily glanced up at the tall man. “And what would that be?”
“I don’t know. But it seems like everyone always says that when something goes wrong.”
Getting his pen light out of his pocket again, Roy flicked it in Johnny’s eyes as he held them open one at a time. “Did you say Grandpa’s been out for two days?” Roy reconfirmed.
Lily nodded. “That’s right. Don’t worry, he’ll know how to wake your friend up.”
“Yeah,” Roy said, gazing at the old vampire nearby. “If we can figure out how to wake him up.” He shifted his focus to Gage. The younger man looked peaceful and was breathing deeply in what could prove to be an endless slumber. You sure know how to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Roy stood next to the bed upstairs where Herman had placed Johnny. After several minutes of debating what to do with the situation, Lily had suggested Gage at least have a comfortable place to sleep until they could figure out a solution to the problem. It unnerved Roy slightly to see his partner’s limp form carried by a Frankenstein looking person, but it seemed practical.
If Johnny had woken up during that time, there’s a chance he may have nearly broken down the front door to get out.
“Take it easy, partner” the older paramedic said to Gage as he started out of the room. Marilyn was just coming in.
“How is he?”
“Fine,” Roy said, shrugging. “Sleeping like a rock. But otherwise fine.”
“I’ll stay with him awhile if you’d like.”
DeSoto nodded. “Yeah, that’d be great. Thanks.”
The blond man took one last look at his partner, then headed out and downstairs. There had to be a remedy somewhere. Surely Grandpa Munster thought that far ahead.
The engine crew of Station 51 was given a break from thinking about their mysteriously disappearing shiftmates. A call to a fire at a warehouse was keeping them busy, as it had grown to a three alarm level. Hank Stanley kept watch as each vehicle pulled up to the scene after them, wishing by some fluke his paramedics would be next.
“What’s this?” Roy asked, holding up a glass ball. He’d made his way back down to Grandpa’s lab and was helping Lily and Herman search for anything that might work to bring the vampire and Johnny around.
“That’s Grandpa’s crystal ball,” Lily answered.
“What about this?” the paramedic held up a bottle.
“Oh, that’s from when Grandpa turned himself into a beautiful woman to make me jealous with Herman.” She shot a quick glare at her husband, causing him to rock on his feet and look away, searching for anything to change the subject.
Roy set the bottle down and scanned the table in front of them. There were so many concoctions; no telling what would do what. If there was a remedy in front of them, it was going to be a drawn out process to figure out where.
Marilyn pulled a chair near the bed and sat as she watched over Johnny. With Grandpa being the main focus of her attention, she hadn’t noticed until now that she was actually attracted to the dark-haired paramedic. His long lashes, slightly parted lips, and his smooth yet strong hands. Maybe having him around a little longer wouldn’t be such a bad thing. She knew it was wrong, but in a way she hoped that it took awhile longer to find an antidote.
“Here it is!” Lily said. She gave her husband an annoyed glare when he immediately grabbed it from her hand. He read the label out loud.
“Grandpa Munster’s Rise And Shine Formula. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy,” he said loudly as he jumped up and down. Soon he and the others were ducking as dust and small debris fell from the ceiling above. Herman stopped. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Roy said, brushing dust off his shoulders. “At least we have the remedy. How about you hold Grandpa up, and I’ll try to get some down him.”
“Okay.” Herman handed the bottle to Roy, then walked over to where the vampire still lay on the floor. He got at the old man’s head, then awkwardly knelt down and propped him up to a sitting position. Roy took the cap off the formula and put the bottle opening to Grandpa Munster’s lips. Tipping it up slightly, he managed to get some to go in.
After a couple of minutes, the old vampire opened his eyes and blinked a few times, stretching. “Ahhh. . .do I feel rested.” Noticing he was on the floor he glanced around.
“What’s going on? Who’s this?” he asked, pointing at Roy.
Lily rushed over and kneeled down beside him. “Grandpa, we had to call the fire department. You put yourself to sleep and no one could wake you up.”
“Whataya’ mean? I had the potion sitting right there on my tabe -- fire department? Did the house catch on fire?”
“No, no, Grandpa,” Lily assured. She furrowed her brow. “Actually we don’t know why we called the fire department. Marilyn just dialed a number and these two. . .uh. . .this man and his partner showed up.”
Roy’s eyes traveled from Grandpa to Lily as each had spoken. With the mention of Gage, he remembered their problem wasn’t solved yet.
He needed to wrap things up in the basement so he could get upstairs to his partner.
“How do you feel?”
Grandpa shrugged. “I feel fine. . .about two hundred years younger. I really needed that sleep.”
Roy grinned slightly at the comment. “Yeah. . .well, everything seems to be okay here,” he said closing up the equipment. “Now, if I can get some of this formula to Johnny, we can be on our way.” And I hope that way leads back to the station.
“Johnny?” Grandpa wondered.
Lily nodded. “Herman accidentally pressed the button on your sleep machine. Put the poor man right out.”
“Well, let’s go.” He grabbed the formula from Roy’s hand, then got to his feet and headed for the steps. Roy frowned as he tried to gather up the equipment from the squad. Herman quickly went to his aid and grabbed the drug box and oxygen. Lily, Roy and Herman followed close behind Grandpa as they climbed the narrow steps to the livingroom.
When the foursome got to the bedroom where Johnny was sleeping, Marilyn glanced over from her place in the chair by the bed. “Oh, Grandpa! You’re okay!”
The vampire looked around. “Never better. Why was everyone so worried? Can’t a guy get a little extra sleep now and then?”
“Two days?” Lily asked.
“Never mind.” He glanced to Roy. “Let’s get your friend awake.”
Roy nodded. “Okay, but better let me be the one to do it. If he wakes up and you’re right in his face. . .” he trailed off when he saw an uncomprehending expression on everyone’s faces. Apparently they didn’t think anything of their appearances. “Uh, I’ll do the honors.” DeSoto took the bottle of formula from Grandpa and walked over to the bed. He propped Johnny’s head up slightly and put the bottle opening near his lips. Carefully tipping it, he managed to get some of the liquid to go in. Everyone waited a couple of minutes for Johnny to come around. Nothing happened.
“Maybe he didn’t get enough,” Roy suggested, trying the process again. Once more, nothing happened. Johnny remained sound asleep. “Why isn’t it working?”
Grandpa shrugged. “It must be because I made it to work on vampires. Our sleep habits are different. It’s possible it won’t work on just anyone.”
“But the stuff to put him to sleep did.”
“Yeah, but it’s a whole different thing. This is undoing it, not making it happen.”
Roy sighed, then chewed on his lower lip. After a few seconds of thought, he looked at Grandpa. “So, can you make a formula to wake him up?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never had this happen before.” Getting an idea, he snapped his fingers. “I know what might work on him!”
“What, Grandpa?” Herman asked as he stepped closer to the vampire.
“Maybe if a beautiful lady were to kiss him, it would break the spell the smoke has on him and he’d wake up.”
Roy stared at the vampire in disbelief. That was his answer? It sounded like a bad joke.
“Are you sure about this, Grandpa?” Lily wondered.
“Am I sure about it? No. I’m not. But it can’t hurt to try.”
Lily nodded. “I suppose you’re right.” She glanced at the sleeping paramedic. “Maybe if I close my eyes. . .”
Roy quickly looked to the woman. Surely she didn’t think she should be the ‘beautiful’ woman. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one.
“I don’t want my wife kissing another man,” Herman protested, sounding upset. “I won’t have it.”
“Now, now, dear,” the woman soothed, hurrying over and patting his chest. “It’s not like it’s going to mean anything. It’s only to see if I can get him to wake up.”
Roy stared at his sleeping partner and shook his head. If you only knew what’s about to happen. I’ll bet you’d be up off that bed in a flash.
“Well, okay. But only just a little quick kiss,” Herman conceded. “After all it is my fault he’s like this to begin with.”
“That’s right, Herman,” Grandpa said. “Okay, Lily,” he continued, motioning towards Johnny. “Do your thing.”
Marilyn got up from her seat and stood back with the others. Lily went to the bed and began to slowly lean down towards the dark-haired paramedic. Her puckered lips quivered as she tried to force herself close enough to plant a kiss on his left cheek. Roy noticed everyone grimacing as the woman got closer.
“Poor Lily,” Herman said. “Having to kiss such a homely man.”
Grandpa nodded in agreement. “Maybe next time you won’t be so quick to press any buttons till you know what you’re doing.”
The flat-headed man glared at the vampire, then pouted.
Finally Lily managed to get her lips to Johnny’s cheek. Everyone closed their eyes when she gave him a quick kiss. Herman, Grandpa and Marilyn because they couldn’t bear to see Lily suffer, and Roy because he couldn’t stand to think of what it would be like to be Johnny right now.
Lily immediately stepped away. “There, that should do it.” When Gage still didn’t wake up, she frowned. “Don’t tell me I have to do that again!”
Roy decided it was time to speak up. If a beautiful woman was going to wake his partner, it was a good chance that meant a woman *Johnny* considered to be beautiful. He looked over at Marilyn. “How about you give it a try?”
“Me? Oh, I’m not really what he needs--”
“Can’t hurt,” the senior paramedic offered.
“He’s right, Marilyn,” Grandpa agreed. “You’re more his type.”
“Well. . .okay. . .if you say so.” She slowly stepped back over to the side of the bed, then leaned over, her lips puckered.
“Poor Marilyn,” Lily muttered. “I guess this is what comes from being the homely one in the family.”
Despite the situation, Roy had to grin. It was amazing these people saw themselves as normal, good looking individuals and thought he, Johnny and Marilyn were the ones who needed help in the way of appearance.
Marilyn kissed Johnny on the forehead, then smiled as his eyes began to open.
“It worked! Oh, Grandpa, you’re a genius!” she said, delighted as she ran over to give him a hug.
Johnny slowly propped himself up on his elbows and glanced around. Noticing Roy, he questioned, “What happened?”
“You took a little nap. Courtesy of Grandpa’s invention.”
“Grandpa’s. . .?” Gage looked at the others in the room, but everyone was a blur to him except for the beautiful blonde that caught his attention. Stars sparkled in his brown eyes as he watched her, a lopsided grin on his face.
Roy rolled his eyes and shook his head. Going over to the bed, he helped Johnny get to his feet. “You’re hopeless.”
“You still don’t see anything wrong with this picture, do you?”
“Never mind. C’mon, let’s see if we can find our way home.”
Johnny reluctantly followed, giving a longing look to Marilyn as they passed by.
“We’ll show ourselves out,” Roy said, before anyone could offer to take them to the front door.
Once in the squad, Roy started the engine, then pulled away from the curb. Making a u-turn, he headed for what he hoped would be the station.
“Squad 51 available,” Johnny called in over the mic. He placed it back on its holder. “Make a left up here,” he said when he saw the sign for their street ahead. Roy did as directed and in an instant the familiar setting of Carson was in view.
“Hey, Roy?” Johnny asked as the paramedics neared the station in their squad.
“Where’d the street go?”
“The street that was behind us. . .the one with the eerie lighting. I glanced in the side mirror and everything looks like it does any other night. In color.” He checked out himself and his partner. “Hey, we are too!”
Roy took a quick glance in the driver’s side mirror, then at the interior of the squad. Johnny was right. Everything seemed to have returned to normal.
“I don’t know. Maybe it was just the way the light hit that area at a certain time that it gave off that appearance. For us too.”
“But we *did* go to Mockingbird Lane . . .didn’t we?”
Roy did another U turn a block before they reached the station. Going back from where they just came, the paramedics were surprised, yet oddly relieved, that there was no sign of Mockingbird Lane or a black and white world. DeSoto pulled over to the side of the street.
“Did we imagine all that?”
Gage shrugged. “Imagine what?” he asked, in an effort to let his partner know he’d rather not try to figure it all out.
Roy slowly nodded in understanding. They may never be sure of what was real and what was imagined, but in any case, it didn’t matter much now. He once again turned the squad around and headed for the station.
Captain Stanley and the rest of the engine crew came into the dayroom after returning from the warehouse fire they were toned out to. Hank smiled when he saw his paramedics were back safe and sound.
“Well, it’s good to see you two made it back okay. Where’d you end up?”
Johnny shrugged. “We don’t know, Cap.”
“It was a prank call,” Roy explained, in an effort to convince himself more than anyone else. “There is no Mockingbird Lane in LA County.”
“Or a Transylvania Avenue for that matter,” Johnny added for reinforcement.
The telephone rang and Chet answered it. Placing the receiver on the shelf near the phone, he called over to Gage, “Hey, John. A chick named Marilyn wants to talk to ya.”
Roy’s eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped open in shock. Johnny noticed and gave him a baffled look.
What’s his problem?
The younger paramedic didn’t realize that Roy had no idea he’d been dating a bank teller named Marilyn. He watched in curiosity as his usually calm partner hurried out of the room, muttering and in search of some aspirin.
Geesh, and to think everyone refers to him as the sensible one, Gage thought, picking up the receiver. If they only knew.
Author's note: I started this story over 3 years ago, and it sat untouched for a long time. Till Jill Hargan gave me an idea where to go with it last year. But I still got stuck till about 2 weeks ago, when I figured out how to use her suggestions. So thanks go to Jill for a great beta read and for her help in getting a plot. And thanks to Kenda and Vanessa for encouragement. :o)
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