Sweet Treats by Marty P.
The Inspectors by Audrey W.
By Audrey W.
Chet Kelly emptied a large plastic pumpkin print bag of candy into a pile in the center of the dayroom table and stood back. Four of his shiftmates, minus the captain, first eyed the assortment of treats before looking up at him from their seats at the table. It was the day after Halloween, and the engine crew and paramedics of Station 51’s A-shift were in the early part of another twenty-four hour duty.
“Couldn’t even lure the kids to your place with candy, huh?” John Gage remarked with a lopsided grin. The dark-haired paramedic often traded barbs with Kelly and decided to jump while the opportunity was there.
Before Chet could answer, Marco questioned, “Don’t tell us you stole it from one.”
“No, I didn’t steal it.”
“You went trick-or-treating,” Roy suggested. Chet was quite a character and nothing would surprise him when it came to the mustached fireman.
“No,” he whined. “Man, you guys must think I’d stoop pretty low for this stuff.”
The men all looked at each other before returning their attention to Chet. “Yeah/ pretty much,” came the replies.
“We just know you too well,” Mike Stoker explained. “So why do you have all this candy?”
“The make-up?” John wondered.
“That’s what I said. Remember I told you guys I might dress up to hand out candy? Well, I couldn’t find a good costume since I waited till Halloween to look for one, so I just got some stuff to paint my face like a clown. I figured the kids would like it, especially since that’s all it was. . .I mean, the rest of me was normal.”
“That’s debatable,” Marco remarked, eliciting a giggle from John and a snicker from the others.
Chet shot him an annoyed look, then reached out and moved the candy farther away from the Hispanic fire fighter with a sweep of his arm.
“Anyway, apparently one little kid didn’t like it because as soon as I opened the door, he dropped his bag of candy and took off. I ran after him and tried to stop him too give him his candy back, but he only got faster. I couldn’t exactly chase him all the way home and it’s not like I could just take the stuff off like a mask. So what else could I do?”
He looked at Gage, then the others. “It was just a clown face. I figured who wouldn’t like a clown?”
Johnny shook his head. “Chet, you’re afraid of clowns!”
The fireman shrugged awkwardly and gave a wan smile as he held up a piece of the candy. "Bubble gum, anyone?”
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