Saved by the Bell
It was a dark and stormy night, well not really I just always wanted to start a story that way. Actually, it was dusk and a light drizzle was falling over LA County. The crew of Station 51 had had an unusually slow day for the type of weather they had been experiencing.
Captain Hank Stanley emerged from his office after spending the last couple of hours catching up on the never ending paperwork that seemed never ending.
Glancing over at Big Red, a realization hit him, I wonder when I stopped thinking of the engine as just an engine, but as a member of the family, 'Big Red', has her unique own personality, hmmm, he thought, another ponder able for me to ponder upon.
He noticed his engineer, Mike Stoker, standing on a step ladder waxing the roof, or would that be head, of his lady love.
"Looking good, Mike," Hank commented.
Mike acknowledged him with a, "Thanks, Cap."
Hank continued on to the latrine to see how his 'Latrine Pigeon' was coming along.
Gage being the favorite target of the Phantom, mixed with a slow day, sent the ever plotting Kelly into water bomb overload. It had all been in fun as long a John was the sucker, but the last effort hadn't hit it's target. Instead, Hank was the victim, resulting in Chet paying homage to the porcelain crapper, with his toothbrush; until sparkling.
"It's been two hours, surely Kelly's finished by now," Hank mumbled to himself as he made his way into the latrine.
What he saw when he walked in was the door open to the stall and Chet sitting on the closed, thank goodness, toilet seat reading a newspaper. The funnies to be exact if the chuckles that escaped the hapless fireman could foretell.
"Kelly!?!" Hank bellowed.
Startled, Chet jumped up ripping the paper.
"Uh, yes, Cap?" Chet stammered.
Hank tried to hide the smile that was threatening his gruffness.
"You finished cleaning?"
"Ok," with that said, Hank turned and left, leaving Kelly perplexed by that simple action.
"Ok, he says. Ok! I scrub and scrub and all I get is an, ok. Man, he could've at least looked at it," Chet grumbled.
On the other side of the door, Hank stood listening to the rant going on inside. Kelly's punishment had been a success if the litany being recited was any indication. Cleaning the toilet really hadn't been the punishment, since latrine duty was an every day occurrence for Chet; it was the disinterest.
'No phrase for a job well done would do it every time.' Hank sighed.
He hated being so harsh but the endless pranks were starting to wear on Gage and everyone else.
Deciding a cup of coffee was in order, Hank made his way to the kitchen where he saw the rest of his crew.
Roy DeSoto sat at the table looking into a cardboard box that held a five hundred piece puzzle of polka dots. Johnny sat across the table from his partner with a glass of milk and a half-eaten PB&J sandwich and Marco Lopez sat on the couch trying to pierce another hole into a black, leather belt.
Must have gained some weight for him to be adding another hole, Hank mused.
Continuing his trek to the coffee pot, he poured himself a cup of liquid gold then turned around and leaned against the counter.
"The best crew a captain could every have the privilege to lead."
"Did you say something, Cap?" Roy asked.
Hank hadn't realized he'd spoken his thoughts out loud, but before he had to answer the tones sounded calling out the station for a MVA.
Under his breath, Hank said. "Saved by the bell."
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Use these five items in an E! story of 2,000 words, or
a step ladder
a black, leather belt
a cardboard box
and, a half-eaten PB&J sandwich
Also the story has to start with the words, 'It was a dark and stormy night'.