The doorbell rang for the fiftieth time and Peggy picked up the half-full candy bowl before she opened it.
"Well!" she exclaimed to the three children standing there, "look at you! A ghost and a wrestler and . . . what are you, sweetheart?"
"I'm Xena: Warrior Princess," the third child declared.
"Oh, my! What an *unusual* costume!" she exclaimed. "Especially for a little boy," she added to herself in a mutter as she held the candy bowl down and allowed them to help themselves. "Have a good night, now!" she called as they turned away. "Happy Halloween!"
She set the bowl down on the hall table and started to close the door, but was stopped by the sound of a siren nearby. She opened the door again and watched two little boys drive up her walkway in a bright red, Li'l Tykes rescue squad. They stopped at the foot of the porch steps, got out and climbed up to the door. The one who had been driving was a little redhead, a little bigger and a little older than his companion. He was wearing a blue uniform with a patch on the sleeve and a badge.
"Oh, my goodness!" Peggy exclaimed. "Look at you! Are you a fireman?"
"I'm Roy DeSoto, ma'am," he said politely. "I'm a firefighter/paramedic."
"Well! Isn't that nice! And what do you do, Roy DeSoto?"
"I do all the things a regular firefighter does, plus I'm trained in first aid and I can do some basic medical procedures, so I can rescue people who are hurt or sick and help them."
"How nice! And what about your friend, here?" She eyed the younger boy dubiously. He was also wearing a blue uniform, but his was nearly hidden under band-aids and bandages. His left arm was in a sling and there was a strip of gauze wrapped around his head. "Is he a mummy or a ghost or . . .?"
"Oh, no ma'am. That's my partner, Johnny Gage."
"I see! And what does he do?"
'Roy' considered it. "Well, he falls down a lot."
'Johnny' glared at him. "Ha ha very funny," he said sarcastically. He turned to Peggy. "I do all the same things that Roy does."
"Plus," 'Roy' added, "he falls down a lot."
"I think you should try to *not* fall down," Peggy told him kindly. The boys were both carrying plastic fire helmets by the strap and using them as candy buckets. She offered them each some candy and then waved as they turned away.
At the bottom of the steps 'Johnny' tripped over his own feet, fell down and scraped his elbow. 'Roy' set his own candy down on the hood of the little truck and knelt to help his friend. First he set him upright and brushed him off. Then he took a small first aid kit from his shirt pocket. He used an anti-septic towelette to clean the scrape, put some anti-biotic cream on it from a small tube and covered it with a band-aid. Then he helped 'Johnny' gather up his scattered candy, stood and pulled the younger boy to his feet.
The boys went to the sides of the truck and stowed their candy in the compartments behind the doors. Then 'Johnny' looked over at 'Roy'. "Hey, Roy! Can I drive?"
'Roy' regarded him solemnly for a long minute and then said, "no". He got in the truck.
"Aw, man!" 'Johnny' complained, getting in himself.
'Roy' backed carefully down Peggy's walkway. When they reached the sidewalk 'Johnny' reached over and turned on the siren and they headed towards the next lighted house on the block.
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Stories by E!lf Halloween Stories