The sequel to ‘The Haunted House’
Timmy Stockton was like your normal, inquisitive nine year old. If there was trouble to be found, he would find it. Just ask his mother, Norma. The previous night they went to a haunted house sponsored and run by the LACo Fire Department, and Timmy had gotten lost. Well, actually not lost; he had to know how those strobe lights worked.
Timmy really liked that one Fireman, the one who found him. Johnny Gage. . . and the horse he rode was really neat. Timmy loved horses, but this found him and his friend, Mikey, walking down the street while Timmy told Mikey all about the fireman on the horse. Mikey's eyes were as big as saucers as Timmy told about the trip through the woods.
Both boys stopped in front of an old, ramshackle mansion that had stood there on their street for years. It was said that the house was haunted, and Timmy wanted to find out if that was true or not.
"I'm not going in there, not on your life," commented Mikey, whose teeth were chattering at the thought of what might be inside.
"You’re a baby, do you know that Mikey?" taunted Timmy.
"I am not, but I'm not going in there!"
"Fine, I'll go in there by myself!" Timmy stuck his tongue out at Mikey.
"Fine!" Mikey stamped his foot.
Timmy found a loose board in the wooden fence surrounded the dilapidated building. It was scheduled to be torn down by the city in a few weeks to make room for a new strip mall.
Timmy squeezed himself through the narrow opening and ran towards the house. He stepped up on the front porch and began to open the door when one of the rotten boards broke underneath him. He tried to jump out of the way, when more rotten boards broke and he fell through the planking with a scream.
Mikey, on the other side of the fence, heard the scream and started yelling. "Timmy! Timmy!" Mikey was panicked; he didn't know what to do since he was only seven.
Sheriff's Deputy Vince Howard was driving his patrol car when he saw the panicked little boy run into the street in front of him. Vince slammed on his brakes, barely missing hitting the boy by mere inches. Vince let out a sigh, and climbed out of his car.
Mikey stood in front of the car in shock, when Vince's voice finally cut through to his brain. "Son, are you okay?"
Mikey began crying, then he looked up at Vince. "I'm... fine..." he sobbed, "but... Timmy... I don't know what happened to Timmy!"
"Who's Timmy, a brother, a friend?" Vince asked kindly.
"Timmy's my friend. He went over to go into that house, then I heard him scream." Mikey told Vince once he started to calm down sobbing slightly.
"Okay Mikey, I'll call for the Fire Department to get him."
Mikey grabbed Vince's hand, "Uh... He said he has a friend named Johnny Gage. Do you know him?"
Vince smiled down at the boy, "Yeah I know him." Vince reached into his patrol car and grabbed the microphone to his radio. "Dispatch, contact LACo, and have Station 51 dispatched to 1223 Longfield Lane."
"10-4," responded the dispatcher.
Johnny at the moment was regaling his shift mates about finding Timmy around the strobe lights the night before, when the tones sounded. The other's gave a collective sigh of relief, as they ran to their vehicles.
The two rescue vehicles pulled up behind Vince Howard's Squad Car. Johnny ran over to Vince, and Vince quickly told him what had happened. He rejoined his partner as he quickly grabbed for his safety belt and ropes, not really knowing what to expect.
He quickly fastened the straps on his belt with practiced ease and put on his gloves as he found the board that Timmy had managed to slip through. Johnny pulled with all his might, and ripped the board from the fence. The next one was a little more stubborn, and he had to use a pry bar on it.
Soon he had an opening wide enough for himself and Roy to get through. Johnny reached down and grabbed the rope, and headed toward the house at breakneck speed. He stopped when he noticed the hole in the porch. He leaned against the side of the porch as much as he dared, and gingerly leaned over, flashing his penlight down in the opening.
John could see Timmy about 10 feet down, laying on what looked to be an old foundation of some sort. "Timmy!" he called down, but didn't get any response back.
"Roy, I've found him," he called back to his partner, who stopped a few feet away from Johnny. Captain Stanley, along with Mike, Marco and Chet, hurried up. Roy began setting up the equipment while the others wondered how they were going to get Timmy out.
Johnny finally spoke up, the light bulb of inspiration almost visible above his head. "Cap, I think this wood over here looks pretty stable to support my weight, and I can slide over the side here, and make my way down to Timmy."
"Are you sure?" Cap asked skeptically.
"Sure, I'm sure. Marco, could hand me your turnout coat so I can pad this area for the rope?" Marco took off his turnout coat and handed to John so he could pad the area, then he carefully slid himself over the edge. It felt strange to Johnny to going off the edge headfirst.
The men carefully lowered him down, and Johnny reached Timmy and did a quick check, finding no broken bones. Timmy was beginning to come around when he started crying, "Momma, I want my momma."
"It's okay, Timmy. Remember me?" Timmy looked up to see Johnny hanging above him. Timmy smiled up at Johnny.
"Okay, Timmy, I'm gonna put this belt around you and I'm going to hook you to my belt, then the other guys are going to pull us up."
"Okay," Timmy responded as Johnny slipped the belt around the boy’s waist, adjusting it. Then he attached the hook to his belt and hollered up at the other's. "Haul us up!"
Mike, Marco and Chet began pulling on the line, while John was able to turn himself right side up. He worried that he might accidentally bump Timmy into something and hugged him tight with one hand, while the others hung onto the rope. He kept his eyes on the opening and when he got there he unhooked Timmy from his belt and passed him over to Captain Stanley's waiting hands.
Johnny reached up and grabbed both sides of the opening, intent on pulling himself through. That's when the wood on his left side decided to splinter away, causing him to bump hard into the other side of the wood porch with an oomph sound as the wind was knocked out of him. Finally he was able to get enough leverage to pull himself out.
Roy had already relayed vitals on Timmy as his mother ran onto the scene. Roy listened to what the doctor on the other end of the link said, and looked up at Timmy's mother. "Is Timmy okay?" the near hysterical woman asked.
"Rampart would like us to take him in so they can be sure, since he was unconscious for a while." Roy noticed his partner out of the corner of his eye; Johnny was gingerly examining his right shoulder. This did not escape Cap's attention either.
"I'll take Timmy to his pediatrician," commented his mother. She turned Timmy around to face the men. "I think you should tell these nice firemen thank you."
"Thank you, and especially you, Johnny, for rescuing me again!"
Johnny smiled down at the youngster, "No problem, kiddo. Although, I think from now on, you should listen to your mother a little more often. This way you won't be getting hurt so much."
"Thank you again, Mr. Gage." Timmy's mother ushered the boy away from the accident scene.
Roy looked up at Johnny as he was putting the equipment away. "Looks like you need to get checked out yourself."
"Awww, Roy it's just bruised, no big deal."
"And how many times have I have heard that one, Gage." Captain Stanley started in on him. "Now you’re going to get yourself checked out at Rampart, or do I have to make it an order?"
"Okay, Okay," Johnny held his hands up in a placating gesture. "I'll get myself checked out!"
"See I told you my shoulder was bruised," Johnny commented.
"Well that's a relief," Roy commented as both men were leaving the hospital.
"You know, Timmy gets into a lot of trouble," Johnny commented as both he and Roy climbed into the squad.
"Oh, and you don't?"
"Please, Roy, don't compare me to a nine year old."
Roy chuckled as the squad headed back to the station, with Roy figuring that this would definitely not be the last time they saw Timmy Stockton.