Trick or Trade?
Fair Fight – An Alternate Ending
By Audrey W.
This takes place after the guys have come back from the tunnel rescue and named their new Basset Hound mascot ‘Henry’. Chet noticed the food and water dishes they’d left on the floor were missing. The men were soon on their hands and knees in front of and adjacent to the couch with Henry on it, searching. . .
. . . “I’m tellin’ ya guys, those dishes are gone!”
Johnny sat back on his heels and glanced at the curly-haired fireman. “And I’m tellin’ you, Chet, dishes can’t just walk out on their own.”
“There’s gotta be a logical explanation,” Roy agreed.
“But what?” Marco wondered.
The men glanced around, still on the floor and baffled.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, an elderly couple in their eighties stood quietly in the apparatus bay, just out of view from the open doorway that led to the dayroom. The two had come in through the open bay doors after they saw the paramedics return in the squad. They listened to the exchanges between the men with smiles on their faces.
After a few minutes, the man motioned for the woman to follow him. They made their way out of the station and into the darkness outside, soon holding hands as they walked to their car parked a block away.
“See, Margaret? It’s just like I told you. Put a little something extra to make the situation unique and they’d take right to him.”
His somewhat plump grey-haired wife glanced back at the small fire station, a hint of concern still on her face.
“I suppose. But what if they change their minds, Bill?”
He shook his head and smiled warmly. “They won’t. Heck, now 'ol Flappers even has a new name. A very distinguished one at that. Nope, those boys are going to take good care of him,” he continued as his gaze shifted to Station 51. “I don’t doubt it for a minute. It’s what they do. It’s in their blood.”
“C’mon, let’s go before they come out and see us,” he said as he again motioned for her to move. She walked to the passenger side of their car and got in.
“I wish we didn’t have to give up the house for an apartment,” she said as Bill got in on the driver’s side. “I’m going to miss having a yard, even though it has gotten to be too much to take care of.” After a brief pause she added, “I'm going to miss him." Margaret pulled a tissue out of her pant pocket and dabbed at her teary eyes as she sniffled. “Maybe if we’d had children, they would’ve been able to take Flappers. Then he could have stayed in the family and we’d know he was okay. He'd still be our 'baby'.”
She moved the two dishes from the station, one stacked on the other on the floor near her feet, over with a nudge from the side of her left foot.
As he drove away, Bill assured, “Don't worry. Those firemen’ll take better care of our dog then anyone else we could’ve given him to. Besides, I’d like to see them try to get ‘Henry’,” he said with a huge grin, “off that couch.”
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