From: E!lf <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thu Dec 7, 2006 10:16 pm
Subject: Canine Capers eexclamation...
engrossed in inventorying the drug box, looked
up from his task to find a middle-aged woman advancing
like a man-o-war. She had a younger woman by the hand and
was dragging her along relentlessly.
The younger woman was,
in fact, very young. She was also very pretty. She was also
She was clutching a large basket in her free hand
and her face was streaked with tears.
stood and faced her politely, his broad, honest face open and
his blue eyes puzzled. "Can I help
"Oh, I think that you've been quite enough help already!" She
her shoulder. "I know that you're responsible
for this! Don't even bother to try to deny it!"
Roy's eyes grew round and his face reddened. He was possibly
the most devoted husband and father
in California. "No! Ma'am!
I never -- I mean -- I swear --!"
"Oh, sure! Your kind always do. Not that I'm saying you're the |
only one. As far as I'm concerned,
every fireman in the building
Shocked, Roy risked a quick glance at the girl.
She had pulled
her hand free from what he could only assume was her mother's
grasp and was swiping
at fresh tears. Roy darted a look around
the vehicle bay. He could see Chet and Marco lurking just
the door to the dayroom listening and he knew Johnny was
hiding behind the squad, but
no one leaped to his rescue.
"What-uh... . . what . . . ?"
She barrelled forward as if
he hadn't even spoken. "And since
you're responsible, you can deal with the results! Give it to
"GIVE it to him!"
With a subdued sob, Myra thrust
the basket into Roy's hands
and turned and ran. Momma dusted her hands together in a
manner and marched out after her. Roy stood stunned
as the basket jiggled in his hands.
slunk out, sidled down to the door controls and closed the
big bay door, then he, Marco and Johnny
came over and gathered
Johnny clapped his partner on the shoulder. "Something you
need to tell us, Pally?"
Roy gave him a look. Then he lifted the basket up and gingerly
raised the lid to peek inside. A pink tongue came out and licked
his nose. Drawing one corner of
his mouth back in a tight grimace,
he flipped the lid open. Six little white heads popped up. Some
of them were beginning to develop the first of their black spots.
"Puppies!" he exclaimed.
Chet's brow furrowed. "But Boot isn't a dalmatian!"
Go tell Momma that!" Roy told him.
"Uh, no thanks. I'll pass."
"They sure are cute,"
Marco said, reaching out a finger to one
"Cute, yeah," Roy agreed, "but what are
we going to do with
"You mean what are YOU going to do with them," Chet
"Yeah," for once John Gage sided with his nemesis and against
his best friend. He smiled
his slow, crooked smile. "After all,
you're the one standing there holding the basket.... Daddy."
Roy glared at his partner, but any response he might have made |
was lost when the puppies all suddenly
sat up, alert, tipped their
little heads back and howled mournfully.
Two seconds later the
##Squad 51. Man shot. 2253 Bernadette Plaza, cross street
Wilshire. LAPD is
en route. Time out 09:23.##
Chet ran to copy down the address and acknowledge the call. Roy
shoved the basket of puppies at Marco and he and Johnny jumped
in the squad. Roy took the call
slip Chet handed him. Marco
re-opened the bay doors and the two paramedics sped away.
From: E!lf <email@example.com>
Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:06 am
Subject: Shot Up
DeSoto thought aloud in his head. ::In the Roaring
Twenties, during the golden
age of silent films, this part of Los Angeles had been home to some of
brightest stars in California. To say that it has declined dramatically is an
Roy guided the squad up a narrow, winding and badly potholed street, past dirty
bungalows and the rusting hulks of broken down vehicles. The radio came
to life. ##Squad 51, be advised
that your police backup has been delayed. LAPD
and LACoSD advise you to await their arrival.##
"Right." Johnny muttered. "And our victim lays out there and dies while we're
sitting over here."
Their address turned out to be a leaning gatepost standing beside an overgrown
driveway. It looked
like the place had been a mansion once on a large lot, but
the big house was long gone and the lush
gardens had gone to seed.
Roy pulled to a stop. "Let's at least get the gear ready."
jumped out of the squad and began pulling stuff from the squad's
compartments on his side. Roy got
out and circled in front of the truck to
help, but as he set foot onto the cracked sidewalk, he found
himself face to
face with a large young man in torn jeans and a denim jacket who had emerged
the shrubbery beside the gatepost.
"You guys looking for the guy that got shot?" the young man
"Yeah," Roy said. "You know where he is?"
"Sure, he's back there." The kid pointed
over his shoulder into the
jungle-like growth of the vacant lot. "Back in the swimming pool."
The kid started away but Roy stopped him. "Hey, wait a minute. Can you tell
us anything more about
him? Who is he? What's his name? You got any
idea who shot him?"
Johnny, standing behind
the open compartment doors, froze when he heard his
partner's sudden intake of breath. He peeked
around the edge of the door and
his heart skipped a beat as he saw Roy standing very still, looking
muzzle of a gun.
The kid laughed cheerfully and brushed the barrel of the gun against
paramedic's cheek. "You take real good care of him, now. He's one of my best
"Then why did you shoot him?" Roy could have kicked himself as he heard the|
words leaving his mouth,
but it was too late. The shooter merely laughed.
"Business, man. Strictly business." Sirens
sounded in the distance. The kid
tucked the gun back inside his jacket, laughed madly and ran off
Roy slumped against the hood of the squad. Johnny closed the compartment
"You okay, man?" Johnny whispered.
Roy nodded and pushed himself away from the squad. "You
"Don't you want to wait for the cops?" Gage said incredulously.
"What for?" Roy
asked. "The shooter's gone."
Johnny thought about it for a second, shrugged and half nodded.
paramedics gathered up their equipment and headed back along the
trail through the overgrown
From: E!lf <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:11 pm
Subject: The Tattoo
The path back through the greenery wound
past ragged oleander
and Mexican verde trees, belladonna lilies and summer lilac, of the once
garden. The underbrush was heavily littered with
beer cans and broken bottles and soon, a stench
of human waste
battled the sickly sweet perfume from the flowers.
"He's over there." Gage pointed,
following his nose.
Roy hesitated, spotting something else surrounding them.
Scattered in among
the other weeds, the two paramedics caught the
familiar, miniature palm tree silhouette of marijuana
::Now isn't this wonderful ?:: he thought privately. ::Someone's
private patch. If there
are booby traps in here....::
They passed the burned out hulk of the old mansion and finally
to the swimming pool, half hidden behind manzanita bushes
and pampas grass.
pool was now just a kidney-shaped hole in the
ground, the tiles cracked and heavily spray painted,
the shallow end
half filled with old tires and drifted trash. Their victim lay on his back,
bleeding beneath the limbs of a scrawny palm tree that had forced
its way up through the broken concrete.
They ran down the pool steps,
the oxygen bottle rattling along behind on its wheels, and dropped
to their knees beside him. Johnny set up the biophone and contacted
Rampart while Roy did a rapid
first assessment and cut the man's
"Rampart, this is rescue fifty-one. How do you read me?" Gage|
"Johnny, look at this."
Johnny glanced over and watched as Roy
shone his penlight in the victim's eyes. "Pinprick pupils,"
He turned the man's hands up and his forearms and the insides of
his elbows were covered
with needle marks. "And he's not breathing
so hot. Grab his O2."
"Ok." Johnny replied.
##We read you loud and clear, 51." Joe Early answered them.
Johnny turned back
to the phone. "Rampart, we have a male
shooting victim, aged approximately 45, 160 pounds. Unconscious.
He has been shot twice in the lower abdomen and is bleeding profusely.
Vitals are:.." he reached for
the notebook Roy was holding out to him,
"..Pulse 130 and irregular, respirations about eight, blood
over 26. Victim appears to be an habitual drug user and he's showing
signs of having
recently shot up, possibly with heroin." As he read
off the vitals signs, he was simultaneously preparing
two IVs of Ringer's
Lactate with large bore needles while he boosted the man's
with the demand valve resuscitator.
Roy, likewise anticipating the doctor's orders, started strapping the|
wounded man into MAST trousers,
being mindful of possible spinal injury.
By the time Joe Early's voice came back over the phone, Roy
had them carefully in place with their patient atop a long immobilization
board. He checked the man's
abdomen with a pat down under the
main chamber. "The suit's controlling his hemorrhaging ok, Johnny."
DeSoto said. "I'll get another pressure."
Joe Early began his orders.
51. Start two IVs, Ringer's Lactate, wide bore needles,
full open. Apply MAST suit and inflate all
if he's under the influence of too much heroin, he could crash in
Better insert an esophageal airway and get him on
12 liters of oxygen, with any needed support. Stay
on his vitals,
keep him well-ventilated, and transport as soon as possible.##
Two I.V.'s RL, wide bore, full open. MAST suit
is fully inflated. We're establishing that esophageal
12 liters of O2. He has no airway complications." said Johnny,
eyeing up what Roy did
in front of his waiting hands before Gage
reattached his working ventilator to the hub of the breathing
##Ten-four, fifty-one. We'll be waiting. Rampart out.##
Footsteps and crashing
underbrush heralded the arrival of the ambulance
attendants bearing a stretcher and closely followed
by Deputy Vince
Howard. The ambulance men ran down into the pool, set down the
stretcher and helped
the two paramedics bundle the victim onto it.
Vince remained up on the edge of the pool, glaring down.|
"What part of 'wait for backup' don't you
"The part where our victim dies." Roy said shortly. "Anyway, the
gone. He ran off to the west on foot."
"What? You saw him? How do you know he was the shooter?"
"He told us, more or less." Johnny said, grabbing the I.V. bags as
his partner tucked the oxygen
tank and drug box down beside the
victim on the stretcher. "And he pulled a gun on Roy."
what? DeSoto, are you all right?"
"No," Roy said dryly. "He shot me and I'm dead."
funny. Later, when we're not so busy, remind me to
start laughing." said Vince, finally noticing
the pot plants blooming
around the swimming pool. He pointed to his partner to begin
the entire area off with police tape.
The ambulance attendants headed for the road with their
Johnny pacing them.
Roy gathered up the rest of their equipment and moved to follow.
But Vince cut him off.
"Vince! I have to go! I have to follow the ambulance! You know
have to stay close in case Johnny has problems! Let me pass."
:: And I really,.. really need to get
away from here.:: came another protest
from inside his head. Now that their victim was on the way
to the hospital with
nothing else to focus on, he could feel the shakes seriously setting in.
"I will in a few seconds. Give me something first! A name.. How
about a description?" he prompted
Roy paused, falling quiet and he thought about it. "He was just a kid.
Eighteen maybe. Big. Six one, six two. Muscular,
not fat. Dark hair, brown eyes, light brown
skin tone. Maybe Hispanic
or mixed Caucasian and Hispanic. He was wearing jeans and a
and he had a gun the size of Sonoma County. He
brushed it against my cheek and the barrel was still
warm. I could
smell the gunpowder." The paramedic's eyes glazed at the memory.
"He said this
guy was his best customer and he just shot him
because it was business. Then he laughed and took
off on foot
westwards. About six minutes ago."
Roy startled at some movement in his anxiety.
Other officers were on scene now, marking the location of the
two spent casings and searching the
area for other evidence.
Vince stepped aside and let Roy go by. "Easy... Okay, that's good.
thanks. I'm still going to need a formal statement, and one
from your partner, too." he said, lifting
his radio to call in a
surveillance helicopter to begin a man hunt.
"Right. Catch us when we're
finished at the hospital?" DeSoto
"Yeah, I'll be right behind you." Suiting actions
to words, Vince
followed Roy back along the path.
When they both got to the street, they saw that the ambulance|
was long gone. Roy made short work
of putting away his gear,
but then he paused as he was getting behind the squad's wheel.
Vince? One more thing. The guy had a tattoo on the back of
his right hand. A dog. A big, mean-looking
dog, ..uh,..like a bulldog
or something." Then he caught the distant look in the deputy's eyes.
oh, did I ring a bell?"
"Maybe... Roy, I'm gonna need you to look at some mug shots, too."
"Sure. Fine. Fine.. Uh,.. we'll see you there soon." he said, with
a small, not so brave smile.
Without wasting any more time, Roy
shifted the rescue truck into gear and sped off in pursuit of
From: E!lf <email@example.com>
Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:11 pm
Subject: Interlude in the ER
Roy backed the squad into place outside
the ER entrance and ran inside. Vince,
following close behind, was in time to see him disappear into
a treatment room.
Taking off his helmet, Vince slowed down and sighed. He went on to the nurses'
and soon cornered a cup of coffee from Dixie McCall. "How's the shooting
victim doing?" he asked.
Dixie shrugged. "They're still working on him. He was in respiratory arrest
when they got here."
She edged close and lowered her voice.
"Johnny said the guy who shot him pulled a gun on Roy!"
"That's what he told me, too."
"Well . . . did you catch him?" she finally ansed after his next
mouthful of java.
"Well you'd better!" she glared, only half mock.
gave her a small grin and a teasing salute. "Yes, ma'am!"
The base station radio interrupted them
turned away to answer it.
##Rampart, this is L.A. 110, come in please.##
##Rampart, we have a fifty-three year old male,
approximately 180 lbs, who has been
by a chihuahua.##
Vince's eyebrows went up at that chief complaint.
noticed. "I don't know what it is about today.
It's like it's the Day Of The Animals, or something,
happening out there. Dogs are going nuts on their owners
all over the place."
"Let's hope these
aren't pre-signs of an earthquake." Vince
Dixie nodded and waved down the hall, signalling Joe Early, and|
turned back to the radio. "Do you
have vitals, 110?"
##Not at this time, Rampart. We are still attempting to extricate
from the doghouse . . . .##
Vince spit out his hard won coffee at that elaboration. Somehow,
doghouse and a hundred and eighty pound man stuck inside of it,
hadn't computed. McCall chuckled and
handed him some kleenix from
a nearby tissue box so he could dry off his dark uniform.
minutes passed. Vince listened in on 110's rescue, drank coffee,
and used his radio to follow the
progress -- or rather, lack of progress --
of the manhunt for the shooter.
Finally Howard saw
the treatment room door open as Gage and DeSoto
came out together, shoulders slumped dejectedly.
Kelly Brackett, following behind, regarded them kindly.
"Listen, fellows, don't take it too hard.
You both did an outstanding job, but
that man had been abusing his body for years. He was probably
only a few
months away from death, even if he hadn't have been shot."
"He's dead then?" Vince
asked neutrally, walking up to where they were
standing outside the treatment room door.
a couple of minutes ago." sighed Kel quietly. "Do you know who he
was yet? We'll need to notify his
next of kin." Dr. Brackett said, folding up
his stethoscope morosely.
"No, not yet. We'll have
to wait until we learn something from
the medical examiner's office. He or she'll be able trace who
he was through his
dental records or through his fingerprints if he's got any kind of a rap sheet
with us." Moving slightly away from the doctor and the two dispirited
paramedics, Vince raised his
radio to his mouth. "Attention all units. Be
advised that the shooting on Bernadette Plaza is now
a murder investigation."
From : Roxy Dee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent : Thursday, December 21, 2006 12:49 AM
Subject : Puppies and Partners~~
McCall wandered over from the desk and placed
a soft hand on both paramedics' shoulders. "That's one
a tough break, fellas. I'm sorry." she said. "I thought you really
had that one in the
Gage shot her an irritated look.
"Uh,..not that kind of bag. Sorry again." she shrugged.
Gage swallowed around his doubly dry mouth left over from
the long CPR they'd just completed and
nodded. DeSoto leaned
against the wall and closed his eyes wearily. Johnny smacked
Roy on the arm
seconds later and firmly pointed him over to the
drinking fountain by the extra medical gear they
had left there
during their resuscitation efforts. Sighing, Roy started forward to
slake his burning
Brackett stopped him with the back of his hand. "I can do you
one better than that.
Let me buy you coffee and lunch in the cafeteria?
I promise you, Sergeant," he told Vince. "..that
you can question and
interview my boys all you like after they've both got something solid
inside of them, warming their stomachs."
"Fair enough. I have to remain here at the hospital
anyway until our
John Doe's been officially identified." replied Vince, who would be
soon for the police office set aside Rampart's sub-basement
next to the county morgue suites. DeSoto
had no doubt that he would
return shortly with the promised mugshot album. "Say I'll meet you back
here at the desk when you're free again, and you're good to go."
"We'll buzz you." promised
Gage empathetically, trying not to push
Roy ahead of him with the defibrillator to move him on a little
"See you soon, fellas." Howard told them as he made his way to
the employee elevators.
They all heard him give out a shout when
news finally came over his radio that the murder suspect
bulldog tattoo had been successfully cornered in a nearby
neighborhood backyard and
safely apprehended. "We nailed him
guys. Now all we have to do is find that f***ing gun."
for the news, Vince." Roy said, relaxing finally. "I needed that."
Roy and Johnny seriously doubted that they could eat any kind of
food right then but they chewed
on a few mouthfuls anyway to humor
Dixie and Kel when they all sat down at a table under the comforting
shade of the eucalyptus tree casting its branches over the hospital's
out door cafe' a few minutes
"So, what's on your agenda for the day, besides going on your usual
rounds and mopping
up after the two of us?" Gage asked Kel Brackett
after he had downed his fourth glass of milk.
"Me? Not much. It's just another slow Monday around mid-morning." he |
and stacked up his sixth empty plastic cup next to his tray.
"And how about you, Dixie? You already
know about our future schedule.
Johnny and I never know what we're going to be doing next." he smiled.
Dixie hung her head over her salad at his very old firemen's joke.
"I'm a new sponsor this week,
volunteering for the Make A Wish
"Oh, yeah?" Johnny brightened up. "That's far
out. Being given unlimited
money to help make someone's final dream come true. Can you talk
whom you're getting to help out for a while with us?"
Dixie smiled. "I can. And, I'm afraid I
have a confession to make.
The good doctor and I have carefully planned this very outting today
to set you two up concerning that very same subject matter."
"No problems there." Roy grinned.
"We were on to ya from the beginning.
After all, how many physicians actually buy their paramedics
complete with dessert, when they're still officially on duty for the day?"
the two of us weren't subtle enough, eh?" Dixie asked, seriously
"Nope. But we appreciate
all the food and the chance to get good
and watered down again." Roy saluted them with a toast using
not yet drained glass of milk.
"So fire away..." Johnny said, leaning a pair of elbows
on the table in
front of them. "Uh, no pun intended." Gage chuckled, rapping on the helmet
resting on the table. "And we'll see what we can do for you."
Dixie dove right in. "Ok, she's
ten years old and she's in room 506. I can't
tell you about her terminal diagnosis but you'll probably
be able to figure that
one out on your own. She's requesting to see a couple of paramedics who
also firefighters to see if their station would allow her to fulfill a lifelong
wish of hers."
"What's she asking for?" DeSoto wondered, folding his hands over his now
empty spaghetti plate, his
interest now piqued fully.
Kel's eyes twinkled. "It's probably nothing big, boys. But I'm afraid
going to have to ask her what she wants. So far, Dixie and I only know
what kind of people
she'd like to request as part of her Wish. And none of
the why for."
"Easily fixed. Is she
outpatient?" Roy asked.
"Yeah. She's only in for a few hours for some blood cleansing."
"We can see her right now if you'd like. Might be a good idea to
catch her before
we all get ourselves busy again." Roy said.
"All right. You two had enough?" asked Brackett.
"Plenty." said Gage, rising from his chair. "Just let me go stash
our gear in the squad first before
we go up there. 506 you said?"
"Yeah, bed two. She's wearing a yellow shirt with blue jeans."
Dr. Brackett answered, reaching over to bus their dishes for
"What else does she like
besides firemen paramedics?"
Roy asked, smiling softly.
"She likes horses." Dixie said, handing
Johnny a small packet of
information they needed to work with to use the Foundation to
"Now there's a keen topic right up your alley, partner." DeSoto
grinned at Johnny.
"That's why I picked you two as her recipients." McCall said,
shooing them back into the hospital.
"Call me if she's feeling
nauseated. I don't want to interrupt the three of you while you're
deep into making your hot little plans."
"What's our budget's ceiling?" DeSoto asked Kel.|
"Fifty five thousand dollars. Give or take."
Brackett replied with
Gage whistled under his breath. "Oh my.. Don't tell me her anonymous
benefactor's a natural born millionaire."
"She is as a matter of fact." Dixie demurred. "Remember
media circus case involving that contested Shell Oil inheritance lawsuit
"Well this woman's the rightful heir, come out of hiding. And the Make
A Wish Foundation's
her own personal first charity of choice. Have fun
blowing the whole wad on my special little girl,
boys." Dixie said tearfully.
"We've got just a month left to spend with her at the very most, ok?"
Chet Kelly's mouth dropped open when he found the cause of all
the scratching they had been hearing
echoing through the vehicle
bay off and on all morning. "Say, Cap. You're not gonna believe this."
"I'm not gonna believe what?" Hank hollered from inside his office. "Did you
set those d*mn*d
mouse traps like I asked you to, yet? I don't want those
nasty germ ridden vermin to get anywhere
near those pups of Roy's. Got it?"
"I'm afraid you're going to have to come out here and see the
all the noise for yourself, Cap."
There was a hasty rustle of paper and a firm bang
from a hastily hung up
phone receiver before Hank finally joined Kelly and the rest of the gang by
the back garage door, now auto-retracted open.
Cap skidded to a halt half way across the open
floor where the squad
usually parked. "How'd they get here? I- I.. I thought Bonnie was with
real owner and Boot was still holed up at 110's."
Henry woofed a sudden greeting as he trucked
out the kitchen door
to greet the two "old" newcomers to what was now his fire station.
and Bonnie gleefully began to chase him, recognizing his
current king-ship with an all out play feint,
darting around and around
the gang's legs, and wildly dashing in and out under the Ward fire engine.
"Hey, knock it off all you hairy, four-legged twits. You'll wake the puppies!"|
three dogs screeched to a halt, and regarded Cap's face with surprise.
Then their mouths fell
into happy grins and they made an immediate
beeline for the bunkroom, with Henry leading the way,
to where the
basket of dalmation puppies was being kept inside Henry's doghouse.
"Oh no, no..
no.. no.. no!" hollered Cap in a vain attempt to stop them.
"Cap, let em go. They're all fire
dogs. They know better than to wake
sleeping babies, don't they?" Marco asked.
Hank ran a
hand through his hair in irritation. "Let's just hope you're
right, Lopez. Last thing I need is a
pack of overexcited puppies running
around the station, piddling all over the place."
aren't we glad we've got just the concrete and tile flooring."
Hank nailed him
with a glare. "For that you've got puppy bottle
feeding and their latrine detail until the pound
gets here to take them
away for Adoption Day on Friday." he fumed.
"Hey, take it easy. I'll
do it. I'll do it. Geesh what is there about today
to get all worked up about? It's not like we've
had any engine calls
yet to go on this morning." Kelly groused.
"You want to know why I'm all
worked up? I'll tell you why I'm all worked
up. Your ever loving crewmates just agreed to Wish host
a little girl at the
station for a week so she can learn enough to write a final semester
for her fifth grade class about firemen lifesavers. That's why.."
Stoker, Marco and Kelly all
went thoughtful. Then...
"Cool." said Stoker.
"She'll be someone nice for all the dogs
to play with. And the puppies, too."
"Right on, man. She's more than welcome here.
I'll hang the privacy curtains
myself." declared Chet. "When's she coming?"
"She's on her way
right now." Cap said, all of the hot air leaking out of
his sails in the face of his men's open and
honest enthusiasm for the added
complication to their day to day routine. Then he sneezed. Hard.
Not again." he grimaced, snatching a hand up to his face quickly to
catch a trickle from an active
Mike whipped out a handerchief and handed it to Hank. "Did you forget to
the Vaseline Roy and Johnny left out for you last night to coat your
sinuses from all the dry winter
"Yes. I had a ton of paper work to do last night and this morning." Hank
He coughed wetly when blood finally worked its way back and
into his throat. "I don't have time for
this.." he sputtered.
The guys led him over to the radio receiving alcove and over to |
the garbage can resting there under
the writing shelf.
"Spit it out. I'll go get some ice." said Kelly. "Then sit down on the
Stoker went to grab more dressings so we can pack
you off on that side before you drip out onto your
Kelly ran off and disappeared into the kitchen. The engineer began
the engine compartments for their road side first aid
Cap sighed, watching him, and then
he sat dutifully. He began leaning
forward to clear out his mouth into the garbage can they had given
He was still sitting there when the front doors opened to admit the |
squad, Roy, Johnny and a tiny
new passenger sitting in between them.
"She's here already. Ah, isn't she a little darling." said
Marco, rising from
where he had been crouching next to Cap. "Well, hello there little miss.
to Station 51. What's your name? Como te llama?" he asked.
From: "Patti" <email@example.com>
Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:09 am
Subject: The Angelic Act..
The girl before Marco was pale, but
she smiled like the sun only
an instant after he did. "Am I really here?" she asked excitedly,
long wavy curls out of her tom boy like face. Her eyes
were brown and she seemed to be of half Italian
Johnny Gage, seated next to her, took off his helmet and hung
it on the hook behind
him in the cab. "Yep. You sure are. And
your mother's right behind us. She went to go park your station
wagon in the back." said Johnny, getting out of his side of the
The petite girl
frowned briefly and made a small face of disappointment.
Roy clarified matters. "Don't worry.
Your ma'll only be here for a little
while to sign some permission papers. Then it'll be just seven
for a week, like we promised." He wiggled fingers to get the girl's
attention in order
to help her climb across the middle seat into his
arms for a lift down. "And this handsome gentleman
you.. is Mr. Marco Lopez."
"Hola, Marco. I'm afraid my spanish isn't so
good yet. But I keep trying."
she said, accepting Marco's greeting handshake.
"That's all right. I can give you a few handy pointers
over tacos. You like those? That's what's
for lunch in about fifteen
minutes." he offered.
"Thanks, Marco. I like tacos. I'm Felicia. I'm sorry I can't tell you my |
last name. Mom says only
the captain gets to know that. And any doctors,
if I gotta go see some for another tune up while
I'm here. Thank you
everybody for granting my Wish. Don't worry. I'm an A student. I promise
write a really, really good report and I won't say anything bad. I can't if
I want to get to the
sixth grade. I'll let you read it before I hand it in to my
teacher, Mrs. Mulligan."
like you have everything squared away except for putting down
the actual words, Felicia." said Marco.
"I've been thinking about what to say for a long time, but I know I need a
little more time
seeing how everybody here works at their job to get
everything exactly right." said the little girl,
touching the side flasher
on the squad's door with undisguised curiosity.
A new voice piped
up. "You've come to the right place. We're the
busiest fire station around these parts." Mike Stoker
an engine door loudly and that was when the three of them noticed
that he had a
portable first aid kit in his hands.
Johnny looked up, casting a glance around for the reason
why. A few
seconds later, they noticed a forlorn Cap parked on the wooden bench
next to the soda
machine by the large wall map near the office. "What
happened to him?" Gage asked Marco, when he
spotted the blood
soaked cloth in Hank's hand as it sat over his nose.
Roy's eyebrows went
up, too. "Did he lose a tug of war rope game with
Henry or something?"
"Nah. He forgot to
apply his schnoz lube last night." Stoker shrugged.
"Things aren't too annoying yet. Chet's getting
some ice for him to put
on his forehead."
Felicia's mouth fell into an "O" of concern and
she padded quickly across
the garage space to get to him. "Oh, I'm sorry." she said to Cap. "I get
nose bleeds, too, on my bad days. Here, I know just how to handle them.
Want me to help you with
it?" she asked Hank. "I know just how to get them
to stop. Fast."
Cap's eyebrows furrowed
into brief puzzlement before amusement began to
surface. "Be my guest." he told their young charge
as he kicked the bloody
garbage can under the bench where she couldn't get too near it.
reached into her jeans pocket and pulled out a plastic sandwich
bag which she put on like a glove
to wear. Then she dug that thumb against
the side of Cap's nose until it closed off just his one
bleeding nostril. Then
she used her free hand to hold and grip the back of his neck gently. "I'm
going to squeeze a bit back here, ok?" she said, digging her fingers deeper
into his thick curly
"Sure..Anything you say." Hank told her, trying not to laugh out loud. He
forward further so she could reach the back of his head even
easier. Hank held still when she began
to lightly massage the area where
his skull met his neck bones. "Ughhff. Ow?" he said when he began
a tingling pressure under his skin and the tightening of muscles he
didn't even know he
had somewhere deep inside his forehead.
"That means it's working." Felicia told him. "Only a little
bit more." she told
him quietly. "My bleeds quit right away when I do this."
Roy and Johnny gathered around, pursing their mouths shut in growing |
amusement where they stood
watching the whole affair as they both
leaned against the side of the squad.
"Here you go,
Cap." said a returned Chet a few seconds later, handing
off the ice bag. He only hesitated briefly
at the sight of the girl who was
apparently effectively treating Cap. Hank took the bag from Kelly
but he didn't use it. He let it stay dangling between his knees.
Felicia let go when Cap began
to clench his eyes shut against the tingling.
"Ok. It's stopped." she told him, letting him go.
Cap instinctively brought the handkerchief up to his face again but the
strong trickling didn't return.
He breathed in experimentally. "There's not
even a clot inside." he told the paramedics. "Thanks miss.
Wow, I feel like
a new man." he said, standing back up onto his feet.
Roy and Johnny's eyes
grew wide and they both briefly examined the truth
of what Cap reported with their probing penlights.
"Really? The bleeding's
over?" Gage asked.
"Yep. Incredible. Usually these last a half an hour
or more for me. How
did you do that?" Cap asked the little girl.
"I just want people to get
better. And then they just do." she shrugged.
Stoker smiled. "Sounds like Dixie at the hospital's
been a big influence on
"Oh, she has. But this is something I've always been able to
"Then I'm very glad you got here. We wouldn't have had any fun at all if
couldn't eat lunch because of my nose." Hank said, tweeking hers.
He peeled the blood smeared
bag off Felicia's hand and tossed it away into
the waste can along with the unused ice bag. Then
he shoved the whole
mess into Chet's stomach. "Here, Kelly. Make yourself useful and go clean
up for me. I've got an introduction to make. Come on, miss. Let's go find
a sink to wash off a bit
first. Then let's go meet your mom for that necessary
meeting before we chase her away for good.
Are you ready for a lot of
company besides us? There are nine fire dogs hiding someplace around
station. And six of them... are puppies." he told her.
"Puppies? I like puppies almost as much
as I love horses." Felicia crowed.
Gage cleared his throat.
"Yeah, well, we'll get your horse
fix in sometime this week, too. And that
shopping spree on our off days. I've got a ranch and four
waiting around, bored, at home." said Johnny.
Felicia giggled and nodded eagerly
at the suggestion. Then she
followed Cap politely into the locker room.
A woman who could only
be the girl's mother came out of the kitchen
where Marco had fetched her at a ring of the doorbell.
"You think she'd
have chosen Disneyland or Universal Studios for her final fling at the
said the woman bravely. "But no, she wanted to stay in a firehouse
and shadow some paramedics whom
she considers her heroes."
"Hello, ma'am." DeSoto and Gage greeted her. "We'll take good care of |
her. Dixie McCall's taking
this time off to be able to stop by each day
every few hours to make sure Felicia's vitals stay normal
and that all of
her medications are taken properly. Does your daughter have any dietary
or other situations we should know about that might effect
her ability to get up with us at all hours
of the night when we get called
"None that really matter at this point. She has no real
either. Her body tells her when to slow down. The first thing she'll do when
that happens is that she'll ask permission to quit whatever's she's doing
long enough to go take
a nap somewhere in the sun or under a warm
blanket. I'm just worried that she'll effect how you'll
be able to carry out
your normal jobs." said the sad, dimly haunted woman.
"We've got that
covered." said Gage. "You see, we have a fireman who's
not actually one who drives a truck that's
just like ours. His name's Charlie
and he's one of our fire department's mechanics. He'll be chaparoning
at all of our response scenes, including watching over her and he'll keep
her from the
things that she shouldn't be observing as situations warrant. If
you'd like, we can have Dixie ride
along with the two of them, too, if that'll
make you feel more comfortable. We won't be placing her
in any danger.
Not even in the slightest. For a fact, Dixie's the one who trained both of
we first started out in the paramedic program five years ago."
Felicia's mother shook her head.
"I trust you. Please do whatever you
feel's best. For some background, Felicia's father was a....fire
she breathed deeply. "But he was killed in a freak car accident when
Felicia was five.
She was in the car with him. That's probably where she
got the idea to want to go see the places
where he lived his working life
when he wasn't off duty and at home with us. Then.. when my daughter
sick a year later, I.... didn't know what to do to help her with that. Not
until Dixie came
to me last week and told us about the Foundation. Then
everything just got miraculously clearer and
clearer. And now we're here.
I want to thank you for taking her in." said Felicia's mother seriously,
then unbidden tears filled her eyes. She brushed them impatiently away.
"We're glad you
came." said Johnny, taking her hand.
Roy smiled. "Did you know your daughter's real good with
The mother's eyes remained clouded. "Umm, she was in the girl scouts once."
she helped out Cap a couple of minutes ago with an intriguing new
way to handle a nose bleed. Johnny
and I were actually struck speechless
and I'll have to admit we were completely dumb founded with
she ended up with."
The mother dropped her head. "Oh, her "healing." She been
since she was a baby. It doesn't matter if it's.... a skinned knee or a
When Felicia's around, everybody's pain and suffering seems
to...just disappear. You know what I
"Yeah." said Johnny softly in awe. "We saw that."
The mother looked up with shining
eyes when she saw Cap returning
from the bathroom with her daughter. "Some days, I think it's so
entirely not fair that she'll never grow up to become a nurse or even a
doctor. No, it seems like
Felicia's one angel that G*d wants back to His
side far, far earlier than most."
With a sharp
honk, Charlie the mechanic's horn jarred them as it
sounded from the rear. Marco jogged over there,
after showing Felicia
the way to the kitchen as Cap went into the office with Felicia's mother,
and popped open the doors for him.
"Howdy, boys. Is she here yet? Boy am I ready for a day out
town with a beautiful young lady." Charlie said, polishing his fire
department badge nervously.
"Which way did she go?"
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