Previous Chapters

Chapter One,  Chapter Two, Chapter Three,

I’m NOT an editor, so what you see is what you get, I’m SICK of reading over and over;
This story is a bunch of shorter stories link together, so continuity may be lacking

Chapter Four:

Later that day, he was watching ‘Ghost Hunters’ on T. V. What a joke; maybe he’d believed in ghosts when he was nine, but he was much too old to believe in them now. Look at that, greenish light designed to make the viewer think something spooky was happening, when there was always a perfectly good explanation. Still, it would be really cool if it was real. He thought, instead of a ghost hunter, he’d like to be a ghost-fraud hunter. His mind was soon lost in the daydream:

Jimmy set up his equipment in the supposedly-haunted mansion. He and his cameraman had set up here for their T. V. show, ‘Ghosts, Ha!’, and Bennie, his cameraman, was filming everything. Bennie had been scared to come in this house, for he believed the superstition about this place, that a bloodthirsty spirit roamed the halls of the house, looking for innocent people to murder, but Jimmy had scoffed, and was buying exactly none of it. After assuring Bennie that they’d uncover a more pedestrian explanation, he’d agreed to come. ‘It’s too bad not everyone can be as brave as me,’ thought Jimmy.

After about four hours of exactly nothing happening, Jimmy was starting to believe nothing was going to, and was trying to think of something that would make for a slightly better show than four or five hours of nothing, when their came the sound of chains rattling from one of the upstairs bedrooms. Chains, really? He told Bennie that they were going to check it out, and to make sure he filmed everything. Bennie’s face turned white and he replied,

“No way I’m going up there!”

So a disgusted Jimmy ripped the camera from his arms, and said, “Fine, ya Fraidy -Cat! If you’re to scared to go up there, I’ll film it myself.

Jimmy, indeed alone, started to film; he walked up the stairs, following the sound of rattling chains. When he’d reached the door of the room where the noise was coming from, he turned the door knob and threw open the door. There, before him, on the other side of the room, was a ghostly figure levitating about two feet above the beige-carpeted floor.

Initially thrown by the sight he was seeing, Jimmy quickly regained his skepticism (such a big word; did he have it right?) and crossed the room in four or five strides, and ripped the sheet off of the man’s head, and saw the man was hanging from piano wired secured to the ceiling.

“Ah, ha; you’re no ghost, just a man!”

“Drats; I would have gotten away with scaring everyone away, so I could break into the safe at my leisure; the one right over there,” and he pointed to his right, “if it wasn’t for you; why didn’t my foolproof plan work on you?”

“Because I guess I watch one too many cartoons.”

“What?”

“You know, cartoons. Animated (?) drawings?”

“I know what cartoons are; but how do they explain your bravery?”

“Oh, when I was a kid, there was this cartoon about a dog who solved cases involving a supposed-ghost, only it was never a real ghost; only a criminal pretending to be a ghost so he or she could get away with a crime.”

“Dang it!”

Jimmy came back into the world of reality when his stomach growled. “Mom, I’m hungry,” he called into the kitchen, where his mother was cooking something, something that smelled wonderful.

***

The next day, his mom’s voice called out from the kitchen, “Jimmy, turn off the T. V., it’s time for dinner.” She was busy making, hamburgers! Jimmy was watching an old Sherlock Holmes movie on a channel that played old movies. Man, that Sherlock Holmes sure had it going on.

A stuffed 10 year old Jimmy wobbled (ha, Wobbly Knob?) his way back into the living room. He bloated back on the couch; he was so full! He picked up the remote and flipped on the T. V. The Sherlock Holmes movie was still showing. Look at him, solving seemingly-impossible-to-solve crimes, he was always light years ahead on the smarts ladder. Jimmy thought it would be so cool to be like Sherlock Holmes:

‘“Elementary, my dear Shelter,(who took the form of his best friend, Davy,)” said Inspector Jimmy of Scotland Yard, to his much-denser assistant, Sharecrop Shelter. He was answering Sharecrop’s question about how he had already solved the crime.

Jimmy knew that Sharecrop was a very unusual name, but he thought it sounded cool, and he also knew that Davy wasn’t dense, but it fit his daydream, so he went with it.

Inspector Jimmy knew Sharecrop couldn’t help being denser; next to him, everyone seemed denser. He was investigating the murder of a kindly candy maker. Who would kill a candy maker, and was just about to reveal what he’d deduced.

“So, can you explain why you were found standing over the body with a bloody knife in your hands?” Inspector Jimmy asked David Gailer, the grocer who’d sold the kindly candy maker his sugar and chocolate.’ Oh, sugar and chocolate, yum!

“Ah, because I found him like that?”

“Sir, I can tell by the soles of your shoes that you’re lying.”

“You can? You can’t even see the soles of my shoes.”’

Oh, oh, Jimmy would have to do some mighty fancy thinking to get himself out of this mess.

“Sir, you told me earlier that you had walked all the way here, and yet there are no watery footprints anywhere around, and it’s pouring down rain outside. Therefore, you must have been here, lying in wait, for at least long enough for your shoes to dry.”’

Just how they were miraculously on the scene minutes after the murder, Jimmy didn’t know, but he was ten years old; things didn’t have to be logical.

David Gailer suddenly bolted towards the door, looking wildly around.

“Arrest that man,” shouted Inspector Jimmy, to the uniformed police officers who had suddenly appeared.

Later, back at Scotland Yard, poor Sharecrop Shelter was looking rather puzzled. “Inspector Jimmy, how did you figure out Gailer was the murderer; I couldn’t tell, he looked like he was telling the truth.”

How to explain his brilliance to an ordinary man? “Simple, my dear Sharecrop; I eliminated everything that was impossible; therefore, everything that WAS possible, had to be the truth.”

“Oh” replied a still-puzzled Sharecrop Shelter.

Jimmy was puzzled also, but let it go.

They had solved this case, and were waiting for the next.

All this daydreaming about sugar and chocolate had revived Jimmy’s hunger; in a way that seemed exclusive to ten year old boys, and now that the Sherlock Holmes movie was over, it was about time for dessert.

“Mom!”

******

Jimmy was frantic; he couldn’t find the candy bar he’d hidden in the bread drawer, behind the old 1/2-eaten loaf of wheat bread, that had been shoved behind the fresher loaf of white bread. He had hidden it there, because his older brother Tim, when he’d stop by to visit (he lived on his own) always seemed to eat Jimmy’s favorite candy out of the usual candy drawer. Jimmy wished he was as smart as Inspector Jimmy (forgetting the fact he was Inspector Jimmy!)

Inspector Jimmy kept a close eye on the table full of suspects he had rounded up for questioning. He had been called in to try and solve a mystery; one of the six people here had eaten the expensive candy bar Mrs. Jefferson kept on display, almost like it was a piece of artwork (to be fair, it was mighty beautiful!)

One of six people, who were all proclaiming their innocence, had chowed down on the expensive, almost-a-work-of-art candy bar, and Inspector Jimmy would find the culprit.

“Sir, where were you during said candy-chomping?” asked Inspector Jimmy, of a tall, thin man who was looking particularly guilty, at least to Inspector Jimmy.

“I was in the study.”

“A likely story; well, if you were in the study, what subject were you studying?

“Huh?”

“I said, if you were in the stu—”

“I heard you; I just can’t believe the question. It’s not that kind of study-a library.”’

Jimmy didn’t know the difference, so it was time to play dumb (forgetting the fact this was all coming out of his brain.) He was completely forgetting what he should know, he was controlling the fantasy!

“I knew that; I was hoping you’d slip up and say something incri–incri–bad.”

The next guiltiest-looking suspect was David Compost, a man who kept shifting his gaze every few seconds, a dead give away for deception, in Inspector Jimmy’s book.

“Where were you, sir, during the candy caper?”

“I was in the living room.”

“Did anyone see you there?”

“Not to my knowledge.”

Inspector Jimmy asked Compost a few more questions; asked the other suspects some questions, then announced he knew the guilty person.

“I’ve been able to deduce which one of you is the guilty party.” His gaze touched briefly on five of the six possible suspects, before coming to rest on the sixth.

“You, sir, are the guilty one!”

David Compost looked around desperately at the other five suspects, and proclaimed, “You have no proof; I answered every question satisfactorily.”

Jimmy thought that was a word, but he was ten!

‘“Correction, you answered every question satisfactorily except where you were during the theft of the candy bar.”

“I’m innocent!”

“Oh, no you’re not.”

“I don’t see how you could say that I did it, when nothing I said could possibly lead you to that opinion.”

“Oh, it wasn’t what you said; it was the chocolate all over your mouth.”

“What? I looked in the bathroom mirror just before coming out here for your meeting, and saw nothing.”

“Well, you must have missed a spot, because there’s melted chocolate on your face.”

“Dang!”

Jimmy snapped back to reality when he suddenly remembered he’d at first hidden the candy bar in the bread drawer, before changing his mind and moving it to the back of the junk drawer. Sure enough, the candy bar was there. Jimmy said a silent apology to everyone in his family he’d suspected of the outrage, tore off the candy wrapper, and stuffed as much of it in his mouth as he could. “Mmmmm!”

***

Dang, summer was almost over. Just a few more days. His friend Davy had been gone the whole time on vacation with his family. How fun that must be to be stuck doing grown-up stuff. His parents called it “the grand tour”–woopty-do, sounded more like “the prison-tour” to him. Well, dang it, he’d make the most of the rest of summertime.

“Go Speed,” yelled Jimmy. It was early Saturday morning, and he was the first one up; therefore, he got to watch whatever he wanted on T. V. There was zero chance he would watch some home repair show, like his dad would, or some lame gardening show, like his mom; no, nothing but cartoons for him, and not just any cartoon, the best one ever made (at least that was his opinion), “Speed Racer”. How anybody could watch that show and not be mesmerized, was beyond him. Suddenly, his dad’s recliner chair, in which he was sitting, became his race car:

Speed Jimmy downshifted and started into the turn. He was way running second to Snake Oiler, driving the ‘Dark Skull’ car, in “The Motorama 500”, but that situation wouldn’t be lasting for very much longer. He was just about to pass hi; suddenly, from a hidden tank underneath ‘The Dark Skull’ car, poured a torrent of motor oil, and Speed Jimmy lost control of his race car, which spun forty two times, and flew off the track, which was built on land with high cliffs all around,’

Being 10 years old, the absurdity of that was lost on him!

and went air born. His pet monkey, Sprite, who for some unknown reason was in the car also,’

Once again, the absurdity of that was lost on him; it was his daydream. If he wanted to think that, so be it.

‘screamed a monkey scream, and for some reason, clamped his paws over Speed Jimmy’s eyes.

“Sprite, move your paws so I can locate the button that releases the parachute!”

Sprite immediately understood him, and lowered his paws. Speed Jimmy found the button called “Emergency Parachute”, pulled it, and immediately, the race car stopped falling fast, and was brought up just short of the ground, where it gently touched down.

“Sprite, thank goodness you’re a very smart monkey who understands English, or we’d have been doomed.

“Eee-eee!” answered Sprite.

As Speed Jimmy and Sprite climbed the sheer wall of the cliff they’d flown over, and started walking up the track, the sound of a powerful engine sounded behind them, and Speed Jimmy grabbed Sprite, saying,

“Look out, Sprite–awwww!”

But the powerful engine turned out to belong to Racer X (In reality, Speed Jimmy’s long-lost brother), who pulled up alongside them.

“Speed, I gave a stern lecture about cheating to Mr. Oiler, and he feels bad. I don’t think you will have to worry about Mr. Oiler trying a stunt like that again.”

Jimmy pulled his dad’s recliner chair into the pits (once again, even though the recliner was supposedly sitting at the bottom of a 2,000 foot cliff, he wanted his daydream to end with him driving into the pits; it didn’t have to make sense. Jimmy unbuckled his non-existent safety harness, and climbed out of the recliner. Wait, what about Sprite? He turned, and said,

“Out you go Sprite,” before remembering it was only a daydream, and there was no Sprite; but it had all seemed so real.

Just then, his bleary-eyed dad staggered into the living room, took one look at what Jimmy was watching, and said,

“Oh, no, were not going to watch some insipid cartoon; give me the remote,” and he switched it to his home repair show.

Oh boy, a boring guy talking about boring stuff; BORING! “Until we meet again, Snake Oiler,” he said out loud.

******

Jimmy stared with amazement at the ten foot high face of his hero, Carl Canyon, as he swash-buckled his way through a horde of evil, mean pirates. He finally, after eleven months, had decided how he wanted to spend the twenty dollars Aunt Trudy had given him for his tenth birthday. He knew it was weird for a kid to NOT spend money, but every time he thought he’d decided what to spend the money on, he’d see something that looked funner. And so, having made up his mind, he was sitting in a darkened movie theater at The Wobbly Knob 6, which only had five screens. Why The Wobbly Knob 6, he didn’t get, but then, so much of the adult world was beyond him.

As he watched Canyon clash swords with Captain Dread, leader of the pirate hordes, Jimmy thought how cool it would be if it was him, instead of Carl Canyon, who was the movie star up on the silver screen:

‘“Action,” yelled the director of Jimmy’s latest, coolest movie, “Jimmy VS. The Evil Pirates.” Jimmy lunged with his sword, and attacked the fifteen mean, evil pirates. Once again, the script called for Jimmy to triumph over overwhelming, seemingly-impossible odds, and save the beautiful princess taken by the evil pirates.

“Okay, cut,” yelled the director, but the evil pirates paid no attention, and continued to attack Jimmy. “Cut, I said cut,” but it did no good.

Jimmy realized this wasn’t a movie, this was real. As he backpedaled, he looked down and saw a cargo net on the floor.’

Just what a cargo net was doing on the floor of a sound stage, didn’t phase him at all; this was his daydream, and if he wanted a cargo net to be there, there would be a cargo net.

‘He continued to backpedal, until all the evil pirates were standing on the net, then suddenly sprang up, and in one swift motion, cut the rope that held the rope tied down, and the cargo net shot skyward, with all the flailing, angry evil pirates caught inside.

A red-in-the-face Captain Dread shouted, “Let us down!”

Jimmy answered, “Not today!”

Jimmy was trying to work out WHY the movie actors had suddenly become real, when he heard,

“The movie’s over, wake up.”

Jimmy sat up with a start. Over? He saw all the lights had been turned on, and the theater was empty. Wow, he must have really been daydreaming hard; he hadn’t fallen asleep, or had he?

***

Jimmy was so looking forward to the left over slice of pepperoni pizza in the refrigerator; left over from last night’s dinner. Pizza was dang near his favorite food; well, hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti, tacos, corn dogs, ice cream, and cookies ranked right up there too, but pizza was at the top of his list. He ran down the stairs as soon as he awoke, and went to the refrigerator and looked in. He wanted to see what he’d be having for lunch; only it was gone. Jimmy frantically searched behind the pickles, but to no avail; it was gone; somebody in this house had stolen his lunch! He himself had no idea who, but Inspector Jimmy could find out:

The phone rang at Inspector Jimmy’s office, where the he was playing Battleship verses himself, and Inspector Jimmy reluctantly pried his eyes away from the 1/2-sunk submarine and answered,

“Inspector Jimmy; I solve mysteries, great and small.” That was the slogan Jimmy had come up with; pretty cool, huh?

‘“Yes, hello Inspector Jimmy, I have a great big mystery I’d like you to solve; someone stole the last slice of the yummy pepperoni pizza. I WAS going to have for lunch; I’d like you to crack the case.”

“I see; have no fear, you’ll be eating that yummy pepperoni pizza for lunch.”

“I don’t know, Inspector Jimmy, it sound pretty hopeless,” said his intrepid assistant, Sharecrop Shelter, upon learning of the new case.

“My dear Sharecrop, it may seem hopeless, but not for Inspector Jimmy; I’ll have this solved in time for lunch.”

The way Inspector Jimmy saw it, only two suspects could have done it; his older brother Tim, who didn’t live with them, highly unlikely; or his mom. Inspector Jimmy decided to begin his investigation with her.

Into the living room he went, where his mom sat reading the paper, looking innocent as could be. “Mom, there was a slice of pizza I–err–a client was saving for lunch,”

The fact this was supposed to be for a client (that this client must live somewhere else) didn’t even cross Jimmy’s mind; he was THAT focused.

“and it’s missing; what do you know about that?”

“Well, Jimmy–”

“That’s Inspector Jimmy miss.”

“Well, INSPECTOR Jimmy, all I know is that it was there last night.”

Inspector Jimmy and Sharecrop Shelter exchanged glances, and he replied, “Can anyone verify this?”

“Jimmy; sorry, INSPECTOR Jimmy, there was no one except you, your father, and me here at dinner, who else could have witnessed it?”

“Ah, ha; no witnesses, how convenient.” She had stolen the missing slice; the LAST slice; “Tell me mom, was it good?”

“Was what good?”

“The last slice of pizza that YOU stole.”

“Jimmy, what are–”

“That’s INSPECTOR Jimmy, if you please.”

“JIMMY, what are you accusing me of? Taking the last slice of pizza and lying about it?”

At the same time, his father came in the front door, “Honey, I’m home for lunch. All I had for breakfast was a cold slice of pizza, and I’m starved.”

Oh; “Mom, I’ve eliminated you as a suspect.

***

Jimmy was totally bummed out. He knew he’d said there was nothing to do before, but this time there really wasn’t! He thought as hard as he could, and turned into Auto-Racing Jimmy:

‘Auto-Racing Jimmy was behind the wheel of the number five and 1/2 car, and was trying to catch the leader, the number twelve car, driven by his arch enemy, Scotty. Scotty and he were always competing.

Hold up; he’d already daydreamed about being Speed Racer, his very favorite cartoon character, and somehow, a daydream about another race car driver didn’t seem right. See, nothing to do! He’d try again:

Gladiator Jimmy faced the ferocious, blood-thirsty; Jimmy thought of drinking blood–gross!

lions, who paced just out of reach, waiting for their chance. Soon, they’d grow impatient, and attack–Jimmy’s imagination crashed and burned at that point. He simply could not concentrate enough to finish this daydream. What was wrong with him?

Jimmy awoke the next morning, with his head literally exploding with ideas for cool daydreams. Yes; all he had needed was a good night’s sleep.
He thought about what would happen if your head actually exploded; gross!

Jimmy was back in school, in Miss Weaver’s 5th grade class. Miss Weaver seemed nice, but only time would tell. He sort of missed Mrs. Westerhouse, but he was sure after a few days, Miss Weaver would prove to be all most as nice.

***

Many months later, Jimmy was gazing out the window and watching the snow come down, and rubbing his hands together with glee. Snowfall meant no school, and so much more and different things to do. His mom had the T. V. on, watching the school closure list. he exchanged a hopeful, excited look with Davy. Oh, how Jimmy prayed for his school to appear on the closed list, but so far, nothing. What were they waiting for? It was so obvious to everyone that it would have to be canceled. Every time the crawler along the bottom of the T. V. screen didn’t list his school, Jimmy got more and more depressed.

Finally, his school was listed as closed; duh! Jimmy and Davy, who was visiting, asked his mom if the could go out and play in the snow. His mom said they could, as long as they got bundled up and were very careful. He promised they’d be careful, Davy put on his ski jacket, while Jimmy put on his, and they both rushed outside. Now the had to decide what to do. They was free; no school!

They had been warned to stay away from the big mill pond through the woods behind his house, so naturally, they made a beeline straight for it. It couldn’t hurt to go look, right? It had been well-below freezing for several days; they’re breath was visible as the proof, and the pond should be frozen over.

They arrived on the banks of the pond, and it was indeed frozen over. How cool was this? They were both so tempted to venture out on the ice, but they knew they weren’t supposed to.

They fought the urge for awhile, but to no avail. They just had to check out the ice; fter all, it wasn’t everyday that you saw this. They ventured out, and were soon walking on the ice. As Jimmy gazed around at the frozen pond, it was magically transformed into an NHL hockey rink, complete with thousands of screaming fans. He scooted his way over to the edge, and grabbed a fallen smallish tree branch and saw it as his hockey stick. “Come on, Davy, let play a pretend NHL game!”

“No, it kinda looks dangerous!”

“Fine, but you’re going to miss out on some fun!” he replied. He didn’t know how to ice skate, so his tennis shoes became ice skates, and the empty pond suddenly became full of enemy players, all trying to stop him, and gain control of the puck, which was a pine cone that had fallen to the ice.

Jimmy Gretzsky skated effortlessly through the defenders, like they weren’t even there, until it was just him and the goalie. (he could barely keep the pine cone sliding along, as the straight-ish tree limb wasn’t shaped much like a hockey stick, but that didn’t matter; after all, it was his daydream, and was he not the greatest hockey player who had ever lived?) but he faked one way, the goalie bought it and went right to defend against a shot to the right, and Jimmy swerved back to the left, and…the pine cone slid out of his control, and kept sliding. Oh no!

Jimmy made a desperate lunge to catch it, and slipped, feeling a tremendous shooting pain in his leg. Great, he’d pulled something. Forgotten was the hockey game and the fans; the hockey rink became just the frozen pond once again, and he struggled to slide over to the edge.

“Are you all right, Jimmy?” Davy said.

“I’m not sure–my mom is going to kill me!”

“I don’t want to get in trouble!” he said, almost crying.

Jimmy thought for a minute, and said, “I think I’ve got a solution. Why don’t you just go home and I’ll say you had to go.”

“Really, Jimmy?”

“Yep,”

“Then I’m so out of here!” said Davy, and took off running, yelling over his shoulder, “Thanks–see ya, Jimmy!” Jimmy watched as Davy disappeared, and started limping painfully towards home.

As he limped his way up the sidewalk to his house, Jimmy had to think of an excuse as to why he was limping, as he wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near the frozen pond.

His mother met him at the door and exclaimed, “Jimmy, what happened?”

“Oh, I slipped on the snow and hurt my leg.”

“That’s terrible; what happened?”

“Well, I was going down the hill over on State Street, and slipped and twisted my ankle.”

“Oh, I wasn’t aware that State Street ran right across the mill pond.”

Jimmy suddenly felt a sinking sensation; she knew, but how? “Mom it doesn’t–I was nowhere near the pond, because I know I’m not supposed to go there.”

“Oh, give it up, Jimmy, Mrs. Paul saw you and Davy out on the ice, when looking for King.”

Darn that dog!

‘I’ve already called Davy’s mother and explained everything.’

Oh-oh!

Jimmy was staring out his bedroom window morosely at the snow which continued to fall, and which he could not go out and enjoy; he’d been grounded and sent to his room; it just wasn’t fair!

***

He watched Miss Weaver lecturing on some boring subject. His mind was already on summer vacation that was never going to get any closer. He gazed out of the classroom window, and let his mind wander.

It was a few days later, and Mrs. Weaver was still droning on and on blabbing about things that Jimmy really, really didn’t care about. He was restless, again, and as he was staring out the window, watching the snow starting to come down harder, he hoped they’d be sent home early. But so far, at least, no such luck. He let his mind wander, and, and–nothing–his mind was a blank. Dang it! Davy had been grounded, again, after their little pond adventure, so he couldn’t play. Maybe it would have been easier to pretend something if he was around.

Two whole days! That’s how long it had been since he’d been able to imagine anything, and Jimmy was getting downright worried that he’d be stuck in the bummer real world, with no escape possible. True, he loved his parents, but all one had to do was look at their heavily-lined faces, to know how bad real life could get. If that was the true way reality worked, forget it! He wanted no part of it.

He was going for a walk, to try to see if something, anything, jarred him back into daydreaming. He started down the street, kicking the slush left over from the snow, a snow that they never did get out of school early for. It just wasn’t fair! His mother told to stay close to the house, but Jimmy didn’t exactly understand why. His grandparents were visiting, and they said it was too dangerous, and that it wasn’t the way it had been when they were young; that all the neighbors kept an eye on you. But Jimmy wasn’t buying it for a second; they were old, and probably always had been that way! So he told his mom he would stay close to the house, but as soon as he got outside, started walking.

He came across a construction site, and thought sure that must set off his daydreaming, but he looked at it, and nothing. It stayed just a construction site. Now, he knew something was very out of wack!

“Hello!” came the greeting from one of the construction guys.

“Hi.” a bummed-out Jimmy answered back, and just kept walking. Ahead, Mr. Frieze was sweeping the slush off his walkway.

“Hiya, Jimmy!

“Hello, Mr. Frieze,” he answered sullenly, and just kept walking.

Mr. Frieze watched his go, with a concerned, confused look on his face. This was totally unlike Jimmy. Usually, he was as bouncy as a rubber ball, not barely shuffling down the sidewalk.

Jimmy shoved his hands into the pockets of his coat, and aimlessly kicked a pine cone ahead of him. It just wasn’t fair!

******

As he dejectedly shuffled his way down the sidewalk, worrying about being stuck in permanently in reality, a fire truck screamed past, and suddenly, he became Fireman Jimmy:

Fireman Jimmy was bored. So far, exactly nothing had burned. He had just settled down in front of the T. V. with a grape pop and a Hostess Fruit Pie (it was cherry!) to watch an all-day cartoon marathon on The Cartoon Network, when the alarm sounded. They were needed at The Lincoln Log Factory downtown, because a dangerous fire had broken out.

Within seconds, they pulled up in front of a building that was on fire. Flames were leaping way up in the sky. Fireman Jimmy’s boss, Chief Rock Gristle, told him to grab a hose, and just do his best to keep the fire from spreading, because it looked like this building was lost already. He grabbed a hose, and ran around the rear of the building. He saw several buildings, a hamburger place among them, and Jimmy vowed not to let the flames spread, at least to that!

He had just got finished hosing down the hamburger place, and in the quiet after he’d finished, he heard, very faintly, so faintly he wondered if he’d imagined it, a cry from inside the on fire Lincoln Log Factory, “Help!, Help!” He decided to make sure, and stepped closer. Again, he heard, “Help!” This time, there was no doubt, someone was in there, and they needed his help! There was no time to let anyone know, he had to act, now! He sprinted up to the window, and yelled,

“Stand away from the window!”, and he picked up a nearby chunk of cement, and threw it at the window, which shattered into a million pieces. He stopped to listen again, as thick black smoke came flying out from where the window used to be. Again, he heard ‘help!” followed by choking. He had to hurry, the victim sounded weaker, and didn’t sound like they could hold out much longer. He stood on a crate that just happened to be there, smashed a window out, and used his fireman’s glove to knock any jagged pieces of broken glass out of the window frame, and hopped into the black-as-ink room. Once inside the bon fire, he yelled, “Call out-I can’t see a blasted thing!”
He heard a frightened cry,

“Over here; eh, huh, huh!”

“Keep coughing!”

“Okay; eh, huh, huh!”

Jimmy crawled in the direction the voice seemed to be coming from. Suddenly, he felt someone,

Now Jimmy had a heck of a problem; he couldn’t lift a full grown adult and throw them over his shoulder; how was he going to save them? Then, he figured out that if he changed the person to a small kid, say three or so, problem solved!

Fireman Jimmy could tell it was a kid, and said, “grab my hand; I’m holding it towards the sound of your voice, I’ll throw you over my shoulder, and we’ll walk out.”

He felt a small hand groping through the darkness, until at last he was holding it, and got close enough to grab the kid by the knees, slung him up over his shoulder, and turned towards where he thought the door was, and together, they both blindly staggered forward, until he bumped into something. He groped around frantically, until he felt the doorknob. He turned it, and the door swung open, and as black smoke billowed around them, Fireman Jimmy and the kid, who was still coughing, emerged. Immediately, a crying, hysterical woman ran towards them, shouting,

“Timmy! Timmy!” and dropping to her knees, hugged little Timmy. Then, to Jimmy, she said, “You saved my Timmy! Thanks to your bravery, everything came out okay!”

An embarrassed Fireman Jimmy replied, “Ah, shucks ma’am, I was just doing my job.”

“Well, thank you, and I don’t know how I can ever repay you, and I know it’s kinda stupid, but let me run home and grab you a plate of brownies, which are still warm out of the oven, as a token of his mother and father’s appreciation.”

”There’s no thanks necessary, but, sure!” Fireman Jimmy dearly loved brownies!

A very-much-relieved Jimmy turned around and headed home. All that worrying about never being able to daydream again was wrong. Suddenly, he realized he was so hungry! Before he could think of what he would have, definitely followed by some of his mom’s brownies, fresh baked, he heard a horn behind him, and turned to see his angry-looking father opening the driver’s door, along with his mother’s angry-looking face in the passenger’s seat, and felt his spirits sag.

“Hi, Dad, I was just–”

“You’re in big trouble, young man.”

Oh-oh, he knew he had done wrong when his dad used ‘young man’, instead of Jimmy.

“Your mother told you to stay close to the house, but, tell me something, look around, is this your idea of ‘close’ to the house? I’ll answer for you, no!”

“But Dad!”

“No excuses, young man, just get in the car; what are we–you’re grounded for a week!”

A week; it just wasn’t fair!

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MikeS
What can I say other than I know, and I'm currently in therapy
Jimmy Of Wobbly Knob–Chapter Four

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