Kai is called to the scene of an accident where an old lady in a Smart Car has been blown off the road.
“What’s your name, sweetheart?” Kai called.
“Well, Gladys, are you ready to come down? My friends would like to help you.”
“Yes. It’s not nearly as much fun now,” she admitted, frowning worriedly.
“They’re almost ready. Can you see the truck? A buddy of mine is going to come up with a cherry picker and help you out.”
“Why didn’t you come up like that?” Gladys asked after a glance at Trent in the cherry picker.
“Cause this way’s more fun. We gotta get our fun where we can take it, right?”
“Of course.” She managed a faint smile.
“You think Mitzi would come to me? I can carry her down.”
“She’s in her traveling bag. I imagine she’s a little testy at the moment.”
“She’s not gonna bite me, is she?”
“Well, she’s not usually a biter, but we aren’t usually up in the trees, either.”
Kai chuckled. “Can you reach her?”
“She’s right next to me on the seat.” She reached over and the car swayed dangerously.
“Hold up,” Kai warned. “Tell you what, you hold still. Let me tell my buddy that you’ve got Mitzi with you. He’ll get you both out.”
“Okay, dear. What’s your name?”
“My name is Kai, Gladys. It’s Hawaiian for water.”
Gladys smiled. “What a wonderful name. Do you have any pets?”
He shook his head. “Mom’s allergic. But I’m a big fan of dogs.” He radioed Trent, telling him about Gladys and Mitzi. “I’m gonna stay right here until Trent gets here. He’s gonna take Mitzi and then we’re gonna get you out of there.”
“Okay. Please hurry. This isn’t fun anymore.”
“We’re doing our best.”
Kai continued to talk to Gladys as the cherry picker maneuvered into position. Mitzi was safely extracted, then they began the slow process of getting Gladys out. Fortunately, she wasn’t badly hurt, merely shaken up. She was able to crawl across the seat into Trent’s arms. He lifted her free, hauling her carefully into the cherry picker.
The tiny car shuddered. The trees around it finally tired of supporting its weight, dropped it unceremoniously into the muddy puddle below. Kai was splashed, but he was already wet from the rain. The Smartcar made a sick, crunching noise when it landed.
Kai climbed down, returning to the truck. Gladys was pale, but her eyes were bright and alert. She held out her hand to him.
“Thank you,” she gasped. “Is my Mitzi all right?”
“I don’t know, Gladys, but I’ll find out. Meanwhile, we need to get you to the hospital.”
“Will you take me?”
“My pal is gonna drive. Is it okay if I sit back here with you?”
“I’d like that.”
“Cool. The police will see that the car is towed.”
The doors slammed on the ambulance and it lurched into motion. There was no need to run the siren, but the lights flashed as it lumbered onto the highway.
Kai chatted with Gladys as they road to the hospital. She was clear and lucid the entire way. He gave report as they wheeled her into the emergency room entrance. She smiled, kissed Kai’s cheek, bidding farewell as they took her to an examination room.
“How’s Mitzi?” Kai asked as he climbed back in the ambulance.
Trent wouldn’t look at him.
“No. She didn’t make it?”
“What’s left in that bag can’t even be identified as a dog anymore,” Trent said. “We’re dropping it at the vet like we promised. I’m not telling that sweet old lady that her precious dog is dead. Could you?”
“No, of course not. Makes me sad, though.”
“At least Gladys is okay. We can feel happy about that.”
“Yeah,” Kai agreed, but he didn’t really mean it. He knew how much that little dog meant to Gladys.
The rest of the shift was a blur of accidents and emergencies caused by the storm. Kai was bleary eyed when it was all over. He flopped on his bed, falling immediately asleep. Not even a siren, sounding on the next shift, woke him. Six hours later, he woke and bathed, wishing he’d taken time to do so before falling asleep. He’d slept in his clothing, but some considerate soul had removed his shoes and socks. Probably Cherise, that wasn’t the kind of thing any of the men would have thought to do.
“Feeling better?” Trent asked as Kai stumbled into the kitchen.
“Kinda. What time is it?”
“Nine a.m. You okay?”
“Yeah. No. I don’t know. Point me to coffee.”
Laughing, Trent handed him a cup. “Your girlfriend called a couple times to see how you were. I tried to wake you, but you were out cold.”
“Thanks. I’ll give her a call—in a minute.” Kai held the warm coffee mug to his forehead.
His phone rang. Surprised it still had a charge, he answered.
“Hi, handsome.” It was Paisley.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes