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Johnny Gage and the Great Big book of Fan Fiction

An Emergency Story By

Xavionite


 

 

It was almost lights out, and the men of Station 51’s A shift were just wrapping up one of Chet Kelly’s beloved monster flicks when Roy realized that Johnny wasn’t in his accustomed spot in the arm chair closest to the television. He had been there when the show started… how could he have slipped out without anyone noticing? He has been awfully quiet today, Roy mused. Not at all normal for John Gage, that’s for sure. If there had been a bad run, Roy would have understood, even expected it, but the day had been fairly easy with fewer runs than usual and none of them particularly serious. I wonder if he’s coming down with something. More interested in what was going on with his partner than in the utterly predictable demise of the monster-of-the-week, Roy quietly excused himself.

 A quick check of the dorm revealed that Johnny was not there, and Roy looked into the locker room next. The lights were out and all seemed quiet, so he was about to move on to the latrine, but then the sound of a muffled cough caught his attention. Shaking his head, he swiped a hand at the light switch, illuminating the room, then moved to Johnny’s locker and swung the door open. “Junior? What are you doing in here in the dark?!” Johnny moaned. “Not now, Roy!” he complained in a nervous whisper. “Can’t you see I’m hiding?!” 

“Hiding from what?” Roy asked, crossing his arms over his chest and casting a dubious look at his younger partner. “Has the Phantom finally pushed you over the edge?”

 “The Phantom?!” Johnny scoffed. “Oh, this has nothing to do with the Phantom.” The need to whisper completely forgotten, Johnny’s voice had risen in both volume and tone, sure signs that a rant was forthcoming. “This is far worse than the Phantom, Roy! Mark my words!”

 Roy leaned back against his own locker, torn between curiosity at why Johnny was so riled and the feeling that he really didn’t want to know. Curiosity won out. “OK, I’m waiting. What is it that’s even worse than the Phantom?” Johnny’s eyes got big as saucers as he leaned out of the locker and gazed around the room. He lowered his voice to a dramatic whisper once more.

“There’s… there’s a Writer in here!” 

Roy shook his head, confused. “A… Writer?” He looked around. “Umm… Johnny, there isn’t anyone in here but you and me.” 

Johnny pointed somewhat above and behind Roy, just over Chet’s locker. “No… she’s there, I swear it! Figures she’s by Chet’s locker—they’re probably related.” 

Now Roy was genuinely concerned. Maybe his friend needed a trip to Rampart, or perhaps reservations in a padded room. Concealing his emotions, he knelt and took hold of Johnny’s wrist. “Your pulse is elevated, Junior,” he said keeping count for about ten seconds.

 Johnny pulled free from his partner’s grasp. “Cut it out, Roy,” he protested. “I’m fine. Do you really mean to tell me you don’t see that Writer sitting there, typing away? The clacking of those typewriter keys is driving me crazy!”

 “And it’s a short trip,” Roy muttered under his breath, putting the back of his hand to Johnny’s forehead to gauge his temperature. He wanted to grab the gear from the squad and get Johnny’s vitals, but he had a feeling his friend would bolt if he left. He decided to humor him for now. Soon the guys would be coming through the locker room to the latrine before heading to bed, and then he’d enlist one of them to keep an eye on Gage while he got what he needed. 

“What did you say, Roy?” Johnny asked. “Oh… um… I just asked if you needed a… a sip… of something to drink. Maybe you’re dehydrated and it’s got you seeing things.” 

Johnny shook his head. He shifted his position slightly, revealing a large book behind him in the locker. “What the heck is that, Junior?” Roy asked. “Looks bigger than War and Peace.”

 Johnny followed Roy’s gaze. The sight of the book turned him pale. “Um… I don’t think you want to look at that, Roy,” he said.

 Roy reached past him, ignoring his warning, and pulled the book out. It took two hands to lift it. “The Great Big Book of Fan Fiction: Emergency Edition,” he read out loud from the cover. “Hey… that’s a picture of our squad on the front!” 

“Yeah, and this book is the whole reason I’m worried about that Writer!” Johnny explained. “I suppose you’re going to insist on looking inside?”

 Roy lifted the cover and allowed his eyes to scan the table of contents. “Wow, this book sure has a lot of contributors.” 

Johnny snorted. “That’s not even the half of it. I don’t really know the full extent of it. But these writers seem to get a big kick out of tormenting us.” He pointed about halfway down the page at the title to Section 2: Johnnie Owies, then splayed a hand across his chest”And it just so happens that I’m their favorite target! Apparently, the ones who like me best, treat me the worst. I can’t tell you how many times in these pages I end up on death’s doorstep… they’ve left me blind, paralyzed, amnesiac, and given me so many concussions the thought of it makes my head spin! If I actually had as many head injuries as I seem to get in these stories, I’d probably be brain dead. Now, some of the stories are all right, casting me as the heroic and dashing paramedic that I am, but in half of them I’m either suicidal or borderline insane or I’m just an overgrown kid in constant need of a babysitter.”

 Roy bit back a grin, thinking these mysterious writers weren’t so far wrong with that last idea. 

Johnny continued his rant, hardly noticing his partner’s reaction. “Oh, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve been kidnapped by one maniac or another. Then there’s this whole section of stories where you and I decide we hate each other’s guts… and at least one where they say I murdered you!” He blanched. “I… couldn’t bring myself to read that one. Then there are the ones where the writer fancies herself in love with me and the others where they make me out to be some kind of Lothario and… there’s even one where I end up with… with Dixie!”

His face flushed crimson… that story hadn’t bothered him as much as some of the others, but it did embarrass him—he thought he had kept his crush on the beautiful older nurse a secret, and he certainly never thought it was anything to act on.

“But this Writer here—I’m telling you, Roy, she’s one of the worst!” “And just how do you figure that, Junior?” Roy asked.

 “I’ve been researching her.” He pulled an equally thick book from the locker and shoved it at his partner. This one was titled The Great Big Book of Fan Fiction: Lord of the Rings Edition. ”She’s written a bunch of stuff in here under different names, most of it with other writers, and she is notorious for mistreating the people she writes about! She claims it ‘builds character’ or something like that.”

He paged through the book, thrusting it at Roy periodically to show him bits and pieces. “Look at this—she let this… this elf fellow get turned into a horse, and here she’s got another elf falling in a pit of poison vipers, and in this one—get this—she lets an elf get his leg cut off by pirates!” He shuddered and stuffed the second book back in his locker. “Now she’s turned her eye on us. I’ve already got plenty of character, Roy. I do NOT want to fall into her clutches, and neither do you.”

 “It’s just words on a page, Johnny,” Roy soothed. “That’s all it is.” “Wanna bet?!” Johnny shook his head vehemently. “Turn to the end, Roy. Read it out loud.” 

Roy did as Johnny suggested. At least the last quarter of the book was completely blank. He riffled back through the pages until he came to the last one with any text on it and his eyes grew wide as he read the words of a writer called “xavionite”: 

It was almost lights out, and the men of Station 51’s A shift were just wrapping up one of Chet Kelly’s beloved monster flicks when Roy realized that Johnny wasn’t in his accustomed spot in the arm chair closest to the television. He had been there when the show started… how could he have slipped out without anyone noticing? He has been awfully quiet today, Roy mused. Not at all normal for John Gage, that’s for sure. If there had been a bad run, Roy would have understood, even expected it, but the day had been fairly easy with fewer runs than usual and none of them particularly serious. I wonder if he’s coming down with something. More interested in what was going on with his partner than in the utterly predictable demise of the monster-of-the-week, Roy quietly excused himself.

 “Is this some kind of a trick, Johnny?” Roy asked quietly. His eyes flicked to the end of the blank page and he watched his words appear as he spoke them. “Has the Phantom decided to make me his new pigeon and you’re helping him out?”

Suddenly acutely aware of someone’s gaze on the back of his neck, he turned around and looked up above Chet Kelly’s locker. Now he could see what Johnny had been pointing out to him—a woman hunched over a typewriter, pecking away at the keys, a grin on her face and a wild look in her eyes.

Johnny was absolutely right—he did not want to end up in her clutches! He tossed the book away from him, motioned for Johnny to keep quiet, and carefully closed his friend’s locker before opening his own, climbing inside, and pulling the door shut behind him.

 The End

 

 

This is my first published fan fic (I've written mostly play-by-post role play). I do a bit of teasing about the genre, but be assured it is out of love! Thanks to my beta-reader - you asked me not to mention your name so I won't, but you know who you are.

 

Posted to site 4/4/15

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