Friday, February 26, 2010

The Boot's Perspective - A Work of Fiction

The boot was surprised to see the Chief's buggy pull up. The Chief usually didn't make it out to the "Little House on the Prairie". In fact the only time the boot could remember the Chief coming out to 19's was when he gave the Captain his performance evaluation. The boot watched the buggy roll past the window, then hustled to the kitchen to make sure the coffee was fresh. As it was just after roll call, the Bunn-o-Matic might be a little low.

After making a fresh batch of coffee, the boot headed down to the back ramp. He figured  that he would wash the buggy while the Chief was there. As it was early, he reasoned that the crew at battalion headquarters hadn't had a chance to wash it today. He ran into the Chief in the downstairs hallway.

"Good morning sir" the boot said to the Chief as he rotated ninety degrees and braced, his back against the hallway wall.

"Hello Mitchell" the Chief replied. "How are you doing?"

"Fine sir, I have my test next cycle."

"Oh, of course" the Chief said. "Well, I have a meeting with your Captain"  he added, then passed the boot on his way up to the office.

The boot felt some unease as he continued toward the rear of the station. He didn't know the Chief very well, but he sensed that the Chief's response was a little forced. as if the Chief really didn't want to deal with him. "Maybe he's just preoccupied" the boot thought as he walked through the door and out onto the back ramp, "maybe he's just busy."

The boot  grabbed a bucket, a brush and some car wash from the outside closet and set it down by the rear app floor door. As he was stretching out the garden hose, Spiccoli walked up with a couple of towels.

"Hey boot, what the hell is the Chief doing here?" Spiccoli asked.

"I don't know" the boot replied "I am the last person that would know."

The pair started in on the Chief's buggy. The lime green paint had been washed only yesterday, but the snowmelt and a muddy driveway or two had left the Expedition quite the mess. Spiccoli worked the hose, the boot was on the brush. The road grime and mud had been allowed to dry before being washed, so the brushing took a little extra work. They were about half way through when a white sedan pulled onto the back ramp.

The boot saw that the sedan belonged to the administrative / personnel Chief, then looked over at Spiccoli. He felt tension begin to boil in his stomach as he saw the look of concern in Spiccoli's face.

"Something's up" Spiccoli said.

The A/P Chief got out of his car and headed into the app floor. He had a manila envelope in his hand and he stopped only for a second. "Morning fellas, don't worry about my car, it was washed last night" he said, then disappeared into the station.

Spiccoli and the boot now worked in silence, each wondering why the two chief officers were there. As the conversation had stopped, all effort was spent on completing the task at hand. The Expedition was soon washed ans the pair was starting on the tires and the interior. It was then that Captain Hardy appeared at the front of the buggy.

"Mitch, can I see you in my office?" Hardy asked.

The boot felt his stomach twist into knots, then bile rising into his throat. Shit. How did they find out?

Hardy made the boot go first as they worked their way to the front of the station. They walked through the open door of the captain's office where the two Chiefs were sitting at small table. Hardy closed the door, the boot stood at parade rest, barely able to control his fear.

"Have a seat Mitchell" the A/P Chief said, pointing to an open chair at the table. The boot complied, knowing that the outcome of this meeting was not likely to be good.

"The reason that we've called you here" the A/P Chief said "Is to let you know that you are being terminated. We are giving you the option to resign as an alternative".

The words hit the boot in the chest like a sledgehammer. He accepted it in an instant, knowing that this was the consequence of the events from the week before.

"Why" he asked, knowing the answer and also knowing the real answer.

"For failure too meet probationary standards" the A/P Chief replied. "That's all I can tell you." 

All of that time. The schooling, the academy, reserve time, medic school all for nothing, all gone in a flash. What was he going to do now? What was he going to tell his wife?

Thanks for reading,


  1. Dear Captain Schmoe,
    Eeek! What happened! We need a flashback, the suspense is killing me.

    I suspect it's one or more of the old B & B:

    Do tell,
    Ann T.

  2. That was an awesome story. Great writing until the end when I forgot to hang on to the cliff hanger and fell! What in the world could have happened the week before??