Title: Too Early For This
Disclaimer: I don't own Early Edition, I just want to play with the characters for a bit. I promise to but them back where I found them. Early Edition, its characters and whatever else is owned by Tri-star and CBS. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is, was or ever will be made off of this.
Story takes place in the middle of Season 3.
'It's six-thirty, good morning, Chicago! Break out the umbrellas it's going to...'
"No that can't be right?" Gary groggily mumbled to himself as he reached over and shut off the alarm clock. He slowly opened his eyes, and squinted at the clock's green digital display, hoping it was some sort of mistake.
Gary didn't really care though. He pulled the covers above his head, rolled over and attempted to go back to sleep, hoping that the cat wouldn't come today. After a long night of errands, all he wanted to do was sleep.
"Go away! I just fell asleep," he protested as all hopes for a day off slowly faded.
He pulled a pillow over his head, and attempted to muffle the sound coming from the front door as the cat continued to whine and mew for his attention. With each cry, the cat's cries became louder and louder until Gary just couldn't take it no more.
"Can't you just give me the day off?" He yelled from the bed.
Gary threw the covers across the bed and marched angrily to the door and flung it open. He looked down at the cat, who innocently stared up at him. The cat rubbed up against his bare legs and purred innocently.
He couldn't really be mad at the cat, it was only the messenger. Or at least that's what he thought. Three years of getting the newspaper, he still had no clue where it came from, or even why for that matter, but right now it was too early to think about that.
Gary yawned, bent down and picked up the paper. "Well, aren't you coming in?" Gary asked, motioning towards the door.
The cat looked at him, then at the paper, as if it were trying to tell him something, but it sensed that Gary didn't quite comprehend. He decided to take matters into his own paws. He jumped onto the banister.
"What are you doing?" he crankily inquired, wishing he had a cup of coffee. "I'm not in the mood for games. Stay out here, if you want. I don't care."
The cat leaped towards him and knocked the paper out of his hand.
"What did ya do that for?" Gary reached down and picked up the paper as the cat ran downstairs. "Where are you going...?"
"Meorrww," the cat wailed from the bottom of the stairs, willing Gary to follow.
Gary looked at the disheveled newspaper in his hand, quickly scanning the headlines. Most were articles he couldn't change, like budget cuts and political commentaries, but one caught his eye.
'RUNAWAY MILK TRUCK KILLS 1'
Gary quickly read the article and realized that a milk truck was going to crash across the street from the bar. Reading farther down, he realized it was going to kill Erica. The article said she was going to get struck at 6:40. Looking into the loft, he glanced at the clock. It was now 6:36.
With a sudden burst of adrenaline, Gary quickly stumbled down the stairs. Once through the first office door, he failed to notice the chair that was by the door. He tripped over the chair, fell to the floor and banged his knee. "Damn it," he quickly got up, hobbled through the other office door, and into the bar. Finally making it to the front door, Gary couldn't get the door open.
"Come on!" Gary twisted the lock, but the lock wouldn't turn. "You picked a very bad time to be stuck!" he hollered. The door had been giving everybody trouble for the last couple of days. Marissa asked him a couple of days ago to call someone about it, he agreed to do it, but the paper kept interfering or it just slipped his mind. When he eventually remembered about it, it had always been late at night, and he had been to tired to wait for the 24 hour locksmith. Cursing again, he rattled the door and jiggled the doorknob, but the lock still wouldn't turn.
"I don't have time for this..." Gary kicked the door in frustration. He had been fidgeting with the lock, for what now, seemed like an eternity.
"Meorrww..." The cat appeared by his feet.
"I'm trying!" Gary stopped to yell at the cat. "What do you want me to do, walk through the door?" He reached for the doorknob again and miraculously it opened.
"Meorrrwww..." The cat ran past him and into the street. Gary followed, hoping it wasn't too late.
"Henry, do you have *all* your books this time?" Erica nagged.
"Yes mom..." Henry said as he skipped down the street, not really listening to what his mother was saying to him.
"I don't want to receive any more phone calls from your teacher saying that you left books at..." Erica continued to nag.
Her nose felt itchy and she stopped in the middle of the street to sneeze. She rummaged through her purse to find a tissue, but noticed her son didn't stop to wait for her.
"But mom, the bar's right there..." He pointed half a block down towards the bar. Ignoring his mother, he continued to skip down the street. He spotted Gary on the far end of the block and began to run towards him.
"Where was she?" He didn't see a crashed milk truck, so he figured he wasn't too late. Gary continued to scan the streets for any sign of them. He spotted Henry running towards him, then Erica. She was about half a block behind her son, trying to catch up to him. Gary hastily sprinted towards them.
"Hi, Gary--" Henry said, catching the paper as Gary pushed it into his hands. He looked at the paper and then at the man running barefoot and half naked in the street in the chilly September weather, wondering what was going on.
"ERICA! LOOK OUT!"
Grabbing Erica by the arm, he pulled her out of the way. The truck closely missed them as they both fell to the pavement. It came to a stop when it crashed into a street lamp. The pole fell on top of the truck's trailer causing it to break, spilling it's cargo onto Erica, Gary and the street. Luckily the street lamp didn't have any electricity running through it, or the crash would have been more tragic than spilled milk.
"Gary! Mom!" Henry ran towards them.
"Henry! Stay there!" Erica sputtered as the cold white liquid continued to gush down upon her. The last thing she needed was for her son to fall into the milk and get all wet right before school.
"Just wait there!" Gary added.
Henry climbed onto a parked car and stood on the hood to get a better look at the scene. There was milk everywhere. He glanced down at the paper and read the article to himself.
'MILK TRUCK CRASH'-- A runaway milk truck crashed early yesterday morning near the corner of West Franklin Street and Illinois Avenue. The truck narrowly missed two unidentified pedestrians before coming to a stop when it crashed into a lamp post. It spilled its cargo of 1000 gallons of milk onto the street cause massive traffic delays as crews tried to clean up the mess. The truck driver, Barley Aja, was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor scrapes and bruises then released. No other injuries were reported.
"Wow, a thousand gallons? Gary look! That's a thousand gallons!" Henry looked up towards the truck which continued to spill milk onto the street. Wanting a closer look, he jumped onto another car and another, until he was a close a he could possible be without getting wet.
"Uhhhhhh...." The truck driver stumbled out of the cab, dazed, but unharmed. He looked at his truck and then his cargo, which flowed down the street.
"Hey, you okay?" Gary asked the truck driver. He put his hands over his head in an attempt to block the milk's flow as it fell upon of him.
The truck driver just nodded and continued to stare at the milk as it flowed down the street like a peaceful white stream.
"How about you?" Gary asked Erica.
"Yeah, I think so," Erica said as she shifted away from the waterfall of milk that fell upon her head. Looking at Gary, she began to laugh hysterically.
"What's so funny?"
"You're completely soaked." Erica waved her hand up and down at him and continued to laugh. "And you're sitting in a giant puddle of milk in your boxers..."
Looking down at himself, Gary realized she was right. He was completely soaked, sitting in a giant puddle of milk in a pair of blue and white boxers. He couldn't help but laugh.
"Thanks for saving me."
Gary stood up and tried to shake most of the milk off himself. Grabbing the front corner of his shirt, he tried to wring some milk off it, but after giving it a few more twists he realized it was useless.
Gary shivered slightly as the wind blew. He took her hand and walked towards the curb. "Come on let's go inside before we get all pruney. Come on, Henry." He picked up the boy who still stood on a parked car and placed him down on the sidewalk.
"That was cool..." Henry said still holding the paper. He handed it back to Gary and smiled. Grabbing Gary's hand the trio walked to the bar, stopping only for a moment to pick up the cat who was lapping up milk.
It was the start of just another typical day.