Antonio Garcia looked at his cell as it rang. He sighed as he answered, “No honey, we haven’t found them yet.”
“Antonio, it’s almost ten, where could they be?” Sylvia asked, near tears. She hadn’t seen either Carlos or Logan since they’d run out after finishing homework about six. She thought they’d just gone over to Logan’s, but started to worry when Carlos didn’t show up for dinner. She’d called over to the Mitchell’s and Joanna had thought the boys were still at the Garcia’s.
“Did Jo notice anything missing?” Antonio asked.
“No, Logan’s bike is still there, so is his hockey gear. As far as I can tell Carlos didn’t take anything with him either, not even his wallet.”
“Alright, and James and Kendall haven’t heard anything?” Antonio asked. The boys were all going to have a movie and sleepover at the Garcia’s since it was Friday.
“No, Carlos and Logan never said anything to them about going anywhere. They’ve already checked the park and the rink, twice. They wanted to go back out, but I told them ‘no’ because it’s dark. I sent them to Carlos’ room to watch a movie, hoping to keep them distracted,” Sylvia said.
“Upstairs?” Antonio asked.
“Honey, go upstairs and make sure they’re still there,” Antonio said, shaking his head. He knew the boys were worried out of their minds and he knew what HE’D do if he were in their shoes and someone had told him, no.
“They wouldn’t!” Sylvia said as she ran upstairs. She opened Carlos’ bedroom door and found the room empty, with his window wide open.
“They’re gone, aren’t they?” Antonio asked.
“Oh my God…WHY do they do things like this?”
“Because they can,” Antonio chuckled. “Are Jo and Jen still out driving around?”
“Yes, I’ll call and let them know to keep an eye open for the other two. At least we don’t have to worry about Katie,” Sylvia said as she went back downstairs. Katie was spending the night at a friend’s house and unaware that any of her brothers was missing, and the parents thought it was a good idea to keep it that way.
Kendall and James had gone to Carlos’ room as Sylvia asked. After a few minutes James stared pacing back and forth, “This is stupid! We should be out there looking for them too! We know them better than anyone else, we know how they think!”
Kendall was sitting quietly on Carlos’ bed, deep in thought. James continued to pace and fume until Kendall stood up, “Okay, lets go.”
“Where are we going?”
“To find them or course,” Kendall said as he pointed to the window.
James smiled as Kendall opened it and they climbed down the large tree just outside the window.
“Great! Now where are we going?” James asked, knowing that Kendall had a plan.
“They already checked there,” James said as they took off down the street.
“Yes…but like you said, WE know them better than anyone else,” Kendall said as they got to the Mitchell’s. Kendall went through the back gate, James right behind him.
“What are we looking for?” James asked.
“They didn’t just disappear. Logan was helping Carlos with algebra, which means he probably had to bribe him with something. Knowing the two of them, it’s something they wouldn’t normally do,” Kendall explained.
James nodded in agreement. Carlos and Logan had come up with some pretty wild stunts over the years. Not that he minded, usually they were exciting and fun, but this time was different and he was starting to freak out.
They looked around the back yard, grateful for the motion sensor lights so they could see. James touched Kendall’s arm and pointed to the shed, “The door’s not latched.”
They went over and James pulled the string to turn on the overhead light. They looked around and Kendall picked up the tarp and saw the can of WD-40. he looked at James, “They took Wagonny out.”
As they looked at each other they both had the same thought.
‘The hill!” James said.
They took off running for the school, Kendall pulled out his cell phone and dialed Antonio’s number.
“Alright, where are…” Antonio started.
“Papa G, they took Wagonny so we’re heading for the hill,” Kendall rushed out as he and James raced down the street.
“Oh no,” Antonio thought. “I’m on my way, I should be there in five minutes.”
“We’re almost there,” Kendall said.
“Kendall wait!” Antonio said, but the boy had already hung up. Antonio quickly dialed the station and Officer Johnson answered. “Johnson, send emergency vehicles to Fuller Street, just south of the middle school. Tell them to go slowly up the hill.”
“Will do Chief, any idea what we’re looking at?”
“Not exactly, but make sure medics are dispatched and have Bennet meet me there,” Antonio said hanging up.
Kendall and James raced across the school fields and towards the hill, slowing at the bottom, They each took a side of the road and started up.
“LOGAN, CARLOS!” Kendall yelled.
“I can’t see anything out here,” James said. There were no street lights on the hill and the further away they got from the school, the darker it became.
“Phones,” Kendall said, pulling his out. James followed suit and they continued walking slowly up the hill.
“COME ON GUYS, WHERE ARE YOU?” James yelled.
Kendall had stopped walking and was staring off to the side of the road in front of him. “J-James…” Kendall said.
James looked back and shined his phone to where Kendall was, “What’s wrong?”
Kendall didn’t say anything but suddenly took off towards the field to his right, “CARLOS!”
James ran after him, afraid of what he’d see. He was just a few feet away when his feet tangled in something and he fell. He landed on his stomach and pushed himself up, “Ow!” He felt around for his phone as he untangled his feet from the broken pieces of Wagonny.
“JAMES!” Kendall yelled.
James found his phone and scrambled to his feet, carefully making his way over to Kendall. Kendall was kneeling next to Carlos, who was lying on his stomach, right arm stretched out above his head. Kendall had pulled off his sweatshirt and covered his friend, “He’s freezing, look for Logan!”
James nodded and stood up and turned around, holding his phone out in front of him. He thought he saw something and took a few steps in that direction. “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,” he said quietly as he quickly made his way over to Logan.
“Is it him?” Kendall called over.
“Y-Yeah, I think his arm’s broken and there’s a lot of blood,” James said in a shaky voice.
“Cover him with your sweatshirt,” Kendall said. He wanted to ask if their friend was breathing, but was afraid of the answer.
James did as Kendall said and released the breath he’d been holding when Logan moved. “Don’t move buddy, help’s on the way,” James said as he heard sirens getting closer.
“L-Los,” Logan whimpered.
“Kendall’s got him, it’s going to be okay,” James said as he tucked his sweatshirt around his friend.
“It hurts so much!” Logan said as he tried not to cry.
“I know Logie, they’ll be here in just a minute,” James said, trying to comfort his friend.
Logan shifted a little and screamed as a horrific pain shot through his back and shoulder.
“What can I do?” James asked, feeling completely helpless.
“Make it stop!” Logan sobbed.
“I don’t know how,” James said, near tears himself.
“James, what’s wrong with him?” Kendall called over. Logan’s screams were unnerving him and he was at a loss as to what to do. As frightening as Logan’s cries were, Carlos’ silence was even more terrifying, he’d never seen Carlos so still.
“I don’t know! I don’t know how to help him!” James yelled back.
“They’re almost here!” Kendall told him as he watched headlights rounding the curve.
Antonio drove slowly up Fuller Road. He had his highbeams on and looked carefully on both sides of the road as he rounded the curve. His headlights shone in the field where he saw Kendall kneeling next to someone. He pulled off the road and got out. He shined his flashlight toward where he’d seen the boy, “Kendall?”
Kendall looked over and choked back a sob, “PAPI, HURRY!”
Antonio ran for his godson, reaching him a moment later. His heart nearly stopped when he saw his son lying face down in the grass, not moving, “Carlos!” Antonio resisted the temptation to gather his son in his arms as he reached down to feel for a pulse. He said a quiet prayer of thanks when he found a strong one. He squeezed Kendall’s shoulder, “It’s going to be okay, where’s Logan?”
Kendall pointed towards where James was sitting with their other friend. “James said he thinks his arm is broken and there’s a lot of blood.”
Antonio nodded as he looked over to where the emergency vehicles had pulled over next to his car. He shined his flashlight at them, “OVER HERE!”
The medics quickly made their way over and to him and he pointed over towards the other boys. Two medics rushed over to Logan and the next few minutes were a blur to James and Kendall as the medics examined their two friends. Antonio had pulled them to the side so that they were out of the way, but when the medics rolled Logan onto a backboard he screamed and both boys went running. Antonio caught them each by the arm and pulled them back, “They’re hurting him!” James yelled, fighting to get to his friend.
“James, calm down! They have to secure him to the board so there isn’t anymore damage,” Antonio said, trying to hold onto the struggling teen. Logan screamed again and Antonio had to put both arms around James to pull him away.
“Make them stop!” James begged as he fought back tears.
Antonio hugged James to him, “I know it’s hard, but they’ll be able to give him something for the pain as soon as they get him secured.”
James hugged Antonio back, unable to hold back the tears any longer.”D-Don’t let them die,” he sobbed.
“They’re not going to die,” Antonio whispered.
“Garcia?” Bennet called out.
“John, over here!” Antonio said, relieved that his partner was there.
John made his way over to Antonio and James, “What the hell happened?”
“I think the boys were riding the old wagon down the hill and missed the curve,” Antonio told him.
“How are they?” Bennet asked carefully. He could hear Logan crying but didn’t hear a sound from Carlos.
“They’re going to be just fine, isn’t that right Mijo?” Antonio said to James.
James mumbled something unintelligible, not releasing Antonio. Antonio looked over at Carlos who was being secured to a backboard, and then looked from James to Bennet, “John, could you…”
Bennet nodded and gently took James’ arm, “Hey buddy, why don’t we head to the car so we can get to the hospital the same time as the ambulance does?”
“I don’t want to leave them!”
“You’re not leaving them, we’ll be meeting them there,” John said reassuringly.
James looked up at Antonio, “They w-won’t m-make us go home?”
Antonio gave him a small smile, “No Mijo, John’s going to take you and Kendall and meet us there.”
“O-Okay,” James said, allowing Bennet to pull him away from Antonio.
“Where is Kendall?” Antonio asked, realizing he’d lost track of the other boy when James had broken down.
Bennet flashed his light around and saw Kendall sitting by the road, “Over there.” Antonio started to go over to him, but John shook his head. “I’ve got him, go to Carlos. I’ll call the station and have someone pick up Sylvia too.””
Antonio nodded, “Thanks John.”
John patted him on the shoulder and wrapping his arm around James’ shoulders, made his way over to where Kendall was sitting. John squatted down next to him, “Hey kiddo, we’re going to meet the ambulance at the hospital.”
Kendall had gathered all the pieces of Wagonny together and carefully laid them inside the bed of the wagon. Now he was just sitting there, looking at the broken toy, “He won’t wake up.”
“What’s that?” John asked.
“He won’t wake up, he’s so cold and he won’t wake up.”
“He’s going to be okay, we just need to let the medics do their job,” John said, trying to reassure the boy. Kendall visibly flinched when Logan screamed again, and James tightened his hold on John.
“They’re putting the boys in the ambulance now, so why don’t we head for the hospital?” John suggested as he pulled Kendall up.
He put an arm around each boy and started for the car, but Kendall stopped. “We can’t leave Wagonny, Papa M gave him to Logan when he was little. He b-brought him all the w-way from Texas,” Kendall said, his voice starting to break.
John stopped and looked at the two boys, and saw both were on the verge of breaking down again. “Never leave a man behind,” he smiled as he picked up the wagon and carried it to his car. He carefully put the pieces in the trunk and ushered the boys into the back seat.
He got in and grabbed the radio as he started down the road, “Johnson, have a unit pick up the Chief’s wife and take her to the hospital. I’m going to call her and let her know what’s going on and I don’t want her driving.”
“I’ll send Dane right over,” Johnson answered back.
“Thanks, can you connect me to the Chief’s home phone?”
“Connecting now,” Johnson said.
“Hello?” Sylvia answered.
“Hey Sylvia, it’s John. We found the boys and Antonio’s taking them in to get them checked out. I guess they crashed their wagon and it looks like Logan hurt his arm. I have a unit coming to pick you up and we’ll come get Antonio’s car later,” John told her.
“O-Okay, I’ll call Jen and have her and Joanna meet us at the hospital.”
“We’ll see you there,” John said.
“Wait, what about James and Kendall? They sneaked out to go look for the other two,” Sylvia said.
“I have them and we’ll all meet you there,” John told her.
“Thank God, alright thank you John,” Sylvia said.
“Not a problem,” he said as they pulled into the hospital emergency parking lot. He parked and the two boys jumped out and took off for the entrance. He quickly caught up with them and took them each by the arm and they walked in together.