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Serving Angels

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I've never seen him look this way—and I've seen Hutch about as low as a person could be. Remember him puking and screaming and all stink and sweat while Starsky held him through the worst of what Forest did to him.

But this Hutch is different—this Hutch is lost and wandering alone through the wilderness. He's convinced himself Starsky is gonna die and I gotta say after seeing my man surrounded by all them tubes and machines, my gut isn't telling me very nice things.

You gotta keep believin'. I want to tell him that but he's so far gone that no matter what I say, he isn't hearing it. Not that he don't wanna hear it, I think the part of him that needs to hear it isn't gonna let him. Because what if he believes me and then it all goes wrong and Starsky isn't here any more?

Somewhere on that elevator ride to the parking garage, something changes. He's no longer the Hutch I know. He's someone different—his need to right this terrible horrible wrong giving him a purpose no matter if it burns him to a cinder along the way.

He steps out of the elevator and for just a moment there's a light that frames that bright shining blond hair of his and I think he's an angel—an avenging angel.

See, when I was little and my mama would go off to her waitress job and my sisters were off on their dates and with their husbands—me being a surprise baby to my mama not so long after my daddy decided to up and get himself killed overseas—my Mama Juji would take me with her to all those evening church services and all those prayer meetings.

Mama Juji—her real name was Julietta but I never could say that-she was my mama's mama's mama and she had a faith so strong, my mama used to say it could have stopped a bullet in its tracks. Too bad she wasn't around two days ago, huh? Anyways, me and Mama Juji would go to those Wednesday evening services and all the ladies would be waving their fans supplied by the dry cleaners and all the men would be sweating in their suits and me, I'd be half asleep from the heat of all those people and hearing the preacher talk about angels and devils and the power of the Lord coming down and not understanding even half of what he'd say.

Then we'd go home and Mama Juji and me'd share a piece of pie and a bottle of Coke we'd get from the corner store and she'd talk about what the preacher'd said. I understood her.

She talked about those angels—how they'd come down from Heaven and bring news to people telling them they were gonna have babies or that a baby was born. But me, I wanted to hear about the angels who were in the storms, the ones that came out of the whirlwinds and burned like fire.

I didn't want to see one, but there Hutch is in front of me, eyes blue as I've ever seen them, hair glowing with light, and a look on his face that means he's on a mission to bring down all those who dared mess with his man, his partner, his friend. The doors close and I close my eyes, still seeing him there—ready to serve justice on those who deserve to be brought down.

I hit the button to go back upstairs. There is nothing I can do other than stand vigil over the other half of Hutch's soul. I'm not, never have been, and never will be an angel. But I'll watch over the two I know.