Author: Starsky's Strut PM
Starsky sits under a tree and fondly remembers a friend.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Tragedy - Words: 1,449 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 6 - Published: 08-28-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2556577
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
All usual disclaimers apply, I don't own the rights, I don't get money and this is for entertainment only. Please excuse any errors; they are entirely mine.
I wanted to work on chapter 16 of "Firestorm" but my muse wanted to work on this instead.
Kreek, here is that death story you wanted. Better late then never. (G)
WARNING! This is a death story; it contains the death of a major character!
By Starsky's Strut
I find myself once more heading for the tree. I like to go there often, several times a week, weather permitting. As always, I stop and look at the tree for a while before approaching it. My, it sure has grown. The years fall away and I remember when it was just a sapling… I shake my head and see the tree as it is now. It must be nearly fifty feet tall now.
Fifty feet… how many meters would that be, I wonder? I give up, I never could figure out the metric system… "It's easy Starsk, it's all tens…" I hear your voice and I smile at the memory of you tryin' ta teach me that stupid system. My brain never could wrap its self around that metric stuff.
I limp over to the tree, it takes me longer then it used to, the pain from old wounds and arthritis has really slowed me down over the years. I feel older every day now. I put my hand on the tree and ease to the ground. I have to move slowly, I don' wanna break my hip. I lean back against the trunk and I put my cane next to me an' sigh. How did I ever live to be so old? I shake my head… I wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for you, Hutch…God, I miss you.
A sappy old song plays in my head, Bobby somebody sang it, a few disjointed verses trickle through my brain.
"See the tree, how big it's grown, but friend it hasn't been too long, it wasn't big…"
I can't remember the next verse or so, but yet another line from that song springs into my mind.
"…but I miss you and I'm bein' good, I'd love to be with you, if only I could…"
That song is total soap, so I wipe a tear away and look up into the needle-laden branches above me. I feel closer to you here then I do at your gravesite, Nature Boy… I remember when you bought me this tree for Christmas, we were at Kiko's house… you were sittin' next ta me and Kiko had just handed me your gift. I close my eyes, an' I'm there…
I opened the box and removed some tissues; buried under the tissue I found an envelope and I got very excited "You know what this is? This happens to be a clue… it's gonna tell me where my new caboose to my train set is…""Starsk, before you open it-" There was humor in your voice.
"Hmm?" I grunted, still busy with opening the envelope.
"Merry Christmas, pal" You put your arm around my back, put your hand on my left shoulder and patted it
"Merry Christmas" I said as I gave ya a smile, I remember thinking, 'Hutch you ol' softy.'
"Yeah" You picked up your ant farm an' looked at it.
I began to read "A tree has been planted in your name in Westside Park…" I stopped reading, too stunned for further words.
You looked at me and said "Uh-huh, they say it's only about fifty yards from the horseshoe pitch" Everyone laughed, except me.
I was disappointed, so very disappointed when I found out your gift was this tree… but ya know somethin' Hutch? It's now my favorite Christmas gift…This tree… this evergreen tree, was really a great choice… it's always green, always growin'… like our friendship and kinda like Christmas itself, it just keeps on givin' it gives shade, gives birds a place to perch, to rest, to build homes in, to make a life in.
It's also kinda like you are… ya keep givin' like you're still givin' even though your gone. The tree is still here, fifty yards from where the horseshoe pitch used to be. Kids ta day have no idea what a horseshoe is, let alone what a horseshoe pitch is… I lean against this tree an' I can feel you holdin' me up, givin' me support, just like ya always did, just like ya are now.
That sweater I wanted? It would have worn out, gone out of style and turned to rags, it would have been thrown away years ago. But not this tree, nope, it's still here.
I'm so glad ya got me this tree… I can feel you here. I can't feel you at your grave. The headstone is just a stone, cold and lifeless. But I can feel ya here, just like you are standin' next to me, out of sight, but close. I get that feelin' every time I come here; guess that's why I come… to feel your presence again.
You died in your sleep, aneurysm, the coroner said. We were suppose ta have breakfast together that mornin'. I arrived at the little diner and waited for you to show. I had woken up that mornin' with a strange feelin', but I dismissed it. I shoulda listened to it, but it's gettin' harder to tell when I'm just feelin' old, or if there's a problem, so I just dismissed it. I guess I didn't wanna face the truth. After an hour, I went to your apartment.
I found ya there, in your bed, it looked just like you was asleep, or somethin' but you weren't. Ya left me, but you also left me this tree. It can't take your place, nothin' and nobody will ever do that, but this tree helps. It makes the pain bearable.
I lean back a little more and smell the fresh pine scent… reminds me of Pine Lake an' all them damn campin' trips ya drug me on. I close my eyes and I can almost see ya…
I reopen my eyes and to my surprise, I can see ya, walkin' pass the place where the pitch used to be. But you don't look like did just before ya died… you look young again, your hair is blond again, and I have to smile, ya have a full head of hair, it's not in 'full retreat' any more. I wish it really were you, Hutch, I think as I close my eyes. But I know deep down that you're not really there, even though it feels like you are.
"C'mon Starsk, it's time to go"
So strange, I can hear your voice.
"Open your eyes"
I open them and look up. You're still there. "Hutch?"
"Yeah, it's me… time to go partner"
I can feel your hand take mine and pull me to my feet. There is no pain as I rise… there has always been pain, ever since Gunther's attempt on my life. But there is no pain now, though. Very strange, I must be goin' senile or somethin'… I close my eyes once more.
I open my eyes and you're still there.
"Course I'm still here, I told you it was time. Look behind you"
I do as you ask an' see myself still sittin' under the tree. "Hutch… what's goin' on?" I turn to you, my face full of questions.
You smile at me "I told ya, it's time buddy. I've come to get you"
"But what about-?" I gesture at my lifeless body, held up by the tree.
"That's a shell Starsk… an empty husk. You don't need it any more"
You put your arm around my shoulders "They're all waitin' for ya Starsk"
I'm a little confused, bein' dead is new ta me. Well, not real new, I've been there before, but just not this long. "Keep who waitin'?"
You give me that warm laugh of yours "Terry, your folks, Dobey… let's not keep them waitin'"
"Let's not, it's been too long already" I smile at you and you smile back.
But before I go, I take one last look at the tree, just fifty yards from the horseshoe pitch.The End