GUTTERS AND ALLEYS

CHAPTER TEN

10-4 O.K.

TAG

The next thing I knew someone was telling me I had to wake up, the voice was unfamiliar and sounded like it echoed through a canyon.

"His heart rate is up and he's feverish from that flu bug he'd been carrying around, but don't worry, he's doing great."

"Unghhh?"

Who was with me? And where was I?

I slowly worked my head from side to side trying to track the voice, but I'd be damned if I could shake the heavy feeling I was experiencing.

"Open your eyes!" The voice was louder this time.

I moved my eyes but nothing happened. No light only dark.

"Try again."

I did.

"You got it."

What? What had I gotten? I tired to ask but my lips wouldn't part, and it was dark again. Who's the joker with the Krazy Glue?

"David."

I frantically blinked my eyes until light flooded in. Everything was real bright and I felt like I was looking in a mirror under water as things were wavering. It all seemed so backwards or was it upside down? I didn't know where I was and that scared me.

"Hu --" I swallowed, my throat was so dry, and scratchy, and I started to panic.

"It's about time," a woman softly laughed.

This wasn't funny! I was in a lot of pain.

"You're just waking up from the anesthesia," she informed.

I watched a lady in white move into my field of vision and I followed her with my eyes only.

"How are you feeling?" She asked.

"I hurt."

Being snapped back into reality was no fun.

"Where?"

"All over."

"Good."

"G-good?"

"Means you still have blood in your veins."

"Huh?"

"You're alive."

"Ter…rific."

I felt heavy, felt sick, and my arm burned like it was on fire. I tried to tell her, but still couldn't get past the sandpaper in my throat. I glanced down at my arm; it was propped upon a plump pillow and was heavily bandaged from my elbow down to my wrist. My hand looked swollen, fingers discolored, and bruised. I tried to wiggle them; it was hard and hurt a lot.

"Rrrrrr," I groaned, as the movement sent an electric shockwave up my arm. That really worried me and I looked to the lady in white for answers.

"Don't panic, Sweetie. You have some nerve damage from that nasty gash in your arm, lost a lot of blood because you sliced into an artery. Twenty-one stitches, but you're going to be okay now. The doctors fixed the trouble and with some therapy you'll be back to work in no time." She stopped her fussing about to swipe a runaway curl out of my eye. "Do you need anything?"

"Hu --" I frowned, my brain had frozen into a giant ice cube, my nose was stuffed, and my stomach was knotted. I needed something but what did I need? I couldn't remember.

My arm suddenly began to involuntarily spasm.

"You're okay. The antistatic is wearing off, doll," she reminded again. "Just lie still and rest."

The lady in white looked like an angle, and for a moment I thought I was dead.

"Hutch!" The word finally spilled loudly out of my mouth, causing the woman to cringe.

"Mmmm," I groaned as I struggled to push myself up.

"David, calm down he's right here," she said, easily pushing me back against something soft

"I'm sorry," I heard a familiar voice say.

"Hush," I breathed out a sigh. I knew that voice and the sound settled my stomach like no antacid could.

"It happens to me all the time. It's okay," the lady in white offered, then disappeared like magic.

My eyes searched the room, mentally trying to center all my attention on finding the face that matched the voice. The next thing I saw was golden hair, bright summer blue eyes, and a mouth smiling ear to ear. I took that as a good sign, as my brain began to thaw and the pieces of my memory came back.

"Hutch?"

"Right here, buddy." Hutch clasped my good hand, for proof.

"Beautiful." I smiled, as my eyes fell shut.

"Hey, buddy."

"Huh?" My eyes drifted open, and peered into summer blue surrounded by streaks of bloodshot red. "Look aw-awful, Blondie."

"What happened to me being beautiful?" Hutch chuckled.

"Drugs are wearing off," I murmured as my arm twitched again and I winced from the pain. "Mmmmmmmm."

"How you feel?" Hutch asked.

"Feel like...like I want to...want to... go back to sleep," I mumbled around my thick tongue.

"Yeah, you've had a rough night, Starsk."

"Rough?" I frowned fighting to keep my eyes open.

"Bad day in the gutters and alleys," Hutch replied sadly.

What was Hutch talking about? He's the one always throwing gutter balls down the alley lanes.

"Hey." I took a deep breath. "I... bowl... terrific."

"Starsky," Hutch laughed.

"Wha'?" I asked dumbfounded.

"Go back too sleep, pal."

"Hushh," I breathed out as I fought to keep my eyes open.

"What is it, Starsk?" Hutch leaned in closer.

"I gotta go--gotta go--gotta go back to--back to sleep," I garbled

"That's a good idea, buddy. I'll be right here for you." I heard Hutch say, falling asleep beneath his protective stare.

The End

Thank you for reading along! You've been so kind to do so! Sunshine and happiness to you always, Karen.