June 4th- Red Letters by Bay City Girl

A Missing Scene from The Plague

I’ve been on the cleaning crew in this hospital for years. This job is my family. I’ve met some nice people and heard some sad stories. But it’s all part of life.

I do my job and try to stay in the background. But I see all kinds of things.

It was all over the hospital about the section given over to the people who had the plague.

Lots of sick people getting sicker.

In order to control who comes on the ward, I’m the only cleaning person assigned. I try not to listen but the lady doctor doesn’t sound too sure they’ll find a cure in time.

Anyway, I’m not allowed in the rooms of course, so there isn’t much for me to do. I sweep the hallways and empty the trash. I try to keep the visitor lounge stocked with coffee and magazines.

One day as I move along with my chores I come to Mr. Hutchinson’s room. He’s pretty bad off, coughing and shaking. But what gets me is Mr. Starsky wrote on the window; in red lipstick of all things:

STARSK

As sick as he was, Hutch watched those letters intently. Even when he coughed, he refused to take his eyes off that name.

Mr. Starsky was in the lounge the next day as I was cleaning out the ashtrays.

“Excuse me sir, anything I can get you?”

His head was in his hands but looked up as he rubbed his face and blinked. He looked scared and angry.

“Call me Starsky.” He got up slowly from his chair and stepped toward me.

“I’m Jack.” I shook his hand and again asked if I could get him anything.

“No thanks, Jack. Sorry, I gotta check on Hutch.”

I musta looked confused cause he replied, “That’s what I call my friend.” He half smiled and moved past me.

“Starsky, I wanted you to know I have to clean the window of your friend’s room. I’ve done my best to leave the name there as long as possible. But my boss says it has to go today.”

I looked down at my feet. I hated telling him.

“Shit.” Starsky ran his hand through his hair. “You got a job to do. My job is to get back out there looking for some answers.”

‘He knows you’re trying to help him. I know you’ll find something to get rid of that nasty bug.”

Starsky looked at me. I never saw such determination before.

He quickly walked out of the room like he suddenly had a purpose. This guy is amazing. I saw him go into Hutch’s room with a gown and mask on. He must really care about the blond to go in knowing there isn’t no cure.

I grabbed my rags and bucket to clean the window.

Hutch stared at the name and it seemed like it calmed him. He wasn’t coughing or restless.

I picked up my rag and started scrubbing the stuff off.

Once the first two letters were gone, the blond shut his eyes. I tried not to stare but I felt so sorry for him.

Taking my time, I change rags needlessly. But I reach the last letter. Makes me kinda sad.

“Sorry,” I mumble, as the last letter disappears.

He turned away from the window. His shoulders shook. I kinda wondered if he was crying.

“You hang in there, Mister. You’re lucky to have a friend like Starsky. I know it’ll all work out.”

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23 Responses to June 4th- Red Letters by Bay City Girl

  1. Annie Booker says:

    Oh how sad but lovely too.

  2. Jenny Conti says:

    Very sweet. Thanks! It’s funny: I had wondered how annoyed the staff must have been by Havlicek BC to clean that!

  3. pat says:

    Very lovely alternative POV, nicely described. Thanks, BCG!

  4. ksstarfire says:

    Loved the POV. And that Hutch kept staring at the name! Very nice. Thank you so much!

  5. marianrose says:

    Thank you for the lovely story. I enjoyed this take on “Jack” who is very kind and observant. He got Starsky’s intensity exactly right.

  6. Spencer says:

    Love this! How often have we thought of the person who had to clean that window.

  7. Kat says:

    Oh, clever idea, with your POV from the cleaner. I like his interaction with Starsky. Thanks!

  8. Dawn Rice says:

    Sweet and sad–yes, eventually, that window would have been cleaned, no matter what S&H, or the fans, want.

  9. Jennifer C says:

    So sweet! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Terri says:

    I wish I had written that. Oh my gosh, that is truly one of the most perfect stories I’ve ever read.

  11. Wightfaerie says:

    Sad, but sweet as well. Love the POV. Bless, Jack. Very nice. Thank you.

  12. Rusty Snyder says:

    This was so wonderful. Thank you. I just found the calendar today cuz I have been working. I love it.

  13. TSilvy says:

    Aw, this broke my heart. I loved Jack, and the fact that he took his time to give Hutch some more instants of staring at the window. Beautifully written and very powerful, thanks for sharing!

  14. mvernet says:

    I always thought it was so sad that someone cleaned the window, but of course they would, it’s a hospital. I love this unique POV and bittersweet story. Great job!

  15. Pat Massie says:

    Original and poignant. Thanks.

  16. Ursula Angstrom says:

    Wow, Bay City Girl. What a unique perspective from which to write the events of The Plague. The ending broke my heart. Loved the way you described Starsky’s determination. How you described Hutch staring at the letters was much better than how Hutch actually reacted in the ep. I prefer your version. Paul and David’s performances in that ep are incredible. You really made me see Jack as a real person in this story. I am going to look for more of your stories online. I became an instant fan of yours when I read Red Letters.

  17. Mortmere says:

    What a wonderful point of view – and how heartbreaking to have Hutch watch the letters disappear one by one. Thank you for this story, I’ll remember it every time I watch the episode now.

  18. ly888ly888 says:

    Really lovely, BCG. Great idea for a unique POV and executed wonderfully. This fits in perfectly with the ep, adds even more depth to the story and is quite moving.

  19. MaryEllen Long says:

    Simply beautiful. Thank you.

  20. MaryEllen Long says:

    Love how Hutch’s looking at the name helped him to stay connected to Starsky and hope.

  21. Anachron says:

    That was very touching and lovely. Jack was a very original and nice choice of character to fill in the gaps in “The Plague” — he really was positioned to have a perspective on both of the guys.

  22. Hutcherie says:

    Sad and sweet at the same time. Very well done! ?

  23. Keri says:

    Very interesting POV, having a kind stranger witness so much pain. Nice job!

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