Shadows in the Mirror

A Halloween Tale . . .

“Hutch? Hey, you with me? You okay, buddy? Wake up, Hutch.”

The gentle shaking and worried tone broke through the encompassing arms of sleep and the tired blond wearily raised pale lashes to focus on the face of his grinning partner. The familiar sapphire colored eyes of Starsky twinkled with barely contained excitement once he realized his blond counterpart was all right.

“C’mon, wake up sleepin’ beauty,” Starsky smirked, holding up the house key Hutch usually left on the lintel over his doorway. “I knocked, waited, and then broke in. Almost panicked there for a minute when you didn’t answer. You’re usually the one on time and all, Blondie.”

Hutch snorted then yawned, shifting his eyes over to the digital clock standing on the nightstand. The sleepy detective’s light blue eyes widened in surprise as he turned to stare groggily back at his bemused partner.

Starsky chuckled, his eyes shining with fondness and mirth for the bleary-eyed blond. “It’s no wonder you didn’t hear my knocking with the alarm blasting in your ear, pal. I just turned the damn thing off and woke you up myself.”

“What the hell?” Hutch rasped.

Starsky held his breath and turned his head. “Geez Blintz, go brush your teeth and take a shower . . . in that order.” The brunet laughed cheerfully when Hutch flipped him the bird and then grunted as he pulled his blond counterpart out of the warm sanctuary of his bed. “We got less than twenty minutes to get our butts into work before we’re late and Dobey blows a gasket.”

“Aren’t you the chipper one this morning?” Hutch grumbled sarcastically as Starsky shuffled him into the bathroom and then leaned over and turned on the shower for his partner. The pleasant warmth of steam filled the small room

Starsky turned and grinned at his grumpy friend, “Hey, today is Halloween ‘member? You should be chipper too. Huggy’s party is tonight!”

The exhausted blond glared at himself in the mirror over the sink, noting the bloodshot eyes and the tousled golden locks of his hair. Hutch rubbed his palm over the shadowed rough growth of stubble on his chin and then frowned as he watched Starsky happily lining his toothbrush with the sparkling blue gel of minty toothpaste.

“Gimme that!” Hutch said, snatching the toothbrush from Starsky’s hands. “I can do it. I’m not an invalid you know!”

The brunet snorted good-naturedly, raising his hands up in mock surrender. “Okay grumpy, just hurry it up will ya? Don’t want nuthin’ spoilin’ this day and Dobey yellin’ at us first thing in the mornin’ can come pretty close.

“Yeah, yeah,” the frazzled blond snapped “Just give me a minute, would you?”


The tall, fair-haired detective and the rambunctious brunet made their way down the steps that led to the station house and over to the bright red car that sparkled in the late afternoon sunlight. It had been a long grueling day for Hutch who just wanted to relax at home with a beer and his guitar. The exhausted blond sighed wearily as he eyed the bouncy curly haired man at his side.

“Aw . . . c’mon Hutch, it’ll be fun!” Starsky whined as he kept up with the long strides of his moody partner, “I mean, when was the last time you dressed up as someone different huh?”

“On our last undercover assignment . . . remember, dummy?” Hutch grouched, as he opened the passenger door of the Torino. This would have been the first night in a long time that he would have had an evening to himself. They had finally wrapped up the drug bust that took place at the abandoned warehouse district, and after two grueling weeks of stakeouts and uncomfortable evenings spent in his cramped LTD, Hutch was looking forward to a nice, quiet evening at home.

The tall blond eyed his disappointed partner from across the roof of the car, watching the smile slowly disappear from his friend’s face. Hutch let out a sigh, feeling slightly guilty for bursting the brunet’s bubble. “Look Starsky, Halloween and dress-up are for kids. I’m just not somebody who celebrates those kinds of things and I’m definitely not attending any masquerade party tonight,” Hutch explained.

“Aw c’mon Hutch, Huggy’s dependin’ on us showin’ up. This’ll be the first Halloween masquerade party that he’ll be throwin’ at ‘The Pits,” and I know he was countin’ on us being there tonight. I found the perfect place to rent costumes. You and I could go as warlocks. This place got the black capes and everything!” the brunet quickly explained, beginning to feel his spirits rise once more, barely able to contain the excitement that sparkled in his bright, blue eyes at the thought of wearing those floor-length black sateen cloaks.

Hutch stared at his rambunctious partner over the shiny, red roof of the Torino, watching the enthusiastic, happy glow that surrounded his bouncing friend as he animatedly described the wardrobe that he intended the both of them to wear for the evening’s festivities. The tall blond shook his head, unable to keep himself from grinning at his friend. Sometimes Starsky could be such a kid! Hutch sighed as he got into the car, determined to stand his ground this time. This was where he drew the line. Listening to his partner rant and rave about all Hallow’s Eve for the last month was one thing, but dressing up for Halloween was something he would not do.

“ . . . and it’s at this store called the ‘Prosperity Corner’,” Starsky continued to ramble, as he got into the car and started the engine, not at all disturbed when Hutch tuned him out by turning up the radio, continuing his non-stop flow of words, as the blond stared morosely out of his side window. “I saw the big sign hanging from their window, advertising Halloween costumes for sale,” the dark haired detective happily continued.

Hutch turned and lifted a skeptical brow at that. “For sale? I thought you said this place rented costumes?”

“For sale . . . for rent . . . whatever,” Starsky said happily, dismissing the little oversight as a discrepancy in semantics. “You’re gonna love it, Hutch!” the brunet continued as he drove them to an obscure part of town. “It’s right over there on the corner.” Starsky pointed, as he parallel parked the car along the curb of the street.

Hutch eyed the brick building. A large sign with a painted dragon in one corner hung on the inside of the store’s picture window, advertising the sale of Halloween costumes.

“See? Whatta I tell ya?” Starsky said, a huge lopsided grin plastered all over his face as he bounced around the trunk of the car and stepped onto the sidewalk beside his partner who eyed the store with disdain. “C’mon Hutch, let’s go in, huh?”

The tall blond reluctantly followed his exuberantly strutting partner into the store. A little copper bell tied to the handle of the door jangled to announce their arrival, the smell of sweet, aromatic incense wafted throughout the dark interior of the small shop.

Hutch looked around as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. To one side of the room was a shelf filled with small bottles, to the other side of the room were display counters filled with assorted pagan type jewelry and another shelf was lined with books. Hutch watched as his partner made his way over to the counter, then turned to peruse the bottles on the shelves.

“May I be of service to you?” a gray haired man said in a deep baritone voice as he came out from behind a curtain that partitioned off the back room of the store. He wore a long, red robe with a strange symbol embroidered across the front of it.

“Yeah,” Starsky said, unable to stop from grinning excitedly as he saw the long robe the man was wearing. “We saw your sign in the window and we wanted to see your Halloween costumes. It looks like you’re already in the spirit and dressed for the occasion,” the brunet said with a smile, his eyes twinkling with excitement.

“I see . . .” the shopkeeper said solemnly, ignoring the brunet’s earlier comment, never batting an eye as he stared at the curly haired man from across the glass countertop. “And what kind of . . .accessories . . . are you looking for?”

“Huh?” Starsky said. “Oh . . . well, we wanted them long, black capes . . . the kind warlocks use.”

“I see,” the shopkeeper said again, smiling this time. “Are you and your friend warlocks by any chance?”

“Yeah,” Starsky replied excitedly. “That’s what we are. You got any of those capes?”

“Yes we do,” the dark haired man said cordially, giving the brunet the once over. “It’s in the back, let me get them for you.” The shopkeeper stiffly turned and walked behind the black curtain into the back room.

Starsky turned around grinning, leaning his back and elbows against the glass display case, drinking in the ambiance of the place. He watched as his partner lifted a small bottle, read its label, and returned it back to its place on the wooden shelf.

Starsky smiled and turned around to look into the display case he was leaning upon. A small silver mirror lying against a black velvet swatch drew his attention. The mirror’s silver handle was intricately and artistically carved depicting thorny stems that intertwined with one another as it supported a beautifully etched rose that was inlaid with small faux rubies in the center of each petal.

The shopkeeper returned with two floor length capes, which he laid over the display case. “I hope these are what you are looking for?” he said in a low voice, eyeing the blond as he made his way quietly over to the bookshelf.

Starsky took one of the capes and threw it over his shoulders, securing the latch at his throat. “Hey . . .” he grinned. The curly haired detective turned towards his counterpart. “Hey Hutch . . . whatta ya think huh?”

Hutch turned to look at his partner who had a stupid grin on his face. The blond shrugged and returned his gaze to the shelf, running his finger along the spine of the books, reading each title that was housed there.

Starsky frowned at the lack of a response from his distracted partner then turned to look at the shopkeeper. “You got a mirror?” the brunet asked, frowning even more as the clerk shook his head slowly.

“I’m sorry. We don’t have the full length ones here. Some patrons of mine are repulsed by mirrors you see,” the shopkeeper explained softly, his eyes glimmering strangely in the dark gloom of the store.

“That’s okay,” Starsky said good-naturedly. “Hey, lemme see that little silver one in the display case over here,” the curly haired detective said, pushing the remaining garment aside to show the shopkeeper what he wanted. Pointing to the silver rose etched mirror, the brunet said, “This one over here.”

The shopkeeper eyed the brunet before slowly turning the key to open the back of the display case. “You do know how to use this right? I mean . . . you are with a coven?”

“Huh?” Starsky murmured, as the shopkeeper carefully lifted the silver mirror from its velvet bed. “Of course I know how to use the mirror,” the detective chuckled, thinking the owner of the store was a bit of a nutcase. “Just give it to me.”

The curly haired detective looked at himself through the polished glass, lifting the mirror high to get a better view of how the cloak fit. The handle of the mirror warmed in his palm and Starsky lowered the silver cheval glass to get a better look at it. There was something about this mirror that made the brunet covet it. “How much for the mirror?” Starsky inquired.

“The silver mirror is sixty-six dollars,” the shopkeeper said, eyeing the cloaked brunet who stood before him.

“What? Sixty-six bucks? For this piece of glass?” Starsky said, sputtering in disbelief.

The owner of the store leaned over the gleaming countertop and lowered his voice, “It’s made by quality “craftsmen” and it is guaranteed to work. I can assure you that.”

“I can see that it works,” Starsky said, turning the small mirror until he could see Hutch reflected behind him, still looking over the titles of the books that lined the shelves. “Okay,” the brunet said finally, “I’ll take both of the capes and this mirror too.”

“The mirror too?” the shopkeeper repeated. Seeing the brunet nod impatiently, the gray haired man said, “That will be fine then,” and he carefully placed the mirror in an elongated box.

Once the sale was made, Starsky walked out of the store satisfied with his purchases and feeling gleefully happy. He was followed closely behind by the silent blond. Both detectives did not see the shopkeeper watching them discreetly from a side window as they got into the Torino and sped away.


Starsky stood in front of the bathroom mirror and ran a brush through his curls. He gave himself the once over, admiring himself in his black outfit and cape. The dark hues he wore, made the blues of his eyes grow deeper in color. The brunet turned his back to the larger bathroom mirror, holding up the little silver etched one so that he could see the back of his head. He brushed his curls one last time, admiring his get-up. He was so excited about the upcoming party that he could barely contain it.

Starsky thought back to his brooding partner and he could feel his exuberance begin to dwindle. Sometimes he just couldn’t understand his best friend, Hutch. The dark haired detective turned around to look at himself once more in the bathroom mirror, his reflection revealed a frown that marred his features as he thought back to what his partner had said before he was dropped off . . .

For the most part, the blond had remained silent all the way home to Venice Place after they picked up the capes, refusing to engage in any conversation, remaining quiet until the brunet eventually gave up trying to get his partner to talk and chose instead to whistle along with the songs playing on the radio. Upon stopping in front of his apartment however, Hutch had finally turned to look at his dark haired partner with a perturbed look on his face.

“You do know you were shopping at a store that probably catered to the Wiccan.” Hutch said, one brow raised slightly as he questioned his friend.

Huh?” Starsky said, “What’s that?”

The Wiccan are practitioners of Wicca.” Hutch said. At his partner’s confused look, Hutch grinned and said, ‘Witches buddy . . . . they’re witches.”

Witches?” Starsky chuckled excitedly, eagerly rubbing his hands together. “Okay Blondie, I can see you’re getting into the right mood for Huggy’s masquerade tonight. It’s a good thing too, because for a while I thought you were talkin’ about furniture.”

The tall blond detective rolled his eyes then said irritably, “I said Wicca, not wicker! I’m serious, Starsk. That store had all kinds of things for casting spells. There were assorted crystals and semi-precious stones, bottles of ingredients used for potions, books on witchcraft, amulets and hex bags and the like. One of the bottles I read had something that looked like soil in it, and the label said, ‘Graveyard Dirt’.”

I thought you don’t believe in things like witches or vampires or voodoo mumbo jumbo,” Starsky laughed, his eyes gleaming with mirth.

Hutch looked stoically at his partner, his pale blue eyes locked onto Starsky’s darker blue orbs. “I think the shopkeeper must have been wondering what we were doing in his store. It was obvious that he didn’t believe that we were warlocks.”

Starsky snickered, amused by the whole the thing, “Yeah? Well, who says only witches can be his customers. I bought something other than the costumes from him. I ‘spect he’s pretty happy about that.”

“Let me see the mirror, Starsk,” Hutch asked, holding out his hand while Starsky dug into the bag. The dark haired detective opened the elongated box the shopkeeper had placed the mirror in and slowly took it out from the tissue paper wrapped around it.

“Be careful with it, Blondie,” the brunet cautioned, surprised at himself for feeling so possessive about an inanimate object like a mirror for Christ sakes. Yet, the sparkling rubies seemed to mesmerize the dark haired detective and he was almost reluctant to hand it over.

Hutch frowned at his partner, but refrained from saying anything, feeling the hefty weight of the silver in his hand as he took it from the curly haired brunet. The tall blond turned the piece over, noting the intricate carving and etchings along the handle and the back of the glass. “Okay, I don’t get it. Why did you buy this?”

“Dunno. Liked it, I guess. It was shiny!” Starsky grinned, his eyes gleaming with pride as he looked at his new possession.

“I wonder what it’s used for . . .” Hutch said slowly, pondering over that question as he turned the mirror in his hands, looking at it from different angles.

“Hutch. It’s a mirror. I use it to stare at myself and every time I do, I realize time and time again what a handsome guy I am. You on the other hand, turn it every which way and wonder what to do with it. Didn’t you have mirrors in Minnesota, Blintz?” Starsky snickered when the blond looked at him and rolled his eyes yet again.

“Gimme that . . .” the brunet said as he reached over to take the silver looking glass from his partner’s hands, to replace it with one of the black cloaks. “Here’s your cape, now hurry up, take a shower and get ready; I’ll pick you up at about six this evening. That gives you . . .”

“Yeah, yeah. It gives me a few hours to unwind. I don’t know why I let you talk me into these things buddy.” Hutch grumbled, as he opened the door to step out from the car; slamming it shut, the tall blond leaned over to look at his bright-eyed partner, “I mean, warlocks? Couldn’t you think of something more . . . more . . .”

“Well, at first I thought maybe you could be Prince Charming, with your golden good looks and all, but recently your disposition has been anything but charming. In fact, pal, the way you been goin’ lately, you kinda remind me more of a toad than a prince!” Starsky’s soft snort grew into loud laughter at the incredulous look on his partner’s face and Hutch eventually joined in, knowing there was some truth to his partner’s words as he fondly reached over to touch the brunet’s shoulder. Starsky smiled as the warmth of his partner’s hand radiated into his skin and winked at Hutch when the blond gave his shoulder a slight squeeze before he left the car.

The brunet had just thrown his car into gear when the blond suddenly ducked his head back into the window, a grin on his face, his sky blue eyes softening with affection, “See you at six, Cinderella . . . and don’t be late. I know how long it takes you to get those unruly curls of yours set and ready to go, princess.” The brunet grinned, sticking his middle finger up in the air as a parting gesture to his partner, and then sat and watched the tall, chuckling blond make his way up the stairs to his apartment above. Starsky shook his head in wonder. ‘The Blintz could just amaze him sometimes!’

“Well it’s almost six, beautiful,” Starsky said to himself in the mirror, his thoughts returning to the present. The curly haired detective gave his handsome reflection a wink and saw the huge lopsided grin that immediately followed. “I hope our Prince Charming is ready ‘cause we don’t wanna be late.”

Starsky glanced down at small mirror he still held, feeling the silver handle warming in his hand. He blinked his eyes, thinking at first that he was imagining things. The brunet quickly rubbed the mirror against the soft velvet lining of his black cape, hoping it would take away the haziness that formed on the surface of the glass.

As the detective stared at his blurry reflection, smoky swirls began to gather in the glass until an image took shape . . . an image of Hutch, smiling, all dressed in black, walking towards him and then suddenly falling . . .

Starsky gasped then blinked his eyes, astonished to see that the mirror was once again, just a mirror. The shiny glass just reflected his dark blue eyes that were now wide with puzzlement. ‘What the hell just happened?’

Starsky pinched the inner corners of his eyes and shook his head. Maybe he was feeling tired from all of those boring stakeouts he and Hutch had been on. Maybe Hutch was right . . . maybe they both needed a day off.


Starsky glanced at the watch strapped to his wrist. “Damn. If I don’t get outta here soon, my Torino’s gonna turn from a striped tomato into an orange pumpkin, and I’ll never hear the end of it from Toad boy!” Starsky grumbled under his breath.

The brunet looked at the mirror he still held and shrugged, dismissing that strange incident to stakeout fatigue. He was about to put the silver looking glass down when he impulsively changed his mind and took it with him, whistling as he went out the door.


Hutch stood just outside of the doorway to Venice Place, feeling ridiculous wearing the black cape across his broad shoulders. He smiled self-consciously as some women walked by and winked at him.

“What are you supposed to be?” the redhead asked, a smile on her face.

“Ah . . me?” Hutch stammered, pointing a finger to his chest, feeling his face flush with embarrassment, wishing a hole would open up in the sidewalk and swallow him up alive. “Um. I’m ah . . . I’m s-supposed to be a warlock, I think.”

“Really? Well baby, you do make a cute warlock. If you ever need a witch to fly your ‘broomstick, just let me know.” The women walked off, giggling together as the sound of the Torino’s engine could be heard coming down the street. The blond frowned as he watched the retreating ladies, wishing he could be upstairs with a cold beer, reading a good book instead of standing like an idiot, dressed up like some turkey for Thanksgiving.

“You do make a cute warlock,” Hutch mimicked effeminately under his breath, cursing this whole Halloween fiasco for the umpteenth time, but he caught himself before it could sour his disposition any further. He had made a promise to relax and enjoy this evening for Starsky’s sake. And once Hutch made a promise, he would keep it, even if it killed him!

The tall blond forced himself to smile good-naturedly as he saw his partner pull up along the curb. Hutch knew he hadn’t been himself lately. The last few weeks had been hell and Hutch realized that for the most part, he had taken his frustrations out on his partner. The fair-haired detective had the decency to feel guilty about this, and rationalized that he could at least put on a happy face for his friend on this special night. After all, Starsky loved Halloween . . . and Christmas . . . and Easter . . . and any other holiday that came along. The blond heaved a weary sigh, knowing that Halloween was just the start of the holiday cycle. Every year he had to contend with his partner’s childlike exuberance whenever the holidays rolled around.

“Hey, you wearin’ your glass slippers?” Starsky called out through the passenger window, as Hutch made his way to the car.

The tall blond chuckled, “I think you got that wrong, pal. You’re Cinderella. I’m Prince Charming, remember?” As Hutch approached the car, he suddenly stumbled over the uneven sidewalk and almost fell face first onto the pavement, but at the last minute he righted himself, his hand bracing his weight against the polished side of the red Torino.

“Hutch! You okay?” Starsky called out anxiously, feeling a strange sense of déjà vu come upon him, remembering the image that he briefly saw in the silver mirror. The brunet could feel the hairs rise along the nape of his neck.

Hutch righted himself and then got in the car and sat down, tugging at the cloak beneath him, “Yeah. I’m fine. Must’ve stepped on the hem of this stupid cape.” The blond stopped in mid-sentence when he caught a glimpse of his partner’s face. “Hey, you okay Gordo?” Hutch asked softly, his pale blue eyes following his partner’s to lock on the silver mirror resting on the seat between them. “You brought the mirror?”

“Hutch . . . I just . . . I just saw you fall . . .” Starsky began, his dark blue eyes, slowly lifting from the mirror’s glassy surface to his partner’s familiar sky blue orbs.

“Almost fall,” the blond corrected the brunet. “I saved myself the humiliation of scraping my face off of the sidewalk, remember?”

“No. I-I saw you fall at home in my bathroom . . .” Starsky stammered.

“You saw me fall in your bathroom? What are you talking about?” Hutch queried, a puzzled look of concern on his face. “You feeling okay, Starsk? I told you we should’ve just stayed home to rest. It’s not too late to change our minds.” Hutch said hopefully, as he nodded towards the stairs that led to his apartment. “Got a six pack just waitin’ to be opened and guzzled. And if you’re really good, buddy, I’ll even let you watch one of those crappy B horror movies you like so much. I’m sure all the TV stations will be showing those since it’s Halloween night.”

Starsky grinned, knowing his partner was trying to get out of the evening’s planned festivities. “Good try Blintz, but you ain’t getting outta this; and besides, Huggy’ll be expectin’ us.” The brunet mentally shook off the strange feeling that overcame him and started the car up, quickly weaving through the traffic as he made his way towards “The Pits.”


“The Pits” on Halloween night had metamorphosed into something straight from those Bella ‘Lugoosi’ films Starsky so loved. The ceiling and lights were adorned with wispy cobwebs and black dangling spiders. Eerily dressed patrons walked about. Goblins chatted with mummies, vampires sat at the bar drinking Bloody Marys from cocktail glasses; and in a booth towards the back of the bar, witches and princesses hovered around two handsome warlocks dressed all in black.

“You ladies need to mingle with some other monsters. These vamps look thirsty y’dig?” Huggy said grinning widely, as he set the mugs of beer he carried down upon the table.

Starsky winked at a dark haired witch who smiled seductively at him as she sauntered away to the bar. The brunet turned his attention to the proprietor of the establishment who slid into the seat next to him.

“I’ll have you know, Huggy, that we are not vampires,” Starsky said grinning from ear to ear, his voice calm and measured “Me and my partner here are warlocks.” The brunet nodded firmly and frowned at the skinny black man who laughed out loud. “What?” Starsky asked in a puzzled voice.

“Warlocks? Man, what kind of cheesy get up is that? Dude, you look more like some kind of throw back vampire wannabe and your blond clone over there don’t look any better.” Huggy chuckled, snorting into his glass of beer. “Anyway, you clowns should’a been Dracula because you both know how to give me a pain in the neck!” The skinny black man snickered.

“Oh yeah? And what are you supposed to be? And what’re those lumps?” Starsky smirked, tweaking on of the bumps that protruded from the side of Huggy’s head. The curly haired man quickly drew his hand back as it was slapped away by the skinny owner of the bar and grill.

“Those ‘lumps’ as you called them are bolts.” The lanky black man rolled his eyes at the blank look on Starsky’s face. “Maaan, you gots t’be blind. Look at me, I am so fine, ‘cause I be the first black Frankenstein!” Huggy declared proudly, standing and spinning to show off his costume.

“Yeah?” Hutch said moodily from his corner of the booth, “Well, you look more like a skeleton to me who has some kind of abnormal bone growth protruding from your skull!” Starsky snorted loudly into his cup before taking a swig.

Huggy looked at Starsky and then nodded towards the grouchy blond. “Instead of a warlock, Hutch should’a come as a mummy, since he’s so “wrapped up” in himself tonight.”

“Hey, you chased away our possible dates for the evening,” Hutch complained. “I mean Starsky and I could be having some “fun” instead of just sitting here drinking, dressed up like a bunch of overgrown kids.”

“Well, we could go trick or treatin’ if ya want to,” Starsky suggested, his dark brows wagging up and down.

“Oh get real!” Hutch said. “Don’t even begin to tell me that getting candy is better than getting laid!”

“Hey,” Starsky said in a serious voice. “I can give you four reasons why trick or treatin’ is better than sex!”

Huggy snorted as Hutch stared at his partner incredulously. “You gotta be kidding me right?” the blond gaped, shaking his head as his dark haired counterpart held up his index finger.

”Reason number one,” Starsky explained. “Trick or treatin’ is better than sex because you’re guaranteed to get a little something in the sack.” Huggy grinned as the brunet continued.

“Number two,” Starsky said holding up another finger. “The uglier you look, it’s easier to get some!” Huggy laughed out loud and a small grin lifted the corner of the blond warlock’s mouth.

Another finger was lifted as Starsky added; “Trick or treatin’ is better than sex ‘cause if you don’t get what you want, you can always go next door.”

“Maaan, I can dig that!” Huggy snickered and Starsky lifted his hand to high five the lanky black man.

“That’s only three reasons. What’s the fourth?” Hutch reminded.

Starsky took a sip from his mug and said, “And the fourth reason that trick or treatin’ is better than sex is that forty years from now, you’ll still enjoy eatin’ candy!”

“Well I know another damn good reason trick or treatin’ is better’n sex,” Huggy added. “If you get a stomach ache, it won’t last nine months!”

Starsky laughed along with Huggy and Hutch began to smile. “You better watch your mirror, Starsk,” Hutch cautioned. “Huggy’s a crack up tonight. He just might damage your new toy.”

“What mirror?” Huggy asked, his dark brown eyes watched as the brunet drew the silver looking-glass from its box. “Man, that is one classy bit of glass. Where’d you pick up that hunk of silver?”

“At this place called, ‘The Prosperity Corner.’ A little hole in the wall joint down by Lincoln and Harding.” Starsky said, admiring his new mirror as he ran a finger along one of the etchings. The brunet looked up to see Huggy staring at him.

“What?” Starsky asked, knowing Huggy had something on his mind.

“The Prosperity Corner is not a place to visit, y’dig? Things that go bump in the night like to hang out over there, if you know what I mean.” Huggy whispered, lifting his dark hands and curling his fingers into claws, the whites showing as he widened his eyes.

“Yeah,” Starsky snorted, “Hutch thinks it’s a place for witches who like specialized furniture.”

“Yeah, witches and other assorted creepies.” Huggy finished.

“I told you Starsk, if you looked at the merchandise that place was selling, you would have figured it out too,” Hutch replied, eyeing the mirror. “I only wonder what this mirror is used for.”

“It ‘s just a mirror, Blondie,” Starsky said dismissively, looking down at the silver glass he held in his hands. “Something to see yourself with, that’s all,” Starsky mumbled. Just as he said that, the brunet noticed that a smoky haze once again swirled through the surface of the glass.

Mesmerized, the dark haired detective watched as a scene began to take shape. He could vaguely make out a spot of red through the gray wisps, but as it began to clear, Starsky could see that it was his Torino where he had parked it outside in the back of Huggy’s establishment. His eyes widened as he saw two hoods wearing Halloween masks standing next to his car. One of them was working a thin wire into the rubber casing surrounding the driver’s window.

“Hey, you okay buddy?” Hutch’s soft voice broke through the brunet’s thoughts, as Starsky shifted his eyes to meet his partner’s.

“Shit!” Starsky swore, standing up suddenly, “I gotta go see my car!”

“Say what?” Huggy interjected, “Man, you are one weird dude! First you stare at yourself in the mirror like you’ve forgotten what your face looks like, and now you gotta go see your car?”

The skinny Frankenstein stood and watched as the brunet hurriedly got up and rushed out the back door, and then he pointed his long index finger at the blond who still sat staring from the bench seat. “You been feedin’ him too many candies or what? ‘Cause that man is definitely wired!”

“I don’t know what’s eating him, but I mean to find out,” Hutch said as he watched door close behind his partner’s retreating back. The blond quickly stood and followed his dark haired friend, his long black cape trailing out behind him.

It was dark outside which made it difficult to see his partner who was all dressed in black, but Hutch knew where they had parked the Torino and headed in that direction. Everything seemed fine. The Torino was exactly where they had parked her and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Hutch frowned as he looked around. ‘Where the hell did his partner go?’

He could hear the loud sounds of struggling and the sharp crack of blows echoing in the stillness of the night before his eyes could discern the shadows battling in the alleyway next to the bar and grill. Hutch ran towards the fight, his cape billowing out behind him like a superhero from one of the corny comic strips Starsky loved to read.

“Starsky?” Hutch shouted as he drew his gun from where he jammed it into the back of his belt at the start of the evening and rounded the corner that lipped the alley. Two big thugs with masks covering their faces had the dark haired detective up against the wall, taking turns pounding the overpowered brunet.

The men whipped around to stare at the blond caped figure who entered the alley with a huge gun in hand, pointing it straight at them. The larger of the two hoodlums yanked Starsky up from where he had sunk to the ground and used the dazed detective as a shield against the angry blond. Starsky’s own gun flashed silver in the dim light from the streets as the thug pressed the tip brutally against the brunet’s temple.

“Drop your gun, cop . . . or your pal here will bite the dust sooner than you can blink!” the large man’s muffled voice growled out from behind the eerie mask he wore making Hutch pause in indecision, his eyes locked onto the intense cobalt gaze of his partner.

“C’mon!” the burly man snapped impatiently, tightening his thick arm that was wrapped around Starsky’s neck, jabbing the tip of the gun harder into the side of the brunet’s skull, making the blond wince along with his partner.

“Alright!” Hutch said quickly, holding his free hand up and out in supplication to the angry thief. “Nobody needs to get hurt here,” Hutch urged. “You can take whatever you want and I’ll give you the gun, if you let me and my partner go.”

“Gimme the fuckin’ gun!” the shorter thug demanded angrily, snapping his fingers as he took a step closer to the blond detective, impatiently holding out his hand.

“Okay,” Hutch soothed, letting his weapon twirl around his finger until the gun pointed uselessly to the ground. “Okay, take it easy,” the blond said as the shorter man angrily yanked the gun from Hutch’s grasp, only to back up a few steps with the gun now pointing at its former owner.

“You think we’re gonna bargain with you, pig? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you’re in a position to deal,” the shorter thug smirked, pulling his mask away, exposing the angry glint in his green eyes. “Now where the fuck is it?”

‘Not good!’ Hutch thought, knowing the hood wouldn’t be revealing his true identity if it was their intention to let both he and Starsky go. “Where’s what?”

“Don’t play dumb with us, asshole. Where’s the fuckin’ mirror?” the burly man snapped, making Starsky arch his back as bigger man tightened his forearm across the brunet’s throat cutting off his oxygen.

“The mirror?” Hutch reiterated, his mind racing. Pale blues eyes shifted to smoldering cobalt, which widened in surprise, then clenched in agony as the loud sound of a gunshot filled the quiet alleyway.

“No!” Hutch shouted, watching in horror as his partner buckled slowly towards the ground. A tiny spot of red that grew steadily larger, appeared in his side before the brunet covered it with his hand.

“Don’t fuck with us, cop. We ain’t playin’!” the smaller thug snarled, smoke still swirling from the tip of the fired gun.

The blond rushed towards his longtime friend, unheeding of the gun still pointing in his direction. The shorter man quickly used the butt of the magnum to pistol whip Hutch across the temple as he passed by, chuckling as the blond crumpled limply to the ground.

The two thugs smirked as they watched the wounded brunet crawl over to his semi-conscious partner; his hand still clutching his left side as blood dripped slowly through his fingers.

Starsky blinked back the perspiration that spiked his lashes, breathing heavily as he made his way over to Hutch who struggled to stay awake. He could feel the threatening glares from the two hoodlums, the pain in his side throbbing with every beat of his heart.

The larger of the two thieves whipped off his mask too, and then sneered at the dark haired cop as Starsky tugged his blond counterpart against him, cradling Hutch’s face against his chest, unmindful of his own wound that continued to leak his life-giving fluid. “The next time Jack plugs ya, it ain’t only gonna be a graze, pig. He’s a damn good shot and he’ll take the both of yous out! Do it, Jack! Kill ‘em now. Blow the fuckers away!”

Hutch tried to blink away the black dots that swam before his eyes, feeling the steady flow of blood that dripped down from his left temple. He could feel the warmth of his partner’s arms enfolding him, could hear the rapid beat of Starsky’s heart beneath his cheek as his dark haired counterpart leaned over him, shielding him from the menacing men who stood above them, guns cocked and aimed to kill. Hutch could feel himself slipping under, starting to sink into darkness that beckoned him though he tried to fight it. He could feel his head rolling to and fro as Starsky softly jostled him.

“Hutch? Hey, you with me? You okay, buddy? Wake up, Hutch.”

The gentle shaking and worried tone broke through the encompassing arms of sleep and the tired blond jolted awake, pale lashes snapping open to focus on the face of his grinning partner, whose familiar sapphire colored eyes twinkled with barely contained excitement once he realized his blond counterpart was all right.

“C’mon, wake up sleepin’ beauty,” Starsky smirked, holding up the house key Hutch usually left on the lintel over his doorway. “I knocked, waited, and then broke in. Almost panicked there for a minute when you didn’t answer. You’re usually the one on time and all.”

Hutch shook his head to clear his mind, the sense of deja vu eerily creeping over him as he shifted his eyes over to the digital clock standing on the nightstand.

Was it a dream?’

The exhausted detective struggled to make meaning as reality and illusion continued to mesh and entwine in his mind.

Starsky chuckled, his eyes shining with fondness and mirth for the bleary-eyed blond. “It’s no wonder you didn’t hear my knocking with your alarm blasting in your ear. I just turned the damn thing off and woke you up myself.”

“What the hell?” Hutch rasped, his mind remembering the two hoodlums closing in on them, sensing that both he and Starsky were staring at their own demise. The blond gasped and shivered as a cold finger of fear slid down his spine.

Starsky held his breath and turned his head. “Geez Blintz, go brush your teeth and take a shower . . . in that order.” The brunet laughed cheerfully and pulled his blond counterpart out of the warm sanctuary of his bed. “We got less than twenty minutes to get our butts in to work before we’re late and Dobey blows a gasket.”

Hutch stumbled after his partner to the bathroom, his mind befuddled as he stared in confusion at his dark haired counterpart who leaned over the tub to turn on the water for the shower. “Starsk . . . I-I just had the weirdest dream. I saw you and me get . . .”

“Yeah?” Starsky interjected excitedly, turning to wink at his exhausted partner. “Not now, tell me later ‘cause I gotta tell you something first. I found the perfect store for our costumes. It’s called ‘The Prosperity Corner’ and its on the corner of Lincoln and Harding” Hutch’s eyes widened in horror as Starsky pulled a familiar looking box from the inside of his jacket where he was hiding it from view.

“I already scoped out the joint!” the brunet grinned, barely able to contain his excitement as he opened the box to reveal the beautiful etched mirror shining silver under the ceiling light from the bathroom. “I picked this up while I was there, Blintz. Ain’t she a beaut? Cost me a pretty penny, too!” Starsky rambled. “And I picked us up a couple’a black sateen capes, Blondie. We just gotta go back to the store and pick ‘em up ‘cause guess what we’re gonna be tonight at Huggy’s monster bash? Huh? Huh?” the dark haired cop persistently queried, almost bouncing in his excitement.

“W-warlocks? Hutch stammered, his heart beating with fear as his nightmare became reality. This was too much to comprehend and the blond gaped in horror at his dark haired friend, his mouth hanging open, his mind racing back to the dark alleyway in his dreams . . .

“Hey . . . good guess, pal!” Starsky grinned, eyes twinkling with fondness for his longtime friend, gently using his index finger to push his partner’s mouth closed. “Now wake up, sleepy head!” The dark haired detective threw his arm around the blond’s shoulder, leading him to the steamy shower. “Get in there and hurry up ‘cause we got a lot to do today . . . oh and, hey, . . .” Starsky said, a lopsided grin lighting up his handsome face. “Ya gonna jus’ love this, buddy! Happy Halloween, Hutch!”

~ finis ~


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