This story was originally printed in the S/H zine RENASCENCE, published by Esperanza Press, 1995. Special thanks to Daphne for preparing this story for the archive. Comments on this story can be sent to: and will be forwarded to the author.

Peruvian Gypsy

Ken Hutchinson stared at the door of the Crow Haven Corner, willing his partner to come through it. It had rained their entire day in Salem and even now a light drizzle continued to put a dreary damper on what was supposed to be an enjoyable vacation. To make matters worse, even the fact that the tourist attractions had been closed didn't quench Starsky's annoying enthusiasm for superstitious garbage that the locals were only too glad to pump into visiting suckers.

Wetness trickled down Hutch's neck and he pulled the collar of his jacket higher. He'd had enough of catering to his friend's whims and was about to go in and physically drag Starsky from the store, when the door opened.

"Guess what? I just met Laurie Cabot!"

Hutch ignored him, temper letting loose. "I can't believe you believe in all this crap!" he spat, gesturing to all the packages overloading his partner.

"What's it to you, anyway?" Starsky shot back in defensive tones. "Tomorrow we'll be in Boston - visiting museums and doing all the stuff you want to do!"

He strode ahead without another word.

* * * * *

While Hutch changed for dinner that evening, Starsky sat on one of the beds, looking over his purchases. Hutch watched him covertly in the mirror as he handled the stones reverently, putting them in the pouches he'd bought for them. Starsky had been silent ever since the witch shop, and Hutch began to think he'd maybe been too hard on him. If Starsky had a unique ability to find pleasure even when things turned out less than desirable, that was to be praised - not ridiculed.

Hutch went over to the bed, wanting to make amends for his earlier impatience and save the rest of the night from any bad feelings.

"That one's pretty," Hutch pointed to one of the stones in Starsky's palm.

"It's a carnelian," Starsky explained softly. "For health - vitalizing the physical and emotional bodies." He held it out. "I got it for you."

Hutch fingered the stone. "Thanks, partner." He looked at the bags and then back at Starsky. "Can I compromise? Keep it in my pocket?"

"Sure." Starsky fell silent.

"What's this one called?" Hutch prompted, pointing out a plain-looking black one.

"It's a lodestone. It's magnetized to draw things to you." Hutch watched him add it to the others and put the bag around his neck.

"Yeah?" Hutch asked. "What do you want to attract?" Wish it was me, a voice in his head whispered, hinting at the cause of his recent bad moods.

"Oh, health, wealth, all that good stuff."

"How about romance?" Spoken lightly, but Hutch knew he was pushing his luck.

"Well," Starsky began hesitantly, "there is this tall blond I wouldn't mind attracting..."

"Anyone I know?" Hutch wondered, his mind going over possibilities back at the station.

For a while Starsky was silent. When he spoke his eyes remained downcast. "Maybe I should've gotten you a stone for brain power."

The rational part of Hutch's mind told him that he couldn't have heard his partner right. "Huh?"

"Nothing," Starsky mumbled.

Throwing caution to the winds, as a strange sense of freedom washed over him, Hutch sat down next to his friend. "You know," he said, "I do owe you an apology for doubting. Those stones do work."

"They do?" It sounded suspiciously like hope in Starsky's voice.

"Well, my emotional and physical bodies are feeling vitalized." Hutch moved closer.

"Think it's the stones?" Starsky asked with a slight tremor in his voice.

"Could be..." Hutch agreed, leaning in.


"You." Starsky's mouth seemed to be drawing him like some lodestone.

"Guess you do believe in magic now," Starsky said as they parted briefly for air.

"Yeah, babe," Hutch affirmed. "Ours. And you ain't seen nothing yet."