This story first appeared in the zine, Above & Beyond (1996). This zine and many other fine S&H zines can be obtained from Agent with Style at:  Comments on this story can be sent to: and will be forwarded to the author.

Paying Dues
K Hanna Korossy

"Dear God... Is that what you're s'posed to say? Been a long time since my Aunt Rosie took me to the Synagogue. Anyway, so... I feel kinda funny, just talkin' to you like this, but Hutch, my partner - well, you know that. But Hutch said that anybody could talk to you anytime and say anything. 'Cause I don't know any real prayers except Kaddish, and I don't wanna do that one anytime soon.

"But like I was sayin', Hutch says anybody can talk to you, and I figured that since I was always askin' You for somethin', maybe I oughta thank You, too. You know, I never used to think much about there bein' a God, even in the Synagogue - I didn't get those Hebrew prayers at all. I guess I only started thinkin' about it when I became a cop. I had always wanted to be a cop, 'cause I knew things weren't the way they should be and I wanted to change them, to help people. 'Cept that wasn't always so easy. After a while, ya' kinda wonder if anyone's in charge up there to let things get so bad down here, You know? I'd already seen enough for any lifetime when I was growin' up, with my dad and all - You know him, he's up there with You. I still miss him...

"Anyway, there I was, in charge of handin' out justice and makin' life and death decisions, and I still didn't know if I believed in You. But then You sent me Hutch. I'm still not sure how come I got so lucky; I know most people haven't got somebody like him and I don't know how they can stand it. I'd never had anybody before who stuck around, You know? Well, yeah, 'course You know. Maybe that's why You sent him.

"So, I just wanted to thank You. I don't tell You or him very often how much he means to me, and I guess you both know, but I wanted to say it. He means a lot to me. He made me believe in You because people like Hutch - friends like Hutch - don't happen by accident.

"Oh, uh, I don't mean to complain, but there is one problem with him. Ya' see, the idiot gets into trouble all the time. Now, I figure You had to have somethin' to do with givin' me the blond blintz for a partner, 'cause I sure didn't deserve it, so I figure I should take care of him. Except he's not so easy t'take care of. Guess it's never easy in our line of work. But worryin' about Hutch is how I started talkin' to You. I know, I keep tellin' You that if You keep him safe one more time for me, I'll do better next time. I'm sorry, I keep tryin' but, well, like I said, my partner keeps gettin' into trouble. And I keep askin' You, and You keep savin' him for me. After a while I knew it had to be You, 'cause no one's that lucky.

"So that's all I wanted to say, is thank You. I'll still keep tryin', but he'll probably still keep gettin' in trouble. And I can handle it... just don't break up our act, huh? 'Cause I'm not sure I can do a solo anymore. That's all I'm askin'.

"Look, uh, I gotta go, Hutch is waitin' for me. Oh, and if You really were responsible for givin' me blondie as a partner... I guess 'thank you' doesn't really cover that one. Just, please, keep him safe, and I won't ask for anything else, okay? I'll talk to You later."

Written in 1995