Christmas Midnight Magic
Face, Murdock and BA sat around the Christmas tree in an eerie silence. It was the first Christmas without their beloved Colonel John Hannibal Smith. His demise was sudden and came as a shock to them all. He was awarded his pardon posthumously, while the rest of team received a full Presidential Pardon and a publicized celebration following. Face looked at his friends with tears swelling in his blue eyes.
"Hannibal was like a father to me. He accepted me and made me a member of a great team. I didn't have any family until I joined the Army. It's where I found the greatest family anyone could ask for. I miss the twinkle in his eyes when he would be on the jazz and his mischievous chuckle. The Colonel was a great man and a great father." Face put his head in his hands and while he sobbed in remembering the colonel. Murdock scooted closer to the lieutenant and put his arm around his shoulders to comfort him. He waited until Face had regained composure before he spoke.
"The Colonel was the only one who believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. As a new recruit, I was just a young and crazy flyboy without no friends."
"Still crazy Fool."
"Shhhh BA! You're ruinin' my academy performance. Anyway, I was always gettin' in fights or some kinda trouble. I'll never forget the night at the Officer's Club. It was the first time I'd met Facey. We almost kicked the hell outta each other. Hannibal came over to break it up. He said "Stand down Lieutenant. Why are ya beatin' up our new chopper pilot?" And the whole time Hannibal is just laughin' at Face."
"He was not Murdock. He was laughing at you."
"No no Facey he was laughin' at YOU `cause you were all flustered and tried to tell him I started it."
`THAT was you Murdock."
"It was not."
"It was too."
"Was not was not."
"Was to to."
"If ya guys don't shut up I'm gonna get mad. REAL mad."
"Sorry BA." They said at the same time.
"I `member a time Hannibal did somethin' like that for me. There was still alotta discrimination because I was a black man in the Army. This white dude thought he could beat me down. Called me lots of names and told me he wanted to fight. He took some swings and realized he wasn't hurtin' me. He went to hit me again, so I grabbed his hand and punched him a good one. Broke his nose bad. Hannibal watched the whole thing. Didn't interfere. He told me he wanted to see how I handled things with my fists. The Colonel got me outta trouble and had the other dude transferred."
"That was Tom McKenzie right BA?" Face asked.
"Yeah. Hannibal transferred him over to Decker's unit." The grouped laughed.
"He just LOVED sendin' guys like that over to the King Decker Bug."
"But Murdock, he did that to keep us alive. He didn't want people like him in our unit. Why do you think only HALF of Decker's men didn't come back? He had the highest casualties list in Nam."
"Tis true oh Facial One."
"Had alotta good times with Hannibal."
"We sure did Big Guy. It's not gonna be the same without him."
"Guys its time." Face said.
The three remaining team members went to the mantle over the fireplace. Sitting in the center was a picture of the good Colonel in full dress uniform. In front of the picture were three tea light candles in dainty glass holders. They bowed their heads for a few moments of silence. They looked at each other with tear stained faces as they struck their matches and lit the tea lights. They took a step back and looked at the picture illuminated by the soft light of the candles.
"Merry Christmas Colonel." They said in unison as the clock struck midnight. The each gave a salute and sighed.
"Do you smell that?" Face asked.
"Smell what Faceman? The Candles?"
"No BA…. It smells like…."
"Cigars." Murdock finished slowly.
"You smell it too?"
"I think ya both crazy fools."
"No seriously BA, it smells like cigars in here."
"Shut up Murdock shut…" The familiar scent reached BA's nose almost tickling it. "I smell it NOW."
They looked at each other and then again to the picture. A small draft drifted across the room making the flames dance and cast eerie shadows against the wall. As quickly as the aromatic smell of cigars floated in the air it disappeared.
"That was weird man." BA said.
"Hannibal will always be watching over us guys. I think he made that quite clear."
"There's nothin' like a little Christmas midnight magic to make ya believe." Murdock looked back at the picture of Hannibal and winked. "Right mein Colonel?" He whispered.
~* FIN *~