Dusk in Glendale, California, and they stand on an old wooden porch. The door is partially open, and the young man knocks hard on the screen door. Traffic flies by at the intersection to their right, but there is traffic everywhere in California–it is the background noise to life out here.
A tall Latina woman appears. “Yes?”
“Hi,” says Elder Judd. “We’re ministers of Jesus Christ.”
“We’re Catholic,” says the lady.
“Great,” says Elder Judd. “So you believe in God. How do you feel about him?”
“I just put dinner on the table–“
The young man looks to his right, and as he does, he hears a screech as a red Ford F150 shoots through the intersection. Two black women are in the crosswalk; one of them holds a boy’s hand in her right and a girl’s hand in her left. As the truck skids and screeches, she pushes the girl back with her left hand and tries to pull the boy out of the way. Too late. The truck smacks into the boy and he partially disappears under it.
A white man with a patchy white beard is driving the truck, and when the truck finally stops, he slumps in the seat and sighs.
The black woman screams and pounds on the hood with her now-empty right hand. “You hit my baby! You hit my baby!”
The young man turns to the woman at the door. “Hand me your phone. Quickly.”
The woman leans away for a second then hands him the phone. The young man taps 9-1-1.
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” a male voice says.
“Hey, I’m at the intersection of South Pacific Avenue in Glendale right across from the Thomas Edison Elementary School.”
“Yes, go ahead.”
“A huge pickup just blew the light and hit a kid in the intersection.”
“Ah, shit,” says the operator. “Where again?”
“South Pacific Avenue. The intersection where the elementary school is.”
“Got it. Hang on a sec.” The young man hears some tapping. “Ok, I’ve dispatched units. Tell me what you see. Is the truck still there?”
“Yes, the truck is still here. White guy driving it. Mid-fifties probably. Patchy short white beard. Mom is tall, black, maybe mid thirties.”
“And the kid?”
“Can’t see him well. Couldn’t be more than six or seven. Short hair. He’s partially covered by the truck.”
“Dammit! Okay. Is he moving? Do you see blood?”
“I don’t see movement. Mom is screaming. Mom has a daughter, too, it looks like.”
“Is the daughter okay?”
“Yeah, she got the daughter out of the way just before the truck hit.”
“And she’s safe now?”
“Yeah. Mom’s friend took her to the curb.”
“So just the boy is down? And he looks six or seven?”
The young man hears sirens growing closer.
“How about the driver? You said he was still in the truck? Does he appear hurt?”
“Nah, he’s fine. No airbag or anything. He’s just sitting there.”
“Are those sirens I hear?”
“Good. First unit almost there. And Mom? Did Mom get hit?”
“No. She’s okay. She got out of the way. Just couldn’t get the kid out of the way in time.”
“Has the boy moved at all yet?”
“Okay. I’ve got medflight on the way, as well. What units do you see?”
“Police have blocked traffic. Firefighters coming over to mom now.”
“Okay, perfect, my friend. Here’s what I need you to do now. I need you to stay at the scene and talk to the officers. I need you to give a statement of everything you saw.”
“Okay, got it.”
“You gotta help nail that asshole, okay?”
“Uh, sure. Got it.”
“Great. Thank you.”
The line clicks dead.
The young man hands the phone back to the woman. He and Elder Judd drift down closer to the street. An ambulance is there now, and paramedics are working but no one is moving the kid to the ambulance. Two officers and a paramedic have the mom off to the side. Now, they hear a helicopter approaching. The kid is on a backboard, his neck in a brace, perfectly still.
“So what do we do?” Elder Judd says.
“We gotta wait to talk to the cops once the scene clears a bit. Supposed to give a statement.”
“Right. Wish we could do more.”
The helicopter descends now and lands in the middle of the street. Its blades slow but never stop. Two medics jump from it, and they join the other two who hustle the kid into the chopper. They all hop aboard and then start to lift off.
“Let’s bless him,” says the young man.
“How do we do that?”
“Same as the apostles do when they give a talk.”
They both bow their heads, and the young man says, “By the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood which we hold, we bless the young man who was hit at this intersection and call down the powers of heaven and the holy angels to be with him, to bear him up, and to help him heal. We say and seal that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
The helicopter veers off out of sight. The young man says, “Come on. Let’s go talk to that cop.”