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Editorial

Andrew's Secret part I


02/01/2005 - March 28, 2004

Distant, quiet, echoing voices . . . ringing, loud ringing . . . throbbing, thumping,

Andrew didn't know what was happening. It was as if his hearing left with every throb of

his head, so he had to strain to hear what the voices were saying. The constant ringing in

his ears made it no easier, but he managed to make out bits and pieces of the

conversation.

"He's coming to! Did you see that? He moved!" a voice said. Andrew thought it

came from above him, but it still sounded distant -- very distant. Andrew blinked, but he

couldn't see a thing. He tried to rub his eyes, but his hands wouldn't obey. They shook

as he tried to lift them to his face. They felt as if they weighed a hundred pounds, so he

let them fall again at his side.

He couldn't understand what had happened. It seemed just moments before he'd

been in his home with the old man. Andrew racked his brain to call up what had passed

between them, but he couldn't. He felt as if he could not think, could not move . . .

"Sir? . . . hear . . ." the voice said. Andrew could guess what the man was asking

and made a feeble attempt at a reply, but he couldn't speak.

"His . . . doesn't . . . don't think . . . conscious. He hit his head."

Andrew's faulty hearing was really beginning to bother him as he strained to hear

the conversation going on around him.

"Well, yeah he hit his head! It looked like he fell from the sky and landed right on

it! Where could he have fallen from . . . open field? How's Lily's . . . she . . . head . . .

him."

Lily! That name echoed in Andrew's mind. Where had he heard it? Was it?

Yes! Now he could remember! Andrew replayed the scene in his mind.

"Now remember, her name is Lily Ann Moore and his name, of course, is

Jonathan," the old man had said.

"Lily," Andrew tried to mutter, but his voice caught in his throat. The bystanders

were jabbering, but Andrew couldn't hear a word. His head was throbbing again.

Suddenly it hit him. He mustered all his strength to say, "Does anyone see a

calculator lying around?"

His last memory before dropping into a coma was hearing a voice say, "He hit his

head. He's just babbling," and desperately trying to tell them they were wrong.

January 16, 2005

"Who are you? Did you kill Lily Ann Moore? Where are you from? I didn't see

it, but I hear tell you fell from the sky. Some say you're an alien." Dr. Patterson sat

beside the comatose stranger in the hospital bed. He was lonely and often spoke to his

comatose patient to keep himself company. Andrew had sparked his curiosity. "She

collapsed as soon as you appeared, but no one seems to know why." Dr. Patterson went

on. "They don't remember any physical contact. Far from it. You were at least four

yards away from her. Oh, how I wish you were awake to answer me." He bent down and

looked more carefully at the young stranger's face. Andrew was a handsome young man

of nineteen. His complexion was dark. His hair was so brown it looked black and was

clean cut and short when he arrived. Over the course of months, however, it had grown a

bit shaggy. His skin looked as if it had never been harmed. It was so clear that Dr.

Patterson was hard pressed to find any scar or flaw. At last he spotted one -- a perfect

"L" shape on his lower left arm. It was such a perfect "L" that Dr. Patterson's curiosity

was piqued about this man who'd made the sudden mysterious appearance. "Yup," he

said. "Everyone in our peaceful little town is talkin' about you. They were all tryin' to

see the 'alien' so we finally had to put you in this back room and say you'd been released.

That really made 'em talk, but we had to do it to protect you."

"You look human to me. About twenty I guess." Dr. Patterson was fifty and had

been instructed to "watch the stranger." "Yup, sure is strange that even though you've

been here for almost a year, they won't drop it. All my friends're sayin', 'You've seen

him. You could tell us more,' but I've been instructed to keep mum. I've never said a

word. You're safe."

Andrew stirred and opened his eyes, and Dr. Patterson started, paralyzed with

fear. "It's not as if it would have happened." Andrew muttered under his breath.

What does that mean? The doctor wondered.

Andrew still couldn't see and had a splitting headache, but the ringing and

throbbing were gone. "Hello?" he whispered. He tried to sit up, but was still too weak.

"Is anyone there?"

Dr. Patterson, who was still cowering in the corner finally spoke up. "I'm here,"

he said. "I'm Dr. Patterson."

"I can't see," Andrew said so softly the doctor had to strain to hear.

"Yes, well, the MRI showed that your optic nerve is inflamed, but none of us can

explain why. Now...tell me...did you kill Lily Ann Moore?"

Andrew was devastated. "She's dead?" he managed.

"So, you know her?" Dr. Patterson prodded rather insensitively, but one couldn't

blame him for being curious.

"I know of her," Andrew said, in little more than a whisper. He replayed the

scene with the old man in his head once more.

"Now remember, her name is Lily Ann Moore and his name, of course, is

Jonathan," the old man had said. Andrew had sensed an unrest not common in the old

man's expression.

Laying a hand on the old man's shoulder he had whispered, "What's wrong?"

The old man had sighed. "Well, I'm just nervous."

"Aren't you happy? This is what we've wanted for so long."

"All these years," the old man interrupted. "That's what I'm nervous about.

Maybe I've gone too far. If something happens to her, you wouldn't forget me would

you? What if you couldn't help it? It's not as if it would have happened."

Andrew had never really understood the old man. Though he was the only dad

Andrew had ever known, Andrew didn't even know his name. He always had a funny

grin playing at his lips that had caught Andrew's attention many times. The old man had

taken Andrew in when he was orphaned at age three and Andrew had followed closely in

his footsteps as a brilliant scientist. The two of them kept to themselves, living out in the

country and raising vegetables, fruit, and livestock for food. Andrew sometimes

wondered why, but the old man had earned his trust. Every now and then the old man

would go into the woods and stay for hours, but Andrew had never been brave enough to

follow. When Andrew was twelve, the old man had asked him to come along, saying that

he was now a man. He had reached a rite of passage and was ready to see what was in the

woods. What he had shown Andrew was to be kept secret, no matter what.

"It's not as if it would have happened," Andrew thoughtfully repeated to himself.

It was only then that he realized Dr. Patterson had been talking.

"Hello? I asked you a question. Who are you? Where are you from? Okay, well

two questions."

Andrew remembered what had happened now, but he certainly wasn't going to

tell the doctor.

Then he remembered his calculator. Frantically he began to feel around for it, but

his arms were still too stiff and sore.

"What is it?" the doctor was concerned.

"My calculator! Where is it?" Andrew tried to shout, but again it came out as a

mumble. Andrew felt frustrated. Trapped inside his own body.

Dr. Patterson was distracted and thoughtful. "The people who found you said you

were mumbling something about a calculator. They figured you were just babbling,

having hit your head and all, but they searched the field and didn't find it. I don't

suppose they were very thorough, though."

"It was in my pocket! This darn hospital gown! Get my jeans!"

Though Andrew's voice was weak, the doctor sensed urgency. "You could use

my calculator if it's that important. It's a good one, I . . ."

Andrew was getting exasperated with the doctor. "Just check my pockets!"

"Okay. I don't know why you're being so particular. So, who are you anyway?

You never answered me." The doctor said as he began to fish through Andrew's faded

jeans, which had been tucked in a cabinet beside the bed as Andrew had no family to take

them home.

"The less you know, the less you'll have to answer for when they come for me.

You're better off not knowing."

"You're a criminal?" Dr. Patterson stopped and looked wonderingly at Andrew.

"No, but they'll come after me, mark my words. I need to escape tonight."

"You? You can't even move!"

"You'll help me."

"Aid and abet a criminal?"

"I'm not a criminal."

"A fugitive then."

"Yes, I will be that. Have you found my calculator yet?"

The doctor sighed and began fishing around again. "Nope, not here."

"Then go to the field! Search it . . . comb it. Don't rest until you've found it,

Doctor."

"With all due respect Mr. Doe, I still don't know your name, by the way, you've

been here for almost a year! If it's still there it's been ruined by rain, snow, and dew.

Redmond is a popular field for picnics and such, like the one you crashed. Someone's

probably picked it up by now."

"No! Go look! If that thing fell into the wrong hands, it would be a disaster!

That calculator has more power than all the computers in the world!"

"We're not really talking about a calculator are we?"

"Nothing gets past you, does it?"

"The rumors are true, then? You're an alien! And that's your high-tech device!

Are you invading? Taking over the world? Are there others?"

Andrew rolled his eyes and sighed. "What is this nonsense?"

"You won't tell me who you are!"

"Well, I'm human, but that's all you'll get out of me. Please go to that field!"

"Let me check your pockets one more time," the doctor said. This time, the

doctor was more attentive, searching for anything that might give him an idea about the

identity of this man. He found a key, some loose change and a scrap of paper with some

indecipherable handwriting. Finally, he found something that interested him. It was a

star of David on a black chord. So, he's Jewish, the doctor thought. Then, he noticed

something sticking out from between the leather and sole of Andrew's sneaker. Here we

go! he thought. It looks like an ID! Quietly, he grabbed the shoe, casting a cautious

glance at his patient. Dr. Patterson's adrenaline began to rush as he slowly pulled it out.

All the while, Andrew didn't budge. Jackpot! A driver's license!

Dr. Patterson examined the picture first. He compared it to his patient. It's

definitely him, he thought. Andrew Brown. That doesn't sound like a Jewish name, Dr.

Patterson thought.

Now this was interesting. He was from here in town, but Dr. Patterson's license

had mountains in the background. This was plain blue. He wondered if it was phony.

You'd think that if he was gonna make a phony ID he'd make sure it looked like everyone

else's. Dr. Patterson thought. The really strange thing was, no one recognized him.

Wagon Wheel, Wyoming was so small, everyone knew everyone - literally. The

population was one hundred. He couldn't be from here. Dr. Patterson decided. We're

not even big enough to have a Wal - Mart! Someone would know him.

Then he spotted something further down that made his mouth drop open. That

would explain a lot! But . . . no way!

. . . continued next month

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