02/01/2005 - So far . . .
In a small Wyoming town called Wagon Wheel a man has made a sudden mystery appearance. With all the eyewitnesses claiming that he fell from the sky rumors have spread that he is an alien. After almost a year of being in a coma he has awakened, but is very secretive about his identity. The only person he has revealed anything to is Dr. Patterson, his physician to whom he spilled nearly everything. The doctor and Andrew attempted an "escape" from the hospital to a hideout. During the escape the doctor was shot. At the hideout, Andrew, Dr. Patterson, and Jonathan Moore, (a man the doctor called and Andrew has been searching for with undisclosed reasons) are trying to lay low.
One more thing . . . a young woman named Lily Ann Moore mysteriously collapsed the moment Andrew appeared. No one knows why. A picnic was underway that day. The eyewitnesses all say that Andrew landed at least four yards from her in the field . . .
January 17, 2005
"I'm here because of the assassination." Andrew was sitting in a rocking chair inside the small, one-room cabin which was Dr. Patterson's "hideout". Jonathan Moore was across the room on the edge of his seat on the fireplace hearth. Dr. Patterson was in the bed in the corner. The night had been very stressful. Andrew had spent the night in
the car because Jonathan was too busy with Dr. Patterson to help him inside. The doctor had barely survived the night, having been shot in the left shoulder very near his heart. Jonathan, knowing nothing about the practice of medicine, had done his best to improvise, and the doctor had awakened around four o'clock that morning. He had lost a lot of blood, but his condition appeared to be improving. He was able to direct Jonathan
in the removal of the bullet. Over the course of the night Andrew's symptoms had begun to "wear off". He was almost able to walk without assistance, and was able to make out faint silhouettes and shadows -- a relief as he had resigned himself to the idea that he may never see again. As the three sat, ready for a rest, Jonathan was asking Andrew some
"An assassination? Who's assassination?" Jonathan pressed. He was not getting the answers he wanted.
Andrew avoided the question, something he had become very good at over the course of his lifetime.
"Who are you? Why are you here? Where are you from? Speak up!"
"Jonathan, I'm not so sure you'll want to know what Andrew has to say," the doctor said. "I called you because I knew you were honorable and would help us, but I also called you because there are some things that need to be . . ." the doctor cleared his throat, ". . . taken care of," he finished. "Things that involve you."
Jonathan shifted uncomfortably. "Me? Why me? This is the infamous 'Wagon Wheel Mystery Man', is it not?"
"Jonathan," Andrew said softly. "You don't understand."
"Help me understand, then." Jonathan insisted. "Just tell me!"
"Well, okay, but I'm not sure you'll believe me." Andrew leaned back in the rocker and shook his head as if astounded. He felt as though the events of his life thus far were just beginning to sink in. "I don't know where to start."
Jonathan tried to hide his frustration. He felt like Andrew was beating around the bush somehow. One thing of which he was certain, this man confused him. "Start by answering me!" he said. "Who are you?"
"Andrew Brown I guess."
Jonathan thought 'I guess' was a strange thing to say, but he let it slide concluding that he may never fully understand the man. "And you're from . . . ?"
"From Wagon Wheel."
"Oh, really? I've never seen you around. Do you mind telling me how you came to fall from the sky?"
Andrew sighed and his expression appeared to mean he felt annoyed. Jonathan was beginning to feel pretty annoyed himself. "Look, guys. Clearly, you know something I don't. What is it?"
"Lily . . . it was an accident. I-"
"Lily? My Lily? You did kill her!" Jonathan rose and began to storm across the room.
"No!" Andrew insisted. "It's not like that! Hear me out!" Jonathan stopped short. Andrew's deep brown eyes could not decipher the grief in Jonathan's face, but Andrew could sense it in his tones. "I'm sorry." he whispered. He wanted to say more, but didn't know what more to say.
Jonathan returned to his seat without a word. He buried his head in his hands and whispered, "Fine, go on."
There was a long, awkward silence.
"How old are you?" Jonathan prompted.
"What's today's date?" Andrew asked.
"That makes me nineteen. I slept through it." A ghost of a smile played at Andrew's lips, but it was gone before Jonathan really knew it was there. Gone because the realization had dawned.
Reading his expression, Jonathan snapped, "Oh, what now?"
Andrew turned in the direction of the doctor. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
The doctor nodded. "You have to go."
Andrew attempted to stand up, but was still in a weakened state and fell back into the rocker. Frustrated, he slammed his fist down on the armrest.
"Wait, wait, wait!" Jonathan said, standing up. "Go where?"
"To find him." Andrew huffed.
Another awkward silence. "You want to tell him?" the doctor asked.
"I wouldn't care to, no." Andrew said, addressing the doctor. Then, to Jonathan,
"He's a friend. He'll be all alone! I have to go!"
"Just hold on!" Jonathan raised his voice as he approached Andrew's chair. He laid a hand on either shoulder and looked straight into Andrew's unseeing eyes. Andrew appeared to be avoiding his gaze as he looked purposefully off to the side. "No one's going anywhere until we get this thing figured out, okay?"
"I can't let anything happen to him. The old man won't be there!" Andrew persisted.
"He's right," the doctor interjected. "He must."
Jonathan sighed in frustrated surrender. "Go where?" he asked.
"245 Robertson Street," Andrew stated.
"In the city? Are you nuts?"
Andrew knew it was risky and foolish. "What time is it?" he asked.
"Eight in the morning." Jonathan had not realized how tired he was until now. The stressful night had drained him.
"You've got twelve hours to work a plan," Patterson said, "if you think he'll be there. I mean, you're here."
"I don't have it all figured out, but I have to try. The last thing I want to do is make things worse!"
"What's all this about?" Jonathan insisted. "I need to know."
Dr. Patterson and Jonathan stared at Andrew, who stared at the floor. Jonathan went back to the fireplace. "So, you were born in nineteen eighty-five, right?"
Andrew sighed. "Something like that," he replied. "Dates don't mean much to me anymore." Dr. Patterson nodded knowingly.
"January seventeenth seems to," Jonathan said with a suspicious sideways glance at the doctor.
"I'm getting to that," Andrew said. "My parents died when I was three. An old man took me in. To this day I don't know his name. He raised me way out in the country. We ran a farm -- by ourselves. We grew our own food, raised our own meat, and never contacted anyone! He used to go into the woods every now and then, but he never let me come, until I was twelve. He spent hours out there. I always wondered what he was doing. Then, finally, he showed me . . ."
"It was a horrible invention -- and he insisted it was mine!"
"I've always found calculators to be quite helpful."
"This was not your ordinary calculator."
Andrew lifted his left arm and rested his chin in his hand. For the first time, Jonathan noticed something strange. An "L" shaped mark on Andrew's lower left arm. Without thinking he grabbed Andrew's left hand to get a better look. Startled, Andrew
jerked it away. "What?" he asked giving Jonathan a wary look.
"Your arm. What's that on your arm?"
"My arm?" Andrew squinted and rubbed his arm looking intently, but he could see nothing. "What does it look like?"
"You ought to know . . . it's your scar. What could make such a perfect 'L' shape?"
Dr. Patterson chimed in, "I saw it, too - back at the hospital before you woke up.
What is it?"
"I remember . . . when they found me . . ." he buried his face in his hands and shook his head. "I don't even know. Everything's so jumbled!" Then he jerked his head
up. "It's on a time limit!"
"I thought time didn't matter anymore." Dr. Patterson interrupted.
"A year . . . and I was in a coma for most of it. We don't have much time!"
"I'm still confused," Jonathan said.
"Join the club." Andrew replied. "But, one thing I do know -- I need to stop that assassination."
...continued next month