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Editorial

Andrew's Secret - Part IX


07/01/2005 - by Julie Mizell

Read previous installments of Andrew's Secret online at www.ourtowncasper.com.

Andrew's eyes widened when he saw where the van had taken him. He'd seen this building many times, at least, he thought he had, but why were the men in black here? It's worse than I thought, he said to himself as all the puzzle pieces began to fit together in his head.

Jonathan had nervous sweat running down his face when he heard a familiar sound. Synthetic, tinny notes in the melody of "Minuet in G" — his cell phone! It was coming from the hallway to the left along with voices, from somewhere behind the wall, he guessed.

"Jonthan has a call."

"Who's it from?"

"Another cell."

"Answer it!"

The sound Jonathan had once viewed as annoying, he never been more relieved to hear as he took his cue to run down the hallway to the right. He ran and ran, but the endless appearance of the hallway seemed more and more like a reality as thirty minutes slipped past. Finally he paused and leaned against the wall to catch his breath. As far as his eyes could see in both directions, the hall still continued straight, white and plain.

As soon as Dr. Patterson heard the voice on the phone, he knew it wasn't Jonathan. He wasn't sure if he should just hang up, or come up with something to say. "May I speak with Jonathan, please?" he asked after a long silence.

On the other end of the phone, the speaker flashed a victorious grin to everyone in the room. "It's the doctor," he mouthed. Satisfied expressions were exchanged. One of his partners urged him to keep Patterson on the line as he began to punch numbers on his own cell.

The long silence made the doctor fear his concerns were not groundless after all. "May I speak with him, please?"

"Yes, just one moment," the man touched the receiver to his shirt so he would not be heard by his unknowing victim and stared across the room at the other man with the cell. His black clothing was a stark contrast to the room, which was so white on every wall, floor and ceiling that it gave an illusion of brightness.

"Keep him on the line," the man urged again, and punched a few more numbers. The first just kept the receiver to his chest until he got the nod and then hung up.

Dr. Patterson wanted to throw the phone across the room. His first inclination was fear for what could have happened to them. Then it changed to anger at Andrew. Then anger at himself. Why did I listen to that dumb fairy tale he fed me? Why didn't I use some common sense? Then it changed to fear for himself. Here he was in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere with a fresh gunshot wound and he knew that anyone he could call in town would turn him in for stealing a patient from the Wagon Wheel Medical Center. He huffed and leaned back against the pillow, shaking his head. Boy am I in a fix! he sighed.

As exhausted as Jonathan was, he knew he had to keep running. Where am I? He thought in extreme irritation. He had a terrible cramp in his side, his mouth was so dry it hurt, and his lungs burned when he breathed. At least I'm getting some exercise, he told himself, trying for a little comic relief, but he did not feel any better.

Then he saw a change in the monotony of the hallway, and he was relieved. The walls, ceilings and floors were still white, white, white, but he saw something black, too. It was on one of the walls up ahead. His excitement built as he approached it and he thought he may have finally found a way out, but was disappointed to discover it was only a smudge on the wall. Jonathan was beginning to feel very angry. He also thought it was odd that there was only this smudge in such a blaringly white hallway. He reached out to touch it, but before his hand even brushed the wall, what appeared to be more of the interminable hallway opened, proving to be a doorway, an optical illusion. Jonathan's energy suddenly returned. He wanted to shout, "I'M FREE!" as he dashed out of the building and around the back where he saw a small moving van pull up. He positioned himself behind another vehicle as the building was rather out in the open without much of anything to hide behind. He watched as one of the men in black climbed out of the front seat. It was the missing one, the one with the red hair. Jonathan deduced that this meant it came from Robertson Street. He was very happy and hoped that the van would end up heading back to where it came from. He could get back to the cabin from there, though he didn't know how, since his car was gone.

He fixed his eyes on the back of the moving van, waiting for an opportunity to get in. As soon as the coast was clear, he made a break for it. When he had almost reached the back, where he intended to stowaway, a man, also running, rounded the corner and slammed into him with such force that they both fell backward onto the ground. Jonathan recovered quickly and was ready for a fight, but he'd never been more shocked than when he saw who he'd collided with.

"Jonathan! Am I glad to see you!" Andrew exclaimed. "What happened? Where'd you go?"

Jonathan just stood there, shell-shocked.

A knowing look came over Andrew's face, followed by a mischievous smile. "What's the matter? You look like you've seen a ghost!"

Jonathan said, "They told me you were dead! How did you survive driving over a cliff?"

"Long story," Andrew replied. "I'll tell you sometime." He sighed. "By the way...I'm sorry I blew up your car."

Jonathan was the one with the mischievous look now, "It's okay...gives me an excuse to buy that Camaro I've been wanting."

"Right now we need to get back to the doctor," said Andrew snapping back to reality.

"Do you even know the way?"

Andrew nodded. "Come with me," he said. "We'll swipe the van."

"Where are we anyway?"

"You don't know?"

"No."

"You don't want to."

"Where?"

"Look behind you."

Jonathan turned around and when he realized what building he'd just been inside all he could say was, "We need to work fast."

"I know," Andrew said as he picked the lock on the driver's side door. "Hop in."

Back inside the building, a crowd of men in black surrounded one with a cell phone in his hand.

"What did you get?" one said.

"Everything. This will be easier than we thought."

continued next month...

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Andrew’s Secret - Part VIII
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