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When Police Officer Perry Salter first meets crime victim Jeremy, the young man has a rare, debilitating form of autism. Later, Officer Salter confronts evidence of two hideous crimes. His cop instincts say Jeremy is innocent while the evidence and the community say Jeremy is guilty. Salter struggles to find truth and justice despite the very real risk of damaging his rising his career. View table of contents...


Chapters:

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Submitted:Aug 26, 2012    Reads: 15    Comments: 0    Likes: 7   


Jeremy the Germ, Planetary Crime Fighter

by Ben A. Vanguarde

Chapter Three - What Really Happened to Jeremy at the Park: Part One

Two months later, the open windows of Jeremy's guest house let the overnight noise from the park waft inside with the cool air of late autumn. Jeremy watched an old, classic, black and white cowboy film as if for the first time. He did not notice that the night sounds had stopped and had been replaced by a new sound. The sound of rushing air, such as like the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner, was as quiet as a whisper at first, but then became louder, as if someone was knocking on the door. Jeremy was startled by the faint sweep of a blue light across the television. Next, a faint red beam and green beam swept the television face and the disheveled bookcase of dusty and unread elementary school books and DVD's tossed around carelessly.

What is that light? Jeremy asked himself. Maybe it's the police catching those burglars in the park. Thoughts buzzed in Jeremy's brain.

Jeremy got up and put on his jeans and sandals. I've got to see this. I'll hide this time so I'll be safe.

The late fall Virginia weather had briefly warmed in recent days. Behind the Schweitzer's mini-estate was a large town park, large enough for a full sized golf course. Between the park and houses ringing the park was a narrow swath of natural flora and fauna to appease the ecologically responsible.

Looking through the open window Jeremy observed the colored lights had changed from searching beams to diffused lights, such as the running lamps on a car. The breeze-tossed boughs of the trees at the border of the Schweitzer estate partially concealed the meadow of the town park just beyond and the light's source.

Ready to investigate, Jeremy opened his door. A cylinder, about twice the size of Jeremy's head, displaying a dull white light, like a neon lamp on a bright day, floated towards Jeremy. It corrected its height above ground to match Jeremy's head height. It stopped moving and remained stationery about three feet before Jeremy. Jeremy impulsively reached out to touch it but the hovering object moved backwards, just as quickly. A steady sound, as like the rush of air from the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner, was the only hint of motivation.

Jeremy said, Hello. I'm Jeremy. His voice babbled gibberish.

A deep, kind voice responded in his mind. Hello Jeremy. My name is Parlow.

I can't see you.

I am in… We are in the meadow. I would like to meet you, Jeremy. Please follow my explorer. The cylinder of light gently moved toward the field in the direction of the lights. Jeremy followed and his pulse quickened over the three minute walk through the woods and to the emerging camp.

How is it that I can hear you in my mind, Parlow? Even my mother and father can't.

I don't know Jeremy but we could hear you as we were riding by. Were you watching a movie?

Yes, I was. This is great. I want to learn how you do it. Talk to others, that is.

Four small, gray, men-like creatures were setting up lawn chairs, a table, and a portable BBQ. The park was pitch black on this moonless night but lights came through the open door of a black craft, about the size of a commuter jet liner but thicker, parked nearby. The older male held a controller for the explorer, which he turned off when Jeremy arrived into camp.

The strong voice spoke in his mind. Welcome Jeremy. My name is Parlow. I am pleased to meet you. I can easily hear you think so you need not speak." Parlow offered his shriveled gray hand. You have very strong psychic powers. May I examine you? Without waiting for a response Parlow produced another controller out of his gray uniform pocket and directed a pink lighted explorer to come from inside the craft and hover beside Jeremy's head.

This is scary. Who are these people? Aliens? Jeremy asked himself.

Jeremy, we can hear you thinking to yourself. Don't be afraid. We are people just like you, just from another planet. We do not look like you but we are a lot like you. This is my family, my wife Nitkah, my son Trall, and my daughter Istasha. We mean you no harm, Jeremy. We work on this planet, just like your parents do.

The Medi-Explorer hovered next to Jeremy and aimed a focused pink beam, about the size of a Cub Scout flashlight, at Jeremy.

Will it hurt?

No Jeremy.' The explorer completed its examination in twenty seconds. You have a problem speaking what you are thinking.

Jeremy lowered his head in shame. Yes, I know. Tears welled up in his eyes and ran down his cheeks. Parlow directed the Medi-Explorer to return to the craft.

Another gray alien carried a platter of steaks to the table and turned to Jeremy. Hello Jeremy, I am Nitkah, Parlow's wife. We would be pleased if you would stay for dinner. Have you ever had buffalo steaks, Jeremy?

She turned to return to the craft. Jeremy answered, Yes. No. I mean, I've never had buffalo steaks before. Parlow tossed a plastic bottle of drinking water to Jeremy, who could not catch it.

As Jeremy bent over to pick up the bottle, Parlow said, Sorry Jeremy. I forgot you lost your coordination, too. Listen to me Jeremy, I have a proposition for you. If you are willing to help me for about ten minutes I would be willing to have the Medi-Explorer fix your brain. Are you interested in hearing me out?

Jeremy raised his head and smiled. Sure, what do I have to do? Mow your lawn or something?

No. Jeremy, I want you to be very certain that you will help me. First you will help me then I will have the Medi-Explorer repair your brain. Are you willing to do this very important job for me?

Yes. I hate this. I want to be normal again. I want to go back to school, to my fourth grade class again. I miss my teacher.

Listen to me carefully, Jeremy. I just need information. I am looking for a healthy boy and girl about your age. Do you know anyone in the neighborhood like that? They should live nearby and preferably they should not be good friends of yours.

That's easy. There's Timothy Pollack over there. Jeremy pointed in a direction past the meadow. And, then there's Wanda Winkler over there. I used to go to school with them before I had to stay home.

Trall? Parlow glanced at a gray man his size but younger and then returned his gaze to Jeremy. This is my son Trall. You will go with him and bring back Timothy and Wanda. I'd like to meet them. Then we can eat our steaks and fix that problem in your head. Okay?

Well, Parlow, I haven't seen them since fourth grade and they didn't like me very much. They used to call me names and try to beat me up.

I am sorry to hear that, Jeremy, but I can assure you that they will not harm you as long as I am here. They still may call you names but you are a strong boy. Names never hurt smart people. Agreed?

Yes sir. Jeremy's backbone stiffened.

Trall donned a rugged leather-like jacket with a cigar shaped object mounted on each shoulder and a helmet like a motorcycle driver would wear. From his utility belt he took a controller, another cigar shaped object, and pointed to the ground twice and two hovering solid black rectangles appeared. Thrall stepped up into one and sat in the middle. Get into yours, Jeremy, said Trall telepathically, and sit down. I can stand in these things but it is better to sit when you are not used to them.

What is this? asked Jeremy as he stepped aboard his small craft. A magic carpet? Jeremy looked about in amazement that he was floating above the ground. The subdued sound of rushing air was all he heard.

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