Jeremy the Germ, Planetary Crime Fighter
by Ben A. Vanguarde
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Chapter One - What Really Happened to Jeremy at Home
Jeremy woke with a start. Looking about, his eyes focused on at the gently moving, heavy curtains. A steady breeze, invited by the open screened windows, carried the crisp autumn cool into his room. Thud. Jeremy tossed off the covers and, like a child, raced to look out each window for the origin of the sounds. He saw nothing unusual outside in the mid-morning sun but the windows of his guest house did not afford a view of the main house.
Slam-bang. Jeremy knew the sound of the backdoor to the main house slamming shut and it was always followed by his mother yelling that a slammed door was just not dignified. He waited but his mother’s voice did not follow. Jeremy asked himself. Why did the door slam? Who was there? He hurriedly hitched up his pants and put on his sandals before leaving to investigate. In his mind Jeremy pictured the scavenger that he had been trying to catch. Maybe it’s the raccoon.
“Willie boy, you sure picked a good one. Look at this shit. Let’s get upstairs and make sure nobody’s home.” The first black man bounded up the steps fearless of meeting someone. At the top of the stairs he pushed open each bedroom door and quickly looked inside for anybody or anything he could pawn. In the master bedroom he removed the two pillow covers and threw one to his companion standing meekly in the hallway. “Hey Willie boy, get downstairs and fill her up.”
Fearfully, the younger black man moved searched the downstairs rooms for saleable treasures. He disconnected the DVD player and bagged some gold plated tableware. As the seconds ticked by, his fear was soon replaced by disgust as he grasped an ancient pair of field glasses, obviously an heirloom and possessing some unknown value, proudly displayed on a sconce. A quick look produced new enthusiasm as Willie called to his partner, “Bones, you should see the books this guy has. Some look to be three hundred years old.”
Who’s here? Jeremy asked himself as he cautiously walked through the kitchen to see who was inside his parent’s house. His heart reverberated in his chest.
“Books? We ain’t after no books. Take one or two and forget it. Too heavy. Its shit we can sell…”
Jeremy watched the man in the living room toss mother’s best silverware into a pillowcase. He is stealing. I wish I had a gun. I’d shoot him. Jeremy stood in the doorway and tried to force his brain to think of how to subdue this criminal without a pistol or light saber.
“Bones, I still feel bad about this; I went to school with one of their kids, until he got sick. Nice people.”
“Yeah? Well, don’t care. Got a good jewelry count. Flat screen here’s mine.” Then “Bones” Plowder paused. “Look here. Looks like one of ‘em died in Afghanistan. Fool. What’d it get ya, pal?”
“Don’t talk like that about the dead,” said Willie who turned to face the stairwell but caught sight of Jeremy standing impassively, observing him. “Uh-oh. We’ve got trouble. Bones!”
Bones galloped down the stairs two at a time and stopped before Jeremy. Bones pulled his knife from his pocket and waived it menacingly before Jeremy’s face. “Bones, no. This is Jeremy. He’s retarded. Retarded. Leave him alone.”
“What’s your name boy? Tell me or I’ll slice your throat.” He waved the knife blade from side to side at Jeremy. Jeremy did not move for a good three seconds and then he shrugged his shoulders and flailed his arms, while babbling incoherently.
Bones took a step back and looked at Willie as he sheathed his knife. “Does he know you? Can the fool talk?”
“I don’t think so. He got sick, I think it was fourth grade, and got like that. They took him outta school. Never saw him again.”
“Good for him. Else I’d have to cut him up. There’s an empty bedroom up there. I’ll take him up. Look for a rope or clothes line or a thin extension cord.” Bones apprehended Jeremy by the upper arm and marched him up the stairway to the unused bedroom, Jeremy’s old bedroom. Jeremy uttered a muffled protest.
“Where's the safe? Tell me boy!” Jeremy's eye brows were pinched and his mouth hung open, frozen in confusion. "Hey! I ain't fooling here. Where's the damned safe?" Jeremy just stared into space. Bones punched Jeremy in the stomach so hard he doubled over. Jeremy babbled incoherently as tears rained down his cheeks. His crying did not sound like crying. Bones squeezed Jeremy’s hand hard, as if a car rolled over his hand. Jeremy cried some more.
Willie returned with an extension cord. “Stop it, Bones. Can’t you see he’s retarded? He can’t tell you nothin’.” The older man just looked disgustingly at Willie. “Bones, I don’t care the consequences; I can’t be a part of this. I ain’t never working with y’all again.”
“Good. Go load the shit. You’re useless anyway.”
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