Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 7

Detective Barley couldn’t pull the pieces together. It just didn’t make sense. Sure, he’d had a bit of a drinking problem in the past. But he’d been on the wagon for more than three years now. He knew what he’d seen. And he knew it really happened.

And then there was the testimony of the different witnesses impacted by this guy. As he looked down at the pictures of his John Doe he’d pulled from the internal video survellience from the hospital he just sat and shook his head. The pictures were poor – too poor to match against. He knew because he’d already tried.

Barley had gotten no end of grief when the other officers found out. Soon the other officers began posting MISSING posters of ghosts with his name all over them. He’d become the laughing stock of the department. And yet that didn’t change his position in the department much for the worse. He’d been jeered at from the day he passed the exam. There were a number of people that lost large sums betting against Barley that day. It just didn’t make sense that someone like him would even begin to make it to the starting line of the physical test… let alone pass the test.

What the other officers didn’t know was that Robert Barley had been practicing and struggling with the physical side of the exam for over a year. He’d hurdled the fixed wall in his backyard hundreds of times. And the gate he’d had put in gave him fits at first. But eventually he was able to beat the 90 second mark needed.

What really made the other officers in the department mad was the fact that Barley not only wanted to be an officer, his biggest dream was to get into the cold case division. He let his desire be known early on and the jokes had begun immediately. Walking the beat wasn’t even good enough for this guy. He wouldn’t stop until he made it to a full fledged detective placed over all the department’s cold cases. In his mind that was where he would prove himself.

To be handed a folder with all the details and specifics of a case and to be able to sift out the wheat from the chaff would be his strong point. The ability to connect dots that others had failed at doing. To take a case that stumped his predecessors and to drive it home to completion. That was what he wanted to do. He wanted to prove himself that he was better than everyone gave him credit for.
Barley was used to the derision by now. He was used to the humiliation and the laughter.

He’d been short as long as he could remember. Pudgy and fairly slow on the ballfield Barley quickly gave up any hope of distinguishing himself athletically. And so he became something of a recluse. A shut in even. If you can call an elementary school student a shut in, that was Barley. Daily he would walk by the drugstore to purchase a fountain drink and the latest comics. And he would head home to wait for his mother to return later that night from work.

Barley began trying to emulate the drawings of the comics that he so dearly loved. The lines and the curves. The details. But he finally admitted that he just couldn’t do it. So he became a connoisseur of history. Fictional and real alike. He memorized whole swaths of Arcanum in every area of life imaginable. World War II details and trivia. Flash Gordon information that only the most diehard fan might know. Music history and how the jitterbug was created. He studied the atom bomb and eventually figured out how to create one himself, even if only theoretically.

By the time Barley became an “adult” he could have easily replaced almost any historian in most of the various departments at the Smithsonian if he wanted. Even then he had begun to piece scraps of information together and clues to the fact that there was a larger secret order of powerful beings walking the planet. History books alluded to them even though they didn’t know they were referring to them. Whole swaths of history were so unexplainable and inscrutable that these beings had to exist.

And so Barley had begun to look for them.

Which explains why Detective Barley’s nickname throughout the department had quickly solidified as Fox Mulder. The infamous character from the show X-files. The character that believed the truth was out there if only they could just find the clues necessary to string it all together. Barley had worn the moniker with pride. Finally, they understood the truth. And when the condom aliens started appearing in his locker he figured it was just the price he had to endure in order to do what no one else had ever done before. It was his cross to bear.

The case that changed his life actually wasn’t even a case really. There was no crime. There was no criminal. There had been an accident involving a Semi Truck and a family of four. The father had died tragically in the crash. And somehow there was another random individual involved. It was an individual the wife didn’t know.
What happened in that intersection wasn’t possible. The traffic cameras were clear on this point. The impossible had occurred there. One moment this family of four was on their way to visit their Grandmother’s house. The next moment a Pepsi truck was barreling in on them. It was sudden and violent. The semi had hit the Jetta broadside in the driver’s side. And one moment they were all going to die. And the next moment the mother and her two children were safe on the sidewalk with a front row view of the carnage.

It didn’t add up. Nothing about the crash added up. The semi driver had fallen asleep at the wheel after 18 hours straight of cross-country driving. Nearing his destination he just nodded off. That part was simple enough to understand. But the miraculous teleportation of the three family members was baffling. The police officer initially investigating the case hadn’t even pulled up the video. He had assumed the mother and her three children had been thrown from the car and had luckily been spared the worst of it.

The incident was closed and the police officer had moved on.

Barley got involved when he’d heard the woman at the front desk pleading for someone to believe her. That something magical had happened. That something should be done to investigate. And so Barley offered to listen. It wasn’t even under his purview. But he took her over to his desk all the same and listened as she cried, sobbed even, about the truck and her teleportation to the curb.

The fact that she was beautiful in a distinguished motherly sort of way didn’t hurt either Barley thought. It was rare that he even spoke to women, let alone assisted them in any sort of distinguished way. And so Barley began digging into the incident. And it hadn’t taken him long at all to begin seeing the crash through the mother’s eyes. The evidence was all there – but since it didn’t add up to a logical narrative that was even remotely humanly possible the woman had been written off.

And then Barley had seen it happen himself.

The nurse denied it of course. Her reputation and her career was at stake. But he knew what he saw. He was standing there in the bathroom as the subject had started to wake up. It was a fluke really, that he was there then. He’d only come to the hospital earlier that day. And so for him to even be there as he woke up was a miracle unto itself. Another sign from the heavens that he was meant to uncover whatever this was that was going on.

One second the nurse was asking the patient what his name was and the date and the next second he was gone. Just like the mist. Oh, and his pencil had hit him in the head. And notepad had up and disappeared into the toilet. There were just way too many coincidences going on all at once.
So Barley made the mistake of his short life. He chose to close the official case in the police system. And he began to investigate this incident on behalf of the mother on his own. He used his spare room as an operation center. He brought in every history book and map that might have been relevant to the case over the history of time. He began detailing leads on the family as quickly as he could in his spare time. At first he was looking for a family connection of any sort. A relative or a family member that might be connected with this larger hidden underworld.

What Barley didn’t realize was that this preoccupation would eventually cost him his life.