Chapter 31:     Strategies

It seems to have been Peter's talk with Lissandra that changed
things for him.  He went from being hopelessly in love  to 
calculating and conniving. Melly related some of the 
conversations they had had after that point.

PETER: Are you going to study with Adam again tomorrow?

MELLY: Guess so, he can't do it alone.  Afraid I'm stuck.

PETER: What for?  Let someone else do it.  I don't like you 
being alone with him. 

MELLY: Oh relax, Addy's like my brother...

PETER: That's bullshit.  He's not really your "brother" at 
all.  He's hot for you and he's jealous of me, which I think 
makes him dangerous.

MELLY: Addy's not dangerous, and don't get started...

PETER: You think you know him, but you don't: a lot happened
while you were away in Indonesia.  He's nice most of the time, 
but he's unstable and WHEN he goes berserk...never mind, you 
don't want to hear me say it, get it from someone else.

MELLY: What?

PETER: Did you hear what he did to that poor dog-- a German 
Shepherd --last year?

MELLY: No.  What?

PETER: He fucking ripped it in half!  I guess it got scared 
and bit him, not really bad, but Adam went nuts and killed it, 
shredded it, I hear.  

MELLY: I don't believe that! Addy wouldn't DO that! Whose dog?

PETER:  Well I don't know, his folks paid to keep it secret, 
but word gets around anyway, y'know.  Piss him off too much, 
and he loses it.

MELLY: Peter, are you lying to me?

PETER: Hey, you're my One True Love, I don't lie to you.  

That story was bad enough, but the next one was worse: PETER: I didn't want to tell you about the girl he attacked in a park in Seattle, but you have to know, before it happens to you. MELLY: I don't even want to hear it--I think you're just jealous and making this stuff up! PETER: Jealous? I've got you, he doesn't. Damn, Melly, I'm SCARED! Scared that he's going to HURT you and...and what could I do to stop him? He's too big to take on man to man. All I can do is WARN you! MELLY: So now you're going to tell me another unsubstantiated story about how Adam went amok and raped some unidentified girl, right? PETER: Unsubstantiated, no. The girl posted it on Internet herself, I read it there, you can too. Check it out--I'll give you the link and you can look it up yourself. MELLY: That Adam raped her? PETER: Not exactly. He couldn't rape her. He tried, but couldn't get it up, so he just got frustrated and slapped her around, threw her into the bushes. Then ran. She just barely survived and described him. Of course, there was no proof that it was THAT bigfoot, even though he could speak English, because he wasn't wearing clothes. (For Melly, this story struck close to what only she knew about Adam: not the violence, but frustration about being unable to have sex with her. She shook her head vigorously to clear the confusion.) MELLY: God, Peter, stop this! It's like you're trying to POISON my mind about Addy, I can't believe these things you're saying about him. PETER: Melly, you'd better, before it's too late!
And so on, he had many stories, evidently, relentlessly chipping away at Melly's confidence in Adam. Melly could not believe the things Peter had told her, even though she wanted to trust him, but seeds of doubt and fear about Adam were planted anyway. She asked around about the German Shepherd story, and had a few people say that they had heard such a rumor, but found no source and no confirmation. She did find the rape story on the web-site Peter had given her, allegedly written by the victim, a girl who had only signed herself as "Sandra" with no address. She did not find the story convincing, it didn't read like a real woman's experience and the "rapacious Bigfoot" seemed falsely melodramatic. Then again, perhaps this "Sandra" was a poor writer. Or a liar, possibly male. She scanned newspaper records on Internet for any other mention of a girl being attacked by a sasquatch in Seattle, but found nothing more than some other anonymous entries about it on Bigfoot watcher websites. Melly was not stupid, she knew how the Internet worked, anyone could post anything, half the women on chat sites were men. She also was aware that Peter himself could have posted "anonymous" e-mails to Internet, the easiest place in the world to falsify information. Perhaps he'd planted the dog rumors as well. But she did not want to believe that about Peter any more than she wanted to believe those things about Adam. "I was caught in a bind," she told me, "where I didn't know if I should trust either Peter or Adam. They were both jealous and I was always feeling bad about both of them, ending up feeling bad about myself. "Then I got a phone call from Liss. She told me how Peter had been asking around about Adam and me and that she had come to mention that I might have once been in love with Adam, just to tease Peter and he had almost gone psycho on her. "Then he'd asked her if she would like to help him 'fuck that Bigfoot over,' which she had refused to be any part of. She told me: 'Watch out, I think Peter might up to something drastic.' "When I confronted Peter with that he told me Liss was full of shit, said he'd already known I had once been screwed up over Addy, why should he flip out about that? And Adam was too BIG to 'fuck over' safely, so she had either misunderstood or was out to cause trouble herself. "Finally I had to do something. Peter had become so obsessed with how EVIL Adam was that he seemed evil himself, or slightly sick and that made it easier for me to decide what to do." MELLY: Peter, I think we should stop seeing each other for a while. PETER: What, stop seeing? Are you breaking up with me? MELLY: Yeah, sorry. PETER: For...HIM? The Bigfoot? MELLY: No, not him directly. But the more you try to scare me away from Addy the more scared I get of YOU. PETER: But HE'S the one who's... MELLY: STOP! I can't stand anymore! And I won't hear any more! I don't BELIEVE the things you're saying--I've known him all my life, and he's not like you say! PETER: (very cautiously) Tell me; are you in love with him? MELLY: Not any more. (Peter seemed to stagger at those words, almost go into panic, then tried to ignore what she had said.) PETER: But...but we CAN'T break up! I love you, don't you love me? MELLY: I've been in lust with you, you knew that. I've never pretended to be in love at all. PETER: But I want you to marry me! MELLY: Oh Peter, don't be silly. I don't want to marry ANYONE right now, thanks. PETER: (now he regains control, cooler and calmer) Wait, okay, you're right, we're just in lust. I got carried away. But why can't we just go on like that? I won't say anything about Adam any more, I promise! MELLY: But you'll think it, and I'll feel it, and it's been making me feel bad. I want to feel good again. PETER: Hey, baby, I'll make you feel good! We have great sex, why end it? MELLY: Sex isn't everything. PETER: That's true, but it's a big part of everything. Look, why not think it over? See if I don't begin to behave--okay, maybe I WAS being jealous--give me a chance. There's gonna be a real honking party Friday night out at Big George's place, let's go to that. If nothing else we can have one last goodbye fuck. MELLY: Oh, all right. I guess I owe you another chance...or a nice goodbye. PETER: At the very least.
Peter was still living at his parent's home when he wasn't out at the logging camps, although he did have his own separate apartment in the basement. He got along rather well with his father, Felix, both being real "men's men". "Hey Pop, can I borrow your Magnum this weekend?" Peter asked, "There's going to be a shooting contest at Big George's party tomorrow and I thought I'd show up with a REAL gun." "It's a pistol, son..." "Yeah, yeah, this is my pistol and this is my gun..." "Well, I guess so," Sinsley went past the gun rack on the wall of his den, where several hunting rifles and a few old Western revolvers were displayed. He went to his desk and reached underneath to deftly pull out a heavy black pistol hidden yet handy there. He presented it to Peter with both hands, as if it was a revered icon. To them it was: a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle Mark II. Peter received it just as respectfully, these guys loved guns. He admired the impressive machinery of it, shook his head in wonder, "Wow, Pop, it's really a beauty!" "Sure is, but bring it back afterwards-- you know why I keep it around." "Yeah, being as it's the most powerful handgun in the world," Peter did his best Clint Eastwood impression, "and it'll blow a Bigfoot's head CLEAN off!" "But he probably won't attack us tonight...if he ever does." "Oh, I wouldn't get too relaxed about him, Dad. But you do have other guns." "Yeah, but this particular Magnum can drop a deer at 100 yards, not many other pistols can do that. But of course, I got it with point blank close-up range in mind, just in case. That's the one handgun I'm SURE would stop him." "Well, maybe it will one day." "Let's hope it never comes to that." "Yeah, let's hope that. Oh, hey, got any ammo?" Felix took a box of steel-jacketed .44 bullets from a drawer and handed them to Peter. "Here, if you want more... buy them yourself, these buggers are expensive." Peter looked unsatisfied, "Haven't you got any soft-nosed rounds?" "Nope. You know why I have that gun. If I'd load it up with cross-cut dum-dums and just happen to shoot you-know-who in self-defense, the exit wound be considered proof of intent to do murder." "Hey, I'm not planning to shoot anyone. It's just targets, but it would be more fun if they sort of explode. Doesn't matter. Anyway, I'll get the Magnum back to you by Monday."
There WAS to be a shooting contest at Big George's party, but it was Peter who had instigated it: evidently, he wanted a reason to have the pistol in his possession that weekend.

Chapter 32

Adam out of Eden