Chapter 35:     Adam's Promise

ART writes---

We went on expeditions to find Adam ourselves, Elaine and I.  Many
friends helped us, Melly and Doug, Dave the hippie mailman, people 
from Naked Lake, some of Adam's old school friends like Pokey, 
Stan and Willy.  We had all at one time or another been with Adam
in some special hidden places up in the mountains which we simply 
had to check out, but never found any sign of him.

One late November evening, cold and wet, starting to snow, Doug 
and I had driven a circuit of Spada Lake up North of Sultan in the
foothills of the Cascades, looking for any clue that Adam had 
passed that way.  Waste of time, of course.  Then it was dark and 
we spent a couple of hours driving slowly home through a blizzard,
blinded by flying snow, slipping and sliding all the way, arriving
back home half-frozen, beaten from the tension of that trip.

The house was so warm and cozy, logs burning in an open fireplace,
two beautiful women--Elaine and Melly--waiting for us with warm 
food and a couple of hot toddies to warm our bellies.  We had been 
delivered from Hell to Paradise.  

We were, but not Adam.  The thought of poor Adam being out in that
cruel winter hurt and alone, was unbearable.  Melly began to cry 
again and Doug tried to comfort her.

But suddenly Doug began to cry as well, uncontrollably, as if in 
some great emotional agony.  So much that Melly had to change roles 
and comfort him, although she was not certain exactly what he was 
crying about.

Then it came out: "It's all my fault!" Doug cried and told us 
this story.

DOUG confesses-- It happened seven years ago, a few days before I left for Jakarta, just after that evening here when we'd all had that big argument about sex. I had asked Adam to come by after school and give me a hand moving Melly's piano, which was to be sent to Jakarta in a container. Melly herself was off to Seattle that day so it was just the two of us. This was planned. I wanted to have a man-to-man talk with Adam. I'd been drinking and Adam could smell it. He could also see the half-empty bottle of Canadian Club Whiskey on the coffee table in the living room. He was clearly embarrassed about it but I could sense that he understood that I still wasn't over Sally's death yet. This was only 5 months after. I was actually a little too drunk to be of much help moving the piano, so it was easiest for Adam to simply lift it up onto the truck alone. One end up, then shove the other end in. After all, it was only 500 pounds. "Goddamn, you're strong, Adam! How tall are you now, anyway?" "Just passed 7 feet." "Damn! And only thirteen years old , hey, you might make it to eight feet tall yet." "What are you trying to say, Doug?" We all know that Adam under- stood nonverbal communication as well as words--body language, pauses and intonations. Couldn't fool that boy. "Yeah...well okay, since you brought it up: you know that I'm concerned about going away and leaving Melly here with you. So, may I be blunt?" "I guess you're going to be anyway." "I don't want you having sex with my daughter, Adam. Ever." "Uh...yeah well, um, you made that clear the other night, but what am I supposed to do about it? Promise not to, forever?" "Exactly." He looked at me as if I was mad. Perhaps I was. "You're kidding!" "Not even a little bit. You're a man of your word, Adam, you always keep your promises. So I want you to promise me that you'll never EVER have sexual intercourse with Melly--not even if she tries to initiate it." Well, Adam's mouth fell open at that. He recovered enough to ask: "Wait, let's get this straight: you're not even trying to trick me this time, you're blatantly saying that you actually want me to promise celibacy between Melly and me for the rest of our lives?" "Exactly! Do I have your promise, Adam?" "Of course not, we'd already established that last night. In case you're too drunk to remember, I offered to guarantee our celibacy while..." "Oh, I remember, all right. You two were only promising that you WOULD fuck later. No, WHILE won't do. "Look, Doug, not that I've been planning to...jeez, we're only 12 years old, what is this crap? Besides, Melly doesn't want me to promise that and you know it!" "This has nothing to do with Melly; this is between me and you!" Adam looked at me in amazement, ol' Doug Wielson, a man whose intelligence he had always admired, shaking his head in disbelief. "One of us has to be really stupid to believe that, Doug," Adam told me and he was right. I didn't believe that either, but I had to play the part, had to fool him. "I don't care what you think: promise me, or you'll NEVER SEE her again! I promise you that!" Even drunk I knew exactly how stupid THAT sounded and he did a double-take at me, obviously not believing what an idiot I had become. "Doug, do you even know what you're saying?" as if explaining the facts of life to me, "What, that you're planning to control Melly when she grows up and for the rest of her life? How, by MURDERING her? Whatever happened to that Big Picture you always talk about?" I broke down and started crying again, in no shape to win any argument of semantics with Adam, the kid was too good at the meaning of words; I had to concentrate on emotions. "Can't you understand that I'm scared for my little girl?" "Yeah, well sure, I can appreciate that, I guess...while she's young. But you're trying to get me to promise FOREVER, even after she's grown up. How can we know..." "Adam," I interrupted, "do you really think it's RIGHT for a squatch and a human to have sex together?" "We all discussed that last night, Doug and nobody else seems to have any problem with that. So forget all the SODOMY and MORALITY shit, okay?" "But what do YOU think?" "I was raised as a human, I live with humans and I love a human girl, who also loves me. We can't help what species we are." "You say that you love Melly, but then why don't you care about her best interests instead of just your own? Have you even THOUGHT about what it will be like for her to be your woman?" "Jeez, Doug, I'm only a kid..." "Exactly! You haven't seen the Big Picture: the social ostracism Melly will suffer for being the woman of a Bigfoot..." "That's more bullshit, Doug and you know it. You're slipping back into the 18th Century again." "All right then, look at the hard scientific facts: the inevitable physical consequence of being a sasquatch is that you will soon be over eight feet tall and weigh 500 pounds. You're already as strong as a gorilla. Your weight would crush her, your strength could rip her apart." "I know all that. I also know that any strong man could hurt any weaker woman...but they DON'T!" Damn, the kid was good! Didn't stop me though, "But that's not the worst..." I said, making a dramatic pause, "...Adam, I've SEEN your ERECTION!" That stopped him. He was worried about that--hell, he had to be. I shook my head with pity. "Out at the lake, you two were alone at the rope swing, I had binoculars. And, well...My God, I was shocked. I even felt sorry for you: no human woman could ever take on such a huge DICK and certainly not my little girl..." "It''s not THAT it?" "Sorry Addy, I'm sure you're sensitive about that. Actually, I doubt that you could ever be with ANY human woman. I know that's hard to accept, but that...that LOG you have would split apart a normal woman's pussy apart. "And you know what really scares me, Adam? --the thought of that being STUFFED into my little girl and simply RIPPING her open... that horrifies me!" "Jeez, Doug, don't..." "With your strength and your weight-- if you were to become sexually excited and get really going at it, like guys DO when they're screwing --start FUCKING and POUNDING away at her poor little body so that her spine would shatter and her hips would dislocate... "Stop it!" "'d probably KILL Melly!" "Uh...I don't believe you're saying this, Doug...I'd NEVER hurt Melly!" "No, you promised, I know. And you wouldn't on purpose, I know that too. But it could happen, by accident. I don't really want to forbid you to see each other, but I can't have you two getting more involved every day..just can't." Doug began to cry, holding his face in his hands. "Can' poor little girl...what would Sally think?" Adam was about to argue, but seeing me break down took all the gas out of his anger. I overdid it, of course, knowing that this good kid couldn't help feeling sympathy for an old family friend, whom he had known and respected for most of his life. So he just stood there, arms hanging, slumped. Not knowing what to do or say. He probably hadn't even yet formulated what his own sexual ethics should be, as said, he was only 13. But then he shook his head in exasperation with me for being drunk and trying to bully him with false logic and emotional bullshit. Let me give him credit: it didn't work, he wasn't being fooled. In fact, he stood up tall and Really Big and spoke sternly to me: "You know, these are all arguments you could have brought up last night--but didn't because you'd rather get me off by myself and bully me into submission. Well, I'm not going to make any such promise just between you and me! So if you want to negotiate further, you'll have to do it with Melly and my folks present!" I deliberately cringed away when Adam spoke sternly, as if I was afraid of him. Not that I really feared Adam would hurt me, I knew he wouldn't--although who could help feeling insecure about trying to upset anyone so Big And Strong? I was actually backing into my back-up plan. Back another step, then quickly turned and left the room. Adam probably thought that was strange, he hadn't threatened me, just made a stand. I'm sure he started to realize that something was going on. But I was back as fast as I'd left, having just ducked into the other room to fetch my double-barreled .35 shotgun, which I'd hidden there loaded and cocked and I aimed it directly at Adam. "Well, you might be right about that squatch stuff, partner," I said, John Wayne style, "I don't know. But I do know that you're never going to have Melly. You promise me, or by GOD I'll..." "Doug, no!" Adam put his hands out, afraid of a shotgun in the hands of a drunken man. "Promise, Adam, or I'll KILL you!" I tried to sound serious, a desperate drunk man. "But I KEEP my promises, I can't make stupid ones," Adam said, shying away from the shotgun muzzle. "I'm sorry about this, Adam, but goodb..." "No, no, wait!" There was panic in his voice now, tears in his eyes. This was going well. "I'll wait 3 seconds...2 seconds...1 second..." "All right all right! Don't shoot! I promise not to..." "...NEVER to," I edited, but was a little drunk myself and just had to be vulgar, "...never EVER TO FUCK Melly... Say it!" Adam spoke in a weak yet quite formal voice. "I promise never ever to FUCK Melly..." but he was tricky "...on the CONDITION that you can release me from this promise someday." "No conditions! No escape clauses," I insisted, aiming the weapon directly at his face. "I may be a little drunk, but I'm not that stupid, Addy--such a condition means that you can just come at me later, when you're even bigger and stronger and threaten to rip off my arms and legs if I don't release you." Adam started crying again, "But I don't DO that stuff!" My vision blurred, this wasn't easy, I was starting to cry myself. "I'm really sorry, Adam, but I'm going to have to kill you if you don't make the right promise: Never Ever, No Conditions. Say it!" "No! I won't betray Melly like that!" His eyes were closed and he just stood there waiting for me to shoot. "Betray? This is to SAVE her..." Adam's eyes opened and suddenly I found myself looking into the ferocious face of a morally outraged sasquatch. I suddenly began to wonder if a .35 gage shotgun was anywhere big enough to stop him if he got angry enough to attack. But he only attacked verbally, "Every word coming out of your mouth right now is SHIT, Doug, spoken like you're doing some noble thing to save your daughter--when actually it's just CRIMINAL! People stink when they lie and you really stink right now! "Check out your famous Big Picture: what happens next? If you DO kill me, you go to prison for murder, Melly loses both mother and father this year, as well as me. If you DON'T kill me--and I press criminal charges for assaulting a minor with a deadly weapon--you go to prison. Also, when Melly finds out what you've done she'll hate you forever and so will Art and Elaine. You're just screwing yourself royally, Doug!" I had to admit that for a frightened "little" boy, Adam was thinking quite coherently. I myself was just a little too drunk to match wits with him. This was quickly becoming a mess, it hadn't gone off as neatly as I'd figured. Of course, I never had any intention of actually SHOOTING Adam, I'd only wanted to scare him into making one reasonable little promise. Now it was almost time to call in the lawyers. Or think fast... The bottle of Canadian Club I'd been taking courage from was still on the table, half full. I picked it up and took a good swig of whiskey, concentrating on keeping the shotgun aimed at Adam. "Say the promise, boy!" I commanded and took another swig. "I'm going to count to three and if you haven't made the promise I want, I shoot you. That's the deal, screw the consequences, I'll sacrifice myself to save Melly." I took another swig. "Smell NOW if I'm lying!" I assumed I wasn't, I didn't even know myself by then. I was getting drunk enough to make it true, In vino veritas! Another swig. "One." Adam looked around for a way out. There was none. "Two." "Jeez, Doug, please..." He was scared, a 13 year-old kid facing a gruesome bloody death, after all. "Thre..." "All right, okay, okay! I promise never...ever to...FUCK...Melly!" I took a last swig and the bottle was empty anyway. Guess I was beginning to wobble by then, not much time left before I had to collapse. Adam was also about to collapse, starting to weep. "Oh shit no no no, what have I done? Melleee!" To tell the truth, my heart went out to him just then. I do love Adam...I just love Melly more and that was that. "Good boy," I said, but did not yet lower the shotgun. "Now I need you to also promise NEVER to retaliate for this: NOT punish me; NOT tell anyone what's happened here--especially not Melly. This must be a secret pact." "Jeez, how many promises do you want?" "It'sh getting kind of messy, I know--just promise never to get revenge and we'll both know what it means. Otherwise I'll have to shoot you now." It ended up that Adam said, "I promise never to retaliate for this totally shitty thing you're doing to Melly and me." "Okay," I said. Pretty smugly I suppose, hell, I was flying. I remember lowering the rifle, breaking it open, withdrawing the shells, finally putting it aside and therefore putting myself at Adam's mercy were he to attack now, "...that'll do, I guesh." But Adam didn't attack, he was beaten, sitting slumped on the floor, whimpering in misery, eyes running with tears. He kept whining, "Melleee...Melleee..." Made me feel bad, poor kid. "Shorry, Addy, honesht," I almost couldn't talk now, the whisky was taking me out, "jusht hadda protect my little girl. Moshtly from hershelf, really--she's all goofy about you, do ANYTHING for you, even...shex. Couldn't have that, could we, partner?" Through his tears, Adam actually managed a snappy comeback: "What you mean WE, white man?"
ART writes--- We were all more or less paralyzed after Doug's confession. He sat slumped, head hanging in shame. Elaine was looking at him with astounded indignation. I was just numb. And Melly was no longer holding and comforting him, she had in fact retreated as far away from her father as she could get, the expression on her face colder and harder than I had ever seen it. "So that's why Addy wouldn't ever make love with me..." "Melly," Doug began, "I'm sorry for..." Melly's voice went harsh "..and never can, since it's one of his damned lifetime promises!" Elaine spoke, soft but deadly, "Doug, how could you? He was only an innocent little boy!" "I know, I'm sorry! I was drunk..." "No man, don't use that excuse," I had to interrupt him, "you got drunk deliberately so that you could go through with it." "All these things are true, I admit it! I'm a shit! And I've regretted it ever since--and now he might be...dead...because of what I did." "That's right, Dad. I would never have gotten involved with Peter if I could have just had the one guy I really loved." "I was only trying to save you from..." "From a monster? Great job you did of it too--Peter was more of a monster than Addy could ever be. You also lied to me, Dad. You said it wasn't you who had made Addy promise not to...not to fuck me." "I know...I was afraid that you'd never forgive me," he whimpered. Melly screamed at him, a bitter, horrible shriek, "I WON'T!" Elaine's voice was just as horrible when she said, "You leave this house now, Doug." Nothing more was said. Doug left in disgrace. Melly did not go with him, but went up to be alone in Adam's room.
Elaine cried about what Doug had done to her son, saying to me, "I can't believe I ever loved that man. Now I hate him!" Actually, she had loved Doug so much at one time that it had worried me, but we had gotten through that long ago. Melly stayed with us for a few days, then moved out of Doug's house to share an apartment with Lissandra Cunnings and is still not talking to her father. Doug lives alone and works all the time. We don't see him these days. At least he didn't start drinking again. We don't need one more tragedy stacked upon the others. Our lost son, Melly's lost love, even the Sinsleys have their tragedy to deal with. Adam disappeared November 9th, over a month ago. It is mid- December now, gray and rainy, bleak as can be. There. Now you've read our story about Adam Leroy Forest, so far. At this time we have no happy ending for you. But, of course, we are still hoping that this is not THE ending. Nor do we believe that it is-- Adam IS alive, out there somewhere, the power in that body of his was too miraculous to be so easily snuffed out. Or are we dreaming? The destructive power of a .44 Magnum is indisputable, punches holes through engine blocks, etc. Not a good weapon to be shot with, not good at all. God damn Peter Sinsley and I don't care if Felix wants to sue me for writing that. For us, writing this book has been to get us through the waiting. Now this book is done, but the waiting is not. There is no more to write unless Adam shows up again. However, if he does, all you have to do, lucky reader, is go on to the next page. END OF BOOK ONE
onward to

Book Two

Adam out of Eden