Chapter 73:     Dramatics

ART writes--

After the concert in Seattle Elaine and I spent about an hour at the 
backstage party to celebrate the evening's extraordinarily triumphant 
event   All participants were happy and excited and there was lust in 
the air.  Literally.

As perhaps the only two people in that entire audience privy to the  
story behind this concert, it was obvious to us that Adam's music had 
been empowered by some kind of Sha-haka magic.  Because we had been 
hearing him play music for years and NEVER had he sounded like that 
before.  His haka had flowed and tangled with everyone else's.  Every 
song had smacked of divine inspiration and generated a high energy 
buzz in everyone present.  Including us.  Yes, even we two Old 
Farts were good and "hotted up" that night.  Wheee, by jiggitty!

So we enjoyed the party as much as anyone else, had a few drinks, 
smoked a joint with the roadies, chatted with the rock stars.  The 
kids were there too, we waved to them but did them the favor of 
allowing them not to have parental-types hanging around with them 
at a bacchanal.

Just before 2:00 in the morning the backstage party ended because the 
Paramount staff had to close the building.  However, that party just 
wouldn't die yet, so everybody shifted four blocks over to the Omega 
Hotel, where Chrome Pie's managers had arranged a salon with bar.  
That seemed like the right time for us to leave the party and begin 
our hour-long drive back to Monroe. 

We looked for the kids to say goodbye, assuming they were having too 
much fun to leave just yet.  They had driven to Seattle in the van 
anyway, so were not dependent on us for a ride.  Pokey and Lissandra 
were easy to find, right in the middle of the social swirl.  Lissandra 
had been drinking and dancing but did not seem to be inebriated. Pokey 
was more sober than me, so we weren't worried about them driving home.  
He also seemed to be having a nice flirt with a very cute little 
Oriental-American girl, so I silently wished him luck.  

We could not find Adam or Melly, but Lissandra said that she had seen 
them together just a few minutes before.  "Looked like they've just 
fallen in love all over again, I got the impression they wanted to be 
alone for a little while."  She wiggled her eyebrows and said, "So I'm 
going to take advantage of my big chance to go have some fun without 
them!"  She rushed back to rub up against Rock Star Scott Richter 
some more.

"Well, no jealousy there," Elaine commented with a little laugh.  We 
had given up trying to understand the dynamic between Adam and his 
two bedmates.

The frenetic energy at that party was finally beginning to abate, 
probably because anyone with a lover handy had already gone somewhere 
else to get laid. Those remaining were still working on it, but the 
desperation level seemed to have diminished.  Yes, time to go. 

Elaine and I were still quite aroused ourselves, and thinking about 
what a fantastic night it still was, fantasized about going out into 
our back meadow and having our own little private party.  We knew 
where Adam kept his stash of khos and the girls had told us how to 
mix it with wine to be able to get it down, all we had to do was get 
naked and yøramma the rest of the night away.  I did tell you we were 
aroused?  That was our plan, so we asked Lissandra to tell Adam 
we had gone, and we left Seattle. 

It never occurred to us to worry about Adam and Melly, although as 
things worked out; there had been plenty to worry about.  Not that I 
believe we could have stopped the Adversary's attack without getting 
killed ourselves, although perhaps we might have prevented the kid's 
disastrous sexual debut, simply by being inconvenient parents in 
the way. 

We later learned that Melly had tried to call us many times during the 
emergency, but never got through to us.  When we came to the concert 
we had shut off our cell phones, as one is supposed to do, although so 
many young people ignore that politeness entirely.  So we were out of 
touch until we came home.  Just as we came in the door the telephone 
rang, which was not Melly but some producer (he said) wanting to sign 
a contract with Squatch & Friends here and now.  I politely mentioned 
what time it was (2:50 in the morning) and hung up.  But the phone 
rang again and again every time I hung up.  So I pulled the plug out 
and there was wonderful peace and quiet.

The part I can't explain is how Dagrolyt answered the phone later that 
night if it was unplugged.  Did he plug it in?  Did he even know how 
to?  Exactly as Melly was calling here?  Later Adam would tell me that 
since Dagrolyt was such a Sha-haka magic man he probably didn't bother 
to plug it in at all. 

But I'm getting ahead of my story, we didn't know about any of that 
yet when Elaine and I got back to Monroe.  It had been a long day and 
our erotic fantasy of a sexy thrill out on the meadow had grown cold, 
now that we were no longer inspired by all those horny young people and 
having being irritated by a hysterical telephone.  So we decided to 
settle for a quickie in our nice comfortable bed instead.  Hey, we're 
not so old that we'd lost interest in the whole idea.

No, I'm not going to titillate (or bore) you by describing our quickie, 
I shall leave such crass sensationalism to the girls. Although perhaps 
I should note that we had underestimated the erotic power of Adam's 
concert, because we found ourselves humming and singing some of the 
songs together as we made love (with the distinct advantage of knowing 
all the lyrics).  We were still at it when the van pulled up into our 
driveway, tooting and honking to wake us up at 4:30 in the morning.  
So we had to stop and get dressed.

As far as we knew at that moment, our son was still the newly-crowned all-conquering guitar hero out celebrating the success of his life along with his friends. We were overjoyed for him and for ourselves. Our perception of that "Happy Ending" changed then and there. Pokey rushed in the front door without knocking--as usual--but thundering footsteps so early in the morning are alarming in themselves. "Art and Elaine! We need HELP!" Dagrolyt was carrying a limp Adam over his shoulders into the living room even as we arrived. Explanations were brief and confusing, but we got up to speed pretty fast because Pokey was telling us what to do. "Adam's been brainwashed by his Adversary, we need to play The Sound of Music on your stereo--as LOUD as we can!" Both Elaine and I were well-versed enough in the background story to avoid asking futile questions, we knew about Adam's Mantra. I began rummaging through our CD collection to find The Sound of Music as fast as I could, but it wasn’t where it should be. Dagrolyt laid Adam out on the sofa, flat on his back. He then checked Adam's pupils just as a Nokhso doctor would, put a little branch of some herbs under his nose, a special stone on his belly, the usual witch doctor routines, I suppose. Except that if this was supposed to be ancient Sha-haka healing magic, how could he be using the skesk of a stereo system? "Crap! I can't find that CD!" “Oh shit, we took a bunch of CDs over to the Mead Hall,” Pokey suddenly remembered, “I think it might be out there!” "Well, that's pretty unhandy," I understated. "We have the movie on DVD!" Elaine reminded me, "just play that!" Sure enough, that we had, I put it on the machine. Then we had to wait through all the copyright protection warnings before we could even begin to access any music on the disc. No getting past it. Pokey was meanwhile stressing that we needed to play it LOUD, although our DVD player sound normally went through one tiny TV speaker, not the stereo system. We had never invested in an opulent surround-sound TV system, being in principal against wasting time watching television. But we quickly set up some adapter cables from Radio Shack to connect the DVD with the hi-fi equipment and in a few minutes we had a big sound ready to rock and roll. Dagrolyt was doing what he could to keep Adam sedated with some Sha- haka herbs, but time was clearly running out. Adam was beginning to stir and the growling sounds we heard coming from him were hardly reassuring, as we were learning more about the evening's events. Finally we could flick through the scenes on the DVD until we came to a sweet young Julie Andrews running across a lovely green meadow high up in the Austrian Alps, waving her arms and singing: "the hills are alive..." The sound was good, we tested the volume and looked over at Adam lying on his sofa. He was still out cold. So we stopped the music and went back to the start of the scene, ready to go. Dagrolyt was conducting this concert. He waved for us to stand back and while sitting on Adam's chest, removed the little branch of herbs under his nose. Adam coughed, rolled his head, his eyes flickered open. And suddenly we had a wild rampaging killer sasquatch on our hands. He shrieked, tried to stand, but Dagrolyt held him down. Elaine and I finally experienced what it was like to fear our beloved son as never before-- as a wild animal, ferocious and dangerous. All the slobbering and snotting was also pretty disgusting. I cranked up the volume, the room filled with violins, which Adam ignored, quite uninterested in all the orchestration. We began to fear that this plan might be a bad mistake with fatal consequences. But Julie Andrews saved us all. From the first notes she sang Adam stopped raging and struggling to listen to her sing about how the hills were indeed alive with the Sound of Music. He became calm, slack-jawed, as if hypnotized. He listened all the way through without moving. Then the song ended as the church bells of Salzburg called Maria to Vespers. We waited to see what Adam would do. He snarled. Dagrolyt was still over him, so Adam couldn't come up before I had time to restart the song, and once again he was pacified. We repeated that process perhaps 20 times, the same song again and again at the highest volume our equipment could generate, not worried about such details as distortion or quality. Elaine had to leave the room, Pokey and Dagrolyt had fingers in their ears, I was wearing a set of unplugged headphones to save my hearing. Adam was taking the full brunt of it, but it was working, he was reacting to the music to the point that he was beginning to sing along with it! Finally he shouted, "STOP! ENOUGH! I can't take any more!" He sounded enough like our son again that I turned the volume down to just below normal to see what he would do, hand still ready on the dial. He looked sane again, so I took off my headphones to hear what he was saying. "Jeez, if I never hear that song again it will be way too soon!"
Adam was cured. Dagrolyt tested him for residual Syssk-effect and declared him clean. The last thing Adam could clearly remember was being overwhelmed by Daklakht on the roof of the Paramount Northwest building five hours before. "Only five hours?" Pokey wondered, "It feels like days!" Adam and Dagrolyt talked together in Nokhontli, losing the rest of us for a while. Adam was obviously very grateful to his friend, but they soon focused on a serious discussion about something else. "What about the girls?" Elaine asked Pokey, while offering him a cup of coffee. "Oh yeah! I better call them now." "It's only 6 o'clock in the morning," she reminded him. Pokey shrugged, punching digits on his cell phone, "Yeah, but there's no way they could be asleep yet, this has all been just too intense." He held the phone to his ear and sure enough, the call was taken immediately. "Hey Liss! We're all still alive and Adam's okay now too! Yeah, we're with Art and Elaine, we played him Sound of Music full blast for over an hour and that did it. Where are you guys anyway?" He listened, "Okay. Good luck getting some zee's, catch you later." "Are they at Doug's?" Elaine asked. "Yeah. Melly was totally freaked out by like that. He scared her pretty bad--well, he scared us all, but especially her. I get the feeling she's going to want to take a little break from Adam for a while. Maybe Liss too, I dunno." "Yes, Adam frightened me too. And you too, I'm sure. Lucky for everyone involved that you hung in there, Pokey. My hero!" Elaine leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek. "Yeah, well...shucks, ma'am." "Khask!" Dagrolyt shouted, which is the Nokhon version of "Oh shit!" He rattled off something to Adam and was on his way out the door at once, suddenly in a great hurry. Within seconds he was into the forest and out of sight. Adam turned to us, "Lots of cars coming here, Police among them. Get ready for trouble!" "Probably Sinsley. Surprised it took him this long," I said, "better let me go out first so that they don't start shooting." "No," Elaine spoke up, "I'll go meet them and stall while you guys agree on whatever the hell you're going to tell them." No one argued with her. Then Pokey and I could also hear the cars, coming fast, at least 5-6 of them, scratching to a stop in the gravel of our driveway even as Elaine slipped on a jacket and went out the door to meet them. "Can you stick to the story that it was you who rescued the Sinsleys from a rogue Bigfoot?" I asked Adam. "I know an Orator can't lie, but..." "It may well be that I am no longer an Orator," Adam announced. "I broke my promise last night..." I was going to respond to that but Pokey was much quicker: "Last night about 2:00, right?" "Er, yeah, I guess," Adam responded, "how did you know?" "Because that's exactly when I suddenly began seriously drinking again, for the first time since you sold me your MAGICAL Orator's promise. It just plain quit working!" "What?" Adam was surprised, then pondered, "Then it must be true, I HAVE lost my Orator status! Whether temporarily or permanently, I have no way of knowing. Oh shit!" "And just when you need to give an especially convincing speech," I complained, nodding toward all the commotion outside our house--car doors slamming, many voices shouting, the squawking of Police radios-- "we're going to have to tell them Something!" Adam pondered for a second, then said, "Pokey, I don't remember much about last night. Just what did happen at the Sinsley's house?" "Hey, I wasn't inside but it sounded like you were totally trashing the place, glass and wood breaking noises. Which stopped after Dagrolyt went in, wearing your clothes." "Yes, he told me he had pretended to be me, without ever speaking to them. Think the Sinsleys bought that?" "Maybe, I dunno. We never saw any light from the windows, so I guess it had to be pretty dark inside. They probably have no idea of what was happening or who was there." "I saw how aggressively you acted this morning," I contributed, "they had to be terrified out of their minds. We were." Pokey looked out the window, "Not just Police, we got TV cameras out there too. And there's Sinsley with Chief Chesterton. This looks pretty big. "Well, guess I'll have to bluff it out," Adam said, "let's go."
Our front yard resembled a spectacular scene from some TV cop series, dramatic and colorful: four white & green Monroe Police cars with blinking blue lights, a bright yellow ambulance, a powder-blue "Channel 8 News" van from Everett and about 30 people in various uniforms. Quite a gathering for 6:15 on a Sunday morning. There were at least four police officers with rifles at ready and ten others with hands near their holsters, ready for a showdown. Ambulance personnel stayed back, near their equipment. The atmosphere was tense. I wanted Adam to stay behind me as we came out of the house, so that no one would take a shot at him, but he would not accept that and walked beside me, Pokey bringing up the rear. The rifles bristled just a little more ready, but no one was sighting them yet. Elaine was talking emphatically with a cameraman from Channel 8 News, making certain that he was getting good coverage of the drama. Good insurance against spontaneous stupidity, assuring that any rash act committed could go nationwide by early evening. Adam and I went directly to where Monroe Police Chief Earl Chesterton and Felix Sinsley stood together, waiting for us to approach. The Chief looked composed but Sinsley looked upset, if not deranged. He also looked much older than last I had seen him. Then again, maybe so did I. Being one of the two cranky old geezers on the scene, I could not resist making a loud and ironic Outraged Citizen's Statement for any and all to hear as we approached them: "Well, here we are again, just like last year--a jolly gaggle of cops with rifles ready to shoot at any shadow that resembles my son. Perhaps we should just make it a tradition..." Chesterton nodded, sympathetic but impatient, having heard it all before. "There's been trouble in town, Art, and your "son" was there, so we need to talk to him." "I'm here, Chief Chesterton, ready to talk," Adam said as he squatted to a polite eye level with those standing, "so can you have your men lower their rifles please?" Earl Chesterton is usually a reasonable man and he saw that Adam was hardly the Berserker Bigfoot Sinsley had described, he shrugged and called to his men. "Let's be polite with those thundersticks, boys. We really don't want any repetitions of last year's rude behavior." The officers sank their muzzles, everyone relaxed visibly. The TV cameras crept in closer. Adam turned to face Sinsley at close range, his posture gigantic but respectful and non-threatening. Sinsley looked nervous at such close proximity but stood his ground, seething with anger/confusion. "Hello Mr. Sinsley. Sorry I didn't have a chance to explain anything this morning, but I had to get that Berserker squatch out of there before your family got hurt--and it wasn't easy. I hope everyone's okay?" "OKAY?" Sinsley had his own tirade ready to roll, " and your goddamn fellow MONSTER destroyed my house and everything we own, there's nothing OKAY about..." "But you are unhurt, and your family? That's what I'm asking," Adam spoke with calming sympathy, "then we can address what happened this morning." It worked. The gas went out of Sinsley's rant, he became confused by Adam's concern. "Well...we are still alive. I wasn't sure we would be." "Neither was I, that MONSTER was pretty scary for me too." Sinsley looked surprised, then nodded. "I might have you to thank for being there, or blame you, but I just don't know which." He went on: "That monster chased the three of us around our house and smashed EVERYTHING, like just for FUN or something, until we were cornered. It could easily have killed us right away, but didn't even try until you show up all of a sudden and whisk it away like it was nothing. "So I have to wonder: did you really save our lives? Or were you and that other Bigfoot in on some kind of fucking farce at our expense?" "I assure you that I am not aware of any such practical joke. I had seriously been led to believe that you were in mortal danger," Adam responded, still avoiding any need to lie. This was going well. Adam had been worried that he was no longer an Orator, but he was adroitly charming his way through a Police hearing. Nothing magical, perhaps, but good enough under the circumstances. However, Sinsley was not about to let Adam get away with any vague answers and asked: "So YOU came to save us?" Well. that was it, the direct question Adam couldn't slide around, and since he could never lie... Adam looked Sinsley right in the eye and said, "Yes, of course." For the first time in his life, Adam had just told a lie! And very smoothly too. Elaine and I exchanged surreptitious glances of amazement. "Why?" Sinsley asked, "We've always been more or less enemies." "Mister Sinsley, I don't want your death on my karma." "All right then," Sinsley said with an accepting nod, "thank you, Adam." "There seems to be some confusion as to exactly what happened," Chief Chesterton mediated, "why don't you tell us your version, Adam?" The television cameras had the scene nicely boxed in now, everything being recorded, just as at the concert the evening before. Another circumstantial piece of historical documentation in the media phenomenon that was compounding around Adam Leroy Forest. Adam hesitated, perhaps too long. Or perhaps for dramatic effect. "Well, Adam?" Chief Chesterton prodded, "or should we take your statement down at the station?" "No, let's take it here; I'm just deciding how much I may tell. There are some secrets I am not at liberty to reveal just yet." "Well, if you don't tell us SOMETHING right now you might not be at liberty at all. We really need to know if there's a dangerous Bigfoot menace running loose out there." "Oh, there IS," Adam stated, "but it's not that poor fool Bigfoot who attacked the Sinsleys. He was under a spell--hypnotized--forced to act as hit-man for the actual perpetrator. That attacker had no control over his actions then and has no memory of them now. But we have broken the spell and he is sane again." "Broken the spell? What the Hell does that mean?" Sinsley asked. "And who are WE?" "To answer those questions I'll have to tell where I've been for those six months I was gone." Everyone there went silent. The TV cameras zoomed in. Adam had the scene. "I've been with my own Sasquatch people, of course. That they exist is hardly giving away a secret simply because I exist and am one of them. "They call themselves the Nokhontli, they live primitively but do have a language, a culture, a religion, a political system and some of them are capable of powerful shaman magic. I've been studying the ways of Sha-haka among them, call it magic or voodoo. The berserker was under a spell: call it a psychosis, call it demonic possession or hypnotism, it's all the same. I used my personal mantra to break the spell." More silence. Lots of blinking. "Uhh...voodoo, o-KAY... So where is that other Bigfoot now?" Chesterton inquired, as a policeman must, and yet phrasing the question perfectly for Adam to answer without telling a lie. "The other Nokhon has fled back into the wilderness where no White Man can ever find him. Pretty much gone." "You just let him GO?" Sinsley complained. "He didn't wait for permission, just ran. But forget him, he's not the problem. Besides, what could you DO with him anyway? Put him in jail? SUE him for damages? Or maybe KILL him? "None of that would do any good because the attack against the Sinsleys was caused by someone else. I've made some good friends among the Nokhontli, but also one bad enemy. He is my ordained Adversary, out to keep me from corrupting the Nokhon Youth with my All-American ways. His name is Daklakht and he has a political agenda against me." "So why attack ME?" Sinsley demanded to know. "Strategic move. To disgrace me in the eyes of the Civilized World of Men, to make me an outlaw here. Daklakht knows about Mankind's perverse obsession for Revenge and intended to pin your murder on me. I probably don't need to explain why YOU would be the target." Sinsley shook his head in disbelief. "You know, this is some real bull- crap you're feeding us. Magic? Voodoo? Bigfoot politics? Mind control?" "Mr. Sinsley, you may have been involved in their politics before. I was bred to be delivered to this White Man's World. This was all planned long before I was born--and then you just happened to be there to make sure I became an orphan. That may have even been part of their plan." "What are you saying? That I was secretly working for some Bigfoot politicians?" He almost laughs. "Or that some Sha-haki voodoo-doctor MADE me do it?" "I don't know yet, but maybe so. Just as that berserker this morning had no idea of what he was doing either. Strings are being pulled out there in Squatchland." "Oh yeah? Well, that would mean I was never really responsible for..." Sinsley stopped, a new expression on his face. Chesterton was watching Adam with a blend of skepticism and tolerance, trying to keep an open mind, but the story was becoming too fantastic for him to believe. "Adam, this is all getting just too abstract for me, I need some real facts! So will you please just tell us how YOU ended up at Sinsley's house along with his attacker? That does seem kind of suspicious." "Daklakht himself physically attacked me last night and he told me that Sinsley was to be killed. I had to race all the way from Downtown Seattle to be there on time." "Wait. This Bigfoot..." "Nokhon." "Yeah, right, this...NOKHON shaman attacked you in DOWNTOWN SEATTLE?" "He's very capable, works as a special agent for the Ultimate Nine Elders." Adam shrugged. "It's a long story." "And a pretty wild one at that, you might have to..." "But if you KNEW an attack was coming," Sinsley interrupted, evidently now believing every word, "why didn't you just call to WARN me?" "Look around us, Mr. Sinsley, THIS is why: cops with rifles. You would have killed the attacker." "Yes, of course! It was out to kill me!" "And yet you are not dead, nor is he. He needed to be saved too, you know." "HIM? He was just a..." "Careful, Felix. Notice all the TV cameras around us? Do you really want to go nation-wide for saying just a Bigfoot? We don't need yet another racist slogan-- Just a Nigger? Just an Indian? To me he was a man, an innocent man at that, enslaved and misused by someone with an agenda. As perhaps you once were. And maybe even Peter as well, if you think about it." That new expression was back on Sinsley's face: wide-eyed astonishment, open mouth morphing towards what might be a feeble smile. Then a tear. "All right, all right, we need to figure out what happens next," said Chesterton, cutting through all the crap, "Adam, are you going to help us find this NOKHON bad guy or what?" "Absolutely not. Think about it-- am I really expected to lead a troop of White Men into the secret lair of the Bigfoot and let them administer Justice as they see fit? And if they can't identify the guilty gook they can always just wipe out the whole tribe. Is that what you're asking of me, Earl?" "Well, when you put it that way... All right, then, what do you suggest?" "This is MY responsibility and I must deal with it out there among the Nokhontli. Besides, he's really pissed me off, so I'll be going after Daklakht myself." "And while you're gone, is he going to send MORE of those berserkers after me?" Sinsley fretted. "Not if I can help it," Adam stated. Sinsley nodded quietly, then reached into his jacket and pulled out a shining .44 Magnum Desert Eagle Mark II. There was a collective gasp from the crowd, especially Elaine and me. But instead of pointing it at Adam he offered it to him butt-first. "Maybe I should loan you this." Chief Chesterton rolled his eyes in disbelief, saying, "Oh Man, you brought that thing along? Better hand it to me real easy, Felix, or it'll be YOU I'm taking in!" But once he had the pistol in his hand he gave Adam a suggestive look and asked, "Or then again, maybe you WOULD like to borrow it?" Adam recognized the pistol: Peter had shot him with it last November. But he responded to both men as if the offer was appreciated, aware that this was their way of offering help. "No thanks, I can't take anything like that with me. All weapons and technologies are forbidden, I'd only end up disgraced and ostracized by Nokhon society. Got to play by the rules." "Well then, you may have a major problem:" Chesterton noted, "if this DAKLAKHT character is such a capable super-agent voodoo shaman, how else are you going to take him?" "I don't know yet," Adam shrugs, "just have to see how it works out." "All right," Chief Chesterton summed things up, "we got property damage, no death or bodily harm, no available perpetrator; I think this case is sliding out of my jurisdiction! Unless..." he looks to Sinsley. "So what about it, Felix, you gonna press charges against Adam, or not?" "What, lock Adam up so he can't go FIX this? Do I really seem that fucking crazy?" Sinsley barked, "Let this man go do whatever it is he's gotta do!"

Chapter 74

Adam out of Eden