The Foxwood Chronicles
By FreeThinker


Chapter Sixteen



            “This will be a good movie. The man on the Today show said it has good special effects. He says Ridley Scott is a great director. He says Harrison Ford is better than he was in Star Wars. He says…”


            “Yeah, Adam,” Evan interrupted with a grin and an arm around his boyfriend’s shoulder. “I’ve heard all sorts of good things about Blade Runner. My mom actually met Ridley Scott once.”


            “Yeah,” said Jesse with a grin, “I’ll bet you met John Wayne and Elizabeth Taylor, too.


            “Yeah, and even Rock Hudson…” Ryan continued with his own teasing grin.


            “Well, actually,” Evan started, though he felt that discretion called for him to refrain

from the comment he had been about to make.


            The four boys were waiting in line to buy tickets at the Southgate Twin Cinema in the mall, which Evan thought looked more like a converted garage compared to the theaters back in LA. Three weeks in Foxwood had taught him that there was no reason to rub his friends’ noses in the fact that LA had more exciting things than Foxwood. He liked his friends. They were decent guys and he was grateful they had befriended him. Besides, there was something kind of nice about the innocence and the lack of pretension in Foxwood. It was actually a lot easier to go to the movie in Foxwood, though the choices were pretty limited and if you missed it one week, you probably missed it period.


            “So, Adam,” said Ryan as they paid for their tickets, “your mom says you don’t go to a lot of movies. How come?”


            “Sometimes they get too intense for me,” he replied in his flat voice. “But, I am better now. I can handle it. Evan will be with me. He will help me. I will be OK. It will be fun.”


            Ryan smiled at Evan and replied, “Evan sure has done a lot to help you. You seem a lot more, well, I don’t know, confident I guess.”


            Evan smiled gratefully at Ryan as Adam replied, “Yes. Evan has helped me. The doctors think I might go to school this fall. But, I think I can learn more from the college professors. But, I would like to have a lot of friends. I am glad I have friends now. This is fun. You are my friends.”


            Ryan paid for his and Jesse’s tickets and then waited for Evan to pay for his and Adam’s.


            “I am not supposed to eat popcorn,” Adam said as the boys lined up at the snack bar. “It is not healthy.”


            “Well, you know what?” Evan said with a rebellious grin, “Your mom’s not around and popcorn’s fun. You’re gonna share some of mine.”


            He paused and with a wink to Ryan and Jesse, he added, “It will be fun.”


            Their friends chuckled and Adam smiled.


            “I will show you fun.”


            “Wooooo,” Ryan and Jesse intoned with humorous eyes.


            As they made their way into the theater, Evan ignored some of the comments from kids along the aisle about Adam and his loping walk. He bit his tongue until they had found some empty seats near the front. Jesse and Ryan entered first and then Evan, who deliberately put Adam in the aisle seat in case of emergency.


            Naturally, on a summer afternoon when most of the audience consisted of teenagers and pre-teens, there was a lot of popcorn and candy flying through the air and Adam watched the high jinx with interest. At one point, he reached into Evan’s popcorn and was about to throw some randomly in the air when Evan touched his hand and shook his head. Adam nodded and ate it instead.


            The first sign of trouble came, however, as the lights dimmed and a loud cheer rose from the audience. As the first preview came on, the sound was painful, even for Evan. Adam dropped his Coke on the floor and grabbed his head. Evan looked over in alarm and immediately leaned against him, afraid to put his arm around him in a theater full of teenagers.


            “It’s OK, Adam. Nothing to worry about. You’re OK. I’m here.”


            Adam was trembling, but he was bravely hanging on. He held his head, but he was looking up at the screen, at least.


            However, after only a couple of minutes, as the action on the screen became even more complex and wild and the sound continued to crescendo, it became too much for the boy. Adam leaned forward and, desperately clutching his head, began to wail in terror. Ryan leaned over in alarm as Evan put his arm around him.


            “Shut the fuck up, you freak!” yelled a teenage boy across the aisle and several rows behind. Ryan sat up and gave him a look that immediately shut him up.


            “Fucking morlock,” he muttered toward the kid as Evan continued trying to sooth Adam. But, his efforts were failing. Just as Adam was about to regain some degree of composure, something would erupt on the screen and he would collapse into terror again. Evan finally realized it wasn’t going to work and stood up.


            Carefully, Evan maneuvered Adam up and out of his seat and holding the crouching boy around the shoulder, guided him up the aisle to assorted catcalls from numerous kids. Ryan and Jesse followed as bodyguards and were able to quell all but the most rebellious taunting.


            Once they had reached the lobby, Evan guided Adam over to a couch against the wall and sat him down. Adam was moaning as he rocked back and forth, his hands clutching his hair and pulling in desperation. Evan held him tightly, whispering soothing words to him as Ryan and Jesse knelt before him.


            “Do we need to call his mother?” Jesse asked.


            Evan shook his head.


            “He’s getting better. I think he’ll be OK. We just can’t stay for the flick. You two go on

back and watch it. We’ll sit here for a bit and then walk home.”


            “Are you sure?” Ryan asked. “I can call my mom. She won’t mind giving you a ride. It’s a mile up to campus and then half a mile to the church.”


            Adam was becoming quieter and his rocking had become less pronounced. Evan thought for a moment and then replied, “I think the walk will do us good. We can stop at Chris’s and get some Brain Juice. How does that sound, Adam?”


            The boy sniffed and muttered, “Yes. I want Brain Juice. That will be good.”


            “Go on,” said Evan with a smile. “Enjoy the movie. We’ll have a good time walking back.”


            Ryan was not certain, but he nodded.


            “OK. If you’re sure.”


            Evan nodded and said, “Adam and I will be OK. Won’t we Adam?”


            “Y-y-yes. We will b-b-be OK. We will walk. We will get Brain Juice.”


            Jesse and Ryan exchanged looks of doubt and concern and Ryan affectionately squeezed Adam’s shoulder. However, Adam reflexively jerked as he did and Evan gave him a sad smile. Ryan nodded in understanding and stepped away. He and Jesse returned to the theater.


            After a long moment, Evan leaned down and looked into Adam’s face.


            “You ready to go get some Brain Juice?”


            Adam nodded weakly and Evan stood, gently pulling his boyfriend up. Slowly, they walked out of the lobby and out onto the sidewalk around the mall.


            As they walked across the sweltering parking lot, Adam seemed to regain more composure. Even his usual loping gate seemed to become less pronounced as they reached the road and crossed at the light. They walked a block past the road before turning north into the residential neighborhood of small, boxlike houses that made up what the College Hill kids always called “Morlocktown.” Evan thought nothing of walking through the area and as he and Adam passed through the quiet, almost deserted neighborhood, Adam tried to explain the Theory of Relativity to Evan, who was not paying attention to the several teenage boys who had gathered behind them. It was not until another stepped out in front of them from beside a beat-up Chevy Impala that Evan realized the danger.


            “Hey, pretty boy,” the guy in front of him sneered, blocking their way. “Who the fuck are you?”


            Adam stopped and was motionless. Evan looked behind him as he heard snickers and saw the four others. His heart began to beat faster and his stomach constricted, but he fought to remain calm. He had trained for just this very moment back home.


            “We’re just walking home from the movie,” he said.


            The one in front, dressed in filthy cut-offs and an oily sleeveless tee-shirt looked at Adam.


            “Is Pretty Boy your boyfriend? Do you fuck Pretty Boy or does he fuck you?”


            Fearing how Adam’s mind might work in this dangerous situation, Evan quickly warned his boyfriend, “Don’t say anything.”


            Adam looked up at Evan and nodded. Apparently, he didn’t understand the degree of danger they were in. Evan was relieved, in a way, but this was also cause for more concern because Adam might not know how to get out of the situation once it grew more dangerous.


            “I bet you fuck Pretty Boy. He looks too faggy to be on top,” the punk spat. The others laughed, though none had yet spoken. One, however, stepped toward Evan and shoved him forward.


            “Maybe Pretty Boy wants one of us to fuck him.”


            Once again the others laughed. Only then did Adam seem to realize they were in danger. This was what Evan had feared. Adam raised his hands to his head and looked downward. His fingers began their dance and a soft, almost strangled moan escaped from his throat.


            “What the fuck’s the matter with you?” the ringleader spat.


            Evan realized he needed to act before Adam became totally incapable of understanding and acting on his own. In a flash, before any of the bullies realized what was happening, he delivered a kick to the leader’s groin and spun, delivering a second to the guy who had shoved him. As the two fell to ground, and before the others could react, Evan yelled, “Run Adam! Run! As fast as you can! Run!”


            And, he did. In his awkward and loping gate, Adam began to run up the street, his hands holding and pulling his longish hair in terrified agitation. As he did, the remaining punks jumped forward. Evan deflected a blow from one, tripped another using his foot and sending him off balance, and, after a quick spin, kicked the other in the stomach. The leader of the group, though in pain, crawled to his feet as Evan was preoccupied and was about to grab him when Evan spun around again and flipped him over onto his back. In a swift downward motion with his foot, he made certain the punk would be paying more attention to the agony in his groin than the fight above him. However, one of the other’s had pulled a knife. As the other two watched from the grass and the sidewalk, the boy with the knife approached Evan, who circled warily around. The punk lunged and Evan jumped to the side. He lunged again and Evan evaded him a second time. The third time he lunged, however, Evan grabbed his arm with his right and brought his left arm down hard, breaking the attackers arm with a sickening snap. As he screamed in pain, the attacker dropped to his knees and Evan gave him a sharp kick in the face. The others, looking on in disbelief began to crawl backwards away from Evan. He knew it wasn’t fair, but Evan needed to insure he wouldn’t be followed. He kicked one in the chest, knocking the wind from him, and the other in the groin. His four attackers were left lying in the grass or on the cracked and uneven concrete of the sidewalk as Evan took a deep breath and looked up the street.


            He could not see Adam anywhere.


            “Adam!” he yelled.


            He took off running to the north in the direction he had last seen Adam running. A block from the attack he looked in every direction, but saw no Adam.


            “Adam!” he screamed. “Adam! Where are you?”


            He looked further up the street toward Main and his heart stopped in terror. At the side of the dirty old Conoco station on Main Street, he saw several people standing around looking downward as a Foxwood police car pulled up with its cherry flashing. With visions of Adam’s mangled body in his mind, Evan lost all touch with reality and ran.


            “Adam! Adam!” he screamed.


            He continued to yell and as he grew closer, some of the people heard him and turned to look. The police officer was kneeling before a figure writhing on the concrete of the service station. As he approached, Evan recognized the police officer as Jesse’s obnoxious cousin, Fred, the jerk who had harassed him and Chris in the coffee house a few weeks before. The policeman stood and used his foot to nudge Adam.


            “Adam!” Evan screamed again as he pushed through the crowd of men. A couple of them were in greasy overalls and clearly worked at the service station. Another was in jeans and a work shirt, possibly a farmer. All were smiling and seemed to be enjoying the spectacle. Evan fell to the ground beside Adam.


            The boy had curled into the fetal position, his hands tearing frantically at his hair as he groaned piteously and rolled on the ground. Evan wrapped his arms around him and held him.


            “I’m here, Adam. I’m here. It’s OK.”


            “What the hell are you doing?” one of the grease monkeys demanded with disgust. “Are you a queer or something?”


            “Hey,” the policeman said with equal disdain as he tried to pull Evan away. “We ain’t gonna have any of that fairy shit, here.”


            “He’s autistic, you idiot! We just got attacked about three blocks back there by some punks with knives. He’s autistic!”


            “Who are you calling an idiot?” Fred demanded as he grabbed Evan’s arm and pulled him up.


            “Let me go! He needs me!” Evan screamed. The policeman threw him against the side of the squad car and was about to pull his handcuffs off his belt when Evan spun around again and kicked the officer in the groin. Fred fell to his knees as the spectators backed up in shock. Evan immediately fell to Adam’s side again and held him. Adam’s terror had skyrocketed and his groans had become even louder and more frantic.


            “I’m here, Adam. I’m here. It’s OK. You’re safe now. “You’re AAAAAAA!”


            Evan cried out in pain as Fred crawled forward and whipped out his night stick, viciously striking Evan across the back. The boy writhed in agony as the spectators watched in stunned silence. Fred crawled to his feet and ferociously yanked Evan’s arms behind him as he handcuffed the fourteen year-old. Roughly, he dragged the boy, who was screaming in pain, and threw him into the back seat of the squad car, banging his head against the door as he did so. He then turned his attention to Adam, whose moaning had escalated to high pitched squeaks and cries as his voice broke. He tried to pull the boy’s arms away from his head, but Adam’s strength seemed multiplied by his terror. He was brutally yanking at his arm when a voice from across the street yelled, “Fred! Stop that! Stop that, you idiot! Stop it!”


            Evan tried desperately to turn so that he could see Adam and how Fred was brutalizing him. He could hear someone protesting from behind him and suddenly Ryan’s father, Dr. Atherton, ran up. Evan remembered that his office was across Main Street. He must have seen what was happening. Several other people in white coats were gathering around as Fred roughly pushed Dr. Atherton away and picked Adam up. He carried him toward the car and pushed him into the back seat next to Evan.


            “Adam,” Evan cried as he struggled for breath against this pain in his ribs and back. “Adam, I’m here.”


            “Fred, you God-damned idiot!” Dr. Atherton was yelling. “He’s an autistic! What the hell is the matter with you? He needs a doctor!”


            “Shut up!” the police officer screamed holding his night stick. Through his fear and pain, Evan could still recognize a look in Fred’s eyes, a crazed look as if he wasn’t really in control of himself at that moment. Evan could see that Dr. Atherton saw it, as well. A nurse and another doctor had joined him at his side.


            “Fred, that boy needs to go to the hospital. Both of them do. Just calm down…”


            “Don’t tell me to calm down! Don’t fucking tell me to calm down! That faggot attacked a police officer and that retard is a menace, wondering around unsupervised. You got a problem, you take it up at the station.”


            Fred stood for a long moment, staring down Dr. Atherton until finally turning and walking quickly around the police car to the driver’s side. As he did, Evan’s eyes met those of Dr. Atherton. The doctor was looking intently at him. He held a hand up and clenched it, telling Evan in doing so, to be strong. Evan nodded.


            As Fred climbed into the car and turned on the siren, Dr. Atherton ran across the street, followed by the other medical personal, but not before delivering a withering look of contempt at the Neanderthals watching. The police car pulled out of the service station.


            Evan tried to scoot closer to Adam, trying desperately to ignore the intense pain burning in his back.  He found it difficult to move.  Adam  continued to make high-pitched, strangled cries.


            “I’m here, Adam. I’m here.”


            Fred chuckled.


            “Yeah, well. Not for long,” he sneered. “Not for long.”