Adam Ash

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006



The university was still paying Adam a salary, so he felt obliged to show his face there every now and then. Not that they expected much these days except for him to be famous. His celebrity status brought fresh glory and endowments to his university -- as well as truckloads of student applications to Proctor’s department. Everybody wanted to sit at the feet of Adam White.

Today he was in his office reading some student essays. He had his TV on with the sound off. He kept it on the round-the-clock Sunday Fox news channel.

“Intelligent design,” he read, “reaches the height of intelligence in the creation of humankind.”

Well, yes, although some humans seem more the result of non-intelligence. What was Eve doing on TV? He hit the remote and turned on the sound to hear the newswoman’s voice.

“… for which a Special Tribunal was established. The identity of the accused in this test case about murder in the womb has just been released. It is Eve Trent, a 35-year-old employee of the Bureau of Behavior Design and Management. She works as a senior therapist in the Bureau’s department of Aversion Therapy. Miss Trent, who lives in Manhattan on the Upper East Side, has refused to reveal the name of the father. Co-workers describe her as a serious woman committed to her work. One of her co-workers, who did not want to be named, said, ‘She is the last woman you’d expect something like this from. She’s a devout Christian.’”

First there was a still shot of Eve, in an old hairdo, and then a shot of Eve handcuffed, being led into a police car.

Holy shit of Islam.

That was the woman he loved.

He felt a stab. The blood drained out of his face. He fought back.

He was dull with pain because he loved her. Eve, poor Eve. The second love of his life. She’d gone and done something utterly terrible for her.

But he was also angry. Serves her right, being so stubborn. He felt betrayed. She had held out on him again. Why didn’t she tell him she was pregnant? She didn’t want to marry him -- that was why.

She didn’t love him.

Damn her. They could’ve married and had a child together. Now she had gone and killed his child behind his back. He had lost Sarah and a child because those terrorists had killed them, and now he had lost another child because it had been killed by the woman he loved who had acted like a terrorist.

It astonished him that Eve was capable of such a Satan vile thing. His recently hatched plan to subjugate her to his will, which he’d been too nice to implement yet, didn’t seem so harsh anymore. This was his idea: next time she asked him to do it harder, and he could muster up the resolve, he was going to do it to her really hard -- he was going to sodomize her. Against her will, if necessary. SODOMY CAUSES TERRORISM. That would’ve brought her under his will forever. If it ever got out that she let herself be sodomized rather than kill herself, she’d be reclassified to V-doll status or thrown in jail. Of course, he’d get into trouble too, but given that he was the one who brought the charges against her, his punishment would’ve been nothing worse than the loss of a few dating credits. As a man, he was subject to female temptation, and therefore easy to forgive. As the one sodomized, she was the fully guilty party. Being female, she could be nothing but guilty. So she would’ve been in his power, knowing that he could bring her before a Patriot Board. That would’ve squared accounts between them. An eye for an eye. Love is war, and it was the man’s job to win.

But now instead of him coming down on her, a Special Tribunal was about to fall on her head with the condemnation of the entire Jesusland.

Poor woman. Now look what you’ve done. You would’ve been very happy to be subjugated to my will in the end, Eve -- however I achieved it, harshly or nicely, I’m sure of that -- but this was another story This was a life sentence -- or the death sentence. He called Ezra.

“I found out about it yesterday, and I’ve been sitting here wondering how to tell you,” said Ezra. “What a fuckup. Now I’ve got to make TV out of this. But at least I’m the producer. Listen, if I convince them that the highest ratings will come from Eve getting off, we’ll get her off. I’m going to do my best to get her to walk out of that courtroom a free woman, Adam. I promise.”

That helped a little.

After talking to Ezra, Adam sat in his chair, unable to concentrate on student essays.

What now? Was this the end of him and Eve? Was it back to trolling again, looking for the next sex partner to turn into a guilt-ridden woman because she was enjoying sex with him? Just when he met someone worth falling in love for, for the first time since Sarah?

He did love Eve. He was trying to be cold about the whole thing, because there was nothing he could do: the law must take its course. But he did love Eve. He had to steel himself against his love. This was no time to get depressed over loving a female. He did not realize he had the love of a Jesusland man for Eve, one that would not have survived her wanting to be his equal; a love that now struggled to sustain itself over his anger about the murder of his child.

And then it hit him. He could be implicated in Eve’s crime. But she never told him that she was pregnant, did she? He had a good story if he was ever questioned. The TV announcer said she refused to divulge the father’s name. He could guess why: she was too damn proud. It was part of her wanting to be equal. She wouldn’t want to share the blame.

There was a knock on the door. Proctor again. The little shit. I’m going to be a Blessed soon, just like you, thought Adam. Then you’d better watch your ass, Proctor.

“Come in!”

Proctor’s head appeared in the door.

“How are things in TV land, Adam?”

“Going absolutely swimmingly, Proctor, swimmingly.” Adam kept calling the dean Proctor, even though Proctor had invited him to call him by his Christian name, which was Noah.

“Heard anything about the abortion murder trial? You TV guys must get the inside data.”

“I know as much as you do, Proctor. I saw her face on TV just now like everybody else.”

“I hope they burn her at the stake.”

“She hasn’t been found guilty yet, Proctor.”

“She’s guilty all right. Murdering the unborn. A helpless child. It goes against everything a woman should be. She deserves burning at the stake. I know there are a lot of people who say we should reserve burning at the stake for only those who commit crimes against God and the nation, but I think murderers of children who weren’t even given a chance to live outside the womb should be included in that. I don’t think it detracts from the immensity of a crime against God and the nation to have females who do this also burned at the stake. What do you think?”

A female was standing in the door. Proctor’s wife.

“They told me you’d be here, Noah.” She saw Adam and almost curtsied. “Oh, Professor White, Noah has told me so much about you. I think your program is the best. My very favorite.”

“My wife and I are avid followers, Adam,” said Proctor, very pleased with her performance.

“Professor White, may I call you Adam?”

“What is your name?” he asked.

“Ruth,” she said.

“Ruth, call me Adam, by all means.”

“Noah, why don’t we ask him over for dinner?”

“I’ve tried many times, dear, but maybe you should try your feminine charm.”

“Adam, why don’t you come over for dinner? I’ll cook you my special fish.”

Normally Adam would have found a reason not to, but he was in an absolute rage about what Proctor had said about the punishment Eve deserved. Suddenly, he didn’t feel equivocal, but totally on Eve’s side. Also, Ruth Proctor had large, prominent breasts, and in view of this happy accident of evolutionary mutation, Adam had formed an idea of how he could, in Ezra’s terms, crush Proctor.

“I’m free next week Wednesday,” Adam said.

“Oh, that’s when our Patriot Board sits,” said Proctor. He looked at Adam, who looked back sternly.

“I’m sure I could switch things round.” Proctor put his arm around his wife. “Ruth, you’ve succeeded where I failed. Professor White will dine next Wednesday at our humble home.”

Just you wait, Proctor, you hateful bastard. You have no idea what Professor White will soon be doing in your humble home.


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