Thursday, May 22, 2014

Savage 2

Adam's body stiffened and his feet pressed down hard on both the gas and the brake pedal, causing his white box delivery truck to squeal and swerve.  Amid angry honks and middle fingers, Adam Savage jerked the truck onto the next exit and made his way towards the his baby's face. 

Each corner he careened around brought the building in or out of his view.  Adam's driving, usually cautious to the point of tedium, was a hectic and erratic tumble through downtown traffic.  He had un-clicked his seat belt to strain forward, squinting his eyes to search for details, barely aware of the cars swerving out of his path.  Her hair was dirty blond.  She had gotten braces.  She'd lost weight.  Could he be sure this was her?  Yes, he could.  A good father knows his child.

When Adam reached the building with Emily's face glowing happily on the side, he double-parked the truck and climbed over the passenger seat and out the door.  A row of cars honked angrily behind the truck as Adam sprinted into the small alley beside the building. 

"Want to advertise with us?  Berkhardt Talent and Advertising Agency.  Call 1 888 SMILING"

Adam called.

"You have an advertisement up on the corner of 10th and Sepulveda, a girl brushing her teeth, how would I get in contact with the model?"

There was a brief pause and a click, "Hey buddy, we don't give out the model's info here, particularly when it's a kid, take that down the road, we're not an escort service."

Adam shored himself with a cool dark calm he hadn't known he possessed until that moment, "No you don't understand", he chuckled lightly, "I'm interested in hiring her, and possibly using your services, I own a bouncy house business, you know, inflatable party houses for children"

The man's mood changed instantly, "Oh sure, Mr.?"

"Mr. Temple", Adam replied coolly, "Temple Party Fun Store"

"Well Mr. Temple, it looks as though that model's agent is her mother, if you'd like I can try to arrange a pitch meeting for you?"

"Yes, that would be nice", Adam cooed, "I'll have my secretary call you to make the arrangements."  He hung up with a staccato click and stood silently, chest heaving.  Her mother was her agent.

Adam had grown up in the Temple Home for Boys, a state sponsored but privately run orphanage with an emphasis on education and the arts.  Temple was the first place he could remember, and the last place he had felt at home.  While the Savages had been kind and generous parents, it was Temple that sprang into the former orphan's head under pressure.  Temple, with its red stone walls and long windowed hallways and rooms filled with laughing and playing and learning children and other things.

Adam could sometimes remember pieces of those other things.  Shadows darker than shadows could be, interrupting the orphan's yard game of kick the can.   They laughed without sound and threw the old soup can in the air again and again, it floated for an impossibly long time with each toss.  These shadows looked at him from inside of the spot where their eyes should have been.  The images seemed out of place with his sunny memories of Temple, sometimes his mental images of the orphanage made the shadows seem brighter, and sometimes their darkness made Temple seem a little less happy, a little less controlled.  Adam only knew that the two were impossibly tied together.  He shook his clouded head and focused on Emily, the way Dr. Adler had taught him.  Adam shoved aside the dark grimy smell of unsure and frustrating memories for the clean scent of her hair and soft skin, his hair and his skin, his daughter. 

"It looks as though that model's agent is her mother"

Adam knew where to go.

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