Adam hated Abbington, and most of all their new trailer park, Pine Acres. He begged his mom to take them back to Slip River. She said it was impossible. So, he went off alone to kill frogs.
They were in weeds beside the drainage ditch. Slowly he collecting them in a large white pail that he’d stolen from behind Fried Paradise that still reeked like chicken.
Adam wore a too-tight striped green and orange shirt, his pale belly hung out the bottom. His jeans were muddy and torn, his canvas sneakers had holes near the toes.
The boy leaned over the pail, breathing heavily from his mouth. He wasn’t winded: thats just how he was breathed. The frogs bounced around randomly in the chicken bucket. Snot came out his nose. He let it fall.
He wanted one more frog to make an even ten, so he climbed back down into the drainage ditch, pretending the cattails were Vietnam vegetation and he was Rambo.
The next frog was mutated. Adam said, “whoa mamma!” It seemed to shine like a diamond: glowing even, an iridescent sheen on its skin. The light caught its strange body and glimmered in the sun. Adam chucked it into the pail, there was a heavy clunk, as if it was made of cast iron. This wasn’t a normal frog. Adam walked up through the reeds. Stumbling with each step.
He walked to the back of the strip mall as if he had both sneakers on the wrong foot.
The water tower appeared looming over the trees like a large sea-green jellyfish just floating there, “Abbington.”
“I hate Abbington,” he said.
Adam had no friends.
He hadn’t had many friends in Slip River but at least they talked like him.
The kids in this new town were stuck up preppies who stuck to themselves, staying indoors playing Videogames. He was not invited.
He was from the Pine Acres trailer-park. He was a mouth breather. They lived in nice houses. They had straight white teeth. It was only a matter of time before Adam was not a stranger to them, the beatings would continue then, same as the last town.
Abbington Elementary, his new school was out of session for the summer, but he went there because it has a nice brick wall. The boy set the pail down and peered in.
“Ok … Which one of you wants to go first?”
The frogs flopped around randomly in the plastic pail, occasionally croaking.
Adam stuck his hand in and pulled out a fat one. Green and slick, catching its foot.
Adam went into pitching position as if he was standing on the mound in Yankee stadium. He wound up, kicked his chubby leg into the air, windmilled his arm around, smashed the frog against the wall.
A wet thud.
Adam glanced uncaring at the dead frog, twitching in the dust. He looked all around, hoping some other kids would show up.
The boy reached for another frog. This time, he caught the translucent mutant. What a strange animal, he thought as he wound up like he was about to deliver a 100 mph fast ball. Again he kicked his leg up, drew his arm back …
The frog left his hand and smacked into the wall.
There was an explosion. Shards of brick shot back at Adam, dust and specs of debris raked his eyes.
He was blown back 10 feet.
When he sat up, coughing, the wall had a massive pit in it–caved in. The bricks cracked, shattered, smashed to pieces.
The translucent frog was there on the ground, unharmed, one piece. It hopped away through the dust, towards the treeline.
Adam watched it in fear … Then he chased it down, scooped it back up; back into the pail it went.
He looked at it in his cupped hands. Each time it took a breath, a little spark of lightning seemed to pulse inside its body. He watched this ‘lightshow’ with unwavering fascination.
His slingshot had been taken away by his father. “You’re too angry for this kinda toy.” Now as Adam stood in the parking lot for the bus depot, he didn’t care so much. He had something better than the slingshot. He had the pail with him, the only frog he’d kept was the translucent lightshow mutant.
He was staring at a large white van with MATTRESS MAYHEM airbrushed on the side above a detailed painting of a stack of mattresses. One of his favorite things to do back in Slip River, was to shoot rocks at parked cars. Now, he wondered what would happen with his new toy.
He took the frog out and he threw it as hard as he could against the side of the van. The frog tore through the sheet metal. The windshields exploded. The tires popped. Adam got back up to his feet. Went around the other side. There was a hole in that side of the van too. The frog had ripped a hole through the steel on the driver’s side of the van. The maroon car beside the van had also been damaged. The windows busted out. Tires flattened.
Adam found the frog hopping towards him from him under other cars. He put it back in the bucket–rode his BMX away from the commuter lot, laughing and in total fear simultaneously.
It was his secret. He didn’t tell anyone. Not that there was anyone to tell. His mother and father both worked two shifts. He took the frog around and he destroyed things.
He believed that the frog had been sent to him to help him get back at this shit town. Abington deserved to be leveled.
Adam found a sling shot buried in his toy chest. He went up on the roof of the general store. The water tower loomed above the small town. His trailer was just below the tower. Pine Acres: all of it.
Adam took the translucent frog out of the container, he loaded it into the slingshot, drew the rubber band back very far back and held it there, under tension … He wanted to go home.
He fired the frog, the water tower exploded in a wall of water flooding the trailer park below. As he watched the streets flood, and his own silver trailer rush away in the rapids, he wondered if the frog would be swept away forever, or would it find him again.