The Sea Gypsy (Nickname: "The Leader's Ark")



"It is the story that has captured the interest of a nation and the world at large: A psychiatric patient dramatically escapes from a facility after raising cain, steals a car, and disappears.  Now it seems that a resolution is at hand!" -- Delta Free Press. February 14, 2009

"The world is intently following Ralph Oxner's unprecedented ascention to fame and glory." -- The National Spectator. February 14, 2009

"The era of the underdog is dawning.  Yes, the tide has turned!" -- Metropolitan Central. February 14, 2009


        Far out in the expansive Atlantic Ocean, a gigantic luxury yacht called The Sea Gypsy cruised along atop rolling waves.  Near its 457 foot hull swooped a crowd of seagulls.  The premier V.I.P. aboard the ship stood all alone at the corner of the upper deck aft watching them glide with his head raised, eyes sparkling, and lips smiling.  Along with the whirr of the wind and flow of the current, an assortment of sea life indulged his ears: a school of splashing dolphins continuously leapt high over the surface of their marine home, and above it -- in the bright blue sky -- birds happily chirped their sweet melody.  While the warmth of the sun's rays graciously greeted his flesh and the incoming cool sea breeze fanned his cheeks, the salty scent of the sea water served his sense of smell.  Furthermore, his tranquil mind felt as clear and fresh as the air he breathed.

        That enraptured moment with nature, however, was suddenly broken by a mild voice, speaking to him from behind.  "Excuse me, sir," it said.

        He took his sizeable hands off the guardrail and turned around to face the source of the utterance.  Gazing up at him was a beaming blonde boy with bulbous, buoyant, baby-blue eyes.  Those eyes reflected a spirit of innocent, purity, and admiration.  The tough guy felt soft-hearted upon seeing the adorable child.

        "May I have your autograph, sir?" he enthusiastically requested, raising the pen and paper in his small hands.

        "Of course," his hero willingly consented with a broad, closed-mouth grin.  "How old are you," he inquired.

      "Five, going on six," the boy specified proudly.

        "Oh, well, you're getting up there in age, aren't you?!  Before you know it, you'll be an old man like me," his elder of sixteen years playfully stated.

        After Ralph got his fan's name, he jotted: To my good friend, Roger Freeder.  And then he signed HIS name: Ralph Oxner!       

        Meanwhile, many miles away on solid ground, Ralph's older brother was not so content.  On the contrary!  He was stuck in a most inhospitable environment, and suffering an acute state of angst as a result.  But for most of his unsavory peers, it was just another dreary day in the harsh, and often brutal, confines of Miami's central prison.



Profanely vociferous caged men clad in their trademark bright orange jumpsuits combined with their cronies -- brutish, Satan-worshiping correctional officers of no higher value -- to thoroughly contaminate the already gloomy atmosphere.  Cell doors relentlessly clanged and toilets loudly flushed.  Even the inanimate objects seemed excessively cruel and obnoxious to Inmate #4074983.  Though he'd been languishing behind steel bars for less than half a day, undergoing his introductory incarceration experience, he knew that he could never adapt to his dismal, perilous surroundings.  Suicidal thoughts were already emerging in his frantic mind.

        Buck was a big and bulky, bald-headed prison guard with a long, scraggly, black goatee which he occasionally dyed red.  Loop rings pierced his earlobes, nose, and, most notably, the flesh around his eyelids.  Additionally, his massive arms were covered with inked designs of skulls, demons, and dragons.  But worst of all were those mercilessly demented eyes, which were solely responsible for striking Harold with his first major panic attack since being arrested.  The barbarian's dour, yet oddly poetic, initial words, "Welcome to the scene of ruthless struggle and endless woes," sure didn't help matters!  Buck's nickname, The Intimidator, suited him well!  It was bestowed upon him by a member of his father's outlaw biker gang when he was only eleven years old.  By all appearances, Buck was, indeed, bad to the bone!

        Harold heard heavy footsteps, peered out of his pen as far as the periphery would permit, and spotted Buck stomping the hall, accompanied by a middle-aged man in a blue suit.  Perhaps that's the warden, Harold conjectured to himself.  They arrived at Harold Oxner's solitary cell whereupon Buck unlocked and slid open the big iron door for the red-headed, uninvited cell guest to enter the 6 x 8 room.

        "My name is Don Hubbard," he greeted his visibly distressed client.  "I'm a public defender and I'll be representing you when your case goes to trial."  They shook hands and sat side-by-side on the bolted-down metal bench.

        Mr. Hubbard opened his legal portfolio, sat it in his lap and skimmed its contents, while intermittenly flipping through pages.  "I can't believe the judge set your bond at three million dollars.  I guess you'll be in here for a while, huh?!"

        "Yeah, no one I know is rich enough to bail me out!"

        "Also, sending you straight to prison instead of jail is highly unorthodox.  It seems to me like the system really has it in for you, buddy!"

        "I agree with you on that one, Mr. Hubbard!"

        "Okay, first off, I need to know if you want to plead innocent or guilty."

        Harold Oxner furrowed his brow to contemplate the simple question.  A few seconds later, he ambiguously submitted his answer: "Well, I guess you could say that I'm both innocent AND guilty." 

        Mr. Hubbard looked befuddled by the response.  Harold elucidated, "I masterminded my brother's escape aboard a ship... so in that regard, I'm guilty -- I'm guilty legally speaking.  However, I'm morally innocent because I was justified in my actions.  All I was trying to do is protect my little brother."

        "Protect him from imprisonment?" Mr. Hubbard asked, seeking verification.

        "Yes, but also to protect him from psychiatrists," Harold emphatically clarified.  Mr. Hubbard's already-serious countenance shifted to a nonplussed expression like the flick of a light switch.

        "What are you talking about??  Psychiatrists help people!" he protested vehemently.  Harold smiled knowingly at his attorney's naivety and said, "You have a lot to learn about psychiatry."

        Mr. Hubbard, his interest now aroused, chose to momentarily neglect legal issues, closed his portfolio binder, and humbly said, "Why don't-cha teach me about psychiatry, Mr. Oxner!"

        "Okay, but you're gonna have to listen to me with an open mind and leave all of your preconceived notions outside my cell door."  His lawyer nodded with intensity in his blue eyes, and his back arched over in excited anticipation of the enlightenment he was about to receive.

        "My parents used to think the same as you about psychiatrists: that they care about folks and want to help them.  But, actually, all they really care about is making money and using people for guinea pig experiments.  Ralph was an energetic kid.  Unfortunately, that led his second grade teacher to label him 'hyperactive.'  For Ralph, it was all downhill from there!!!  See, it's easier for teachers to handle placid students.  When kids are robust and running around and playing a lot, like children naturally want to do, some teachers get real annoyed.  The psychiatrists play off of this pissed-off attitude by encouraging the teachers to report the lively ones to them so that they can start attacking their minds with drugs.  Most teachers are dumb enough to buy into all this 'Attention Deficit Disorder' nonsense.  Psychiatrists are the biggest drug pushers around!  They should be given longer prison sentences than the street dealers!

        "Well, they started him on Ritalin.  Before long, they'd labeled him a bunch of other things, and he was on a whole lot of other drugs, as well.  We can't prove it, but we're pretty sure that those drugs impaired his vision.  Within a few months of taking them, he went from having 20/20 eyesight to being legally blind.  Also, he had to be put in Special Education classes because he couldn't learn anymore... even though he'd learned to read at three years old, and had a genius level IQ.  But, still, our parents thought that psychiatrists could do no wrong.  By the time Ralph was ten years old, he was on some really powerful drugs like Prozac and Lithium.

        "Sixth grade seemed to be going O.K. for Ralph despite his learning disability and poor eyesight, both apparently drug-induced, as I just mentioned.  But one day he got into a brawl with another student.  I'm sure the other kid was the instigator because he had a reputation for being a schoolyard bully.  Plus, Ralph never displayed any violent tendencies.  Well, Ralph was