Angels Don't Sting

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Cruise Ship Commodore in Deep Water -- The Free Republic Gazette [headline]

State and Federal Authorities out to Sink The Leader -- The International Update [headline]

Widely acclaimed as a 'spiritual savior,' The Leader has amassed a fortune from his many inventions and book sales.  (Now) it seems he's in trouble with the law for harboring a fugitive aboard his yacht.  -- The Liberty Post [article excerpt]

 

        Ralph Oxner's fingertips were making a discordant mixture of sounds whilst his mind was make-believing that he was a virtuoso in a tuxedo playing harmonious keyboard melodies on stage before a packed Carnegie Hall auditorium.  He'd been expecting a boring, old music tutor to join him on the hardwood bench for his first piano lesson.

        "It sounds to me as if I have a lot to teach you," he heard.  The voice was well above the cacophony of indiscriminately pressed white and black keys, yet mild and airy.

        The Leader's misused instrument went dead-silent -- finally out of the auditory misery inflicted upon it by the composer of discord.  Reactively, he looked up, and, to his surprised delight, beheld the one sent to him by The Leader, but seemingly sent from Heaven above.  Innocence and youthful caprice were revealed in her warm, blue eyes.  Her light blonde hair flowed in waves down her head, well past her shoulders like a golden cascade.  And her fresh face was accentuated by an engaging smile.  She had a tall, lean athletic body, perfectly upright posture, and a graceful sway to her gait.  The fair lady was so replete, flawless and sublime in every aspect of her being that she almost personified divinity.  But the true essence of her beauty derived from a spiritual source which was merely complimented, not defined, by physical attributes.

        "Hi, I'm Angel Sting," she said cheerfully.

        The comeback-response "I didn't know that angels sting" managed to exit Ralph's mouth despite his hypnotic-like captivation.  She laughed blithely, as an angel would laugh, and sat beside her smitten pupil.  He would soon find it a most arduous task to control his accelerated heartbeat and concentrate on music instructions with an angel close by his side!

***

       The nationally syndicated television show, Celebrity Interview aired every Sunday night from 8:00 to 9:00.  Viewer turn-out was surpassed only by North America's Most Wanted!  That impressive fact signified it as the second-most popular TV show in the U.S.A.  And, tonight, a celebrity was appearing on it who was second-to-none in the popularity category!  Therefore, the ratings were bound to sky-rocket!  The standard format had always been three guests on a single episode.  However, on this occasion a rare exception was made -- the structure of the program was altered solely for one very special entertainer.  The full-length of the broadcast would be devoted to Aaron Hughes because the show's savvy producers knew that he was all-the-rage -- with young fans, as well as older ones.  After being enthusiastically introduced by the fifty-seven year old host, Dennis Dillard, Aaron confidently strolled out on the stage to a massively loud audience-applause.

 

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        Twenty minutes into the telecast, following a commercial break, during the discussion the subject was changed from his starring role in the new movie, The Wild Life of Billy the Kid to his real-life role in a present-day crime drama.

        "Now, in an ironic twist of fate, you're linked with a contemporary fugitive," Dennis Dillard broached.  "You were quoted in the Weekly Inquisitive Review as saying that Harold Oxner did the right thing by helping his brother avoid capture.  Furthermore, you went on to allege that psychiatrists were to blame for Ralph Oxner's erratic behavior, and without their deleterious influence on him, he'd most likely be a well-adjusted, productive citizen.  Those are some pretty bold and controversial statements!  Would you care to elaborate on your comments in that article?"

        "Well, yes!  I would LOVE to elaborate," Aaron said robustly, relishing his opportunity to express his impassioned feelings to millions of attentive people in TV Land.

        "To begin with, it's important to know the history of psychiatry in order to have a basic understanding of its nefarious nature and sinister motives.  In late eighteenth-century Germany, a group of people calling themselves 'Doctors' began experimenting on insane detainees.  Their favorite experiment on their helpless subjects was electric shock.  They used the pitiful people as guinea pigs under the guise of trying to cure them of their mental illnesses , calling this, and various other tortures like it, a 'treatment.'  Before long, the so-called 'Doctors' were labelling just about everyone-under-the-sun that didn't live up to their standard of social worth.  For example, opposition to war was considered a sign of having 'pacifist delusions.'  Free-thinkers whose ideas weren't in alignment with popular-opinion were tagged 'politically insane.'  Therefore, everyone who believed in democracy was crazy, according to the new pseudo-science called 'psychiatry.'  The underlying purpose of such derogatory and absurd labels was to deter and squelch dissention to established concepts -- in order to maintain the system's status quo.  Everyone was so afraid to disagree with the 'experts' that the ruling elite had virtually no ideological rivals; no one wanted to be classified 'insane.'  And merely expressing contrary viewpoints would place them in jeopardy of being officially insane.  Just like during the days of the Inquisition, if someone went against the church's interpretation of scripture they were automatically branded a "heretic" and subject to being burned at the stake."

        "What about psychiatry today," Dennis Dillard queried.  "Has it changed much since its inception over two-hundred years ago?"

        "That's a good question, Dennis!  I was just about to get into that!  Well, the answer is yes and no.  Electric shock is prevalent.  People are still being labeled and stigmatized.  What has changed is that the psychiatrists are pushing drugs on people on a larger scale than ever!  Most of their drugs cause permanent brain damage and harm the body, as well.  Poor vision and internal-organ complications are common physical results.  Many children--some as young as three-years-old--are being 'diagnosed' with fictitious disorders and, then, mind-bending drugs are forced on them.  The International Psychiatric Coalition even supports the idea of giving infants drugs.  Can you believe that?!  They're actually talking about putting babies on Prozac!"

        Dennis Dillard shook his head in disgust and said, "Wow!!  That really is despicable!  These people are definitely evil.  But I guess their main incentive is the almighty dollar!"

        "You've got THAT right, Dennis!" Aaron said, nodding.  "Executives, psychiatrists, and everyone connected with the pharmaceutical industry profits from the misery of a multitude of unwitting victims.  So many people are on their drugs that, in the long-run, the mental and emotional devastation will be much worse than all of the terrorist attacks combined.  I personally think that anyone who even attempts to give someone drugs they don't need should be considered a 'mind terrorist' and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!"

 

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        The TV audience applauds vigorously for a half-minute span.  Then, Dennis Dillard said, "You're obviously very passionate and outspoken on this subject!  So, tell me, Aaron--what prompted you to take up the cause of fighting psychiatric abuse?"

        "My brother's death," he frankly replied as his facial expression went dour.  "He was going through some emotional turmoil following his divorce, and he went to see a psychiatrist.  That was the worst decision of his short life!  The psychiatrist misdiagnosed him 'Bipolar' and put him on Prozac.  Three months later, he committed suicide."  Aaron's voice shook and tears welled in his eyes as he said that.  He quickly regained his composure and continued on with the sad story: "I was searching for answers because he'd never exhibited suicidal tendencies, nor did he even show signs of severe depression.  At the time, I didn't even link the Prozac with his suicide..."  Again his voice faltered.  "... because I was ignorant about the relationship between the two.  Several months later, a close friend of mine who attended the funeral called me on my cell phone.  He point-blank asked me if Josh was on Prozac.  I was taken aback because I hadn't even told him that he was seeing a psychiatrist.  I was like, 'How'd you know??'  He said that a lot of people who get on Prozac wind up killing themselves.  Then, he told me about an organization he belonged to called 'The White Light Liberators.'  They were anti-psychiatry and, in particular, anti-psychiatric drugs, he explained.  I was very interested in them and I phoned their headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Needless to say, they didn't have a hard time winning me over to the cause!  I also discovered that social activism serves to make one's life more fulfilling and purposeful."

        "Why did you bail out Ralph Oxner's brother," asked Dennis.

        "I'm glad you asked me that question!  I have wanted to set that straight because there has been a lot of speculation that it was just a publicity stunt to increase ticket sales for my new flick.  But, actually, what I did has jeopardized my career.  My motivation in bailing out Ralph's brother was twofold: primarily to help Harold, and, secondarily, to make a public statement.  See, I identified and sympathized with Harold due to what happened to my own brother.  I saw the parallels.  Harold's brother was irreparably damaged at the hands of psychiatry... or should I say: 'tentacles of psychiatry'... while mine was killed because of it.

        "The first thing that grabbed my attention was something I 'clued-in-on' while watching North America's Most Wanted, which I'm sure most people didn't catch.  When Ralph's psychiatrist was interviewed on the show, he said some very curious things.  You'd (think) that the man would be concerned about his patient being all alone in the world with an unsound mind, a loaded gun, and the law after him.  But instead of begging the cops not to hurt him, he appeared to be subtly recommending that they shoot to kill.  This is verbatim what he said on North America's Most Wanted... Aaron looked down to read the writing on his note-card... 'As long as that gun is in his possession, death is inevitable.  Either he'll kill or [get killed by the police].  Unfortunately, the latter may be necessary to deter the former.  ... I seriously doubt that my patient would simply lay down his gun when confronted by a policeman.' "

        Aaron slid the note-card back inside his pocket, looked up, and continued expressing his accurate opinion.  "I think that his word-choice was carefully devised.  The intimation was transparent to those of us who are intelligent enough, and knowledgable about what's going on in the hideous world of psychiatry.  He wanted Ralph dead!  Why??? you're all wondering.  Well, it was pretty easy for me to figure out!  I quickly surmised that this Krouse creep had a lot to hide, and that Ralph's survival represented a viable threat to him in some way.  I think he knew that if the authorities took Ralph alive, they'd be grilling him on 'everything-under-the-sun,' and the years of torturous abuse would come to light.

 

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Of course, under normal circumstances, they wouldn't care about someone of such a low social status, but since Ralph had caused them so much trouble, they'd be pointing the finger at his psychiatrist... and rightfully so!  Krouse was foolish and arrogant enough to think that he couls pull the wool over everyone's eyes on national TV -- like nobody was smart enough to see through his attempted manipulation.  Well, I DID see through it, Walter Krouse," he emphatically stated with his index finger pointed at the zoomed-in filming camera.

        Walter Krouse horrifyingly saw that finger pointed directly at him inside his television screen after Allen Thorne phoned to inform him that Aaron Hughes was on TV talking about him.  He was floored!!!  The man didn't know what had hit him!  Aaron Hughes' powerful words felt to him like the impact from a speeding freight train!  The only difference being that it was an emotional blow instead of a physical one.  First 'The Caller,' then the probing P.I., and now the biggest celebrity on the planet!!  Walter Krouse was under siege from multiple angles.  It was like a full-frontal psychological assault.  Aaron Hughes' denunciation had totally shocked, mortified and overwhelmed him.  Can it get any worse?? he wondered.  He realized that virtually the entire American population now hated him on account of what Mr. Hughes had just said about him.  I don't think it can get much worse, he muttered to himself.

***

        Frances Queen Prescott turned off the tube at 8:58 p.m. -- immediately after Celebrity Interview went off the air.  From the subjective perspective of her encounter with Ralph Oxner, it was particularly interesting, and uniquely relevant.  Now her animosity at him for stealing her car was redirected toward his psychiatrist -- just where it belonged!  Along with millions of other viewers, she perceived Krouse as a white-collar monster.  Richard Briggs also watched it with profound interest.  Marcus Watson (AKA 'Papa Mark') tuned in to it, as well.  Richard and his rapper friend talked about the interview at Golatto Auto the next morning, like scores of other co-workers across the nation.  Furthermore, the topic of discussion on all the radio talk shows for many consecutive days was the Aaron Hughes interview, and, in particular, the field of psychiatry.  Like the Nephilim giant Goliath, the whole mental health industry was reeling from an unexpected and well placed strike.  And Aaron Hughes was the brave, articulate, modern-day David.  His words of truth were his rock, and his mouth was the sling-shot.  But was his verbal assault enough to bring psychiatry down to its knees and ultimately make it obsolete like the giant falling to his death???  Only time would tell!

***

        Two weeks later, Walter Krouse felt, quite fittingly, like Public Enemy Number One.  He'd lost all--but two--of his clients.  The damage to his reputation and earnings was tremendous!  However, he didn't even consider suing Aaron Hughes for slander or defamation of character.  For he well knew that no jury in the country would side with him now... unless, of course, it was composed of twelve psychiatrists.  His pariah standing was symbolically certified when his eight-year-old son came home from school with tears streaming down his cheeks.  After he asked him what was wrong, Reig's sobbing reply was: "Everybody at school is talking about you, dad!  They're saying terrible things about you.  I even overheard my teacher call you a... I can't even say it!  It's too bad to repeat!  They all think you're a villain out to hurt innocent people.  Even my best friend, Dave Levens, told me that he hopes you go to prison for the rest of your life."  Little Reig ran upstairs to his room, leaving his disgraced father standing alone with slumped shoulders and a dropped head.

 

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***

        After The Ox played the last note of his fifth piano lesson, the Angel sitting beside him affectionately laid her dainty hand on his broad shoulder and smiled.  "You've made a considerable amount of progress in such a short amount of time.  You're very gifted and I think you'll be a fine pianist one day," she praised and predicted.

        Ralph's face lit up, he thanked her, and took the encouraging words to heart -- trusting his beautiful tutor's sincerity and judgment.

        "Ralph, would you like to attend a small party I'm throwing in the stateroom Friday night," she asked.

        "Sure," he accepted, taken aback by the invitation.  "I've never been to a party, so I'm afraid I won't know how to act," he confessed.

        "Oh, don't worry about that, Ralph!  Like I said, it's just going to be a small party.  You can feel free to be yourself," she assured him.

        Friday night rolled around.  Ralph nervously approached Angel's door and knocked on it.

        "Oh, hi Ralph.  Please come in," the hostess said with an enthusiastic voice and a warm smile.

        Ralph stepped in and looked around.  "I see your guests haven't arrived yet," he stated, while observantly comparing the much smaller size of her living quarters to his V.I.P. suite.  "I guess they'll be filling in pretty soon," he sighed.

        "You are my only guest, Ralph."

        "What?!" he confusedly exclaimed.

        "When I told you it was going to be a small party, I meant 'small' in the most literal sense of the word," she explained.  "I basically just wanted us to be in a relaxed environment so we could talk some more and get to know each other better," she continued.  "So, welcome to our own little party," she heartily proclaimed as she raised her arms above her head and jiggled her body.  "Whew!" she then bellowed -- revealing her wild side to Ralph... as if he wasn't surprised enough!

        "Have a seat on the couch over there," she suggested.  "Make yourself comfortable," she added.

        Ralph walked across the room to the couch, trying to make sense of Angel's slight deceit.  Why does she want us to be alone together, he mentally asked himself.

        "If you're hungry, I have some chips and dip," she offered while inspecting the pantry's contents.

        "No thanks, ma'am," he replied.  "My nutritionist put me on a strict diet, and potato chips is definitely a restricted food product," he reminded her.

 

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        "Oh yeah; that's right.  Sorry I forgot.  How much weight have you lost so far?" she inquired.

        "Twelve pounds," he boasted.

        "Congratulations!!" she exuberantly exclaimed.

        "Exercising in the gym has helped a lot, too," he noted.

        "Well, how about a nice, cold beer?" said Angel, then opened the refrigerator's door, as if assuming he would say yes.

        "Umm... well..." he baulked.

        "Do you drink?" she asked, raising her voice to make it carry to reach Ralph's ears because she was still looking inside the refrigerator, her face turned away from him.

        "No, actually I've never even tasted alcohol," he admitted, feeling utterly unworldly.

        "Well, people like it because it helps them loosen up and fun," she said, lowering her voice as she took the can of Budweiser out of the refrigerator.

        Ralph was watching her, still uneasy and unsure about what to do in this situation.

        "I get the sense that you're a little tense.  Would you like to try some?" she asked as she raised up the can before his eyes.

        "I don't know," Ralph responded with unmistakable hesitancy in his voice.

        Then, Angel cracked open the lid and handed it to her nervous guest of honor.  "Go ahead -- have a few swallows," she urged.

        "I don't know," he said again, feeling surmounting pressure.

        "C'mon!  It won't hurt you," she coaxed.

        "Well... Okay," Ralph assented, succumbing to the pressure.  He took a sip and complained, "It tastes bitter!" with a scrunched-up facial expression.

        Angel chuckled at his reaction and told him that the more he drank, the better it would taste.  Then she walked over to the stereo.  "No party would be complete without some music, she opined.

        "Do you have any rap?" Ralph requested.

        "Not on CD, but I listen to it on the radio occasionally," she replied.  Angel then turned the dial to her favorite rap station and cranked up the volume.

        "I think I'll slip into something more comfortable.  Enjoy the rap while you can, because when I return I'm going to play my Luther Vandross CD," she said, followed by a suggestive wink.  Ralph was still naively oblivious to the seductive signals his lovely hostess was sending.

 

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        After the song-in-progress concluded, DJ Compulsive Yo shouted: "Yo, Yo, Yo everybody.  Ya'll gotta lay your ears on this next song, yo!  It's off a demo tape which was sent to the station by a brotha calling himself 'Rich B.'  This cat wrote us a note requesting some airtime for his friend's music.  Yo, absolutely, brotha!  It's our pleasure!  The artist's name is 'Papa Mark.'  The song we chose to play off the eight-track is called Shadow on the Wall.  When it hits number one on the Billboard charts, just remember that you heard it here first: K87.5!"

Angels took you from us at birth

Such a short stay on this Earth

Tears for you mom and I wept

Though faith in our hearts we kept

That one day we'd see you again

Somehow knowing this within

You were always near we felt

And heard our prayers as we knelt

Twas our birthday; we were nine

When you gave us a cool sign

Lest the work of some cabal

Human form cast on the wall

Which held; despite my motion

Then mom got a strange notion:

She said, "Hey son, let's be still

And see if the shadow will"

Sure enough, it moved about

"That's Moe!" she began to shout

Really, you never died

Just passed on to the other side

We'll join you when we pass

And be a family alas

Yo, thanks for the shadow, Moe

You'll forever be my twin bro

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        Angel slowly walked back in the living room, wearing a black negligee.  "I've rejoined our party, Ralph," the temptress announced in a sultry voice.

        Ralph's head stopped bobbing as his attention shifted from the brilliant work of art enjoyed by his ears to Miss Sting's alluring presence now being feasted upon by his eyes.  Those spellbound eyes followed her graceful motion as she glided over to the stereo.  Off went Papa Mark, on went Luther Vandross.  Despite Ralph's captivation at the lovely vision before him, he had the conflicting urge to cry out, "Let me hear the rest of that song!"  But he didn't dare spoil the romantic mood that his wily tutor was in the midst of creating!  On went the lamp's switch, out went the chandelier's lights.

        "You've never been with a woman before, have you dear?"

        "No, ma'am," he answered, with a quivering voice and bulging eyes.

        "Well, piano lessons are fine and dandy, but I think that what you're in need of most is a sex-education lesson!  And since I'm an 'expert instructor' on both subjects, you're bound to learn a whole lot."

        In dim light she swayed over to the couch, sat beside him, placed her hand on his leg, and whispered in his ear: "Lesson number one: How to Kiss."

        Loverboy suddenly found himself in uncharted waters!  He closed his eyes, puckered his lips, and thought that his self-appointed sex-education instructor sure didn't correspond with the archetypal characterization of an angel!

***

       A light drizzle fell from the gloomy morning sky.  Walter Krouse compressed his black umbrella and stepped into the office.  He had the place all to himself... now and always!  Allen Thorne, knowing that he could no longer afford to be associated with 'America's Most Notorious Individual,' had apologetically severed partnership ties and was conducting his own dwindling practice elsewhere.  On account of one heroic, outspoken movie star, business was sharply declining for psychiatrists everywhere!  As for Krouse himself, he'd been regularly looking at other employment options in the newspaper and on the Internet.  That's precisely how he planned to spend the day, minus clientele, yet again.

        The chronically depressed, middle-aged job seeker flicked up the light switch by the front door and approached his computer desk.  But, lo and behold, the expensive PC wasn't on it!  Theft was the only conceivable explanation.  And the only suspect was that unseen, unrelenting, righteously malicious trickster whom he dubbed, 'The Caller.'  Yet another brazen break-in!

        What happened to the new alarm system?! he thought.  Either it had malfunctioned or, more likely, The Caller disabled it again, he surmised.  Then, his darting eyes caught sight of an unfamiliar poster on the wall.  Its image was that of a man.  As Krouse's now focused eyes gazed up at the frameless poster, his racing mind registered the man's identity.  He reactively yanked the 24x36 sheet down and ripped it up in a state of rage.  Subsequently, each filing cabinet drawer pulled forth revealed that his patients' files were now in the possession of his nemesis, as well.  Evidently, The Caller was on a repeated "search and seize mission" for incriminating information.  Nothing was in the writing desk either, aside from another one of those taunting, sardonic notes.  Ths one read: Hey, Krousey Boy, I thought you'd appreciate the Aaron Hughes poster.  Consider it my compensation for stealing your stuff!  Ha! Ha! Ha!  Frustrated at the brink of sanity, he placed both hands on top of his balding head and let out a primal scream.

 

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***

       Ralph's heart, soul, psyche and senses felt stung by the spiritual depth of Angel's love offering.  Now, three days since their "little party," they sat hand-in-hand beside each other near the back of a packed auditorium, waiting for The Great One to take the stage.  Stepping through velvet curtains from the backstage, onto the parquet floor foreground, he emerged.  The Liberator throng respectfully responded to his appearance by collectively rising to their feet and vigorously applauding.

        "Good morning, my people," he began as the clapping died down and the microphone amplified his vibrant voice.  "Thank you for attending the lecture.  Keep in mind that if you hadn't, I'd find out and have you thrown overboard."

        His display of humor was commonplace and, once again, it engendered a massive outpouring of laughter.

        "Now, something outstanding, and I believe historical, transpired since my last address in this auditorium.  Aaron Hughes exposed psychiatry on television.  I'm sure that everyone here saw the Celebrity Interview interview... doesn't that sound redundant?!"  (Audience chuckles)  "And I think you'd all agree that he did a masterful job of exposing psychiatry!"  (Audience applause)  "I don't think that even I could have done better... Well, on second thought, I wouldn't go THAT far!"  (Audience laughs)  "Now, if you'd please express your appreciation for what our friend, Aaron, did on the show!"

        The crowd gave a standing ovation again, only this time in honor of the most famous actor in the annals of cinema.  Incidentally, most of those clapping had actually made his charming acquaintance.  After they took their seats once more, The Leader reminded them that Mr. Hughes planned to vacation on The Sea Gypsy in about six months.  That's when all follow-up business related to his recently released movie, The Wild Life of Billy the Kid, was expected to be wrapped-up.  If things went according to schedule, it would mark his ninth voyage on the marvelous ship.  "If you can't make the sail, please at least show up at the harbor to mingle with Aaron before we take off," The Leader encouraged.  "He loves all his fans, but especially his Liberator fans!"

        The fascinating one-hour lecture, titled, The Spark of Life, pertained to the metaphysical idea of a dormant energy force residing within every individual.  The ancients, he explained, regarded it as inherently subtle and passive, yet explosively dynamic if awakened by conscious intent from its idle slumber.  Those enlightened men of antiquity strove to do just that.  Thousands of years later, The Leader succeeded!  The Liberators learned a lot about the nature of the divine force.  However, the development process required to achieve the efficacious energy transmutation was their leader's sacred secret!  As Ralph took notes on his clipboard, he jotted: Sounds like the effect Angel had on me! in brackets -- referring to its electrifying powerfulness. 

        At the culmination of the lecture, The Leader issued an announcement: "Stay seated, gang!  The fun isn't over.  Yesterday a special request was made by a young lady in the audience.  Currently, only she and I know what's coming up.  But that's about to change!  Now I'd like to turn the floor over to the lovely piano teacher, Miss Angel Sting."

 

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        Ralph's free-spirited girlfriend stood up, grabbed him by the hand, and led him like a dog on a leash down the aisle, all the way up the steps, onto the stage.  He was completely caught off guard and didn't know what was going on as he stood there before the crowd of smiling faces.  It occurred to him that he was still holding his clipboard and pen.  The timid young man felt totally awkward and abashed.  Adventurous Angel, on the other hand, only felt a surge of adrenalin!  She spoke into the microphone while directing her loving gaze toward the man of her dreams.

        "Ralph, we have only known each other for two weeks, but I feel like I've known you my entire life.  And I'd love to spend the rest of it with you.  Mr. Ralph Oxner, will you turn me into Angel Oxner?"

        Ralph was so shocked he couldn't speak.  So he wrote a big "YES!!!" on the clipboard-attached note paper and held it up in front of his officially registered fiancee's gorgeous face.  As the young couple engaged in a long embrace, their fellow Liberators went wild with a boisterous celebration of whistles, cheers, and clapping hands.