One Of Those Frog Things

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 28, 2018

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Submitted: February 28, 2018

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ONE OF THOSE FROG THINGS

 

Offshore Antarctica in the wake of a freakish ice storm.

Aileen tingling with anticipation arrived at Ramsey's cabin and extended her fist to knock—but the door jerked

open—a massive form filled the entrance.

 

Her presence so unexpected. He cupped his enormous hand over her open mouth to stifle the scream of terror

that resided in her petrified eyes. Her knees buckled; he lifted her limp, much-lighter-than-expected body to his

massive chest.  The coast was clear; he carried Aileen to his hiding place. 

He intended to profess his love and to share how she possessed his dreams and waking thoughts, but

things had gone so wrong. His recurrent sex-with-Aileen dream remained private—a rejection of Nero’s twisted

Freudian-dream analysis.  And overhearing that rapist-in-training Padowski present her neomorph project to an

enthusiastic Ramsey, really sick.

A revived Aileen was offered a sampler of hormone extracts but refused to open her mouth. Searching

for words to express his needs—a suddenly animated Aileen bolted. He gave chase.  Probably energized by f

right, she moved faster than he thought possible.  Rounding a corner, he froze—his dream woman impaled like

a bug on a display board by a zigzag-shaped icicle. Likely, she had fallen belly up from the icy metal ladder. 

Amid his aloneness and sorrow, Jefferson collected his stuff from Ramsey's cabin.  It was time to

abandon ship.

 

Nero had not slept well.  A despicable…inexplicable dream of his patient, that monster Jefferson, fornicating

with his own dear mother. Helplessly watching. Ashamed of his impotence to stop it. A repressed oedipal

thought surfaced: Was I copulating with mother to punish father for his long absences? No, impossible.

More onerous was his follow-up dream of violating Jefferson’s motherperhaps in retaliation. Afterward,

the disturbing vision of her supine in a coffin. Clearly Asian and oddly wearing goggles and welders gloves, her r

ight hand grasping a blow torch—the victim of a necrophilic violation. Just a dream. He knew he was not a

rapist, he was a Freudian psychoanalyst.

Now confronted with Aileen’s mysterious absence, Nero hurried from their cabin to the dining room. No

Aileen, just a glimpse of Padowski with the hormone pusher. Venturing on the icy deck, he rushed to a body l

ying in a pool of red. "Oh, no!" He kneeled by his fallen mate and sobbed, "Aileen, why?  Why, Aileen?"

 

Preparing to lower a lifeboat, Jefferson was drawn to the mournful sobbing; he observed a kneeling Nero Innus

holding her limp body.  “It should have been you, not Aileen.  We both could have had mates, if it weren't for

you."

Nero shrieked.

"By analyzing my dreams, I learned you were my father—my creator..."

"Did you do this you monstrosity?" 

"No, I loved Aileen like you never loved me—your creation. Your warped Freudian-mind

doctored my thoughts and dreams into your conjured, twisted interpretations. You even penetrated my dreams

to violate my mother."

"You ingrate!  Like Master Freud, I have cured all of my patients. But you—you  are a demon unworthy

of psychoanalysis. Without my compassion you would have been expelled from the program. As the chosen

one, your potential bordered on the miraculous." 

"The real Master," Jefferson interjected, "created Adam not as monster but in his likeness, with no link to

the past but with a future. You created me as his opposite a blot upon  humankind.  Without my Eve, I am a

futureless species unto myself, left to drift on my own.”  

Abruptly, he withdrew. In the distance he heard: "You cowardly abomination, you killed a woman!”

Jefferson lowered a lifeboat and rowed to the Antarctic icescape—using both arms. Miraculously,

through selective electroshocking, he had acquired control over his surgically-attached left arm. Both arms had

lifted Aileen and held her to his chest.

 

Struggling to lift Aileen to his chest, the passive psychiatrist stared into the distance.  A blood-curdling howl filled

the hushed desolate air. Nero in his shivery disbelief visualized an immense human-like form in a fur coat

striding across the icescape. In a world of distorted dimensions, the monster loomed flat against the ice and sky.

Nero's unprotected eyes veered away from the intense ice-reflected glare. Another distant shriek provoked an

involuntary, protracted scream to escape Nero’s darkest place.

Compelled to stare again into the excruciating glare, Nero sought a sign to link to his vastly diverse

knowledge base. The blinding illumination transformed to overwhelming blackness amplifying his sense of

aloneness and powerlessness. 

 

Several crewmembers observed a grieving man with clothes and hands bloodied clutching a woman to his

heaving chest.  His only utterance: "Why, Aileen?" They agreed he made little sense. 

Nero’s friends Diana and Steven made the positive identification of Aileen’s body.  The ship's doctor

assured Nero his hysteria-induced blindness was temporary.  Nero assured the doctor it was snow blindness—

hysteria was a woman's neurosis.

Before being sedated, Nero asserted that a psychiatric patient, now the Frankenstein monster, had

murdered Aileen.

 

A vacationing police detective Paul Logan took charge.

Dr. Edna Padowski’s business alliance with Ramsey Berdache and Brother Teri was the reason for being

aboard ship. "Our visionary project will grow embryos to various stages of human development in life-support

tanks. Neomorphs—physically humans—but maintained in an unconscious, dream-state existence. Like garden

plants, just nourish them until it's time to harvest the fruits of one’s labor. 

“Imagine their uses: practicing surgical, autopsy, and limb-amputation skills; performing physicals and

drug efficacy studies; developing vaccines; and providing blood, bone marrow, and organs to extend the lives of

real people. 

“And,” Edna emphasized, “imagine their potential in the war against venereal diseases, molestations,

rapes, and unwanted pregnancies by providing life-long pairing of partners without unwanted emotional

commitments, thus freeing women from prostitution and marital jealousy. And it would be consistent with Freud:

maximize pleasure through cathartic release of neuroses without the societal-imposed guilt trip. And who would

be harmed? I'm dreaming large here. Imagine the prestige and revenues generated by such a successful

venture.” 

Apparently noting Logan’s body language, she added, There’s something Freudian about

Jefferson’s recurrent dreams of his reattached pitching arm either falling off or being thrown away. His

unconscious is warning him the arm is being rejected—or is not his.” A pause produced: “One day I was

crocheting and it occurred to me that Jefferson was holding onto his arm—and his sanity—by a mere thread.”

Somewhat goofy, Logan thought, but a looker with compelling-green eyes. And the stethoscope

strategically placed to accentuate her ample bosom.

Edna added, “Did you know Jefferson beefed-up by stoking hormones supplied by Ramsey’s company? 

And Brother Teri with the Green Nehru suit and red turban filled his oversized head with all that Eastern

nonsense. That’s when Jefferson dreamed he was the monster, and dressed and styled his hair to match the

monster’s likeness on the dust jacket of his tattered Frankenstein novel, and experimented with electricity—

launching kitty-kites into electrical storms, and shocking his dysfunctional body parts. Nero suspects Jefferson

electrocuted his MIA office cat, Sigi.” Thoughtfully, she added, "The movies have taught us what the monster

was capable of doing…like killing a little girl, although accidently.  I felt so sorry for her…" 

"Dr. Padowski, this is not a movie..."

"Jefferson as Frankenstein monster is AWOL from the Institute after I was knocked unconscious and

raped in Jefferson’s room. Makes my skin crawl.”

“There’s no evidence Jefferson is or was aboard ship.” Logan envisioned an epidemic of contagious

hysteria. “And from several accounts, Jefferson resembles a fictional monster in a book,” Logan glanced at

Padowski, “or movie, rather than a baseball pitcher mutilated by a street punk.” He questioned why Padowski

partnered with Victor-Frankenstein-types Ramsey and Brother Teri.

 

“Dr. Innus, explain how…why your psychiatric patient escaped from a Southern-California-based medical

institute and killed your wife on a cruise ship off the coast of Antarctica.”

“He is no longer human—now a fiendish monster having resisted Freud’s psychotherapy and having

denied the vital role of the unconscious in his physical-restoration to superiority bestowed by the Institute’s

innovative biomedical engineering.

“Through transference, Jefferson perceived me as his father-creator who would create his mate or suffer

the consequence.”

Recalling Padowski defining transference as a patient unconsciously perceiving his therapist as his

mother or father through the perspective of affection or hostility, Logan asked, “What consequence?”

“In the book the monster killed Victor Frankenstein’s bride, a friend and…”

“So from my vantage point, you struck out twice. You couldn’t cure him or create his mate.”  

“Of course I could not cure a monster. If I were religious, I would consider demonic possession.” 

“Let’s see, possession,” Logan scanned his notes. “Padowski's words: ‘The freak Jefferson would have

benefited from an exorcism and…was electrocuting cats’ and ‘Jefferson through transference was to have fallen

in love with his analyst, but fell in love with the analyst's wife instead.’”

"Preposterous. He never met Aileen. And Dr. Padowski is merely a trainee. Significantly, Jefferson

recounted a transference-dream of me, his well-adjusted analyst, fornicating with his mother—as he watched.

To a psychotherapist it was Jefferson copulating with his mother. An enactment of Freud’s masterful Oedipus

complex. That shameful deed so challenged Jefferson’s masculinity, his unconscious reversed his role from

oedipal violator to voyeur—a power position resisting the Freudian cure—and transformed me to helpless victim

of his voyeurism.”

Recalling his college literature, Logan asked, "Wasn't Oedipus a blind guy who killed his parents?"

“He killed his father and copulated with his mother. Later he blinded himself as self-punishment." 

Logan connected the cause-and-effect dots: Aileen is murdered—Nero expeditiously suffers hysteria-

related blindness. "If Jefferson was imitating Oedipus, why didn't he kill you instead of Aileen?” He recalled

another Padowski pronouncement: A psychotherapist emotionally involved with his patient is

countertransference. “Perhaps he did kill Aileen…to be with you. Would that be consistent with Oedipus?”

"Well, Detective, Oedipus has its variations. You will excuse me, I need to rest.” As Nero stood to leave,

he stated, “For your information, Jefferson dreamed Dr. Padowski was his mother. Another case of

transference.”

Logan resolved to add Frankenstein to his reading list. Freud, he knew, was into dream analysis and

linking everything to sex. Strategically, he would allow the psychoanalyst to expose himself. 

 

“Dr. Padowski, why would Jefferson be driven to murder by a dream of his mother being violated by his

analyst?”

“According to Freud, the unconscious doesn’t distinguish between reality and the imaginary.

Consequently, Jefferson-the-monster believed the dream was reality, the way those gullible ancient

Greeks believed the oracles.”

“According to Nero, through transference, you’re Jefferson’s dream mother. So, by raping you Jefferson…”

Padowski interrupted, “Ah…Jefferson suffered his psychoanalytically-ordained fate to overcome father to

conquer the forbidden mother. Like Oedipus.”

“Then why kill Aileen, his dream lover, instead of Nero, his father figure?”

“Well—there’s no murder weapon. Perhaps Aileen’s death was accidental. Like in the movie!”

“So, though incapacitated when Jefferson allegedly raped you, your unconscious interpret that as reality.

Why?”

“Because a physical confirmed the rape.” A brief pause produced, “However, there was my horrible

intruder dream of a rapist sitting on my chest. I was paralyzed for the longest time, unable to function. When I

woke, I was alone. However, Nero’s Freudian-dream analysis revealed the culprit as the mythological Crusher—

the Incubus who enters at night to incapacitate and rape his sleeping female victim.”

Logan asked, “Was there a rape kit—or kits?”

“Results from an outside lab are pending. But post-rape I was found unconscious with my eyes open. 

Dr. Hito at the Institute electrically stimulated my wired temporal lobes to playback stored memories, filtered

through software, onto my retinas to identify the rapist. Strangely, my retinal images were ghostlike nonhumans.

 

Another meeting, another rehash. Nero took a deep breath. “There was a veiled mist and as it cleared, I beheld

the figure of not a man, but of the hideous monster he had become.  He had grown so huge, so ugly.  I wanted

to kill him, to kill it, to extinguish forever the spark that resided inside that devilish murderer."  He mumbled, “It

resembles a bad dream.”

Logan pondered how a noted psychiatrist could treat a patient for months and then abruptly perceive

him as monstrous. Perhaps one of those frog things. The bereaved psychiatrist, in stark contrast, appeared to

be changing before his scrutinizing eyes; he noted the accumulating sweat on the forehead and upper lip, the

rigid body ever so slightly trembling.  "Dr. Innus, exactly why do you thinkJefferson killed your wife?"

“I—the monster.” Nero slumped forward.

Bed rest was recommended for the bereaved.

 

The ship’s doctor summonsed Logan to Nero’s cabin. He observed a delirious, babbling psychoanalyst

apparently narrating dream events or engaged in conversations with the unseen.

“Peter—tethered to Peggy—at a time only one visible. Ran away from cure—Himalayan shadows—

hormone pusher and toadeater materialized.

Master, should I castrate that neurotic-monster Jefferson for violating my dear mother—why was father

not in his rightful position?  I loathe him—his absence—over dominance.  Passive watching—shameful

impotence.  Was it actually me?” 

The kicker was worth the fifteen minute wait. “I did that—violate to retaliate? Baking bread in a cold

oven. Jefferson’s coffined mother—goggled—gloved hand clutching blow torch. Paraphilia—the rapist—not

therapist.

 

Logan looked up from his notes Padowski said, “How interesting. Paraphilia is sex with a corpse. Did you know

Jefferson’s father owned a junkyard and Jefferson’s mother sculptured his junk into art? She was buried with her

tools of the trade. Sounds like a case of dueling dreams--of violating the other’s mother.

“As I recall—one of Nero’s patients toggled between the male and female roles of Peter and Peggy.

Psychotherapy required the weaker-female entity to disappear to achieve wholeness. Instead, both disappeared

to the shadowy Himalayans to train with a swami. How bizarre.Perhaps they returned as Nero’s Toadeater and

Hormone Pusher to spark Jefferson to the dark side.”

And to mass produce neomorphs, Logan thought.

“To think about it,” Edna said, “I’ve never seen Brother Teri and Ramsey together.”

 

The device was no larger than a hand-held transistor radio. It detected stress-induced changes in voice frequency. 

Luckily, the recuperated suspect was blind, not mute, and unaware of its presence. 

Just to make sure, he twice asked the question, "Have you ever had sex with Jefferson's mother?"

Nero's answers of “no” were lies according to the telltale change in his voice frequency pattern. So was his

negative answer to possessing knowledge of Jefferson fornicating with Aileen.  Logan recalled what the spooks

taught: "Frequency patterns don't lie, guilty suspects do.”

Interchangeable parts, Logan thought. Aileen murdered by Jefferson to be with his analyst; by Nero to

be with his patient—teratophilia, according to Padowski—sex with a monster. Also, dream-state partners

conjured to fulfill either the transference phenomenon or the oedipal wish. Perhaps a contagion. Padowski and

her gorgeously-painted, doll-like eyes now inhabited his nightly fantasies. He wondered about hers.

 

 “I am Ramsey Berdache, Chief Operating Officer of Ramsey of Hollywood.”

“Ah, you’re the cosmetic lady,” Logan said.

“I’ve earned the title Queen of Alternative Medicine. We’re headquartered in Los Angeles with production

facilities in Long Beach and Calcutta…”

“Your business doings aboard ship?”

“I’m the sponsor of the Antarctica Alternative Medicine Cruise. Antarctica possesses untapped treasures

including the low growers—the lichens, mosses, and stunted shrubs. All untested strong candidates for the

expanding list of Nature's curing agents." She smiled and said, "My more adventurous clients will experience

several hands-on expeditions to personally collect potential medically-significance botanical specimens. Imagine

the thrill of discovering a cure for your own medical malady.”

“Your relationship to Aileen Innus?”

"That wonderful woman was a potential principal in my company. That’s why she and her husband were

aboard ship. What a tragedy to be struck down in the prime of one's life." She revealed Aileen’s sizable,

business-related insurance policy with her and Nero as co-beneficiaries. 

Logan recognized old friends: means, motive and opportunity to profit from Aileen’s death.

 

That evening at Nero's request, the two took dinner in Nero's cabin. Nero initiated the conversation.  “I envision

myself a hybrid of the accomplished anthropologist Richard Leaky, the excavator of the buried remnants of

history, and the master detective Sherlock Holmes, the shrewd interpreter of clues regardless of how minute or

seemingly obscure or trivial to the uninformed.  Interpreting the solution within the patterns of the parts, how

they could be molded, fabricated to fit together to make the whole—to provide a meaning by giving it a name. 

"Detective, you and I are not, in theory, too different from one another. My world is a menagerie of

patients with little separating wellness from sickness, reality from the realm of non-reality. It must be similar to

the distance separating a police officer from the world of criminality, the forces of good from the domain of evil. 

The differences—the distances between the opposing are tenuous at best—and with their disintegration one

becomes the other.  As they say, a small amount of sewage in a barrel of fine wine is little different from a small

amount of fine wine in a cistern of sewage."

 

That’s really sick. Who would put sewage into fine wine or the other way around? Hearing footsteps, Edna

removed her stethoscope from the cabin door and hurried toward the dining room.

 

"Doctor Innus, did Jefferson cross a threshold to become a fictional monster?” 

"We might consider that Victor Frankenstein and the monster were alternate states of the same entity." 

“Sounds like a knockoff of Jekyll and Hyde.”  He wondered how many versions of fiction Nero could conjure. 

 

"It flows effortlessly like a mountain spring from its lofty origin of purity, uncontaminated by one’s need to

rationalize, to alter what one intuitively knows is truth.  To flow with Nature is to be guided to one’s fullest

potential. 

“As a healer my inner voice communicates with the spirits populating Nature’s domain. I harness spiritual

power to heal those

"What nonsense! The inner voice is not nature—it is the voice of the unconscious. Freud discovered that

truth."  Nero could not believe what spewed from the mouth of that towel-headed quack, whose voice he

recognized as Brother Teri's.

 

She heard Logan say, "Dr. Innus, please wait outside. I'll be with you shortly."

Padowski, stethoscope to the wall, watched as Nero felt his way out of the interview room into the

passageway, numb to her presence. Just like at the Institute listening to his counseling sessions from an

adjoining room. Eavesdropping stethoscope-style sharpened her diagnostic skills. As did follow-up phone

conversations with talk-radio psychologists.

Logan next asked, "So tell me, who is Brother Teri, exactly?"

"I am the founder of the Temple of the Eternal Rainbow. I’m a healer of the soul and human spirit." 

"Your reason for being aboard ship?"

"Ramsey Berdache retained me to present workshops on meditation and stress management.

Previously, the two of us shared a journey to the mystical East and, consequentially, I metaphysically represent

the human spirit; Ramsey the physical body." To whether or not he knew Aileen Innus, "We were never

introduced, but I may be of help in solving her senseless murder."

 

Logan decided to go with Brother Teri's suggestion. It was on the order of bizarre, but there were a number of

bizarre happenings—and people, too. 

The list of invitees included the ship’s Captain and doctor, Doctors Padowski and Innus, and Nero’s

friends Steven and Diana; unfortunately, a seasick Ramsey begged off—continuing a trend of not being seen

with Brother Teri. An invitation for Jefferson as Frankenstein monster was left at the door.

Logan sat next to Padowski as all linked hands. Brother Teri conducted the séance in an ambiance that

Logan, hair standing on end, thought electric. The lights dimmed, chimes tinkled, a perceptible chill brushed his

bare arms and neck, arousing goose bumps and an occasional shiver. A presence in the room was first sensed

by the sightless, bereaved analyst: "Aileen, is that you?" 

“Pardon this intrusion,” a startlingly deep-voice resonated. "I loved Aileen. I shall possess her and she

shall sustain me to the end.”

“You abomination! You killed Aileen!”

“And you—the son of a Freudian slip—both the therapist and the rapist—who divined my intended incest

and parricide.”

With great effort, Logan freed his shooting hand from Edna's sensuously magnetic grip. He and his

Glock did a three-sixty but it was too dark to discern anything well enough to shoot it.

The deep voice continued, "I will live my forsaken life in vain as Adam without his Eve—a monster

created by an incubus. To break my bond to my creator is to cause my destruction. Farewell.”

In the ensuing silence, someone had the presence of mind to locate the light switch in the unfamiliar

room. From a distance a sorrowful howl vibrated through the electric night. 

 

The following morning, Aileen Innus was missing from the refrigerated meat locker. 

“That’s alarming,” Edna said.  “Professionally, I diagnosed Jefferson drifting toward autosarcophagy—

self-cannibalism—that’s where a sicko consumes his severed limb after refusing reattachment. One fruitcake

chefed-up a severed-arm pâté. Perhaps Jefferson has become a generalist—now interested in the entire tree

and not just the limbs. Regardless, I’m assuming the role of vegan for the rest of the voyage.”

Logan stated, “No weapon, no body, no rape-kit result, no monster. So—how did the Oedipus story end?”

“Consistent with prophesy. His tragic life ended at Attica and being buried in hallowed Attic ground.”

 

Speaking at Aileen’s service aboard ship, Nero managed: “In pubic—in public memoriam, I miss Aileen gravely.

Nightly, I dream of that vile monster body snatching Aileen from the ship’s meat locker before fatally—finally

sharing burial in Attic—ah—Antarctic ground.”

 

She answered on the third ring. It was the gun-happy detective from the cruise. Edna accepted his invitation for

a late morning at the range shooting his Glock and AR rifle followed by lunch. 

A hopeful Logan asked, “Had any interesting dreams lately?”

“Just one—birthing a rape baby—a mini-version of Jefferson as Frankenstein monster. Thought I left

behind the monster frozen in its Antarctic grave with Aileen’s skeletal remains.”

Logan asked, “How does Frankenstein end? I’ve read to where the monster is traveling by dog sledge.”

“What was that Mary Shelley person thinking about? It certainly wasn't immune rejection of transplanted

body parts. The monster should’ve rotted to pieces. Didn’t it float off into oblivion on an ice flow?”

“Perhaps Jefferson developed a stomach for husky burgers.”

“Remember, Jefferson said, ‘Aileen shall sustain me to the end?’ Scary. And Sigi the cat is still MIA from

the Institute.”

Responding to Logan’s suspicion, “As I mentioned aboard ship, Ramsey and Brother Teri might be

Nero’s former patient—Peter Walton was his name.”

Logan smiled. “It’s said that the name makes the man. Detective work found Berdache, as in Ramsey,

signifies a man who dresses and lives as a woman. That means turban-head doubles as Ramsey and raises the

possibility that Aileen’s resurrection-gone-awry was a ventriloquistic performance to vindicate Nero—probably

for the insurance money. Clever. Conjure an elusive murderer, a victim that gets eaten, and a murder weapon

that melts.”

Logan sipped his drink before stating, “Additional research revealed the name Nero is linked to rapist

and incubus. And your Crusher?”

 

“Master, Padowski’s recounted Crusher dream foretold my oedipal deed. Finding Padowski unconscious in

Jefferson’s room, administering a sedative, and having my way with her. Overwhelmed by my patients’

recounted sexual frustrations and Padowski’s enticing majestic beauty, my fate was to sample the forbidden

fruit.

“Now the subsequent reminder of my hubris. That recurrent despicable dream of the Crusher straddling

Padowski and turning in my direction to make eye contact. I, the Freudian psychoanalyst as voyeur, recognized

my reflected pleasure-seeking double—the grinning rapist.

“Then losing Aileen—twice. And the consequent double-dose alliance with that toadeater séance jockey:

His unholy séance materialized the monster to vindicate me, plus his pledged oath to testify in my behalf in any

legal proceedings. And post-cruise, his alter-ego Ramsey partnering with Padowski to propose I invest Aileen’s

insurance money in their vile neomorph project.”

The unthinkable surfaced: Did they body snatch Aileen? Is she a neomorph?

 

Trembling and sweaty, Padowski woke. Happily, it was just a dream in which Logan, the new man in her life,

was straddling neomorph Aileen Innus—instead of her. They made eye contact and Logan asked, “What’s the

harm?”


© Copyright 2018 John Cox. All rights reserved.

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