SHOCK TREATMENT 2000

Chapter Six: 1988


    Ansalong was just as surprised to see Macy as Macy was to see her.  In New York City, of all places!
    It all started a few weeks before.  Ansalong, trying to make a new life for herself without Ricky (whom she missed quite often), received a phone call from a woman who refused to divulge her name.  Ansalong originally wanted to hang up but kept listening as the woman made a proposition she couldn't turn down:
    A great paying job in New York City.  It was as an actress, a career move that Ansalong had always dreamed of having.  Thinking of the fame and fortune she could achieve, she was prepared to say YES.  The un-named woman said that if Ansalong moved right away to New York City, then she would be provided for.  Ansalong's needs would be taken care of.
    So she quit her job, packed her bags, and used the one-way plane ticket that had arrived in the mail.  There was something odd about the entire situation -- perhaps the risk of it all -- but she was intrigued enough to make the move.
    Whoever this "mystery" woman was kept good on her promise.  She met with Ansalong and within 2 weeks, Ansalong had an apartment and an acting role in a film that was just starting to film.
    Things were going well, and on this particular day, Ansalong just left the studio lot where she had been acting for the film, and low and behold, there was Macy Struthers, a face from her past.
    Macy had lost some weight, and she didn't look healthy.  Times have been tough for her aparently.  Ansalong felt an amount of sorrow for her, but refused to mention it, unless Macy mentioned it first.
    Over the next two hours, Macy and Ansalong sat in a small New York donut shop, eating donuts, drinking coffee, and talking.  Although Macy didn't reveal all that had happened to her over the past few years, she did hint to Ansalong that times have been difficult to her.
    "I'll tell you what," Ansalong said, "Why don't you stay with me for a while."
    And that's how it happened.  A friendship re-formed, and both ladies smiled.  Ansalong wasn't sure, but she sensed a change in Macy.  It seemed that the brown-nosing woman she used to know in Denton had learned from her mistakes.
    Perhaps, Ansalong thought to herself, we both have.

    Ralph Hapschatt felt the sting of the knife's edge against his neck.  Even though his bedroom was dark, he could still make out the faint outlines of the woman who was currently straddling him, pinning him to his bed, with a knife at his throat.
    He had been sleeping fine, and his sleep must have been deep because he didn't even hear the front door open up.  All of a sudden, he was quickly awakened to the pressure of someone jumping on the bed and straddling their legs around him.
    "You've screwed with the wrong woman, Ralph," the woman said.
    "Who are you?" Ralph asked, unsure.  He had been with sooooooooo many women, and wasn't exactly a gentlemen to them.
    "Don't recognize my voice?" she said, pressing the blade even harder.
    Ralph forced a smile, "No," he said, "but your perfume scent is nice.  It kind of turns me on."
    "How'd you like to know what your blood smells like?" she cursed.
    Ralph knew he could throw her off the bed and control her, but the problem still remained: she could sneak into his home some other night and slice his throat while he slept.  And because she didn't do that this time, he felt reasonably sure she would let him live.  So he listened.
    "What do you want from me?" he asked her.
    She was quick in responding, as though she had all the answers for him: "I want you to move away from Denton.  Leave immediately.  You've hurt too many women, and I know this isn't the first time you've been threatened."
    Ralph swallowed hard, "Where will I go?"
    The woman answered, "I don't care.  I'm sure you have family somewhere."
    Ralph thought about it, and said, "I have a brother that lives in New Jersey."
    "Good," she said, stepping off of him, and heading toward the door.  Before she exited, she said one last thing:
    "If you're still here in Denton tomorrow by midnight, you're dead."
    Then she exited the bedroom and seconds later, Ralph could hear the unknown woman shut the front door.  Yes, he thought to himself nervously, I think it's time to move on.

    Janet drove to 630 Charlette Drive with a large amount of nervousness.  She was about to see her son for the first time since giving him up for adoption 12 years ago.
    One week ago, after months of failed searches and leads, she finally tracked down the man and woman who were fostering the boy.  They were good foster parents and had grown attatched to him even though he had been with them for such a short time, aproximately 9 months.
    Janet pulled the car against the curb in front of the house and read the house numbers to verify that the address was correct. It was.  Now, she realized, all she had to do was will herself to go knock on the door.
    How would the foster parents react?  Should she have called first?  What if the boy answered the door?  What would she say?  How would she say it?
    She got out of the car and approached the home.  "You can do it, Janet" she said to herself softly as she stepped up to the front door and willed herself to ring the doorbell.  Her heart was racing.  She felt weak in the knees.
    "Just a second!" the woman on the other side of the door yelled politely.  Janet could hear her approach the door, and turn the latch.
    When the door opened, Janet saw the woman who was fostering her son.  The woman's husband was joining his wife's side at the front door.
    "Can I help you?" he asked Janet.
    Janet looked past the young couple, in hopes to get a glimpse of her boy.
    With some awkwardness, Janet replied, "Hello, my name is Janet Majors, and I was wondering if you might be able to help me.  You see, about 12 years ago, I gave up my child at birth.  It was a complicated situation."
    The man and woman looked at each other and then back to Janet.  Janet continued: "You see, I have been searching for my son for a while now, and I have reason to believe that he has been living here, under your fostering."
    The woman seemed sad, but replied to Janet, "Daniel used to live here, but he doesn't anymore."
    Daniel?  she thought to herself, His name is Daniel...
    The husband explained, "We were fostering him, when all of a sudden, last month some woman came here and took him away from us.  Said she had legally adopted Daniel and there was nothing we could do about it."
    "He's a good boy," the wife said to Janet, "He's got your eyes."
    Janet smiled and felt tears welt up in her eyes.  Then she asked the couple, "Is there any chance they left a forwarding address?"
    "Well," he answered, "No.  I guess the agency has that info.  But I don't think you'll have much luck there.  Once the boy's adopted, that's the end of the line."
    But Janet refused to give up.  Something odd was happening here.  It was as though some OUTSIDE force was preventing her from finding her son.  First, the adoption records had been stolen from the agency.  Then, her son was suddenly adopted just a month ago.
    No, she vowed, I'm not going to give up now.  There's more to the plan than what's visible, and I'm going to find him.  I'm going to find Daniel if it's the last thing I do.

In the next chapter, we'll check up on Rest Home Ricky and his new life.  We'll also see what happened to Ralph once he moved to New Jersey.  And Farley's "boss" surprises him with a new plan...

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