Copyright© 2008 by Tony Stevens
Fantasy Sex Story: Chapter 1 - What if you could heal the sick, just with the touch of a hand? Would people allow you any peace? Would you be mobbed? Suppose you wanted a normal life? Sure, you want to help people, but you don't want to be Elvis, or get mistaken for the Second Coming. How do you cope? What do you do?
"I've had considerable difficulty reaching you by telephone, Mr. Cosgrove."
"Perhaps if you weren't so mysterious, you might have found reaching me somewhat simpler."
"Yes sir," the caller said, as if trying to sound conciliatory. "Actually, I am fully aware that you are a busy and important man. But the reason I've been going to all this extra trouble to speak to you personally is that I must guard my own identity ... and privacy."
"Very well, let's get on with it," Cosgrove said. "You've reached me. I guarantee that you are now speaking to the one-and-only Albert W. Cosgrove, as you have so insistently requested."
"How is your daughter, sir?"
Cosgrove didn't try to hide his irritation when he responded. "What possible relevance has my daughter to do with you and your affairs? What is your business?"
"I'm aware, sir, that she's very sick."
"She's dying. She's eleven years old and has the best goddamned medical attention available in the entire world, and she's dying. But it's not a secret. You don't need me to tell you how Patricia is doing. It's in the goddamned New York Times!"
"I can help her, sir," the voice on the telephone said.
Albert Cosgrove was irritated to the point of almost terminating the conversation. "Oh, is that what this conversation is about? Oh, of course you can. Do you think you're the first idiot charlatan to contact me and tell me you had a miracle cure for all that ails my daughter? You're not even one of the first dozen! You are the first, however, who's managed to get me on the telephone. The others were content to speak to my staff members or my attorneys. One even had the balls to ask to discuss the matter with Patricia's doctors!"
"Mr. Cosgrove, I can make your daughter well. And I'll be pleased to do so, if you will simply agree to work with me to preserve my anonymity."
"You've told me your name," Cosgrove said.
"No, sir," the telephone voice said. "I've simply given you a name. You must understand. I have to preserve my anonymity because if people knew who I was, it would be the end of any possibility of a normal life for me."
"Listen now, you! ... I'm not going to call you John Healer because that alias you've given me is a ridiculous one. I'm not going to play your goddamned games! What is it that you want, really?"
"I want to come to your daughter's hospital room, accompanied only by one person of your choosing. I assume the person you would choose would be a strong, athletic man — perhaps carrying a weapon on his person. I have no objection to any of that. I would come to Patricia's hospital room and would be alone with her briefly — alone except for your assigned bodyguard. Then I would leave, accompanied by your assigned bodyguard and he would assist me in departing the premises unmolested."
"And what's in this for you? Are you going to take a photograph of my daughter in her deathbed, to sell to some magazine? Is that what this is about?"
"No, sir. No photographs. No publicity."
"I repeat: What's in this for you?"
"If your daughter recovers her good health, I would hope that you would see fit to make a cash contribution to my work."
"And what work might that be?"
"I'm a healer."
"What kind of cash contribution are we talking about?"
"That will be left entirely up to you to decide. If I am not successful in bringing your daughter back to good health, there will be no price to be paid for the attempt. The only cost to you will be paying the bodyguard assigned to accompany me."
"And how would I then manage to pay you, given your immense regard for personal privacy?"
"I will communicate with you — afterward — and leave instructions with your attorneys, or with any person you designate."
"But you're not naming a fee?"
"Normally, Mr. Cosgrove, there is no fee charged for my services. In your case, the fee payment will be voluntary, but I am of the opinion that once your daughter's good health is restored, you will be inclined to be generous. Your fee will then be used to sustain me in my work, which is healing as many people as it is feasible for me to heal."
"So you're some kind of healing Robin Hood, is that it? You charge the rich and heal the poor for free?"
"As I've said, sir, the payment you make, if you choose to make one at all, will be voluntary. I will have no means of forcing you to pay, because any attempt to do so would require that I reveal my identity and the nature of this transaction."
"But you don't always charge a fee — is that correct?"
"No sir," the telephone voice said patiently. "I never actually 'charge' a fee, as you put it. As you said, I intend occasionally to ask the rich to contribute to my work and to thus ensure my ability to sustain myself. One of the byproducts of your contribution would be that many other individuals will be cured of their illnesses. Some — not all — of those persons will be poor people. Some will be as wealthy, or at least almost as wealthy, as you are, Mr. Cosgrove. Normally, even those wealthy people will not be asked for help to sustain me in my work."
"Because you only ask for money when you need it, right?"
"Yes sir, that is correct, although I could do without the sarcastic tone," the unidentified caller said. "You have a dying daughter. She is, if press reports can be believed, threatened with death within days, if not hours. I assure you that I can help her. I cannot, however, bring back the dead. If you are going to allow me access to her and afford me the opportunity to help her, there isn't a lot of time to lose."
"What you're describing isn't possible," Cosgrove said. "You're just some kind of cruel dispenser of false hope. You've actually got me half-believing that you're serious in this."
"Mr. Cosgrove! Sir. For God's sake, why not give me a chance? There is no risk. I cannot make things worse for your daughter. Worst-case, I can be a charlatan, as you've suggested, but the cost of finding that out is minimal. Yes, it could be a cruel hoax that will give you a few moments of additional pain associated with the hours, days, years of pain your daughter's condition has already caused you and your family. But, sir, why not allow the attempt?"
"Oh, hell! I've already decided that I will," Cosgrove said. "Tell me what you want me to do."
"The person accompanying me to your daughter's room must be known to the hospital staff and trusted by them. Everyone on the hospital's staff must be instructed to stay away from the room and the corridor. No photographs, no attempt to slow me down or to stop me, either before or after I visit your daughter's bedside. The bodyguard, of course, will be free to assure your daughter's safety, but in all other respects, he is not to interfere in any manner.
"I am to be permitted to leave the hospital premises unmolested and un-spied upon. The escort you appoint is to be pledged to absolute silence concerning any hints he may pick up about my identity, age, sex, height, weight -- anything."
"Tonight, if you can arrange it. The sooner the better, Mr. Cosgrove. Your daughter is failing fast."
"All right. It's four p.m. now. I can have my man ready to escort you by ... by eight p.m. The hospital staff will be given the instructions you've specified."
"Have your man meet me in an automobile directly across the street from the main hospital entrance on Laurel Avenue South. Make it a BMW two-door sedan. The driver should be alone in the car, and should be wearing a white shirt and a tie - no jacket. He will stop at the curb, facing the hospital entrance. No photographs. No telephoto lenses. Nothing. Is all of that understood?"
"Perfectly," Cosgrove said.
"Wonderful. Mr. Cosgrove! You have behaved wisely. I know that you doubt that fact right now, but you will know it to be the case in a few hours. Thank you, sir, for trusting me, at least to the point of allowing this to happen."
"I have a question," Cosgrove said.
"Why not just walk into the hospital and cure the poor girl, if you're able to do so? Why all this elaborate staging?"
"That's normally exactly what I would have done," the telephone voice said. "But I have been unable to defeat the security precautions you've laid out around your daughter."
Cosgrove remained unconvinced. "And, of course, had you just gone in and cured her, how could you claim credit — and payment — from me later?"
"Were there more time, sir — if your daughter had more time — I could suggest that you explore with your medical advisors some recent strange occurrences in hospitals all over North America. Cases of spontaneous cure of multiple hospital patients, all occurring in a single day, many of them defying any medical explanation."
"And what would that prove?" Cosgrove asked.
"It would prove the truth of my earlier statements to you, Mr. Cosgrove, to the effect that normally I don't put the families of the sick through their paces before I administer a healing hand."
"You just ... wander around hospitals at random, curing the sick?"
"Yes, sir. Exactly that."
"I have recently exhausted my own personal resources," the voice said. "Now I must seek the willing contributions of people like you, sir - people who have reaped the benefits of my gift, and can afford to reward me for what I've done."
"Eight o'clock, then," Cosgrove said.
At precisely eight p.m., a young man turned the corner across from the hospital's main entrance and, walking quickly, approached the already-parked BMW driven by a man wearing a white shirt and tie.
The driver, a large, square-jawed fellow with a no-nonsense expression and intelligent eyes, looked expectantly at the man as he approached the car. Neither man said anything.
The stranger opened the passenger door of the BMW and sat down. He was wearing large, heavily tinted sunglasses and a New York Mets baseball cap, pulled down hard over his eyes. Long blonde hair — obviously a wig - cascaded down his back. The BMW driver, with a lifetime of experience in law enforcement, already had registered the fact that the stranger wore lifts in his shoes, no doubt intended to give him a somewhat taller appearance than he actually presented outside of the disguise.
Albert Cosgrove's appointed bodyguard could see through a great deal of the stranger's amateurish attempt at disguising his appearance. It didn't matter. His instructions were to protect the little girl clinging to life in her hospital room. There was to be no attempt made to identify, detain or capture this man.
"Let's go," the stranger said, his voice gravelly, disguised, and not at all like the voice he had employed earlier while conversing with Cosgrove.
During the brief drive, no words were exchanged. When the driver parked directly in front of the hospital's main entrance, his passenger got out of the car and waited for the driver to accompany him. Then, instead of going in through the front door, the man beckoned the driver to follow him inside through an obscure ground-floor entrance fifty yards farther around the side of the hospital's main building.
From there he took the most direct possible path to a pair of side-by-side elevators bearing signs indicating that they were reserved for hospital staff. The two men took one of the elevators to the eighth floor.
If the bodyguard found it surprising that the stranger knew precisely how to locate Patricia Cosgrove's hospital room, he made no comment. As had been specified, there were no hospital personnel to be seen once they had reached the vicinity of the girl's eighth floor suite of rooms.
"I am going to stand by Patricia's bed and I am going to touch her," the stranger forewarned the bodyguard. "No theatrics. I will simply hold her by the forearm for a moment — nothing more. If you observe, or think you observe, any false moves on my part, you are welcome to respond. But you will not. I will touch the young girl's forearm briefly — perhaps for fifteen seconds. Do you understand? I will do nothing more. When that is done, you and I will leave her room together, immediately. We will return to your car and you will drive me out of here, to a nearby location that I specify. Understood?"
"Understood," the bodyguard said calmly. It was the only word he had spoken since the stranger had gotten into his car outside the hospital grounds.
Inside Patricia Cosgrove's hospital room it was obvious that her father had honored all the stranger's requests. He saw no sign of anyone's attempting to record his presence in the room or otherwise to interfere with his progress. If there were hidden cameras, they had been skillfully secreted.
Moving deliberately so as to permit the appointed bodyguard to react to any and all movements, the stranger slowly approached the young girl's bedside and picked up her right arm — an arm riddled with tubes and needles designed to sustain and nourish her.
He held onto her wrist for a few seconds.
"All right," he told the bodyguard. "Let's go."
The bodyguard looked at Patricia Cosgrove's supine form, expecting, perhaps, some sign of — what? Recovery?
But he said nothing. It was impossible to determine whether the bodyguard even knew the whole story — what the purpose of this foray into Patricia Cosgrove's hospital room was supposed to be.
In any event, there was nothing for him to see. Patricia Cosgrove didn't leap out of her bed, nor did her body tense as if subjected to electric shock. Nothing dramatic occurred. Nothing even perceptible occurred.
The disguised stranger didn't appear to be expecting anything. Perhaps the big, athletic bodyguard had. But it was quite clear that the man had done the girl no harm. He had even held up both his palms after he'd released the girl's wrist and had gently set her arm back on the bed. It was a "Look, no weapons" gesture.
They left the room together. A middle-aged man in a hospital smock leaned out into the corridor from some distance and stared at the two men. Then he quickly pulled back out of sight. He had been too far away to have seen anything remotely relevant.
The two men took another, different service elevator to the main floor and again the stranger led the way down a complex series of corridors to an obscure side door that took them outside — a different side entrance, this time, from the one used to enter the hospital only minutes earlier.
They had been inside the building for twelve minutes.
The stranger approached the car, got in, and waited for the driver to join him, after which he said simply, "Drive."
At the man's instruction, he was let out of the BMW at a busy downtown intersection. As he had been instructed, the driver of the BMW immediately pulled back into traffic and drove away.
The stranger disappeared down a subway platform and blended quickly into the crowd. The subway entrance doubled as an entrance to the city's main railway terminal. He might have entered the subway station platform or the railway terminal. Both destinations were crowded with people moving in all directions. The man had successfully separated himself from the Cosgrove family and from anyone Cosgrove might have appointed to follow him after the departure from the hospital.
Two days later, the man called the law offices of Hamilton and McCrory, PC. Cosgrove's legal representatives in the city.
"This is John Healer," he said. "Mr. Burkin is expecting my call."
"Yes, sir, Mr. Burkin is expecting your call," the secretary said, "but he requests that he be allowed to forward the call directly to Mr. Cosgrove, who would prefer to speak to you himself."
"I will speak with either or both of them," the voice said.
There was a brief pause. "This is Harry Burkin," a voice said. "I'm arranging for Mr. Cosgrove to join us on the line momentarily."
"Mr. Healer, we are making no attempt to trace this call. I assure you that this is a secure line."
"I'm not concerned," the man said.
There was a click. "I think that's Mr. Cosgrove," Burkin said.
"I'm on the line," Cosgrove said. The man — John Healer - recognized Cosgrove's voice, which was distinctive. It was also far warmer than it had been, just two afternoons earlier.
"Mr. Healer! Patricia is ... she's ... it's a miracle, what you've done! It's a goddamned miracle!"
"I'm pleased to hear it, sir," Healer said. "But you must understand that I am not surprised. I was quite confident of this result."
"But the doctors can't find anything wrong with her! Nothing! They can't believe it! I can't believe it, either, but compared to them ... it's just ... just amazing, is all."
"Do you understand, sir, why I am being so mysterious about this? About my identity?"
"If people knew what you can do -- who you were ... You'd get mobbed!"
"Yes. And I want to help people, Mr. Cosgrove. I want to spend a lot of time, and all my energy, helping people who are sick. But I'm selfish, too, sir. I want to be able to have a little bit of a life. I want to be able to appear in public without being mobbed, as you said."
"I guess that's ... understandable," Cosgrove said.
"And I want to be able to choose who I help, and where I go, and how I go about doing what I do. If you ... if any powerful person, or a government, were to get control over me, my life would be over, Mr. Cosgrove."
"All right. I can understand it, to some extent," Cosgrove said. "I'd like to help. I could be your ... protector. Your sponsor, as it were. I have resources, as you know. I'd do anything I could to help, if you chose to allow it."
"That's tempting," Healer said. "I know you are making the offer honorably. I know you mean well. It would make it easier for me, God knows. It's been tough, being a lone wolf, working in disguise, always watching my own back."
"Well, then. Let me help," Cosgrove said.
"No. I'm sorry. It's tempting, but I don't trust you enough. I can't. I haven't yet determined how I can manage to trust anyone enough. And I'm afraid. Perhaps I will come to you, sometime in the future, and ask you to help me in the way you've proposed today. But not yet. First, I want to try to find a way to remain independent."
"You're just going to ... move around, curing people?"
"Yes. Will you help? With money? Will you pay for your daughter's cure?"
"Of course I will! But you should reconsider this business of acting all alone. This is serious stuff! You could use help, just determining how best to use this immense gift you have! How to protect yourself, and make maximum feasible use of your ... abilities ... at the same time."
"I know that what you're saying is true. I mean, I know I don't have all the answers. But I'm afraid, Mr. Cosgrove. Afraid to come forward - to you or to anyone else. At least for now, I'm going to stay a free agent."
"At least stay in communication with me!" Cosgrove urged. "You could call in on a secure line. You could buy time on an unregistered cell phone, call from anywhere! You'd be safe, and I would be able to enlist others to help. To advise you."
"I won't do it, sir. Don't you see? If you or others told me things, like where to go, who to help. Soon dozens, maybe hundreds of people would know where to find me, how to track my movements. I won't do that sort of thing anytime soon, Mr. Cosgrove."
"Very well. Tell me where to send the money. I am going to send you four hundred thousand dollars. That should subsidize your good works for some considerable time to come. And if you need more — at any time, now or in the future, you need only ask."
"That is extremely generous, Mr. Cosgrove. If you had insisted to me that I name a figure, I would have asked for far less. And I will not likely ask you for more help in the future. If need be, there will be other wealthy people who are confronted with circumstances not unlike your own — people with loved ones in dire need of help. I will ask them for help, if need be. Your generosity will subsidize my work for some considerable time. Thanks to you, fund-raising will not be an immediate concern for me."
"I asked the doctors about what you said earlier," Cosgrove said. " ... about whether there had been reports of ... unexplained cures of hospital patients."
"And they told you that there have been several such reports, did they not?" Healer said.
"Yes. Scattered. One up in Alaska, for God's sake! One on Prince Edward Island, in Canada! And in Chicago. Cheyenne. Seattle."
"There have been others," the man who called himself John Healer said. "But your informants are pretty much up on my recent activities."
"All of the reports have been over a period of less than two years," Cosgrove said. "Just over eighteen months, in fact."
"What about ... before that? Where were you then?"
"I'm not going to drop hints to you, or tell stories, Mr. Cosgrove. I'm not going to answer your questions. I will send a note to your attorney, with detailed instructions about where to send the money. I will express my appreciation, now, in advance, for your generosity. I promise you that I will do good things with the money. I will live comfortably on it, but the massive bulk of your contribution will go to the expenses associated with my work. I will simply travel from place to place, healing people."
"Young man, I admire what you're doing, but I believe you are trying to accomplish your purposes in a foolish, short-sighted manner," Cosgrove said.
"Perhaps it won't be ... scientific. Perhaps it will seem to be ... random. I can't help that. We both know that, wherever I go, there will be people who need my help, and I intend to give it freely. And you, sir, will be an important part of it."
"Please stay in touch," Cosgrove said. "I beg you! I am not through with helping you. Whether or not you come back to me for more money, I am going to help you. I have influential friends. I can set up a foundation to support your work."
"I will call you again," John Healer told him. "And if I am ever in a tight spot, if I am discovered ... captured. I may have to call upon you, belatedly, for more substantial help. For shelter - as it were - from the storm."
"I will be ready. Ready to help in any way. And Mr. Healer..."
"Thank you! Thank you for my daughter's life!"