Jenni's JABB 177 Playlist

"When the moon on a cloud cast night
Hung above the tree tops' height
You sang me of some distant past
That made my heart beat strong and fast
Now I know I'm home at last."
~ from Loreena McKennitt's "Samain Night", Parallel Dreams


October 31st, 2005, JenniAnn's family home, somewhere in Nebraska

As throngs of children ran around outdoors, festively dressed and seeking sweet treats, a small group sat around JenniAnn in her woodland fairy finery.  Prior to this she’d strongly fought a friend’s suggestion that she was, in fact, a wood nymph desiring to keep the word “nymph” out of it for obvious reasons.  But that’s not really vital to our story so I shall continue on.  JenniAnn, lately of Dyeland, was reading from a storybook.  Her audience was composed of small children dressed as cartoon characters and mini-royalty.  They were easily frightened by the ghouls who came to the door and she had taken it upon herself to distract them.

“And that is the story of the Velveteen Rabbit by __________ (1)!”  She closed the book with a flourish and smiled.

The children smiled back and, relieved of their fear, traipsed off to the toy box.  Save one little boy/Batman who only stared at the woman with a look on confusion.

“Something wrong?” she asked.

“Just thinkin’ about the story’s all.”

“What about it?”

“What happened to the Skin Horse?”

JenniAnn grew a tad pale.  “Uhh… well, ya see the story really is about the rabbit and, umm, he learned what he needed to from the horse and, well…  I’m sure the Skin Horse was just fine.”  JenniAnn knew the smart little chap wasn’t buying it.

“But why didn’t the rabbit check to make sure?  Did he know the Skin Horse was okay?”

“Well…  I suppose not but really the horse can take care of himself.  I mean he did very well with out the rabbit for years.  And the rabbit had to go off to become Real and start his life and all…”  JenniAnn began to fidget.  She pondered in her stuffy, grown-up way how a little child had thought to challenge a classic *and* so acutely zero in on something… or someone… close to her heart.

“It’s not very nice to not check up on a friend.  He should have went back to see how the horse was,” the boy responded bluntly.

JenniAnn was now twisting her ring nervously and trying to decide what to say next. 

The boy didn’t seem to want to wait for her answer and only shrugged.  “Bratty rabbit,” he said then went to join the other children.

“Bratty, indeed…” JenniAnn muttered, looking incredibly guilty.


Same day in Dyeland

Andrew surveyed the field.  It made him laugh, this hodgepodge of activity and décor.  A few weeks after JenniAnn had left him standing in this very field, holding a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, he’d realized the responsibility of the annual Dyeland Halloween party fell to him.  But he was busy and, further, he detested Halloween.  “Touched by an Angel” had taken some liberties with his character.  The multiple first meetings with Monica probably took the cake.  He still cracked up when he thought about that TBAA episode with Richard Chamberlain called "________" (2).  Of course, that may have been due more to John Dye's mini-goatee in said episode.  Andrew, possibly in denial, was convinced he'd never looked *that* goofy.  But repeated first meetings and hair issues aside, his hatred of the so-called holiday had been right on.  Despite that, he couldn’t quite escape the festivities.  So he and a committee of Dyelanders had decided on a compromise.  They would divide the Fields of Gold area into different sections, each devoted to a different observance.  He hoped the results showed all their effort and would spare him the agony of a Halloween onslaught.

Beneath the trees surrounding the field were Margherita and the Storyteller, his wife _____ (3), and their family.  They were dramatizing various Celtic myths in honor of Samhain.  Monica would be along later to show off some authentic Irish foods.  Andrew sincerely hoped she’d not overloaded all the recipes with coffee.  To the east were some of Dyeland’s citizens of German ancestry preparing for a belated Oktoberfest.  The angel of death could all ready imagine the enticing scent of bratwurst and sauerkraut.  Not far away from them were those preparing for Dia de los Muertos or All Souls Day.  Andrew, at first, was put off by the skull-shaped marzipan and a statue of a skeletal lady.  But the presence of marigolds and lighted votives and other remembrances forced him to recall the importance of the date in commemorating those who had entered into immortality.  Andrew had spent too much time on earth to have not developed at least a modicum of respect for people's traditions, even as he bristled against certain ones...  Near a lake were the Halloween contingent.  Andrew looked warily at them.  But, in all fairness, even they weren’t that difficult for him to take.  Reaper costumes, as always, were banned.  And then there was his pet project!  Marking off the temporary football field. 

(I feel I ought to, at this juncture, make it clear that what we’re talking about here is American football.  That odd game where they kick and carry around that rather oval shaped ball.  Not to be confused with the sport David Beckham plays which some have taken to calling soccer.  And which I, naturally, prefer.  But back to Andrew.)

As he marked the various yard lines off in temporary paint, he over heard Adam telling Gloria the basic rules of the game.  It reminded him of that time before the assignment with the ______ (4) family.  It had only been his second assignment with Monica and he’d decided to teach her a bit about the game.  Tess, of course, had had other ideas and ended up confiscating his football.  Of course, Monica had been a less… enthusiastic pupil.  He wondered how long it would be before Adam would get exasperated with all of Gloria’s eager questions.

The day was chilly and so after he’d finished outlining the field, Andrew made his way to the final group preparing for the revelers.  They’d opted for a general harvest theme and were building up a bonfire and preparing the hayrack ride.  The angel warmed his hands over the little fire they all ready had going. 

“So Andrew, how ya holding up?  Worried about grim-reaper-wannabe party crashers?” Cliff asked with a grin.

Andrew rolled his eyes but smiled.  “Not at all, actually.  I think this was a great idea.  Certainly better than the year I spent with a feline Satan.”

“_________ (5)!” an enthusiastic Janie called out the name of that episode.  Meanwhile Daisy cried “You were a plumber… so where was the tool belt?!  Huh??  Huh?”

Andrew blushed.  Cliff noticed and couldn’t resist the urge to continue testing the Androolers’ knowledge and seeing how many shades of scarlet the angel‘s face would show.

“And the time you spent Halloween with that possessed guy.  Gee… what was that one called?”

“________ (6)!”

“That’s it!  And finally, the first Halloween episode.  The one with the title taken from that children’s story about the chicken…”

“_______ (7)!  And you were in a uniform!  Oooh!  You going to wear a costume tonight?” This time is was Jess who had wandered over to supply the necessary information and fluster Andrew. 

“Umm, uhh.  No.  I’m playing football with you, remember?”

“Oh yes, I wouldn’t forget that.”

“Do you suppose you might be able to wear the tool belt while you play?” Daisy, Cliff’s wife, asked coquettishly as her husband looked on, slightly perturbed.

“I, uhh…  Don’t know that that’s a good idea.”  Andrew was backing away slightly.  “I need to go drop something off with the Halloween people.” 

The group laughed as Andrew practically fled them with what they thought was a lame excuse.  The night was going to be a blast, they had plenty in store for their angelic friend.  


Later that night

The woodland fairy (not a nymph, mind you!) suddenly appeared in her room in Willowveil Castle.  She turned up her nose.  After three months absence, the place was a little musty.  But now was not the time for fretting over ignored housekeeping.  JenniAnn was going to find “her Skin Horse” and she didn’t care if that meant blowing her savings (and all sense of decorum) on a plane ticket to visit Andrew on assignment.  But she would scour Dyeland before resorting to that.  She ran out of her room, down the stairs, and out the door.  The entire city was dark.  But then that wasn’t surprising when only she and Andrew resided there currently.  She took a moment to take a deep breath and stare up at the stars.  She had dearly missed this place.  But she’d take it all in later.  She went into City Hall and scoured the bulletin board there for any sign of events that might be underway.
“A ha!” she cried when her eye fell on a flyer reading “October Fun Festival!”  She ran and didn't stop until she was on a hill over-looking the Fields.  It was gorgeous and again JenniAnn cursed herself for ever leaving, even if only for three months.  She started down the hill until she got close enough to see what was going on in the Fields. 

“Oh…  No…” she moaned.  Andrew was running across the field and kept looking back worriedly!  Jess and Miriam were following him with menacing looks.  And there… just at the sidelines stood Kathleen.  The fallen angel!  And there was a large fire behind her!  JenniAnn put it all together in her head.  Kathleen had possessed her friends and turned them against poor Andrew!  JenniAnn flew down the hill, her flowery wings flapping behind her.  Before she made it Andrew began moving around spastically and then fell to the ground.

JenniAnn kept running, blind to nearly everything, as scenes from his life, those shown on the TV show and others, flashed through her mind.  His walking alone on the dark street one Passover night as depicted in “________ (8)”.  Him dancing with a lil girl at a party when he’d been working with the ________ (9) family, migrant workers with a musical prodigy for a son.  Two Christmases ago, his face lit up as he opened a package from his Father.  A new pocket watch with the design of a _____ (10) etched onto it.  And “_______ (11)”, when he’d marched with a town against the devil aka “Derek”.  He’d been so strong, so powerful-looking then.  Why wasn’t he standing up against Kathleen now?! 

Had JenniAnn been a little more cognizant of anything besides the angel of death, she might have wondered why Adam was screaming “Touch down!  Touch down!” and why Polka and Celtic music and “The Monster Mash” were mixing in the night air.  And she might have noticed the football that had fallen from Andrew’s grip to the ground near him.  But as it was, she saw only Andrew.  It must be remembered she’d not seen him in three months.  And in a more reasonable state of mind, she may have considered that the noises escaping him weren’t so much gasps of pain following a demonic attack but those of a successful quarterback trying to catch his breath after a mighty sprint across the field followed by an enthusiastic victory dance.  And how was she to know that two months previously Monica had announced that she’d been working with a newly reformed Kathleen who was now a frequent guest in Dyeland? 

Fortunately for Andrew (whom we all know did not feel for JenniAnn what she felt for him and so, clearly, would not have appreciated her throwing herself at him) just as she made it to his side, so did Jess and Miriam and Adam and the rest of their teams.

“Hey!  You got here just in time to see the first touch down of the day!” Adam looked at JenniAnn then clapped his teammate on the back proudly.

Andrew stood up and received congratulations from Jess and Miriam who insisted that their team would tie up the game in no time at all.  Then he looked to the prodigal who was staring open mouthed at him.

“Hey, welcome back.  Uh, you okay?”

“I thought…  Kathleen…  Umm, ya know… never mind!  Good job!” JenniAnn responded lamely.

“Hey, I don’t think even Andrew hit that shade of red!” Cliff joked, stepping forward.  One wonders why Cliff seemed to have designated himself “blush-o-meter” as if such things even mattered but I suppose that’s immaterial to the story also.  Like the nymph thing.  Right, the story…

“Umm… ya know I’ll get off the field so you can finish this game.  But could someone please explain to me what exactly this ‘October Fun Festival’ is?” JenniAnn asked after a few awkward moments of staring Andrew-way.

As the two football teams returned to their games, Cliff explained and gave her the tour of the Fields.  She was delighted with all the ways Andrew and Co. had thought to mark the occasion. 

“I assume Andrew is staying away from this area,” she remarked as they came to the Halloween section.  “Hey…  Itsy!  Someone remembered to include her with the decorations.  My mother gave me a lil black one named ________ (12) and I adored it.  I have that in my home in Nebraska but last year I made this one to put out in Dyeland for Halloween.”

Cliff only nodded politely as JenniAnn went on about a spider which he didn’t find interesting in the least but clearly the girl was highly emotional and so he let it go and led her off to the other sections.  After she’d reunited with everyone, the two sat down to watch the football game.  Every time Jess or Miriam tackled Andrew, JenniAnn winced thinking what sordid conclusions her over-dramatic mind had come to earlier.  Football had bedeviled her once again…


Even later that night

The entire group was now gathered around the bonfire as the “October Fun Festival” was drawing to a close.  In one small nod to Halloween, Andrew had agreed to judge a pumpkin painting contest.  He was making his rounds and examining the pumpkins by the light of the fire.  As he went from pumpkin to pumpkin, giggles followed him.  These weren’t simply pumpkins.  The Dyelanders had gone all out and fashioned scarecrow bodies and put the pumpkins atop them.  As a result, Andrew was now looking at nearly a dozen straw and gourd replicas of himself. 

Here was scarecrow-Andrew dressed in jeans and a beige button-up shirt over a white T-shirt propped up on a haystack staircase a la “________ (13).”  Another, donning a tuxedo, was propped up at a table replicating the one at the restaurant, __________ (14), where Andrew had his first date.  And there was another in an old-fashioned brown suit with sideburns that perfectly mimicked the angel’s look in “__________ (15).”  And, not surprisingly, at least one featured the famed leather _____ (16). 

Andrew realized this was not so much a contest but yet another example of the rabidity of his admirers.  He bit his lip and ran his hand through his hair, blushing all the while. 

“Hey, it’s your fault for chopping your hair and making yourself look like the jack-o-lantern of death!  It inspired us!” Audrey joked, recalling the nickname she’d given him in Season Five.

“I *am* growing my hair back!” Andrew countered but burst into a fit of laughter as the tuxedoed scarecrow’s head rolled off its shoulder and onto the table. 

“See!  That is precisely why I don’t date!  People just lose their heads.  Poor MDWA Andrew…” JenniAnn made a puppy dog face and tried to reattach the pumpkin but to no avail. 

Adam glanced down at it and grinned wickedly.  “That’ll make a scrumptious pie tomorrow!” 

Everyone turned up their noses at the unappealing idea of serving up scarecrow Andrew's head.  Besides, there was plenty of pumpkin pie to be had just then.  As everyone waited in the dessert buffet line, JenniAnn made her way to Andrew.

“Hey, good to have you back!  I didn’t get to say much to you earlier on account of having a game to win,” Andrew smiled proudly but then grew serious.  “You looked a little upset, you okay?”

JenniAnn knew she’d never admit to what she’d imagined when she’d appeared on the field.  “Oh yes but… I actually wanted to ask you something.”

“Go ahead.”

“Well… how are you?”

Andrew looked at her quizzically.  “I’m good…  Thanks for asking.”

“Like really you’re okay?”

“I am 100% okay, yes,” Andrew stressed.

JenniAnn exhaled and then looked more relaxed.  “Great…” 

“Can I ask you something?”


“Why’d you come back now?  Just curious.”

“Batman told me to,” JenniAnn answered as if it were the most natural thing in the world, hugged the angel, then flitted away. 

Andrew just watched the departing fairy with a raised eye brow.  I’d personally believe he was thinking something like this:

But then Andrew’s not British.  But I am.

So…  Happy Halloween, belated Oktoberfest, blessed Samhain, prayerful All Souls Day, enjoy your football, and crikey.

The End

Okay everyone, hope you liked our narrator!  If not, we'll be introducing more in coming months and at the end you can vote for your favorite.  We'll dub this one "Nosy 'Hitchhiker's' Knock-Off Guy."  Then once we have a winner, may be we can stick with that one for a while!  Anyhow, to partipate in the contest just fill in as many of the blanks from the story as you can.  Here's a list you can fill out and then just copy and paste to me.  I will nto accept any entries after November 7th.  You should be able to find all answers either on the episode guide or JABB's Encyclopedia.  Please remember to read Contest Rules and Information

1.  Velveteen Rabbit author-
2.  TBAA episode title-
3.  Storyteller's wife's name-
4.  Family's last name from TBAA episode-
5.  TBAA episode title-
6.  TBAA episode title-
7.  TBAA episode title-
8.  TBAA episode title-
9.  Family's last name from TBAA episode-
10.  Pocketwatch design-
11.  TBAA episode title-
12.  JenniAnn's spider's name-
13.  TBAA episode title-
14.  Restaurant name-
15.  TBAA episode title-
16.  Clothing item-

Click here for the answers

Author's Note- I, Jenni, actually wrote this story in late September.  Therefore, it seemed perfectly natural to me to write it with our usual cast of characters: the Dyelanders and the angels, including Adam.  However, after Charles Rocket's untimely death I considered removing Adam from the story.  Thankfully, I was dissuaded from this by various friends.  Adam is part of Mr. Rocket's legacy and, as such, we feel he should have his place in this story and that Adam should continue to be a treasured part of our little fandom.  So we look forward to writing Adam into our newsletters as long as JABB lasts.  We hope this upsets and saddens no one but, after much reflection, it seems JABB just can't continue with out TBAA's original AOD in our hearts and in our stories.  Thank you.

If you'd like to read Jenni's hiatus blog please go to JABB 177 Option 2- Jenni’s Hiatus Blog.

Newsletter 178

(Photo Credits: The photograph used on this page is from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  It is not being used to seek profit.  Background image was photographed by Jenni at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska.)