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
Now I know I'm home at last."
~ from Loreena McKennitt's
Night", Parallel Dreams
October 31st, 2005, JenniAnn's family home, somewhere in Nebraska
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
“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
“Bratty, indeed…” JenniAnn muttered, looking incredibly guilty.
Same day in Dyeland
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
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
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
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?”
“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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“Well… how are you?”
Andrew looked at her quizzically. “I’m good… Thanks for
“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.
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
Touched.com episode guide or JABB's Encyclopedia. Please remember
to read Contest Rules
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-
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.
(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