"Love comforteth like sunshine after rain."
~~William Shakespeare

Hi all,

Happy Valentine's Day!

So this newsletter is a little strange for several reasons.

1.  For the first time in years, I didn't write a fairly lengthy Valentine's story.  Instead, I wrote three vignettes centered around the theme of love.  There would have been five but two seemed better placed as chapters in the trafficking  story I'm working on.

2.  I wrote this about a month ago.  I can't remember the last time I wrote a newsletter so far in advance!

3.  I had just barely started writing this when the world learned that Alan Rickman had passed away.  With Harry Potter and Severus Snape having worked their way into so many Dyeland stories and my fondness for Sense and Sensibility, Galaxy Quest, Dogma, and other Rickman-starring movies, I was hit harder than I thought I'd be.  So two out of three of these vignettes are my way of commemorating Mr. Rickman.

Despite the unusual way this newsletter came to be, I hope you enjoy it.  Remember, you are loved by the Source of all love!

God bless,


The Scribe        Always        Syvy

Author's Note: Several years ago, my brother introduced me to the movie Dogma.  I'd never seen a Kevin Smith film before so wasn't really prepared for the vulgar jokes.  Nonetheless, something about it grabbed me.  It had hope and faith and love.  And it also had Alan Rickman.  It was one of his scenes which made the movie for me.  Yes, the "as anatomically correct as a Ken doll" scene was hilarious.  But it was a different moment when Rickman's Metatron spoke about the boy Jesus that captivated me.  Suddenly, after several minutes of uncomfortable laughing, I was sobbing.  I thought about that scene when I learned about Mr. Rickman's passing.  At a time when I keenly felt a growing distance between myself and the church I'd grown up in, that scene reminded me of what, or rather Who, it was all about.  With all due respect to Prof. Snape and Colonel Brandon and Dr. Lazarus, I decided it was Metatron who I wasn't quite prepared to bid adieu.  So I'm not.  While it's safe to say the worlds of Dyeland and Jay and Silent Bob are NOT the same, I think we can share lovably surly, no-nonsense Metatron. 

The Scribe

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

JenniAnn laid in her bed and stared up at her ceiling.  She had always craved utter darkness and silence while sleeping.  But this was too quiet.  And her bed felt too big, too cold.

Rising, JenniAnn made her way to Belle's nursery.  Perhaps her baby would be awake and she could cuddle her.  But no...  Belle slept soundly and, in spite of her loneliness, JenniAnn couldn't bring herself to disrupt the little one's rest.  She was halfway back to her bed when she found herself turning towards the door leading out into the hallway.  Then she was in the hall... walking through it... approaching Andrew's door... clasping the knob... and, suddenly, she was inside his bedroom.

Andrew, who had been lost in his own silent contemplations, rolled onto his side and spotted his visitor.  He sat up and flipped on his bedside lamp.

"Laja...  What are you doing?  Is Belle..."

"Fine!  Completely fine," JenniAnn assured.  Her face flushed.  "I just couldn't sleep and I... missed you."

A blush formed on Andrew's own face.

Somehow, when he'd coyly suggested that he stay with JenniAnn during the Friends' and Joshua's time at Willowveil, it hadn't occurred to Andrew that it might be difficult for JenniAnn when he moved back to his own bedroom.  And he'd been shocked by how difficult the transition had been for him.

Kicking off his covers, Andrew went to JenniAnn and embraced her.

"I'm sorry.  I didn't think..." he murmured.

JenniAnn sniffled and rested her cheek against his shoulder.

"Oh would you just get on with it!" a sonorous voice sounded.

JenniAnn jolted and Andrew shoved her behind him, ready to protect her from the intruder.  A moment later, he felt incredibly foolish.  He should have recognized that voice.  What angel wouldn't recognize that voice?

But what was he doing in his bedroom?

Feeling Andrew's body untense, JenniAnn peeked around his shoulder and studied their visitor. 

The man... if he was a man... he, at least, looked like a man... was quite tall, pale, thinnish, and dressed all in black.  His thick, dark hair was mussed... an interesting counterpoint to his tailored suit.

But it was his eyes that most captivated JenniAnn.  Dark... foreboding... and yet, beneath that... mirthful.

"Who are you?" she questioned.

The stranger held a book out to JenniAnn.  She immediately recognized it as one of her own, a copy of The Encyclopedia of Angels.

"Turn to page three hundred and ninety four."

JenniAnn looked to Andrew.  He nodded so she stepped around him and took the book.  When she found the desired page, her hands began to shake slightly.

"You... you're... Metatron," she choked out.

The angel made a bow then noticed JenniAnn's hands.  He rolled his eyes.

"Please... you've met the second member of the Trinity.  I hardly rank."

"I'm sure it's just that she... knows less about you than she does Joshua," Andrew explained.

"And trusts me less," Metatron translated.  "Wise girl.  According to some, I might be slightly... evil."

JenniAnn couldn't help but giggle when the angel winked at her. 

"So, umm, what brings you here, Metatron?" Andrew asked.

"A desire to save my own sanity," he replied.  "Imagine... spending the entirety of human existence documenting every little thing they do..."

JenniAnn bristled.

"Well, not every little thing."  Metatron shuddered.  "But many, many, many things...  And things about my fellow angels, as well.  Now, imagine watching two... a human and an angel... making themselves miserable for no good reason.  Do you know how much misery I see?  So much that's beyond the control of those enduring it?  Beyond my control?"

Andrew's and JenniAnn's eyes welled.

Metatron sighed.

"You do know... at least in part."

He clapped them each on their shoulders.

"But you two... with you two... I felt as if I could exert some of my influence and with the go-ahead of the Almighty God... I come bearing a message.  His approval... my message.  Are you ready to hear it?"

"Yes," Andrew replied.

Awed, JenniAnn only nodded.

Metatron's focus narrowed on both of them.  The two felt as if his eyes were boring into their very souls as he spoke.

"What did you think?  That Joshua only tolerated your sharing a bed these past days because no other was available for this one?"  He waved to Andrew.  "Do you really think it was beyond the powers of the Creator of the All That Is to produce a cot?
  Share... a... room!" Metatron snarled.  "Share bedsheets!  Share a pillow for all I care! Just spare those of us who have to watch you the continued angst-filled sighs and moony stares!  Now... I have said my piece.  Do with it what you will."

Metatron waved his hands dismissively.

When Andrew and JenniAnn didn't move, he took them both by the shoulders and turned them towards each other.  Catching each other's eyes, they began to laugh.

"It was silly..." JenniAnn admitted.  "I mean... Joshua could have invited you to his room.  It's a fairly big room."

"It is," Andrew agreed.  "Laja, I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have assumed you wanted me to go back to my room once the Wilsons left..."

"And I shouldn't have assumed that you wanted to go back.  I at least could have asked.  I'm sorry, too."  JenniAnn clasped Andrew's hands.


Andrew and JenniAnn turned to Metatron who was still sneering.  However, his crinkled, merry eyes betrayed him. 

JenniAnn was surprised to find herself reaching for his hand.  She was even more surprised when the ancient angel closed his other hand around hers.

"Thank you, sir.  I... I guess we needed that."

"Thank you, Metatron," Andrew added.  He patted his shoulder then kissed JenniAnn's temple.  "We won't forget."

"Well, isn't that a miracle?" Metatron deadpanned.  "Now... on you go."  He waved them towards the door.  "Back to your room."

After letting out a giggle, JenniAnn nodded and pulled Andrew to the door.  Just before they crossed into the hallway, she turned back.

"So is the book right?  You... you do watch over us?  Recording everything?  From all time?"

Metatron nodded.  His face and eyes softened.


Twin lumps forming in their throats, Andrew and JenniAnn smiled at the supreme angel as he began to fade away.  When he was gone, they linked their arms about each other's waists and returned to their room.

Once they were settled back into their bed, a few moments of contented silence passed before JenniAnn disrupted it with questions.

"Wait...  Why do you suppose God let Metatron... and I can't believe I just met Metatron!.. do that?  It wasn't very... respectful of free will.  Not that I mind!  At all!  And why didn't Joshua just tell us all that before he left?  Why send Metatron to do it mere hours later?"

Andrew considered for a few moments then smiled.

"As for free will, I suppose it's a case of God knowing what our true free will was and using Metatron to get us to follow it.  And as for why Joshua didn't just handle it himself...  Metatron's his child, too.  Joshua would know he was frustrated with us.  He'd know that Metatron would enjoy being the one to finally shake us out of, well, whatever it was that was keeping us from this."

JenniAnn smiled at the idea.  It was hard to imagine the being she'd just met as someone's child who needed to be looked after... but he was surely that. 

"I do wonder... why us, do you think?  I mean surely there are others... even others who know about angels... who annoy him?  Why take a special interest in us?"

"I don't know, Laja.  You're asking me to understand a mind much greater than my own.  However old I am, Metatron's much, much, much older."


Andrew chuckled and kissed her forehead.

"And vague is how I'll remain on that topic."

JenniAnn opened her mouth to make a retort but only a yawn came out.

Andrew gently tightened his hold of her.

"Let's rest now.  We can talk more about the enigma that is Metatron tomorrow."


"I love you, Laja."

"I love you, too.  Ya know, he looks and sounds a lot like..."

Andrew arched his eye brow and the combination of that much-loved gesture, the comfort of having her beloved beside her once again, and exhaustion kept JenniAnn from finishing her sentence.  She nuzzled her cheek against the angel of death's shoulder, placed her hand over his heart, and closed her eyes once he'd flicked off the lamp.

As Andrew and JenniAnn drifted to sleep, both again heard the Scribe of Heaven intone the word that perfectly encapsulated both his own dedication to his work and theirs to each other.




Thursday, Ja
nuary 14th, 2016

Rose and Max sat snuggled together in front of the fireplace in the former's room at Willowveil.  Only a foot away, Max's laptop was queued up to a YouTube video.

"You sure you want to do this tonight?" he checked.

Rose smiled sadly and nodded.



Max started the video then enclosed his fiancee in his arms.

A flame-haired girl held a blooming flower in her hand.  A somber boy approached her, cheering her after her sister's cruel words.

The real life pair watched as the fictional ones' childhood flitted by.  The warm, hallowed halls of Hogwarts gave way to a harsh, craggy wilderness.

"Hide her...  Hide them all.  I beg you."

"What will you give me in exchange, Severus?"


Rose let out a ragged sigh. 

"I spent my time reading those books while loving Dumbledore and hating Snape but in that moment..."

"They reversed," Max finished.

Rose nodded as the inevitable tragedy played out.  They saw the Half-Blood Prince become a heartbroken man, cradling his lost love in his arms.  Over the years, he grew even more embittered and alone, watching over the child of the woman he adored and a man he despised. 

Max kissed Rose's hair when she rested her head on his shoulder and began to sob when the moment... the reason she'd wanted to watch the video... arrived.

"After all this time?" Dumbledore questioned.


When the video ended, Max shifted just enough to close the laptop.

"I... I don't know why... why... this is... is hitting me so... so hard," his beloved cried.  "It... it's not like I knew Mr. Rickman!"

Max stroked her back.

"I know.  But we knew what he gave us," Max consoled.  "I... I think we were drawn to Harry Potter because we both saw ourselves in Harry.  Orphaned... not literally but it's how we felt.  Craving to be special, to be loved and admired.  Snape... as awful as we thought he was for so long... held out exactly what we wanted.  Love that was so complete, so unending that no amount of pain or loneliness or disgrace could turn him from it.  And for me at least... I... I wanted to believe that if someone as screwed up as Severus Snape had the ability to love so utterly, to give so immensely for Lily then... then maybe my screwed up self could manage it, too.  Maybe I... I could be a better man... a better lover... a better protector than... than either of my parents were.  And I felt the inkling of that when I read the book but when I saw the movie... saw the emotion in... in Mr. Rickman's eyes when he said..."


Max smiled and nodded.

"That gave me hope.  Hope that I could love... and be loved."

Rose cupped Max's face in her hands.

"I think you have it exactly right...  That's why we loved and admired him," she murmured.  "And I'm glad the hopes he and Ms. Rowling planted were... were realized."

"Me too."

Their tear-stained lips met for first a fleeting moment and then a longer one.

With their foreheads still together, Rose caressed Max's face.

"For the record, I've never thought you were screwed up... even before we were engaged and I became obligated to say that."

Laughing, Max pulled Rose closer and kissed the nape of her neck.

"Thank you."

Rose brushed some hair from Max's forehead and kissed it.

"Welcome."  With a sigh, Rose extricated herself from their blanket and stood.  She looked around the room.  "I feel like we should light a candle or...  Really I wish that we had our wands from the Wizarding World...  But mine's at Aunt Josephine's house."

With a frown, Max nodded. 

"And mine's at my place.  I can head down there tomorrow after work and..."

He was cut off by a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" Rose asked.

"Me.  Joshua."

Closer to the door, Max scrambled to answer it. 

When he saw the two, Joshua set down the bag he was holding and embraced them both.

"I'm so glad you're back," Rose whispered. 

"I'm glad to be back, too.  I'm sorry I couldn't be with you when you got the news but..."

Max shook his head.

"We understand, Joshua.  Meeting with Josef was important and, to be honest, I'm glad that we spent the day at the comic book store.  It felt good to be among other sad nerds."

After a gentle smile, Joshua kissed them both on their cheeks.

"I'm glad you could be with your fellow students as you remembered your teacher."

Rose replied with a sad, soft laugh.

"Even if it was only pretend..."

Joshua shook his head.

"Hogwarts is pretend.  Professor Snape is pretend.  The teaching, the lessons... those were real."

"They... they were," Max agreed as Rose wiped at a tear and gave a solemn nod.

"I'm going to go check in with the others now but I brought you both something."

Joshua retrieved the bag and held it out to the couple.

"Oh, Joshua..."

Rose lifted a potted lily from the bag.

"It... it's beautiful.  And perfect.  Thank you."

"And... our wands!" Max exclaimed.

Joshua beamed.

"I trust you know what to do with them.  You know where to find me if you need to talk."

"We do.  Thank you!"

"Yes, thank you.  So much."

After another round of hugs and kisses, Joshua left the couple alone.

Rose found a spot for the lily and Max carefully watered it.  When he was done, Rose handed him his wand.

Once again, they wrapped a blanket around themselves.

"Sorta like when Harry, Ron, and Hermione tried to fit under the cloak of invisibility," Rose teased.

"Good thing there's only two of us!" Max replied.  "You ready?"


Huddled together, the two stepped onto the balcony and peered up at the starry sky.  They each looped an arm around the other's waist and, with their free hands, raised their wands.

"Always..." the couple intoned together.



Sunday, February 14th, 2016

"So that's one coconut chai, one cocoa, one slice of red velvet cake, and one triple chocolate brownie?"

Sy smiled and nodded at Adrian.

"That's it exactly.  Thanks, Adrian."

"We'll get those right out to you!"

"Thank you, Adrian," Ivy replied.

Once the restauranteur had stepped away, the young couple resumed sitting in awkward silence.  After a few moments, Ivy began to sniffle.  When Sy looked up at her, he saw that she was fighting tears.

"Aww, hey there..."

Sy slid out of the booth and reseated himself beside his girlfriend.

Ivy nuzzled her face against his shoulder and sighed.

"You smell really good."

Sy chuckled.

"Thanks.  I borrowed my dad's cologne.  Listen, I'm sorry dinner was so dysfunctional.  I wasn't thinking."

"You shouldn't have had to be thinking!  Not like that!" Ivy cried.

 "I know..."  Sy kissed her hair. 

"I... I guess it's just that... that we spend so much time with the other Friends that sometimes it's easy to forget how hateful other people can be."


"Aren't you mad?"  Ivy pulled away just enough to look into Sy's eyes.

"Sure, I'm mad.  But..." 

"But what?" Ivy prompted.

Sy caressed her cheek.

"Sometimes it's not safe for a black guy to be mad," he whispered.

Ivy again rested her head against his shoulder.

"That makes me so sad," she murmured.  "And you were so excited..."

Sy let out a deep breath as he recalled saving up money to take Ivy out to a nice restaurant for Valentine's Day.  He should have known things were going to be difficult when they'd been seated and a handful of patrons kept giving them the side eye.  Still, they'd grown used to that and had learned to ignore it.  Then a trip to the bathroom had changed everything.

Ivy closed her eyes as she recalled the awful conversation between two women while she'd been in a stall and they were washing their hands.


"I tell you... I can hardly focus on our meal with that jungle fever business happening two tables away.  And I don't even want to know how that boy's paying for this."

"Probably drugs.  Or theft.  Thomas wants to move to another table but then we wouldn't be near the fireplace.  I wonder if it's even really a date?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you read all the time about those thugs seducing poor, little white girls and next thing you know they're being  sold to a dozen men a night..."

"Horrible!  Do you think we should say something?"

It was then Ivy had thrown open the stall door and glared at the two in the mirror as she washed her hands.  For their parts, the two women gaped and fiddled with their handbags. 

"Not that you deserve any explanation but I'm going to give it to you.  He's my boyfriend of nearly two years and he works at his dad's church.  He saved up the money to give me a nice Valentine's dinner.  He will most definitely not be pimping me out because he is a wonderful, kind, Christian man.  When I have sex, it will be because I decide to and it will be with him and I will enjoy it very, very much not because of some sort of nonsense like 'jungle fever' but because I love him and he loves me and God created us for each other.  Do you understand me?"

Heads bowed, the two women nodded.

"Good.  Now I'm going to go rejoin him and hope we don't disturb your dinner.  Enjoy the fireplace.  Try to not light a cross on fire if you can help it," Ivy growled.


Now safely sequestered in her boyfriend's arms, Ivy let out a ragged sigh and shuddered.

"I'm probably going to have to apologize to Joshua when we get back.  I got really angry."

"Oh, I don't know about that.  Joshua himself gets awfully angry when he has reason.  John, too.  Did you call anyone a brood of vipers?"

Ivy laughed and shook her head.


"I don't think so."

"Then I think you're just fine, Carrots."

"Hey, now!  What's this?"

The teens looked up to find Adrian holding a tray and frowning at them.

"Sweetie, why are you crying?" she questioned.

"I... we..."  Ivy bit her lip.

"Ivy ran into a couple of racists at the restaurant we went to for dinner.  Things were said," Sy explained.

Adrian rolled her eyes, set the tray in front of the couple, and slid into the other side of the booth.  She reached across and squeezed Ivy's hand.

"Well, you don't have to worry about anything like that happening here.  If I heard any talk like that, they'd be out on their asses."

The couple laughed and Ivy squeezed the woman's hand back. 

"Thank you."

"You know, sometimes it helps to get things off your chest.  Sy can take it.  And so can I.  Although I can skedaddle if you want me to," Adrian offered.

Ivy shook her head.

"You're right.  And you don't need to leave."

In a hushed voice, Ivy repeated the entire exchange nearly verbatim.

Sy felt his cheeks burn when she recounted the women's words... and then his cheeks burned for an entirely different, much more pleasant reason.

"So... so then I said that I was only going to have sex with Sy and I was going to enjoy it because we love each other... not because of some stupid made up thing like 'jungle fever.'  Then I told them not to light a cross on fire since they were near the fireplace."

Sy beamed at her.

"Well done!  I bet that got them."

"They didn't say anything else..."  Ivy's face flushed with pleasure when Sy kissed her cheek.

"I think you handled yourself very, very well, young lady!" Adrian praised.  "Better than I would have!  They'd have been picking their teeth up off the bathroom floor if I'd been there."

Ivy and Sy smiled at the woman's bluster.

Adrian pushed the tray closer.

"Now, eat... drink.  On the house."

Sy shook his head.

"Oh, Adrian, you..."

"I'm doing this.  No arguments.  My Valentine's gift to Syvy." 

Ivy tilted her head, curious.


It was Adrian's turn to blush.

"Oh well...  I guess it slipped out.  That's what a lot of the staff call you two.  You're among our very favorite patrons.  People fight over who gets to manage Syvy's table when you're here.  You're always kind to the staff... and respectful and gentle with each other.  We don't always see that with others."

Both Ivy and Sy felt the tears begin to well in their eyes.  Recovering first, Ivy again took Adrian's hand.

"Thank you.  That's really lovely to hear.  Especially tonight.  Sy and I love it here, Adrian, and we've always felt so welcome."

"You're truly one of the good ones, Adrian," Sy added, smiling proudly at the woman.  "I'm glad Andrew and JenniAnn introduced us to your place."

"And I'm very glad, too.  Now... I better get back behind the counter but you two enjoy.  Happy Valentine's Day, kiddos.  May you spend many, many more together... Syvy."

The three exchanged grins and Ivy and Sy waved as the cafe owner rejoined a couple of her staff members.

"Now how do you feel?" Sy checked.

Ivy planted a kiss on his temple.

"Much better.  You?"

"The same.  Do you want me to move back to my side now?"

"Not particularly.  Unless you want to."

"Not particularly.  Ivy, do you ever..."

"What?" she prompted when her boyfriend stopped speaking.

"Are you ever nervous about... this?  Us?  The biracial couple thing, I mean?"

Ivy blushed.

"Not usually but..."


"The... well, the hair thing.  I'm afraid our kids will get mad at me if I can't do their hair right.  I used to get grumpy with my mom sometimes about my hair and now I feel bad about that.  I wouldn't mean to pull or tangle or just completely get it wrong but..."

Sy burst out laughing and squeezed Ivy's shoulders.

"Worry no more, Carrots.  Mom's already planning to teach you.  And you'll have to teach me if any of the kids have hair like yours."

"You'd do their hair?"

Sy puffed up his chest.

"Of course.  I am a modern man who does not believe in traditional gender roles... except when you do."

Ivy giggled.

"Good answer."

She let out a little sigh then again rested her head on her boyfriend's shoulder.

"I love you, Sy."

"And I love you, Ivy."

They smiled dreamily at each other, lost in visions of what their life together would be.  In spite of its rocky beginnings, later they would look back on it as one of their best Valentine's Days.


The Harry Potter films
The video Max and Rose were watching is this one:

This newsletter is dedicated to all those who have taught us about love... from family and friends to those like John Dye and Alan Rickman who we never met but whose work reminds us of the undying power of love and, of course, to the One from whom all love flows.


JABB Portal
JABB 457

(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.)