"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it,
and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."  ~~Sylvia Plath

Hi all,

After a bit of a dry spell, I'm happy to say that inspiration has struck and I'm once again at work on a story.  It's only a shortish vignette but, to be honest, I'd rather work on that than this newsletter.  So, especially since we're entering TV's season finale time, I thought it might be fun (and quick) to post a portion of what was originally supposed to be the Dyeland finale.  I shuddered rereading this.  The characters have come a long, long way since I wrote this in 2006!

For a little background, I graduated college in 2004 with a Theology degree that didn't exactly snag me a dependable job right outta the gates.  After a couple of years of odd jobs, I decided to really concentrate on finding something full-time.  Convinced that this would mean I'd have very little free time, I decided to write the Dyeland finale in advance so, if I suddenly got swamped, I could still give Dyeland an appropriate ending.  Here we are eleven years later, ten of which I've spent gainfully employed at the same job, and I'm still writing stories and operating the JABB site.  So this finale that I so emotionally wrote is pretty much useless except for instances like this.  I think it's kinda ironic that I'm using it to give myself more writing time.  So... enjoy, laugh, read in horror, whatever... just remember that this is NOT canonical and will NOT be happening.  :-)

God bless,

The Dyeland Finale that Wasn't, Part I

September 24h, 2040

Ronald scurried past several filing cabinets.  He glanced at the austere, businesslike Obadiah.  Obadiah was one of the many angels in charge of evaluations.  That day he’d come to Ronald in search of Andrew’s file.  Ronald smiled as he recalled the kind, gentle-eyed angel. 

“I really would like to get started with this,” Obadiah said with a hint of impatience.

Ronald snapped out of his memories.  “Of course!  Of course!”  He finished walking the aisle between the two walls of massive cabinets.  He sped past the white that signified caseworkers, the yellow for the archangels, green for search-and-rescue, blue for angels of death, and several others.  Finally he came to the correct filing cabinet.  Deep red.  These were Ronald’s favorites.  He opened the drawer and pulled out one bulking file.  His favorite of favorites these days.  He ran his fingers over the raised letters.  A-N-D-R-E-W.  As he did, some of what the file contained came alive. Ronald paused just long enough to take in some of those memories.

Andrew’s gentle voice met Ronald’s ears.  "I just want you to know there's nothing to be afraid of. On one side, there is life. And on the other...there is life, too."

Then another lilting voice replaced it.  "You're a servant of God before you're a servant of your own heart. That's how you were made, and that's the difference between humans and angels."

There was a plethora of adoring female voices.  There was the time they’d decided to start celebrating a birthday for him.  Ronald heard Jess’ voice then. 

“Hope your birthday is filled with lots of love and relaxation to get away from any screaming people in the area. Maybe you will even get a break just that day from being an AOD.”

And there were sadder times, too.  Partings and struggles.

“I am NOT saying good bye to you in a field.  Not like Monica…  Heck, it was painful enough watching it on TV.  I’m NOT living it.  I’m NOT!” JenniAnn cried moments before she said good bye to him many years before.  Back when not seeing Andrew for three months was unthinkable for any of the Dyelanders. 

“Andrew… please, I think you need to rest,” Lady Beth’s voice drifted back to Ronald several years after the night it had been spoken.  The night Andrew had told them about Shiloh, Massachusetts and Hope and Eben.

Obadiah cleared his throat and tapped his foot impatiently.

Ronald gave an embarrassed smile and walked towards him.  “Here it is.  I hope… he’ll do well, right?  I mean he’s a wonderful angel!”

“I’ll need to conduct some interviews.  I’ll have this back to you at the end of the day,” Obadiah skirted the question and turned to leave.

“Okay, thanks!” Ronald called cheerily.  Then he smiled to himself and thanked the Father for putting him in this job he loved so much. 


Later that day

The woman being interviewed kept gazing about her surroundings.  She’d speak passionately, giddy at times.  Then seem to forget she was supposed to be speaking at all and just survey the area. 

“And what, Mrs. O’Hanna, was the moment you…”  Obadiah considered his words carefully.  “The moment you most respected Andrew?” the angel asked, peering at her from over the top of his glasses.

“Hmm?” she asked dreamily.  “Oh and please call me, JenniAnn.”

The angel sighed.  “Okay, JenniAnn.  Now… Andrew.  The moment you most respected him.  Please.”

JenniAnn laughed, making the lines on her face even more obvious.  “You expect me to pick one moment?  Decades I’ve known him.  I could hardly pick one!  Where are we, anyway?  Is this the Netherworld?”

“No, we’re in the mortal worlds.  Don’t worry about that.”  Her angelic interviewer was losing his cool.  “Please just share something about him with me.  Any memory,” he pleaded.  Andrew’s records said this one had often been… exuberant.  Camped out on his porch in Dyeland for days, went undercover as a mad doctor’s assistant to be at his side, crashed a wedding with him.  Declared herself permanently and irrevocably in love with him. 

Just then she sighed.  JenniAnn shot Obadiah a small, contemplative smile and nodded.  “Okay, I can give you an exact date.  August 12th, 2015...”


Andrew had just got back to Dyeland after an assignment.  He set his things down and checked his pocket watch.  12:14.  He was supposed to meet JenniAnn at Willowveil at a quarter after.  He rushed out the front door and walked to the castle a few yards away.  He waved to Elliot O’Hanna who was pulling away in his truck, trunks he recognized as JenniAnn’s in the back.  The truck drove for a few yards then disappeared.  It would reappear somewhere in Nebraska.  Where JenniAnn and Elliot would live now.  With the baby.  It had been settled the week after they announced the impending birth.  Andrew smiled and shook his head.  Turns out he hadn’t killed her love life entirely even though her younger self, weeping on his doorstep, had said it was so.  The angel shook off his nostalgia and knocked on the door.

“Come in!” she called.

Andrew was at first taken aback by the sterile environment.  Gone was the mirror from the corridor.  All her knick-knacks had been removed.  The wedding photo was resting against the wall, covered with a sheet and ready to be taken away. 


Andrew turned to the stairway where she stood, a tiny hand reached out from the bundle of blankets she was cradling.  Andrew stepped toward them.  She sat down on the lowermost step and he followed suit. 

“JenniAnn… he’s… he’s beautiful!” Andrew whispered. 

“Thanks,” she beamed down at the infant. 

“Hey there, lil…” Andrew paused.  Lady Beth had called him when the baby had been born the previous week but he suddenly realized no one had ever mentioned the little one’s name.  “What’s his name?”

JenniAnn pulled her gaze away from her son and looked up at Andrew.  “We’re calling him Avi but his full name is Andrew Vincent.  You mean so much to both Elliot and me and… and we won’t be seeing you as much… but we wanted you to be some part of our son’s life so…”  She began to cry then and quickly brushed at her tears so they didn’t splash onto poor, unsuspecting Avi’s face.  “Would you like to hold him?” she asked with a weepy smile.

Andrew nodded dumbly, too moved to speak.  She settled the baby in his arms and then pulled out her handkerchief and leaned against his shoulder.

“I really didn’t intend to get all out of sorts when I told you.  Darn hormones…”

“Thank you.  I’m truly honored,” Andrew finally said softly.  “He’s a miracle, JenniAnn.  And to have him share my name… it’s a true honor.”

JenniAnn smiled.  “The honor is ours.”  She watched her friend cuddle and coo at his namesake.  She didn’t say anything.  She knew after the family left Dyeland their visits with Andrew would be few and far between.  It was important to her the two had this moment.  Avi, however, had other ideas and after about 5 minutes began to cry.  Andrew tried valiantly to settle him down.

“He’s probly hungry.  About time,” JenniAnn assured him and he handed the infant back.  “So if you’ll excuse us…”

Andrew stood up.  “Of course, hey have you eaten lunch?  May be I could run to the Café and get us something.  We could catch up over lunch after Avi’s eaten?”

JenniAnn grinned from ear to ear.  “That would be fantastic!  Give us about twenty minutes and I’ll see you back here!”  She hugged Andrew and then once he was gone went to tend Avi.


JenniAnn had just laid the sleeping Avi down when the doorbell rang.  She assumed it was Andrew and merrily went to the door.  But she peeked out and saw it wasn’t him at all but a police officer.  She panicked and worried over Elliot.  She opened the door just enough and asked for ID.  The man produced his badge.  Officer Randall of Caelum, it said.  Caelum was a country several hundred miles from Dyeland.  (Latin for sky)  JenniAnn’s panic lessened but her curiosity grew.  It was seldom anyone from there came to Dyeland.  Or anyone from Dyeland went there. 

“Can I help you?” she asked after getting over the shock.

“You wouldn't happen to know where I could find a Mr. Andrew of Dyeland would you?  Don’t seem to have a last name…” the officer’s brow furrowed.

“Andrew?  He's coming back here.  Ought to only be a few minutes.  Would you like to step inside and wait?” JenniAnn asked.  She wondered why the man kept staring back at the squad car nervously.

“Well, I, uhh...  I actually need to be getting along but…  You aren’t his wife are you?”

JenniAnn laughed heartily.  “No, I am definitely not his wife.  A friend.”

The officer was visibly relieved at that.  “This isn’t the way we usually handle these but if I leave something of his with you will you see Mr. Andrew gets it?”


The officer nodded gratefully then went back to the squad car.  A second later JenniAnn felt as if she’d been socked hard in the stomach.  The man was walking towards her with an infant’s car seat.

“That… that’s his?” she sputtered.

Officer Randall nodded.  “This girl belongs to your neighbor.  Andrew's all we got.  No last name.  Just this here.”  He showed her what appeared to be a birth certificate.  She clearly read “Andrew of Dyeland” on the line above “father's name.” 

“Right...” JenniAnn managed despite her shock.  “Like I said he'll be back soon but if you really must go, I'll take her.”

And to JenniAnn's amazement, only a minute later she stood alone in the doorway holding the tiny baby and some paperwork.  The child had only a few strands of very pale, downy hair.  She gazed up at JenniAnn with green eyes. 

“My God…” the woman murmured and ducked inside, setting the papers on the side table.  She stared at the perfect little bundle in her arms.  Green eyes, blonde hair…  Could it be…  No, it was nonsense.  *She* had blonde hair and green eyes.  So did Avi.  So did a good quarter of the people she knew.  The baby began to cry.  “It’s okay sweetheart…  It’s okay.”  She cradled and sang to the baby.  She had just gone to the kitchen in search of the formula her mother had brought for Avi in case he needed it but then she heard the door open.  She realized then she’d forgotten to lock it in her dismay.  She turned around and saw Andrew standing in the kitchen doorway holding a take-out sack from the Café.

He smiled.  “I thought he might be asleep.  Would you like me to take him ag…  JenniAnn, who is this?”  Andrew’s eyes grew wide when he drew near enough to realize the child wasn’t Avi. 

“There’s a manila envelope on the table by the door.  I suggest you look at the contents,” JenniAnn answered softly.

Andrew bit his lip and went to retrieve the envelope.  He sat at the table and stared down at a piece of paper.  He ran his finger over the print, assuring himself it was real.  There was his name.  And the child’s name: Abigail.  And another name…  “Oh no…” he moaned.  He stuck his hand back into the envelope and drew out another piece of paper.  An obituary.  The mother was dead.  Then a note which he read quickly.  He went and took the child from JenniAnn and hugged the infant to his chest.  “Lady, you do know she’s not mine?” he asked, gazing at her.

JenniAnn took a deep breath.  “For a moment there I wondered but... you've never lied to me.  I assume it's only a mix up.  Andrew, do you know how this happened?”

Softly, eyes welling at times, Andrew told her about an assignment he’d had months ago in Caelum.  A young couple, Richard and Melanie.  A real Romeo and Juliet sort of scenario.  They were married against their parents’ wishes.  Because of the acrimony their marriage caused they had moved to Earth.  However, only weeks later Richard had died in a car accident leaving his newly pregnant wife.  Andrew had come along as his co-worker a couple weeks before and then served as his angel of death.  Then he’d helped Melanie cope in the weeks after Richard’s death.  After some time, as he always did, he moved on.  Alone and pregnant, Melanie had returned to her parents’ home in Caelum despite their anger and rude remarks about her deceased husband.  In time the child had been born.  And with her birth her mother’s heart had failed.  Andrew hadn’t been with her, someone else had.  What Andrew didn’t know was that when Melanie realized she wouldn’t be able to raise the child she’d given the name of the one remaining person she trusted as the father.  She didn’t want either hateful, bigoted set of grandparents’ raising the child she and Richard had longed for.  Andrew had told them he was from Dyeland.  She had no idea he was an angel of death.  And now here was Abigail.


And there you have it!  I had JenniAnn marrying Eliot and moving away!  Eeek!  I also seemed to have a very different idea of Dyeland's geography.  There is no Caelum although it's a nifty idea.  You can see my obsession with Andrew raising a baby was there, though.  The whole thing creeps me out pretty good now, though.  And there are 70 more pages of it!  We might revisit it sometime but for now...

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye who has kept me intrigued and focused even with a full-time job.  I'm so glad to have had his work in TBAA and what it inspired in Dyeland with me from teenagehood to adulthood.

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(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.)