|"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
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. :-)
The Dyeland Finale that
Wasn't, Part I
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,
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
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
“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
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.
(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.)