“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people...
Religion, Politics, and The Great Pumpkin. ”  ~~Charles M. Schulz

Hi again!

Seems like I just did this.  ;-)  Anyway, this is what I wanted to send Sunday but events conspired to prevent that so...  Happy Halloween!

God bless,

Ask the Angel of Angels: Halloween Edition

Dear Angel of Angels,

My husband and I plan to go over to Willowveil on Halloween night for a movie marathon with Andrew, JenniAnn, etc.  I know we'll watch family-friendly stuff like Hocus Pocus and Casper, both of which I love.  But... I'd like to bring something truly spooky for after the kids' bedtime.  I don't want to upset Andrew, though.  Especially since he's my father-in-law now!  (Which is still kind of weird to think about.)  Or Adam, Henry, and Eli if they're present.  I'm not talking anything over-the-top like Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  More like The Woman in Black.  Something to inspire a little snuggliness with the husband, ya know?

Do you think that would be okay?

A Rose by Any Other Name

Dear Rose,

I think it's sweet that you have your father-in-law and the other angels of death in mind.  I haven't seen the film in question although a quick perusal of its IMDB page reveals it stars a certain former bespectacled wizard.  No wonder you want to watch it, eh?  It appears to be your typical ghost story and not something that features the Grim Reaper or similar ghouls.  I think Andrew and the others will know that you're not out to hurt them or wanting to promote anything that makes them look bad.  And, who knows, maybe they'd enjoy snuggly time with a special someone themselves.  Bring the movie.  See what they say.  If no one voices complete unease, I think you should proceed with watching Mr. Radcliffe battle a ghost lady.

Best Scary Wishes,
The Angel of Angels

Dear Angel of Angels,

Suppose one lives with an angel of death...  And suppose one loves Halloween while he merely tolerates it...  And suppose you've both lived peaceably every October because while you love Halloween, you're mostly drawn to the pumpkins, spiders, witches, and bats side and less the ghouls, skeletons, and bloody side.  But then, while at an art fair with some girl-friends and your brother from another mother and his boyfriend, you see this really lovely, romantic Maiden & Death themed art print.  And you buy it...  And Death *is* wearing a black, hooded robe but he doesn't have a scythe and there's no blood or gore and he's so gently carrying the maiden who is resting her head against his chest and looking at it just makes you all dreamy and romantic and wanting to grab a certain someone and slow dance to "Dark Waltz" with them.  Anyway... do you think it would be okay to hang the print in your shared home... or is that insensitive?

With Starry Eyes,
The Maiden

Dear Maiden,

Wow.  I don't think I've ever had such a reaction to even the great masterpieces.  I think your AOD will be fine with you hanging the painting as it doesn't seem to vilify death.  I would suggest that you display it somewhere a little out of the way... not because I think Andrew will be upset but because I fear you'll not get anything done (save dancing and swooning) if this piece of art holds such power over you.  That being said, I can't imagine Andrew being opposed to a few turns around the dance floor with his maiden.  I trust you won't ask him to wear a dark robe, of course.

Dance the night away!

The Angel of Angels

Dear Mr. Angel of Angels,

I was with some friends when they started telling spooky stories.  And they insisted that some were true.  They talked about stuff like killer clowns and ghosts that come through mirrors and kill people and creepy kids with all black eyes and some really freaky guy called Slender Man.  I want to know if they're true and I want to ask Andrew because I know he'd never lie.  But I don't want him to get mad knowing some of us were telling and listening to these stories.  What should I do?

A Tunnel Kid

Dear Tunnel Kid,

If the idea of asking Andrew is difficult for you, I'm sure any of your teachers would be honest with you.  Still, I don't think Andrew would mind.  I will say that Slender Man is most assuredly fictional.  I wouldn't suggest you do a web search about him but, if you did, you would eventually discover that he was the result of a photo manipulation contest and that his creator is named and known.  I'd say more but I think it would be more comforting for you to have a heart-to-heart with Andrew or another of the adults about this.  Just remember one thing: whatever creatures do exist, not one of them is more powerful than the Father's love for you. 

With love and assurance,
The Angel of Angels

Dear Angel of Angels,

Does anyone actually like candy corn?

A Snickers Fan

Dear Snickers Fan,

Ah, a question that breaks the concern-for-AODs mold!  Yes.  It's especially tasty when mixed with peanuts.

The Angel of Angels

More Halloween and Other Spooky Tropes in Dyeland Stories
(because I'm still pretty addicted to tvtropes.org)

So I did this last Halloween in JABB 474 but I just couldn't resist doing it again. 

Afterlife Express- While not a train, a bus with similar features is ridden by Yehuda in "The Carpenter"/"The King."  It seems only to go to/from Sheol and Earth and not to Heaven.

Ancient Evil- Well, Dyeland stories contain references to Satan which is a holdover from TBAA.  In addition, Nen and Tzila were quite long in the tooth.  The vampire who turned Isolde may also be this although an age is less certain there.

Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette- Isolde. Although she's always been a nice person, she no doubt fit this trope quite well when she was a vampire.  Given she's 100% Irish, she's likely still quite pale although, one hopes, a bit less pale.

No Immortal Inertia- This is completely subverted in Dyeland stories.  When the vampires become human again, not only do they NOT turn into dust but they revert to their age when they were turned, complete with whatever health and fertility they had at the time.

The Power of Blood- I don't know that the Dyeland stories have a particularly unique take on this. There are the vampires, of course, and ALL the significance of Joshua's blood.  I suppose one unique example is that, in "The Carpenter," JenniAnn comes to truly recognize Joshua whilst putting on his bloody Crucifixion make-up for Jesus Christ Superstar.

Theatre Phantom- I hadn't ever really thought of this before but Yehuda was totally this!  I wonder if he can sing "Music of the Night"?

Religion of Evil- Whatever the heck Nen and Tzila had going on back in Nogah was definitely this.  I chose not to delve too much into how they used religion to guarantee compliance because I wanted to sleep!

Death and the Maiden-  See above.  :-)  While JenniAnn tends to keep her clothes *on*, there are overtones of this in her and Andrew's relationship.  At the end of "Chava," they're even posed in a manner similar to many of the artistic depictions: JenniAnn leaning against Andrew's chest, his dark coat wrapped around her.  Granted, it's supposed to be a throwback to Esther and David but still...  I've sometimes wondered if I'd have been as interested in the pair if Andrew had been merely a caseworker.  Hmm...

And I'm gonna end it there because, who knows, I may want to do this again next year!

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for looking darn cute in the cop uniform in "The Sky is Falling."  Swoon...

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