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"Carol of the Bells"

Happy Holidays everyone!!! Here's the 58th JABB! Before I get into the actual good stuff (at least I hope it's good, if not I didn't write it!) I have a few reminders:

I'm going to start finishing the map of Dyeland this weekend. If you wanted to be listed as living in one of the cities or on the islands please let me know by the 15th! To those of you who did respond, if I haven't gotten back to you on the name of the place, environment, etc. I will be doing so this weekend. This won't be the last time I update the map but it could be a long time before I do it again.~~Jenni

Also, Jenni apologizes for any spelling/ grammar errors, gaping story line holes, or who knows what that found its way into this issue. I can only say that between finals and obsessing over John's latest movie role, I'm not quite focused.

Okay, now JABB's 3rd Annual Holiday Story.........

It was a beautiful snow white morning in Dyeland. The snowflakes kept falling and the entire kingdom looked more beautiful than it ever had. JenniAnn walked into the kitchen in Dyeland Castle and proceeded to put the coffee on and make preparations for breakfast. As she turned on the stove Andrew walked into the kitchen.

"Good morning!" he said smiling.

JenniAnn jumped and then turned around to face him. "Andrew! What are you doing here this early? I mean not that you're not welcome but....."

"Oh I'm sorry, didn't Chiwawa tell you? The electricity isn't on yet over in my house. I was hoping maybe I could fix some breakfast over here."

"Oh sure. Actually, I was just starting some pancakes, want some? Blueberry or plain." JenniAnn offered.

"Blueberry's good, thanks. Anything I can do?"

"Ummm... you can set the table if you want." JenniAnn replied.

With that the two set about preparing for breakfast. After a few minutes Andrew broke the silence.

"I don't understand that as many snowfalls as I've seen they are still so beautiful!" He said happily.

"I don't understand.... Unuhh... Maybe I shouldn't say it." JenniAnn followed

"No, no what?"

"I don't understand how you can look so good this early in the morning." She said dreamily.

Her reverie was swiftly broken with the angel's laughter. When he finally regained his composure he asked, "Thank you, really, but exactly how many times have you watched John's new movie?"

"Ummm...... That's none of your business." JenniAnn answered coyly.

"What's none of my business?" Audrey asked as she walked into the kitchen.

"Oh, JenniAnn just won't tell me how many times she's watched 'Once Upon a Christmas.' You wouldn't happen to know....."

"5. Can you believe it?" Audrey answered.

"Yes!" Andrew replied laughing.

"All right, all right. Breakfast is served!" JenniAnn placed the plate of pancakes on the table and the group had an excellent breakfast.

"Okay, now, we'll be back by 5 with the decorations. The tree-decorating party starts at 7 so I'd put the cookies in the oven about 6:00." Audrey told JenniAnn as she hurried out the door with Andrew.

"Yes, got it. Have fun you two!" JenniAnn answered.

As the president and princess disappeared into the light snow JenniAnn closed the door and went back to the kitchen to prepare for the party. Hundreds of Dyelanders would be coming to help decorate the huge Christmas tree in the ballroom. An hour after Andrew and Audrey had departed JenniAnn was preparing the various frosting colors for the cookies when there was a knock on the door.

"I wonder who that could be?" JenniAnn pondered as she walked to the door and opened it (Dyeland's so safe one hardly thinks of checking first). There on the doorstep stood..... Kathleen.

"Oh my.... No...." JenniAnn mumbled. Terror-stricken she began to close the door.

"Oh please no! I'm good now! Really I am." Kathleen explained in a panic.

"And how do I know?" JenniAnn had come to her senses and glared at the once-upon-a-time angel.

"You can't tell me you don't believe in second chances? Well, I'd have thought better of a Princess of Dyeland." Kathleen replied with a slight edge.

"Yes, of course, I do! Oh, oh.... Come in." JenniAnn said nervously.

Kathleen followed JenniAnn into the castle and finally into the kitchen. JenniAnn marveled as Kathleen's first action was to start washing dishes.

"Perhaps things have changed!" She thought happily.

The remainder of the afternoon went extraordinarily well. Kathleen proved to be an excellent cookie decorator and conversationalist. JenniAnn even invited her to the party. When the clock struck 5, true to their word, Audrey and Andrew came back.

"Oh! I have to go now. I want to surprise them at the party." Kathleen whispered as the other two could be heard in the hallway.

"Okay! Be back by 7!" JenniAnn waved as the angel disappeared.

It was now nearly seven and people were streaming into the ballroom. A table covered with several cookies and apple cider and hot chocolate and wonderful foods sat on one side of the room. Andrew, JenniAnn, and Audrey stood together by the Christmas tree surveying the scene. Suddenly JenniAnn's face lit up. The two beside her grew horribly pale. All stared at the last person to enter the room.

"Ah! So here I am! Dyeland Castle! Andrew, dear, you're looking well. And this must be princess Audrey. JenniAnn! My good friend. I am so glad you invited me here!" Kathleen said all this very loudly, announcing her presence to all who had not yet noticed her.

"Kathleen, I want you to leave here. Now!" Andrew said, his voice hoarse with anger.

"Leave? Now why would I want to do that? After all I was invited! Isn't that right JenniAnn?"

"Oh yes.... Right. Oh, Andrew you don't understand she's not bad any more!" JenniAnn stared at Andrew pleadingly, hoping that awful look in his eyes would disappear.

"No, JenniAnn. You don't understand! Oh sure we had a wonderful afternoon with your cooking and cutesy Christmas music. It's my turn now!" With that Kathleen turned to the tree and suddenly it split right down the middle and crashed to the floor.

The guests all ran for the doors and into the snow. Andrew, Audrey, and JenniAnn stood right where they were.

"I'm sorry..... I thought..... I thought....." JenniAnn lapsed into hysterics.

"How could you not tell us this?!?" Audrey exclaimed.

JenniAnn looked to Andrew for some glimmer of absolution. Instead he just stood transfixed on Kathleen who grinned evilly.

"Leave, both of you now!" was all he said.

With that Audrey grabbed JenniAnn by the arm and ran for the door and out with the other Dyelanders.

The instant JenniAnn's arm was free she headed back towards the castle only to be stopped by Cliff the Wizard.

"No, you can't help him!" He screamed above the chaos.

Next thing JenniAnn knew she was rushing past all the Androolers and towards the woods.

When she finally stopped JenniAnn found she was standing on a small bridge. Tears streamed down her face as she realized what she'd done.

"I wish I'd never come to this island!!!!! I wish I'd never had any part in JABB!!!!" she screamed as loud as she could.

"Oh now, you don't mean that." A voice answered in a gentle tone.

"Yes, I do! And who are you?!" JenniAnn replied angrily.

"My name's Clara and you don't wish you'd never come here."

"Oh yes I do! Do you have any idea what's going on back there? What *I* started?!"

"Look at me."

With that JenniAnn turned and stared at the stranger.

"Clara? Oh Clara! An archangel! Oh please go help Andrew!" JenniAnn pleaded.

"No, dear, that's not my job tonight. You are."

"Me?! I just left one of my best friends in a castle with a demon and you're here to help *me*? Oh please, just make it so I'd never come here!"

"Very well, let's take a look at that life."

Clara and JenniAnn now stood in a crowded room. People were gathering around a small stage. A man walked onto it and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you.... The amazing, the one-of-a-kind, the adorable...... Skippy the Talking Dog!!!"

JenniAnn watched in horror as the curtain raised to reveal Chiwawa. And horror of horrors he was dressed in a baby bonnet and bib! Suddenly the man began to play a familiar tune on the piano.

The small dog began,

"How much is that doggy in the window?

The one with the......."

"Clara! This is horrid! Why isn't he with Audrey? Or Chimama?"

"Chimama was puppynapped long ago."

"Well, yes but Chiwawa found her in Kiwi's..... Oh no. There is no Dyeland? So where is she?"

"No one knows. But let's leave here. There's more you need to see." Clara insisted as the crowd began to disperse. As the scene blurred away JenniAnn heard only one last thing, "At least I didn't have to sing 'Who Let the Dogs Out.'"

"Where are we? I don't recognize this room!" JenniAnn cried.

"It's Audrey's place. The summer of 1998." Clara explained.

"Yes! The year JABB began! What day is it??"

"You'll see."

JenniAnn now concentrated on the figure in front of the computer and what her monitor said.

Ferdo0204: Ok! G'night then!
Jarrod: Hmm.... Looks like it's just us three now.
Barbara: Yes. But I actually should be going.
Ferdo0204: Talk to you next week!
Barbara: Sure thing!
Jarrod: Hey, Aud?
Ferdo0204: Huh?
Jarrod: Wouldn't it be hilarious if someone started a like 12 step program for Androolers?
Ferdo0204: LOL Good idea.
Jarrod: Yeah, maybe someone will sometime! Augh phone. Gotta go!
Ferdo0204: We should start it! Oops. I'm all alone! Guess that won't happen!

"What!? But.... they all left! They were supposed to stay up til really late planning JABB!" JenniAnn cried.

"So were you. But, remember? You wished you hadn't had anything to do with JABB. Now you haven't!"

"Fine, who cares then. It would have saved Andrew a lot of trouble anyway. I mean it's not like anyone's been seriously impacted." JenniAnn said nonchalantly.

"Oh yes. Andrew's okay. The goodness that is in him can never be destroyed but...."

"What? Oh tell me!"

The scene was now a dusty desert. A man dressed in an INS uniform moved through the dust and sat down beside an evergreen tree. His hands blocked his eyes from the dust and obscured JenniAnn's view. Suddenly his hands fell down to his sides and JenniAnn knew in an instant who it was. Andrew.

Andrew looked up to the sky and whispered something. JenniAnn crept closer to the silent angel. She knew what to expect next. But.... there was no room filled with Christmas trees and present. There was only one silent angel. JenniAnn watched as a tear fell from his eye. She told herself it was just the dust as she turned towards Clara.

"But... Jarrod, Audrey, AnnieDru? Where are they? Just because there wasn't any JABB doesn't mean they couldn't have met Andrew."

"No, not necessarily. But without JABB Audrey and Jarrod didn't even know there was an Andrew. Oh, they knew about John Dye, but Andrew? No." Clara explained.

"But AnnieDru lived in the future. Surely *she* knew!" JenniAnn insisted.

"JenniAnn, she was never born."

"Oh....." JenniAnn suddenly felt very ill. "Did I....? I mean....? Why not?"

"Let's go see.", was all Clara would say.

JenniAnn was now in the center of what looked very much like the Castle's ballroom. The decor was very similar but....

"Who were these people?" She wondered. Her eyes were drawn to a group of people gathered around a tree. One person in particular caught her attention. It was...... herself! She looked about 15 years older but it was definitely her. The figure laughed and hang up decorations with the group of women. JenniAnn walked closer. Suddenly the other JenniAnn spoke up.

"There! It's a lovely tree! Leonarda? Leonarda!!!! Bring that tree topper out here!" She called.

A girl of about 7 came running in carrying a box, JenniAnn knew it was the child of that.... whatever that woman was who looked so much like her.

"Why ever would I name a child Leonarda?!" JenniAnn wondered.

She looked back at the girl and watched with horror as the item was placed atop the tree.

"There," the older JenniAnn cried, "the finest Christmas tree in all of DiCaprioland!"

JenniAnn ran towards Clara. "Clara, oh please! I take it back! I could never live in any other kingdom but Dyeland! Please! You have to help me get back to Andrew! I need to help....." JenniAnn's words were cut off. Everything grew very blurry.

Suddenly JenniAnn found herself right in the center of the Castle ballroom. She gazed in horror at what appeared to be a battle between Kathleen and Andrew.

"STOP!" JenniAnn yelled as she stepped in between the two glaring angels. She turned to Andrew. "I started this. I'm stopping this."


"Please, just let me try. Just.... plug your ears. Now!" JenniAnn turned back towards Kathleen.

"Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king. Peace on earth and mercy mild....." And JenniAnn "sang" as loud as she possibly could. The demon standing across from her began to scream.

"No!!! No!!! Forget it! Not even taking over an entire dimension is worth this torture!" With those words the dark angel disappeared and as she did the Christmas tree was returned to it's prior state. JenniAnn stopped and turned towards Andrew.

"Oh Andrew, I'm so sorry I let this happen! And that you had to stay in here alone with her for so long!"

"You just wanted to believe the best in her. But? What do you mean leaving me alone for so long? It couldn't have been more than 5 minutes, if even that!"

"But... I...." JenniAnn found herself speechless.

"C'mon! Let's go get the others!"

The party went extremely well. Everyone noticed JenniAnn was unusually quiet. But then it had been a very odd day. When at last the tree was decorated the group began to disperse until only Andrew, Audrey, and JenniAnn were left.

"Well, it's been some kind of a day!" Audrey exclaimed. "JenniAnn? Are you okay?"

"Still just in shock I guess. I still can't believe I fell for that..."

"Well, think of it this way. At least now you have something to put in the newsletter! Not a very long story but I imagine it'll at least take up half the issue."

"Oh... I think it'll be plenty long enough. Hey, how about we all go watch 'It's a Wonderful Life'? Andrew, if angels don't have wings then what *does* happen if you ring a bell?" JenniAnn asked.

"Well, then somewhere an angel knows that they've succeeded." he replied.

"Hmm. You two go in and try and find the movie. I'll be right in." After the two had left the room JenniAnn approached the Christmas tree. There right at eye level hung a small bell. She picked it up and began to ring it. "Thanks Clara and thanks to Andrew, too."

Disclaimers and Credits: To Leonardo DiCaprio and his fans: The author of this story very much enjoys some of his movies and means no offense. To the Baha Men and their fans.... Chiwawa said it not me! Also Martha Williamson owns the characters of Kathleen, Clara, and as always, Andrew. Credit goes out to the producers, director, actors, and anyone who had any part in "It's a Wonderful Life" for inspiring this story. Thanks to Jennie for helping to get rid of Kathleen.