This week’s mailbag includes a folded letter on church stationery. The letter will be burned after reading.

Dear Reverend Blackfell,

The parish council, after days of discussion and debate, have decided to terminate your position at St. Sebastians. We feel that your actions of the past month do not best serve the parish and are, in fact, a threat to the community at large. To whit:

— Your “laying on hands” of the girls choir.
— Your loud, odiferous and unapologetic flatulence during services.
— The unsettling taste and color of the communion wafers of late.
— The disappearance of the church cat and the suspicious appearance of your new fur-lined gloves.
— The odd arrivals and departures of numerous black sedans in the dead of night.
— Eight missing corpses from the church cemetery.
— Irregularities in the rectory accounts.
— Reports of metallic-sounding screams coming from the church basement and your unauthorized changing of the locks to said basement.
— Reports of public drunkenness and urination in the church yard.
— Accusations of sexual misconduct from several townspeople.
— The circumstances surrounding the vandalism of the neighboring synagogue and certain tools discovered in the church alcove.
— Your increasing number of crude tattoos and piercings.

It is for these reasons and more that the parish council feels you are the not best shepherd for this quiet community. Rather than drag the regional parish council and law enforcement officials in on this matter, we request instead that you quietly take your leave with a minimum of fuss. You will find enclosed a suitably large bribe to leave our community and never return.

Sincerely yours,

The Parish Council of St. Sebastian’s Church

Unfortunately I can’t find anything on the envelope to indicate which St. Sebastians Church this refers to. I hope it’s not one near me. Next up is the now very familiar pressed rag paper with crimson ink which reads…

Dear Sirs,

We are thankful that Events did not spin out of control, but we are concerned over the general precariousness of the Situation overall. We feel that you giving the Signal prematurely might mean the end of us all. We implore you to stay your hand until we have conducted more thorough investigation.


This is a little different from past messages. I hope everything is all right.


My schedule has been thrown off a little today. I managed to get a decent amount done before my meeting with my accountant, though. Despite rough starts, the whole day has been working out pretty well. The authors of the new edition of The Doris Day Companion liked my cover design. Several TumbleTap publications are moving along in exactly the direction they need to be. Revisions on the Design Integration book have been initiated.

In other news, we’re officially on the Great House Hunt. Our real estate agent is setting up some viewings on Sunday. Our paperwork is pretty much in order. This looks like it’s going to happen. Moving to a nice house is something I’m looking forward to. The transition is going to be a pain in the ass. One thing at a time.


Two links today. First up is the latest installment in Kristin Kathryn Rusch’s Freelancer’s Survival Guide: Vacations

Second up is my weekly column at Forces of Geek which reviews Shut Up, You’re Fine: Poems For Very, Very Bad Children by Andrew Hudgins with drawings by Barry Moser