Mantula in the news: Tarantula Knocks Out Area Man

(News article from the Sedona Daily Reader)

Spider KOs area man

Tarantula attacks, knocks out Cottonwood resident


Sedona Daily Reader

COTTONWOOD, Ariz. – Cottonwood police arrested 46-year-old Luke Brown on Wednesday, Aug. 6, after his wife called 911 to report an odd attack in their one-bedroom 12th street apartment.

Brown, technically the victim of the assault, was later arrested on charges of domestic violence after police observed bruises on his wife’s face and arms. His wife, who wished not to be identified, later admitted she had been the victim of spousal abuse for years.

The 911 call, however, originally concerned an attack on her husband by an unidentified intruder. According to police, Brown and his wife told investigators a large tarantula holding a sign that read “Stop Hitting Your Wife” attacked them. Witnesses said the tarantula flashed the sign at Brown before launching into an attack that left the man unconscious on his living room floor. The tarantula, witnesses added, appeared in the company of a quail. Police speculated that, if true, a third, human party likely trained the unlikely duo.

Cottonwood Police Department Lt. Gwen Owens said she doubted the insect was large enough to hit the man hard enough to knock him out, but declined to comment on the truthfulness of the story pending further investigation.

“I imagine the shock of the assault itself was enough to make him pass out,” she said. “I know it would scare the Dickens out of me.”

Brown’s wife, meanwhile, said she appreciated the intruder’s appearance and told the Daily Reader she plans to file for a divorce from her abusive husband at her earliest convenience.

“I’m keeping the sign the big spider showed my husband to remind me that I can do better if I set my mind to it,” Brown’s wife said. “I wish I knew who trained that tarantula to do all that stuff, whoever it is who wrote the note, so I could thank them for that.”

Wednesday’s Incident is the third strange tarantula sighting reported in the Verde Valley in recent weeks. In July, the Sedona Eye, a drone operated by Flight Services, L.L.C. and owner Diana Sturgis, recorded what appeared to be a tarantula falling from the sky in the area of Coffee Pot Rock. That tarantula is not thought to be connected to Friday’s crash. Following that, drivers in a three-car collision in Cottonwood reported the crash occurred when a car swerved to avoid hitting a quail on the street. A tarantula rode atop the quail holding what appeared to be a $100 bill.

Mantula Part Twenty: Wormy Witch Woes

Mant-20From: Doug Lansing

Subject: More good

Date: August 6 2014 11:53 AM

To: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

There was a female panhandler on the road. I gave her my $100 bill. It seemed to cheer her up, which actually seemed to cheer me up too. Go figure. As you probably already know, I didn’t change. Glenn didn’t change either. I am not sure doing good will change anything in our predicament, but if you can think of any other way to help others, let me know. Maybe there’s more we can do.

PS – What can you tell me about an evil old witch-type woman with worms all over her body? It seems Glenn and I both are having bad dreams starring her. It can’t be a coincidence.


From: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

Subject: Re: More good

Date: August 6 2014 12:21 PM

To: Doug Lansing

CC: Dymphna Gurrll

Have a lot going on today. Good job giving money away. Attached are some images I have of old women. Tell me if any of them ring a bell. More soon.

Maximilian Kolbe

Patron Saint

“God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.”

I stared at the screen dumbfounded. Here I was finally being nice to the guy and he cops attitude back at me. Saints are complicated, I’m sure, just like the rest of us, but they certainly weren’t all likeable. This one seemed kind of like an asshole to be honest. Could be he wasn’t always that way I suppose. But I didn’t know him in person, and I didn’t know him back in World War Two, so I got the ass.

There were four attachments in all. Two were old black and white images of a woman with wispy white hair and a generous smile across her antiquated mouth. I could tell immediately she wasn’t the grandma I was looking for. Another was an old woman in a black shawl seated in a high-back recliner. She sent a chill down my spine the minute I laid eyes on her. It wasn’t that she was hideous to look at. She was thin, had black hair tied into a tight, conservative bun at the back of her head and scowled at the camera. The next photo was similar to the first. It showed the same woman seated on a rocking chair, rather like Whistler’s Mother, with a painting hung on the wall nearby. And I recognized the painting.

Not only did I know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, this was the nasty green witch I saw in my dreams, but I now knew what to do next. The painting on the wall in the photo, I remembered, had nearly killed me just a few short weeks ago. Diana Sturgis chucked the thing at me when she caught us peeping on her. This old witch was her mom, her grandmother, or something – not that she seemed too worried about hurting that painting in her anger.

Glenn sprang to the counter in the kitchen and started hitting his beak against an old pizza crust he’d left there for just such an occasion. He glanced over at me while he pecked at his meal. “I know I can’t read your mind anymore, but I’m getting to where I don’t have to. Something’s up. I can tell by your body language.”

(Story continues below)

ManQuail Meme!

“Remember that woman we watched strip, when we snuck a ride in her car? She has something to do with all of this. I’m going to go back there,” I told him.

“Does she have something to do with the witch?” he asked.

I started heading for the window. Suddenly I wanted nothing more than to see the beautiful woman who managed drones once again. “You don’t have to go with me, Glenn.”

“Hey, man. It’s like I always say, birds of a feather flock together.” ManQuail swooped down to the floor and joined me near the window. “I won’t be happy if she tries to kill us again, I’ll say that now, but we have to stick together. Besides, it would take you forever to get there on your own. Get on.”

I did as he asked, secretly happy Glenn would be joining me on another adventure. As we set off on our way, the first drops of a new monsoon began to fall on the hot asphalt roadway outside of our crappy little apartment. Gray skies formed overhead, a perfect setting for witches.

Mantula Part Nineteen: A Lovely Day in Cottonwood

Mant-19The summer heat continued its daily parade of oppressive force. Luckily it felt worse and worse as the hours wore on, meaning later there would be another round of monsoons. If there was anything to be liked about the Grand Canyon State, it would be those storms in my opinion. As we made our way in and out of the bushes, heading toward the Walgreen’s at the corner of 89 and Main Street, ManQuail made small talk. I wasn’t too interested in what he had to say, but a part of me listened anyway.

To be honest, I was back in the mode of longing for what I didn’t have anymore. Not that it had ever really left me. I didn’t want to be an eight-legged, hairy bug riding on the back of a former meth addict-turned quail. I didn’t want to exchange emails with some thing, maybe once a man, now living in Sedona, Arizona, as a patron saint of addictions. I didn’t want to dream about gnarly old witches with worms in her mouth. And, as much as a part of me liked it, I didn’t want to keep thinking about that woman’s striptease. What I wanted was to be left alone. I wanted my dreams to have my son in them, for us to laugh and make jokes, for us to be together again. I’d live in the body of a tarantula for eternity if I could only see him again. Even if it was just for a minute, long enough for him to say he was okay, so that I could know he was okay. Instead all I can see is his face, his hand waving at me, through the smudged school bus window as it drove away.

I would be prefer that over anything, but if I could get my old, depressed body back too that would be nice.

“This is better than hanging out in the apartment all the time, right?” ManQuail rambled away as we ducked under a broken, termite infested post with a rusted mailbox still stuck at the end. “It’s a great pad, don’t get me wrong. But I just end up napping a lot, and this week that hasn’t been a lot of fun. I love sleeping, you know. But not with the wild dreams I keep having. I could do without those.”

Only half listening, I agreed. “I could do without my dreams lately too.” I thought of the wicked witch again.

“You’re having bad dreams too?” he asked. “Bet they aren’t as bad as mine. I keep seeing this old lady with death crawling all over her. She’s green too, like she’s covered in gang green, or maybe it’s moss.”

“Hold on, Glenn. You’re seeing her too?”

ManQuail trotted between a dumpster and the back of a Mexican restaurant, somewhere with a little shade from the stifling oven outside and a bit of solitude. We were about a block up from the Walgreen’s. I could hear the roar of the traffic at the intersection. Sirens blared a few blocks away, but that was common for “The Wood.”

ManQuail sounded a bit worried. “Wait, you see her?”

“I have had a couple of dreams about a greenish woman covered in worms. She laughs at me the whole time, like she thinks I am doing something incredibly stupid.”

“That’s what happens in my dreams, Doug! This is incredible. It’s like something out of a movie!” Glenn shouted. His wings flapped excitedly near my face. Then he paused. “What do we do about it, though? What does it mean?”

I watched a black widow crawl along the outside of the grease smeared dumpster. The little thing couldn’t care less about Glenn and I, nor our problems. “I’m not sure what to do, Glenn. But it has to mean something. We can’t both be seeing the same creature in our sleep randomly. I’ll bet it has something to do with this whole thing.”

“Should we tell the saint guy? Kolbe? He might be able to help.”

“So far he hasn’t been much help at all. But yeah, I’ll tell him.”

I looked down at the hundred dollar bill I held. First we’d do some more good. There wasn’t much point in heading back to the apartment right away. Maybe doing good would still break the tarantula body and let the real Doug, unwashed and unshaven, spill free. It was worth a shot anyway.

“Let’s finish what we started first, Glenn,” I said. “Head down to the corner. There’s usually always a panhandler or two hanging out down there.”

It took about thirty minutes to find someone, but find someone we did. Cottonwood never lacked in folks asking for help. Sometimes they were people just passing through and hoping for a little gas money to get them another hundred miles to the next decent-sized city. Sometimes they were veterans who didn’t trust the system they served for so many years. They wanted nothing to do with it, but they did need a helping hand once in a while. For them it was safer to ask a citizen for help than it was to get back into that system. A few of them had good reason to avoid it too, from child support long overdue to arrest warrants.

I once knew a guy in Flagstaff who panhandled for a living. He lived in a two-bedroom house with his wife and three kids. His folks owned the place. The dude made most of his money playing gigs at night with one of Flag’s many local rockabilly bands, but when that got tight, he pulled a beat up old wheelchair out of the garage and went two towns away. He’d sit all day in that wheelchair with a cardboard sign and often come home with upwards of two-hundred bucks. Everyone had reasons for what they did in their lives. That guy had plenty of them. But often, these were folks who were just as miserable as they looked. And most of them could use help.

Perched at the sidewalk, near the entrance to the Walgreen’s, Glenn and I spied a lonely woman with jet black hair down to her backside. She wore an old army jacket, faded from too much sun, and had her black hair tied into a greasy pony tail. Her face looked creased and old, as if she’d spent the majority of her life right there on that little piece of sidewalk with her cardboard. Written in black ink were the words, “Anything you can do to help is appreciated.” She stared at the traffic, but didn’t seem to actually see the vehicles that whizzed by.

I smiled to myself. “She’s perfect.”

Per instructions, ManQuail trotted along the sidewalk, keeping close to the shrubs lining the pharmacy’s property, until we were quite close to our mark. I unfolded the hundred dollar bill and held it before me. I’d no sooner done that, than the bird trotted out into the open, right next to the female panhandler. She looked our way absently, then paused as her eyes focused on the sight in front of her. Glenn bopped a bit closer. She took in the sight of the bill I held. A moment later she snatched it from me, her eyes wide as saucers. Glenn turned tail and started back toward the bushes the second the money got in her possession.

“Thank you!” She called out to us as we disappeared from sight. For a moment, I forgot my expectation that we’d suddenly turn back to humans. That actually felt good.

Better than knocking out the wife beater.

MANTULA Part Eighteen: Try Harder, Doug

I half-wondered if I would turn into a human by the time I sat down to write my email to the patron saint of addictions. My luck, which is pretty bad on my best day, stayed true.

Nothing whatsoeMant-18ver happened to change my predicament—despite having done a good deed by knocking out the downstairs neighbor.

Maybe the deed wasn’t as good as I thought.

The police arrived within ten minutes of me beating on the guy. I could hear them downstairs as I set to typing an email to Kolbe. ManQuail, meanwhile, hovered near the window. Occasionally he popped out to sneak a look at the action downstairs. He reported back to me when something interesting occurred.

“Her husband’s being checked out by the paramedics,” Doug said. “But they have her over in the corner. She’s blabbing up a storm and sending some mean-ass looks at her husband.”

I started typing. “Let me know if the cops come up this way, so we have time to hide. I don’t want them to hear me in here typing.”


From: Doug Lansing

Subject: Still a bug

Date: August 6 2014 06:46 AM

To: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

I did something good a few minutes ago. Not sure if your “saintly” powers can pick up on it, but I thought I’d let you know. Knocked out the downstairs neighbor. He’s been regularly beating up on his wife. Before I took him down, I showed him a sign to stop hitting her. I doubt he will be doing it again.

I did some good. Still in this damn spider body.


From: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

Subject: Re: Still a bug

Date: August 6 2014 06:51 AM

To: Doug Lansing

CC: Dymphna Gurrll

I know what you did. Pretty nice, but you could have gone about it differently in my opinion. Maybe you could have accomplished the same “goodness” without knocking the guy out.

One good deed, in either event, isn’t likely to cut it. Try a couple more. To be canonized in our faith, two miracles are expected in the saint’s name. This whole idea may not work anyway. We’re just guessing at your affliction. Nothing you do may work. It could wear off on its own after a couple of years. There’s just no knowing.

Maximilian Kolbe

Patron Saint

“God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.”

I looked at the hundred-dollar bill sitting on the kitchen table near the computer. It’s funny how attached I felt to that piece of paper when my hairy little problem began. Since returning to my crappy little apartment, I’d nearly forgotten all about. We were spending my money, sure, but we used my debit and credit cards for everything.

ManQuail laughed. “They’re taking her husband away in handcuffs! Can you believe it?”

“Good. The bastard deserves it,” I said.

I could hear shouts from the downstairs area. It seems the husband wasn’t too thrilled with how his day was turning out. His voice sounded just as angry as it had a while ago.

“Those things attacked me, you dimwits! Why am I being arrested? Why aren’t you looking for that crazy-ass tarantula? This is police harassment!”

I scurried over to the hundred-dollar bill and scooped it into my arms. With it in my possession, I bounced over to the couch and settled down for a nap.

“Let me know when the cops have left,” I told my roommate. “We’re going to go out and do some more good when the coast is clear.”

I fell asleep quickly. I suppose the excitement of the morning had taken a toll on me mentally. My weird body seemed just fine, but my mental state was a different story. I was likely slipping into a funky, feverish form of dementia. I saw the old woman again in my sleep. She cackled and drifted in and out of my vision as if she were made of nothing more than a wispy slip of smoke. But when she did arrive, she arrived screaming. Bits of half eaten, writhing worms flung from her mouth like spittle. I shrank back, horrified by the hag, but continued to watch her gruesome parade in and out of view. There was nothing save a grey fog in my head, besides her, so I had very little choice but to observe the gnarled old woman. I felt as if I’d seen her before, to be honest, but I couldn’t place where. The thing with dreams is they aren’t trustworthy. In them, you can fall in love with someone you hate when you’re awake.

Luckily, I was only asleep for an hour. ManQuail popped onto the couch and shook my hairy legs awake as I’d asked him to. He told me the police were finally leaving the downstairs apartment. I grabbed my hundred-dollar bill, trying to shake visions of the witch from my head.

“Great. Let’s head out for a walk,” I said.

ManQuail gave me a quizzical stare. “A walk? Where to?”

“Wherever someone needs help,” I told him.

“Sure thing. We could only be bringing danger to ourselves, but what the hell. It’s like I always say. That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.”

I leapt onto his back with the money in hand. “Never heard that one before.”

MANTULA Part Seventeen: Doug takes out the trash

Who would have thought a patron saint would be so snarky? His ambivalence, apparent lack of concern, would drip from his emails were it a liquid. And that lMant-17iquid would smell like crap I was certain, like gasoline mixed with vomit. Helping others? I could do that. Even if Kolbe didn’t want to help me.

ManQuail walked into the living room of our crappy little apartment, still groggy with sleep, as I messed around in the pile of papers next to the computer. “What’s up?” he asked. “Did you hear from that Kolbe guy?”

“I need a pen,” I replied. “Have you seen one laying around?”

The bird flapped his wings to the kitchen counter. A moment later he had a black ink pen in his mouth. He flew over to me at the kitchen table and dropped it near my eight legs.

I kicked it back to him and slid a sheaf of paper his way. “You’re better at writing than I am. I need you to jot something down for me.”

I could hear the man’s booming voice downstairs, followed by a heavy thump. In my mind, I pictured his frail wife being shoved to the floor. ManQuail tilted his head at the sound. He could hear the drama too.

“Why am I writing on a piece of paper? What’s going on?” he asked.

Helping people? I thought about how surprised Saint Kolbe would be when he found out exactly how helpful I could be.

“Write ‘Stop hitting your wife’ and don’t worry about spelling or anything. That’s not important,” I said.

ManQuail set to writing. He added an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence. At this point I think he had an idea of what I had in mind. When he finished, he slid the paper toward me. I folded the note in half to make it easier to carry and skittered off toward the windowsill.

ManQuail took flight and landed on the sill beside me. “Dude, wait up. I’m coming with you.”

Once again I tried to shake my head and failed. “This could be hairy, Glenn. It might be better for you to stay here. I can do this on my own.”

“No way. We’re a team, man. Get on my back. I’ll fly us down the stairs.”

Arguing would be pointless. Whether I allowed it or not, Glenn would come with me to the downstairs apartment, so I sprang onto his back and let him do all the work. I felt a momentary rush of air in my face, which ended with a gentle swoop to the front door of the couple living below me. Despite the early hour, I could already feel the heat of the day pressing against my hairy body. With this kind of humidity, I was certain we’d get hit with another monsoon later. At that exact moment, though, I was less concerned with the weather and more with my task.

ManQuail leaned into the door, allowing me to rap it with my powerful spider legs. I banged on it a couple of times before it swung open. There I saw a large man looking into the porch. His face sagged with double chins and his bare belly hung, hairy and pale, over his faded Navy blue sweatpants. The man’s arms, whether composed of fat or muscle, were like fur-covered tree trunks. I held the piece of paper up for him to read, but it took him a moment to look down.

 (Story Continues below)

ManQuail jots a note for Doug.

When he finally tilted his pudgy, balding head my way, the look that fell over his ugliness was priceless. His eyes and lips portrayed utter revulsion, then surprise, then shock, all in that order. I held the paper up for as long as I could, hoping the imbecile knew how to read, as he took a few steps into his home. I bounced off ManQuail’s back and followed him inside. The quail came in on my heels, determined to provide backup should it be needed.

“What in the hell is this?” The man finally spoke. I could see a woman standing against the far corner of the apartment, her hands shaky on the kitchen counter. She wore a sleeping shirt that looked like it needed a good wash. I could see a faded image of The Simpsons on it. The woman’s eyes were gray and hollow, full of fear. A fresh bruise covered one side of her scrawny face. The apartment, I realized, offered the exact floor plan as my own. No surprise there really. It meant, at least, that I knew the layout well.

The overweight man turned to his wife in a flash. “Who put this up? Did you? Huh? Who did this? Get rid of those damn things!”

I realized then and there the shock of seeing a tarantula with a sign wasn’t good enough for this man. I tossed the piece of paper aside and put my enhanced strength to good use. The woman screamed in shock when I made my move and jumped as high as I could. The fat man turned back to face me just as I made it to his fat face. With one swipe of my legs, I nailed him across the kisser with all the strength of a solid, human punch.

The man screamed in pain, blood dripping from his lips, and fell back against the wall. I hit the ground and bounced right back again. This time he saw me coming and tried to deflect the blow, but he was too slow. He couldn’t lift his flabby whale arms fast enough. I heard something from ManQuail as I struck the man a second time. This time I knocked him flat on his ass. My bird friend said something about how badass I was. I ricocheted off the wall and gave the man a good wallop across the head before coming to a stop next to Glenn by the front door. When I looked up I saw the wife holding a cell phone to her ears, babbling to someone in a high-pitched voice. She kept her eyes on us as she backed down the hall and finally slammed herself into the bathroom. Her husband, meanwhile, lay unconscious on the floor.

Glenn sounded worried. “I think she’s calling the police, man!”

I let out a deep breath and bounced onto Glenn’s feathered back, leaving the note in the apartment as a reminder to my ass wipe neighbor. The whole thing had happened far faster than I expected, not that I really knew what to expect past showing the bastard the note. Seeing that he now had his ass handed to him by an insect, I hoped he’d lay off his wife.

Glenn made a beeline for the door. We were safely back in the upstairs apartment by the time the police rolled into the parking lot. I decided it was time to send Maximilian Kolbe another email.

MANTULA Part Sixteen: Dreaming of an old witch

Gagged on pop culture, polluted byMant-16

depression, comes Mantula!

A special fiction series!

ManQuail shouted in my head. “Are you insane? Did you just tell a patron saint to go to hell? Dude, lightning is going to strike you dead!”

“Let it.”

“Why did you do that?”

“Why not? I’m tired of this, Glenn. I didn’t ask to be in this gross body. I didn’t ask for any of this crap. Why is this happening to me? Damn them. Damn them all!” I threw myself across the room to the couch. I didn’t plan on waiting in front of the computer for a reply.

“He’s trying to help us, man!”

“You email him then. You kiss his ass if it’s that important to you. Just leave me alone.”

“Can I use your account? He’s not emailing me. He’s emailing you. We need to apologize to him, man!”

“I’m not apologizing to that bastard or to any of the other bastards that put us in these bodies. They can all go to hell.”

(Story continues below)

ManQuail Meme!

ManQuail turned his head to the side, flinching, and stared toward the ceiling of our crappy little apartment as if expecting a bolt of lighting to flash off the ceiling fan and turn us both into fried chicken. When none came, he started for the bedroom, mumbling as he went. “Maybe you should sleep on it, Doug. You might feel different about things in the morning. And maybe, since the guy is a saint and all, he’ll forgive you for being a dick to him. It’s like I always say; if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best. Maybe Kolbe knows you’re stressed out beyond belief. He should. He is a saint.”

I turned my back to him and settled onto the couch. “Whatever, Glenn. I’m going to sleep.”

Only sleep didn’t come that easily. At first it was nice. I dreamed and dreamed. Usually my son is there. We talk and laugh while he sits in my lap. But this time she was there. She was sitting in my lap. I can’t deny there was something there when it came to Diana Sturgis. Not after that dream. In it she wore a pink, silky number that I could easily see through. It barely covered much of her body. Her legs were bare, arms and upper chest, and I could feel them rub softly against my skin. And I was human again. I could feel her skin against my own. Her fingers caressed my cheeks, trailed over my lips, and I felt a sense of longing I’d not felt in a long time. I could have stayed there forever and let her touch me. Only it didn’t last that long. I’m not sure when, but she turned into someone else, something else actually.

When I looked into Diana’s eyes I found someone else staring back at me. Her eyes were wrinkled and black throughout, like scarred marbles nestled in scrambled eggs. Her mouth had become a puckered mess crawling with green worms and rot. Gang green or some other deadly infection turned her skin a pea green color. I screamed with revulsion and tossed the old hag away from me. Worms crawled and snaked over her entire body. Whether she wore clothes or not was hard to tell. The slippery green things covered her entire body as if she were made out of putrefied wet spaghetti noodles. She cackled as she fell away from me, laughing heartily, and pointed her finger at me as the dream began to fade. I was forcing myself to wake up, but couldn’t shake her terrifying glee from my mind.

When finally I opened my eyes the cackle began to fade. I felt cold inside, as if I’d been kissed by death itself, but it too began to fade. I realized I’d slept all night. Morning sunlight poured through the blinds. I could hear the muffled voice of the downstairs neighbor as well. I checked the wall clock. Not even seven in the morning and he was already prepping to yell at his mousy wife. I figured it would be a full blown shout assault within another half hour.

ManQuail had not come out of the bedroom yet. No reason to wake him up. I looked over at the computer as the shouting below grew a bit louder and figured I would check my email. Sure enough, I had a reply from the great Saint Kolbe.


From: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

Subject: WTF?

Date: August 6 2014 06:17 AM

To: Doug Lansing

CC: Dymphna Gurrll

Really? Are you for real?

Maximilian Kolbe

Patron Saint

“God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.”


From: Doug Lansing

Subject: Re: WTF?

Date: August 6 2014 06:24 AM

To: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

I didn’t ask to be stuck in this body. I didn’t ask for any of this bullshit to happen. You’re a goddamn saint. Fix it or just strike me down. I don’t want to wait.


From: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

Subject: Watch your language

Date: August 6 2014 06:31 AM

To: Doug Lansing

CC: Dymphna Gurrll

I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince you that we had nothing to do with it, or convince you that – whatever super powers you think I have – I don’t. I don’t have time to work on a case like you. So I will share what we’ve talked about so far. It’s been suggested that one way to cure the affliction might be to help others. This may be a new concept to you, but give it a shot. If you’re not sure what helping people means, Google it.

Maximilian Kolbe

Patron Saint

“God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.”


From: Doug Lansing

Subject: Re: Watch your language

Date: August 6 2014 06:38 AM

To: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

You’re a bastard.

I clicked send just as the argument below erupted into a full scale tirade. The downstairs neighbor accused his wife of being a worthless leech. She replied in her defense, but I couldn’t hear what she said. She was too quiet. But I did hear his reply-a single clap, loud and startling, followed by a series of sobs.