MANTULA Part Fifteen: An email from a saint


I wasn’t sure what to make of the emails at first. It had been a quiet week for the most part up until today. First the reporter Kip Mooney comes knocking, then we discover my stalker Diana Sturgis (who I can’t stop thinking about) has been combing the neighborhood in search of a tarantula riding a quail, and then I find out some strange dude is bombing my inbox with emails talking about how he knows I live inside the body of a tarantula.

The whole thing made my head spin, but at the same time I felt a flutter of excitement somewhere deep in my belly, or what passed for it in this hairy, ugly little body.

This guy, Maximilian Kolbe, might have an answer or two. He might even have a solution, being he is who he says he is. Considering my predicament, I figured anything was possible. So I read the email.


From: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

Subject: I know you’re a tarantula

Date: August 5 2014 05:46 PM

To: Doug Lansing

CC: Dymphna Gurrll

Sending you endless emails is getting a little tiresome. I will likely not continue doing so much longer. Your refusal to reply to these emails, when I know you are home, when I know you have your cell phone nearby, not to mention a desktop computer, has caused my eyes to roll in their sockets on more than one occasion. I am pasting in the rest from other emails I sent, but wanted to share my frustration first.

You have been reborn in the body of a tarantula. We don’t know why, but we do know why you are different than the others. It’s this difference that has started a subtle shift in the others as well, particularly in the one named Glenn Hardy with whom you are in constant contact with. Prior to meeting you, Glenn and the others wandered, barely able to snap out of the primal instincts brought on by their new forms. When he met you, however, his humanity bobbed back to the surface like a cork. You are different because, unlike anyone else afflicted by this malady to date, you suffer equally from a mixture of both depression and addiction. While I am the patron saint of addiction, and journalists (go figure), depression falls under the purview of Saint Dymphna, who I have copied on this email. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply. The mixture of both afflictions caused a cancellation in the overall intent, leaving you exactly the same mentally, but trapped in a body not your own. It’s possible you may be the lynch pin that can undo this entire event. At least I hope so. I didn’t ask for a herd of bugs and birds dumped at my doorstep, nor did Dymphna ask for a posse of reptiles and rodents. And before you reply back with lame questions, yes we both live in Sedona. Many patron saints live here actually. We just don’t broadcast it. I used to work in radio. Trust me. People would make our lives unbearable if word got out, so keep it zipped.

As to what we can do about your predicament, we’re working on it. We’ll get back to you.

Maximilian Kolbe

Patron Saint

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

 (Story continues below)

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Auschwitz.

“Holy crap!” ManQuail gasped behind me. “That’s the guy. Just like on the coin that we both had! He’s a real guy!”

I turned to see Glenn behind me on the kitchen table. I was so absorbed in reading the email I didn’t hear him fly up. “I take it you read the email? Apparently he’s been sending them for days.”

“If a Catholic Saint doesn’t know what happened to us, then who does?” ManQuail cried. “Does God know? You would think God would know.”

I was thankful to see my bird companion in better spirits. Seeing his old dealer had upset him pretty bad. And, after reading Kolbe’s email, I realized I was to blame for him reverting (at least mentally) back to a human train wreck.

“All it says is they’re working on it,” I replied.

ManQuail read over the email again. “They’re real. I cannot believe it. We could be turned back in no time.”

“If that’s what we want,” I said. “You were a meth head, remember? What if turning back means you go back to that life?”

ManQuail shook his head, making his black plume flop. “No. I’m cured of that I think. No matter what. Are you going to reply to him?”

“I sure am.” I said and set to typing my response.


From: Doug Lansing

Subject: Re: I know you’re a tarantula

Date: August 5 2014 05:51 PM

To: Maximilian ‘Raymund’ Kolbe

Go to hell.

Published by patrickwhitehurst

Patrick Whitehurst is a fiction and non-fiction author who's written for a number of northern Arizona newspapers over the years, covering everything from the death of the nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshots to Barack Obama's visit to Grand Canyon. In his spare time he enjoys painting, blogging, the open water, and reading everything he can get his hands on. Whitehurst is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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