Epilogue: Mantula in the news

Photo/Kip Mooney
A tarantula and a quail are clearly visible leaping from
a burning apartment in Cottownwood.

(Online news article)

Lone wolf reporter won’t stop

By Kip Mooney

Verde Valley Blog News

VERDE VALLEY, Ariz. – It’s true that I am responsible for the fire in Cottonwood that destroyed a handful of apartments. It’s true I tried to set another house on fire and that I cut the lower leg off a man there with an ax. It’s true I was out on bail for drug-related charges when all this happened.

What’s also true is that the man I attacked was once a tarantula, the very same spider I have been reporting about – both here on the Verde Valley Blog News and the Sedona Daily Reader. His name is Doug Lansing. After my initial arrest, while out on bail thanks to the good graces of my parents, I dreamed of the tarantula that assaulted me. I heard a woman’s voice in my head, though possibly it was all stress, which told me where to find him. But it wasn’t only that. Strange emails appeared in my inbox with no reply address. These were emails responding to my wanted poster, again telling me where to find Doug and his accomplices. And the voices in my head urged me to set fire to the whole place, to finish the monster once and for all. Of the dreams of a crazy old woman urging me to commit arson, urging me to kill, I have no rational answer. But they were right!

I found his apartment and the creatures congregating there. They were monsters – all of them, grotesquely large and acting, behaving, like people! The picture accompanying this piece, which shows an explosion outside of the apartment, clearly shows two survivors leaping from the apartment. Call me a lunatic, call me a psychotic, call me a freak, a villain, a loser, call me whatever you want, but I know what I have seen is real. And I will not stop until I’ve chased Lansing and his cohorts down, exposed them for the monsters they truly are.

As I write this, crews are rebuilding the apartment complex after the fire. The fate of those creatures I saw outside of the apartment are unknown to me. Diana Sturgis’s whereabouts are unknown to me, though I have no doubt in my mind she is harboring them somewhere. When I get out of prison I intend to find out.

This is my promise to you, dear readers. The Verde Valley Blog News will not rest until this story is told, until these creatures are brought under public scrutiny. Only there’s very little I can do while incarcerated for who knows how long but write these words, there are others in the community that might read these words and want to take action. I call upon you to do just that!

Unfortunately I can no longer offer any kind of reward for your services. I wish I could. My parents cancelled the check after my second arrest.

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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