(From the "Miscellaneous" Creature Features)

Hey Pete,

Finally found you old man! Thank God for this wonderful thing we call email. It’s a shame we live this close and can’t ever get together. How are you? How’s the practice going? I wasn’t brave like you; the intricacies of the human mind are too treacherous for me to contemplate. I’ve always liked my safe study of the stars; the discovery of a new comet sets the interns into a frenzy. We have a lot of fun naming places we will never go.

Hope your family is all right, heard about that nasty bit of business in town; I’m not sure how far away from you those murders were. It’s always hard to see the police have some normal looking guy in handcuffs and then you find out he’s some sort of maniac. Say hello to the kids for me.

Jeff

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Dear Pete,

Can’t believe you have patients like that. It’s like the beginning of a bad joke – “a hypochondriac goes to a psychiatrist…” I had no idea your son was doing that well on the football team but I shouldn’t be surprised, he’s always been so stocky. Julie- well, you have to be patient with teenagers. I was surprised to hear of that figure you quoted me from your newspaper, I know our little town isn’t quite as innocent as it used to be, we actually had a little old lady poisoning strangers in her bed and breakfast last month. It’s like that movie I can’t remember the name of.

 My job isn’t very exciting. We’ve just found a small satellite around Pluto that we didn’t know about, that’s the big story right now. I don’t know how we’ve missed it, I think it’s just in a very peculiar spot, but everyone is busy cataloging it and so on. It’s funny, we’ve got these really complicated computer programs that detail orbits and effects of gravity, and every time we find a chunk of rock like this it’s only afterward we see that our original model was wrong, and the error is explained precisely by our new discovery. It’s only once you’re a scientist that you realize the extent of our ignorance. We’re going public with the discovery; everyone is dressing well, and preparing important sounding quotes. It’s quite amusing.

The wife is fine. I work a lot, so that keeps our marriage fresh. Seriously, she’s a treasure. Maybe we can schedule a fishing trip. Let me know.

Excelsior,
Jeff

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Hey Pete,

That sounds great. I’ll tell the family. My wife likes polar bears, but hates cold; we’ll see how this trip turns out.

 Your paper didn’t do a good job of covering that story at all; I’ll tell you what happened. The report said it was the kid’s father, but it was actually his stepfather, his father lives in Oregon. They got in an argument over him playing video games and not doing his chores; the son disappeared and ambushed the man with a steak knife. They’re not sure when he died, but the son went and got a hunter’s bow, and one razor-tipped arrow, and he just shot the man over and over again, he would pull the arrow out, put it back in the bow and shoot the stepfather again. The police took him without a fight. He was on anti-depression medicine and had taken it like he was supposed to. It’s all very strange, the boy is quite docile now. That’s all everyone is talking about; it’s pushed our new satellite discovery out of the papers completely.

Oh, there’s a little morsel of information regarding our little ‘star.’ I’ve got a good friend that has archeology as a bit of a hobby, and he has sent me good quality scans of Babylonian astrological charts, Mayan calendars, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the like, and they all have our little chunk of rock on them. Apparently, they knew about this particular ‘star’ thousands of years ago. And we are so proud of our giant telescopes, they’ve kept us a thousand years behind our elders.

Say hello to everyone for me.

Your friend,
Jeff

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Dear Pete,

Just a quick question for you? Have you ever heard of a Dr. Sanjay Patel or Dr. Robert Baker? Baker is a psychologist, not quite your field, but still…

Jeff

Dear Pete,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you, one of the technicians here has lost his wife in death, and things have been sort of crazy. She was apparently robbed by some sadist, who assaulted and then killed her, the whole thing is quite horrible, and I understand she suffered a great deal before she died. Needless to say, he isn’t talking it well, and so neither are we. Quite a world we live in, Jeff. I can’t imagine how much better this planet would be if we weren’t on it.

Jeff

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 Dear Pete,

Finally got time to talk. We’re getting a ton of correspondence from Monsignors Patel and Baker who have come to us with a crackpot idea. Well, I shouldn’t dismiss it before I examine it, but it really is ridiculous. They’re saying our as yet unnamed chunk of rock is causing our sudden upswing in violence locally. Basically, if I understand them, they are taking the pitiful amount of research that we have connecting human behavior and the moon’s gravitational pull, and applying it to our new “killer” star. The effect would be more localized than the moon because of distance, but the intensity could be greater. They are saying that some people are susceptible emotionally to celestial phenomenon, and that traditionally when this moon has appeared, it has caused civil unrest, which is why it was marked in those ancient calendars that I had mentioned previously. I wonder what you think of all that?

Jeff

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Dear Pete,

You’re an open-minded fellow, Pete. I think its all pure rubbish. It’s for the lawyers, just another excuse for bad human behavior they can use in court. I refuse to believe that any moon has any impact on me. I see what you’re saying about the moon affecting tides and we are over seventy percent water, and it’s true we don’t know if gravity is a particle or a wave, so we don’t know it affects us – but really, you should hear the rubbish they’re saying. They’re saying those Mayan human sacrifices dedicated to the sun were symbolic of what was happening to the kingdom at the time, that they were trying to appease an angry sun god before their kingdom tore itself apart. They link its orbit to specific spots in time, certain parts of Germany during World War Two, Siberia in the eighteen hundreds, even the Donner party I believe. And they say that human behavior is going to deteriorate even more this month, before the moon is shielded from us.

 Can you believe that? Our sleepy towns rising up, people at the edge of some mental precipice finally going nuts and becoming murderers or whatever? Pure sci-fi, sort of stuff you’d like.

Jeff

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To:

Jeffrey Atkins,
Kaiser Astrological Study
Xxx xxxx, AZ xxxx

Dear Sir:

I am Doctor Peter Anderson’s secretary. It is my sad duty to inform you that Doctor Anderson passed away last night. He was involved in an automobile accident with an over-aggressive driver, who subsequently shot him several times. The suspect is in custody, but I’m afraid that’s of little comfort to you or his other friends. The family right now would not like to receive phone calls or visits, but cards certainly would be appreciated. Thank you for your support during this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Beverly Ans’san, Administrative Assistant




Written by Tom Moore @ Chicky5150@aol.com who developed a sudden aversion to Arbor Day.




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