I was sitting down to write my annual Christmas letter when I heard a very audible sigh. I looked over, and there sat Stephen Murphy. Yes, really. I figured that he was there to offer me support on the endeavor, but as I started making notes, he bounced his axe on the basement floor. I warned him if he cracked the foundation of Bliss Cottage, he would have to fix it. He gave me a baleful look.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I want to write my own Christmas letter.”
I stood up and vacated the chair. His brows knitted and a pout formed. I sat back down.
“How about you tell me what you want to write, and I’ll do the typing. Mind you, the editing is your affair.”
Warning, there may be spoilers if you haven’t read The Siege through Restitution yet. Here goes:
Salutations from Stephen Murphy!
This winter, I lost more saplings to the deer. Cid offered to pee in the area because the deer are not frightened of the coyote piss I spread around before the snow fell. Maggie is of little use since she prefers, unsuccessfully, hunting rabbits to the guarding of the small trees. Ted offered a mathematical solution involving upping the amount of trees planted in order to have some left after the deer have dined. I tried that last year, and we just got more deer. Mia just shrugged her shoulders, telling me that tree-sitting is not in her contract.
Mia too has had a rough year with so many changes going on with her. This includes having the pleasure of taking care of Brian Stephen Cid Martin. My godson is healthy and has advanced verbal skills. He is quite a chatterbox, taking after his father.
The farm has a new addition on it and plans for an aerie in the works. My house still stands, and the PEEPs have decorated it nicely this year. We are headed into Chicago for a very important case. Alexie plans to chronicle the adventure in her next book A Rose by Any Other Name.
This past year, I said goodbye to my late wife Chastity and wished her well with her afterlife. I have chosen to stay earthbound. My farm, my trees and my friends are all the heaven I can ask for.
Hug your young’uns, and have a glass of eggnog on old Murphy. Remember to keep your loved one’s close this year, along with a good sharp axe.