"She seemed nice," say neighbors
In a scene out of a Stephen King novel, Jessica Kennedy-Rockefeller (not her real last name) returned this evening to her apartment and realized she’d forgotten the book she was reading.
"It was… horrible," she said, choking through tears. "I… I’d been catsitting, and I guess I must have left the book over there."
The book in question is Dead Watch, by John Sandford, an author as good as any of the zillions of popular suspense writers out there, and a damn sight better than most.
And far, far better than Zane or Frank Peretti. Kennedy-Rockefeller, a rising star with the eminent Ebsco database NoveList, had previously spent time working with popular writers in the Black Erotica and Christian Thriller fiction genres, respectively. "Zane and Peretti were terrible. Reading them was like severing your own foot at the ankle with no anaesthesia."
"Though I was honored to do them," she added, sniffling. "They were assignments no one else would take. They needed to be done. Our readers needed those articles. The world needed them."
Even in her sorrow, her puffy red eyes clashing with her orange hair ("Copper, actually; they sell it cheap at Eckerd’s"), Kennedy-Rockefeller’s modesty is apparent; her lack of conceit is refreshing. "But after the Zane and Peretti ordeals, I was so happy to read someone tolerable. Sandford’s characters are complex and the plots are fascinating. And now this."
Police are investigating foul play. The primary suspect is Felick, a tawny 11-year-old cat. Though lame in one leg, it is possible he hid the book under the couch. "I can’t bear to think of it," says Kennedy-Rockefeller. "He was purring in my lap this evening. He couldn’t have."
And the worst part? "I was in the middle of a chapter."
We can only pray the situation will be resolved tomorrow when Kennedy-Rockefeller returns to catsit again. "I can’t drive over tonight," she explained. "I’m already in my jammies."
In the meantime, Ms. Kennedy-Rockeller will console herself with Pyramids, by Terry Pratchett. "In a situation like this," she said stoically, "you can only make sense of things with Discworld logic."
For her sake, this reporter hopes she’s right. A woman who is tired of Ankh-Morpork… it doesn’t bear saying.