Dear fellow Niners,

This week, I am in mourning. I feel I have lost a friend. A long last, and with sadness, I have to say goodbye to your pal and mine, Jimmy Mahdi. In my imagination, he was really cute and had a sexy voice. Rippe, Jimmy. You were awesome while you were with us. If you have no idea who Jimmy Mahdi was, you haven't been keeping up with the tales!

That brings me to the tales for this past week. Pitchblende, ever the creative guy and friend to arthropods and mollusks everywhere, has wrapped up his fantastic and fantastical story Ditched with the final installation. I wish there were more of it, but I'm not sure my brain can take too much more of the corporate-run, nanotech-infused, and foot-handed future as he tells it in this series. We finally discover just how Bill Larkin's legs are/will be doing, we find out the truth about the Angels (oh how I have longed for this!), and we learn, perhaps with a little pinch of the ouchies, when Bill is. The end left me with lots of feelings: I was shocked about the state of humanity, saddened by the state of humanity, and warmed a bit by the way that humanity, the quality, was still present in some measure. After having finished it, I would like to invite whomever is interested, to read it again and chat with me about it, because I'm going to read it again and will maybe need someone to chat with about all the wtf. Goodbye Jun, your expensive foot-hands will be missed, probably.

In slightly less worldview-staggering news, Wenchette has hit us with a hot double update of Cravings. This one-two punch picks up after Mirri's anointment with selkie-junk (the substance, not the anatomical feature). She's got a hell of a headache and gets a little coddling by Radu, which is just so adorable I will die if I keep thinking about it so I'll plow ahead. The next chapter introduces a new and interesting character. Maybe Mirri is even less all alone in the world than she thinks. I really like the second chapter because it brings up some implications about the job of Warden and what that really means, as well as demonstrating that no matter what, life is complicated, even for ghoul royalty. I feel like this is the "Inception" of ghoul stories, except that instead of going deeper into dreams or something, it's delving into a world that Mirri had no idea existed and which, given enough time, may sully her hands more than she ever imagined. I've always wanted to be a princess, but if I had to choose between my ordinary life and being in Mirri's shoes, I'd choose on the much safer side. Even though that would mean not being married to Buff Studelson. ;_;

That's this week's stories. I promise that soon my work wife and I will return the other writers to you in fine condition and with nary a hair harmed on their lovely heads. If you like a tale, leave the writer some feedback. That makes their sweet, literary hearts go pitty-pat. If you have a story, please feel free to share it with us here in the comments section, and then you too can have terrible jokes written about you right before the weekend.