Dear Mother and Father,
I did receive your letter and, in answer to your questions:
1) yes, I do remember your address;
2) no, my hands are not broken and incapable of holding a pen;
3) agreed, my sudden, gruesome death would be an excuse for not writing, but that hasn’t happened yet.
With regards to the non-snarky portion of your letter, I’m afraid you are correct and the matter I wrote about in my previous missive is still unresolved. Another month has gone by without a check from you-know-who. At the moment, my savings are going towards my living expenses and, as you feared, I have insufficient funds for next semester’s school fees at the moment, putting yet another snag in the pursuit of my studies. But fear not, I shall persevere! Thank you for passing along the name of an attorney here in New Babbage with whom I might discuss this matter and plan a course of action. I find it very hard to believe they have forgotten about me so soon and are willing to risk my going public with the details of you-know-what, although seeing them get their comeuppance would almost be worth the money I’d lose. But not quite.
As to the other matter you mentioned, what Mr. Farbingale saw on his visit to Babbage, I can only call into question your neighbor’s sobriety, if not his sanity! I realize stories of my past escapades — at least the ones that have reached you — have been a source of embarrassmentalarm appropriate parental concern, but to suggest I might be associated with anything paranormal is utter rot. Does that old coot really think he saw me flying? Levitating under my own power? Vanishing into thin air? Nonsense! The very idea that I’ve joined the ranks of the creatures, freaks and weirdos that create so many problems in other towns is beyond preposterous and more than a little insulting! How do these wicked rumors get started? It’s enough to drive one to drink! (Ha, Ha)
No, Mother, I’m not drinking. Much.
Nota bene: this will be my last correspondence for a while as I am anticipating moving very shortly. No, Father, I will not be moving back home. I am quite comfortable in Babbage even though lately the place has felt awfully claustrophobic — almost as if some paranoid, self-important, slightly creepy someone with lots of money and too much time on his hands were always watching me.
No, Father, I don’t mean you.
Please tell my siblings and in-laws I miss themI’m thinking of I’m still alive and free of all social diseases, so, HA! Wrong again!
Very truly yours,
Arconus Theobold Reginald Arkright IV