The Friends of the Heroes Archive Of Authors:
Ian & Sister Janice

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|Ian Anscombe|Sister Janice|


Ian Anscombe
The boy who is insaner than most

O for Orange, P for Pink
Either of these could be true. Nobody knows where they go after dark. That is their secret, and it would not do to follow them.

End Of A Legend - A Tribute to Nina Simone
I must attempt use the written word to pay tribute to something that was so much more than that. I must try and capture something flowing, undulating, ever-changing with only the net my words can assemble. I feel clumsy, insufficiently prepared, a little

What friends are for and the reason why
If you're any sort of hero, you'll be fighting for what you believe in. You'll get tired, and worn down by the world.

Blind Man's Bluff
It wasn't the most suitable job, for a blind man
There were so many things he could have done.... he was clever, resourceful, cute -

Most people find it easier not to see the whole picture. The events that were transpiring below were meant to change all that. They did not, of course, but nobody knew that yet.

They don't give medals
Part 1
I am beginning to regret asking him to tell me everything, from the beginning. I had hoped the beginning would be briefer than this. I suppose, after all this time in this job, I should know better. Beginnings are seldom so easily dismissed.

They don't give medals
Part 2
'You know that song? It's called 'They don't give medals to yesterday's heroes'.' A smile, with no warmth: 'Burt Bacharach wrote it. He didn't know the half of it'.

They don't give medals
Part 3
'You smile. Don't forget I can see you smiling, even though you can't see me. And I think I know why.'

They don't give medals
Part 4
"Remind them that every one of their experiments is a person. And any person that...volunteers...for this is a hero. A real hero. Whether they end up a fighting machine or a gibbering wreck".

They Don't give medals
Part 5
He must be at least thirty metres away. Between us, there should be three pairs of double doors, all bolted and guarded. I have not heard a single door open. All I can hear is his humming, growing quieter as his footsteps recede.

They don't give medals, part 6
Part 6
"When was I to vanish? And how would it happen? I am interested to know. How do you kill a man whose strength and regenerative power is so legendary, he is named after a Biblical prophet?"

They don't give medals
Part 7 (and the end)
This is not going to work. She can hardly keep the amusement from her voice: "So you were a HERO? Just like me?"

Jacobs Ladder
Some, less kind, commentators say that Jacob never existed, and the whole thing was a metaphor. A way of spreading knowledge about the little white flowers, and telling a pretty story into the bargain.

The Best Looking Boys Are Taken
Such dreams. She often thought it was those that marked her out - a Strange One, the mothers said. What the kids said was less kind, but she was learning not to expect kindness from people. Or, not from these people anyway. Perhaps someone, somewhere, far

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Sister Janice
Our disco-loving alternative-gardening ex-nun now-cosmic-adventurer agony aunt

Sister Janice Comes Home
Okay, so it wasn't all that popular in intensive care, but they LOVED it on the psychiatric wards. God, they PAY some people to do this. Occupational THERAPY, they call it.

Sister Janice Saves The Universe
I can not lie to you. It probably IS pointless and empty, but perhaps you should come off the pills before you attempt the next chapter.

Sister Janice and the talking dog
Finally, someone with a real problem. No, I am not referring to the weather. I am referring to the fact that she LICKS her own hair.

Sister Janice Saves The World!
Anyway, as I was saying, my name is Sister Janice, and I am very happy these days. Being a cosmic adventurer. Up in space. With no problems. I am not bored at all, I just want to help, which is why I wrote to the editors and asked them if they needed an a

Sister Janice Saves The Universe
Write to Sister Janice Slejj care of Friends of the Heroes. She will answer your problems and questions with the insight unique to a disco-loving alternative-gardening defrocked clergy member and cosmic adventurer.

Sister Janice and the Empty Mailbox
Back in the convent, Valentine's Day was a bit of a no-no. The Pope, in full-on killjoy fashion, decided way back in 1969 that the whole thing was way too Pagan.

Sister Janice and the Cabbage Conundrum
I have had rather an odd week. Yesterday a man knocked on the door of The Space Shed. He shouted something about my shed posing a threat, and wanting to inspect me.

Sister Janice and the Void
The silence, and the darkness, and the loneliness connect with a part of me, deep within. Just for a moment, I can sense what it really means to be Without, to become part of the void, to let go...

Sister Janice and The Disappearing Nun
They'd be sitting in the middle of Burger King, munching on onion rings and sipping holy water and suddenly the Fountains Of The Lord would pour, and they'd be chucked out of there faster than you can say 'Hail Mary, Mother of The Big Guy'

The Loneliness of Sister Janice
People are often odd like that: when they know you want to talk to them, they don't want to listen.

Sister Janice and the Earthlings
And some creepy clown with red hair and nasty yellow dungarees keeps gawping at me through the window. God, even The Sisterhood Of The Perpetually Sartorially-Challenged could colour co-ordinate better than THAT.

Sister Janice and the Law
Be merry, my children, and remember.. no matter how inept you feel, there's always someone more boring, uninspiring and socially disadvantaged out there than you.

Sister Janice and the Poet
THIS is what you get for trying to save the world. For trying to improve the sorry lives of those who are unversed in the Healing Powers Of Retrospective Dance Music.

Sister Janice and The Boundlessness of Eternity
I might be away from the Space Shed for a week, but that doesn't mean you can take advantage. Keep the police out. Keep your nose out of my herb garden. Stay away from my problem page.

Sister Janice leaves the planet
I didn't spend all those years married to Jesus to drop my habit for the first spotty youth that came along. Admittedly, I don't know why I DID spend all those years married to Jesus, but that is a different matter.

Sister Janice gets Defrocked
I wonder how long I have been here? I think we left Earth a couple of days ago, but time in space is malleable. You don't have to believe in it, if you don't want to believe in it.

Sister Janice and the Search for Peace
There's no shame in that. There's no shame in wanting happiness. Its just best not to look for it in a glass containing ANYTHING that happens to be made from distilled rocket fuel. Take it from me.

Reality, and Sister Janice
For a moment, just be here. no sound, no light, no feelings except those which occupy your inner self.

Roger does Janice
One day, you'll step out of whatever ship you're in - mental or physical - and you'll realise how beautiful it was outside all this time. Once you've opened up the door, you'll never want to close it again.

The disappearence of Sister Janice
I felt waves of distress emanating across the void. It was the Friends of the Heroes editors: sad, lonely creatures who inhabit a small planet of their own, many light years from civilisation,

Sister Janice And The Alien Plot
If anyone has a SENSIBLE problem, like being in love with a rubber glove, having a yearning to shave parts of their body into the shape of the face of God, or waking up with a spatula and a collection of soft fruit stuck in unfortunate orifices, you can

Cool Hand Janice
I have been able to write uncensored mail. I have a new abode. It doesn't suit, quite frankly. They don't like loud retrospective dance music, the food is crap and they make me wear this god-awful stupid uniform. Its nearly as bad as that bloody convent,

Roger's struggle with self-deception
Eventually, you will have no need of such escapes, and will be happy with the simplicity of reality.

Sister Janice gets forgiven
'She's not a bad woman, she just makes mistakes she didn't mean to hurt you and...anyway... you're not supposed to be alive... I mean, its great that you are, but she said...-'

Sister Janice And The Rays Of Hope
Perhaps the memory of that beauty, the moment of quietness it inspired within, will remain, and though the drabness returns it is always a little different - a slight quality of otherness lingers, or perhaps just a knowledge of potential. A reminder that

Sister Janice And The Miracle
Outside, in the silence, and the wind, a car with its engine running and the radio tuned to an old disco station, one I've never found before or thought of switching off since. I have it running, quietly, even when I sleep. It's as if turning it off would

Sister Janice And The Many Happy Returns
Nobody wrote this week, but that feels fine. This isn't a time to dwell on problems. This is a time to celebrate what we can all do, when we come together, and forget the past. To the future, my little lasers of love.

Sister Janice-Cosmic Adventuring Advice Dispenser
Your must learn to see your problems as merely opportunities, my dears. Opportunities to change the way you live, into something more pleasing and productive

Sister Janice and the man who lost himself
Janice, on the other hand, faces everything, and learns...... well, she must have learned something, although whatever it might be isn't immediately apparent right now.

Sister Janice to the Rescue
The creatures all appreciated the True Healing Potential inherent in disco music, and by the end of it they were all joining me, flinging themselves around The Space Shed in abandon, and performing some bizarre ritual...

Lost with Sister Janice
Hell, it aint the musical era I'd choose, but it'll do. A hundred thousand gyrating bodies all around me, the air is thick with the smell of aromatic oils - the sort they burn here specially, that give energy, that keep you dancing all night, and that sto

Sister Janice and the Guv'nor
'I know... isn't it strange? They made me boss, Janice. They told me I could run the planet...cigar?'

Sister Janice, the Planetary Priestess
The Space Shed drifts out of the solar system, engines turned down as low as possible, all guiding lights switched off. Even the internal lights, utterly invisible from the planet below, are dimmed so that we can barely see the control panel.

Sister Janice and The Ceremony
'You make sun come close, across space. You make us warm, make things grow, change the air.'

Sister Janice and the Virgin
But then, these things often do take you by surprise.

A Week Without Janice
She smiled, and said 'you never told me you were a wizard'.

Sister Janice is saved
That said, when she offers me a blanket, I accept. Suddenly, in that shed, in a swamp, with an old woman I barely know and the only light coming from a spluttering flame, I feel a sense of gratitude flooding over me.

Sister Janice and God
It is enough to change course, heading for a busy blue and green planet that many of you will find familiar, and to consider staying there for a time. I have travelled the galaxies to find Sister Janice, but she never left me.

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