Black Crow

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Aquarius is a curious sign.

At one end of the spectrum is a structured thirst for knowledge, at the other end are some super crazy off the wall ideas.

On Monday morning my 2nd favourite Aries male (my BMF) found tucked into his screen door a black envelope. On the front of the envelope, hand written in silver ink, was “For You.”

Being as totally (cough cough) irresistible as he is (just don’t tell him I told you, his ego is healthy enough), he probably thought it was an early Valentines message.

Inside was a professional looking typed letter on what looked like decent parchment paper. It was addressed simply “to you” and was signed with a handwritten “me”.

Valentines are supposed to be anonymous and, as I said, some of us have “it”. But it was the first line that made this letter no ordinary valentine:

The body you are wearing used to be mine.

When he read those words to me on the phone, I have to say my tummy dropped.

It continued:

Do you know the name of the body you are in? It’s Myfanwy. Myfanwy Alice Thomas. I would say that it’s my name, but you’ve got the body now, so I suppose you’ll be using it. People tend to mangle its pronunciation, but I would like it if you at least knew how to say it. I don’t embrace the traditional Welsh pronunciation, so for me the w is silent and the f is hard. Thus, Miffunee. Simple. In fact, now that I think about it, it rhymes with Tiffany.

What followed was information about Myfanwys’ allergies, scars, and credit cards. The letter closed with the paragraph:

You are probably aware of this next part already, since if you are reading this then you have survived several immediate threats, but you are in danger. Just because you are not me does not make you safe. Along with this body, you have inherited certain problems and responsibilities. Go find a safe place, and then open the second letter.

Wow! How Scorpionic? With Mercury sitting out there in the last degree of Aquarius, even I was curious. My BMF had no idea what to think, but given that he didn’t have the scars that were described in the letter, we had a fair idea (after the initial shock) that this wasn’t personal. But what was it?

With his natal Moon in Scorpio (and with transiting Moon having just entered Scorpio), there was no way he was letting this one go without getting to the bottom of it. He likes an intrigue, a mystery…But, being as Arian as he is, he likes it even better when he knows he is about to get on a plane and he has someone like me in the background who likes a cool story just as much and will do the work for him (I can say that cos’ its my blog…). I wish I could do the travel for him, but that is another story entirely.

So, we both hit google. All was not as it seemed- how Neptunian?

Within a couple of key-strokes we learned that Myfanwy Alice Thomas is the name of a character in a new book called The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. The letter itself is a direct excerpt from the first chapter.

We knew the “what”, but still didn’t know “why”. Why was this letter poked under his screen door?

Some more searching found a single reference in the authors blog about a “guerilla marketing” technique for the books launch where a small number of copies of the letter were printed, popped into the distinctive black envelopes and randomly left in the hope that people would track through the clues, do just what we did, and find our way to the book.

My BMF did some more search engine work at the airport and found out that just 500 copies of the letter were printed…and yet one of them turned up in his front door in the suburbs.

It was only after we had both congratulated ourselves on our cleverness and the cleverness of the books publicity team that I started to wonder what would have happened if that letter had landed on someone else’s front door. Someone who had, perhaps, a different outlook than my friend- someone who wouldn’t see the intrigue but instead take the message of the letter seriously and personally. Someone who wasn’t quite as Arian.

I guess that’s why the original idea for the distribution of the letters was supposed to be random- you know just left in places for people to find- just like Myffy (my abbreviation…)has to. This way the randomness would inspire the intrigue and no one (other than the already disturbed) could take it personally. Such a cool idea for a marketing campaign. Unless, that is, the finder happens to already be involved in an international espionage mystery of their own. But shoved in a screen door? That makes it personal…and dare I say it, more than a little irresponsible.

Having said that, I am interested enough to locate the book and have a read- the premise sounds amazing and the reviews I have found online really promising. Neptune can be like that. Oh, and if you are interested in hearing more of the story, I have deliberately not popped in any links today…you can find them for yourself 🙂