DEATH Walks with Sir Terry, and I Wonder What They Are Talking About

As you all have heard, we have just lost one of the great literary voices of our time, perhaps of all time.

Sir Terry Pratchett has left us

This…is a rough one. I’m glad for the joy and thought provoking laughter he brought us. The laser-like satire disguised as silliness. I’m glad he was able to keep writing as long as he did with that axe hanging over his brilliant mind. I’m glad he went out before the axe fell. Requiescat in pace, Sir Terry. I hope you get that horse and sword to go with your knighthood.

Leonard Nimoy was sad, but this is tear-inducing.

For those who want some more insight into Sir Terry, here is Neil Gaiman’s wonderful look at the “Furious Jolly Old Elf.”

And if you have not read Small Gods and Good Omens and Hogfather laughed your head off between nods of “Good point” or silences of profound poignancy, you might want to peak out from under that rock.

Something more from the library

Ook.

Death and What Comes Next, a short story by Sir Terry Pratchett (2002)

Nick Mogavero posted this on Pratchett’s Facebok page, an Ode:

“I would like my pudding now nurse. And then I think I’d like to… write… something… I don’t remember what.”

Standing in the corner, he waits. The sand slowly flows, but it nears it’s end. The old man still glows, as thousands of threads spread away from him.

SQUEAK.

I AGREE. IT IS A SHAME TO SEE HIM THIS WAY.

SQUEAK.

NO. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN…. BUT I CANNOT WAIT TO ASK HIM HOW IT ALL ENDS.

The old man looks up, through them at first… and then he sees them. For once, the smile on the hooded figure’s skull is genuine.

“I… I remember you. The anth… ant…”

ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION.

“Yes, that. We knew each other?”

ONCE. AND WILL AGAIN, SIR.

He so rarely said it, and these feelings… remembering his young aprentice, and beloved daughter. The beautiful child they have.

“There… is a girl, yes?”

SHE IS SPEAKING TO THE AUDITORS, SIR. THEY ARE UNWILLING TO LISTEN.

“Well then. You know what they say, two things you cannot avoid. Taxes and…” He looks into the firey blue eyes, and becomes aware.

SQUEAK.

“Quite right. Is it time already? I have so much left to do.”

YOU HAVE GIVEN ALL YOU CAN SIR.

“No, not cancer. Alzheimers.”

I AM AWARE.

“So, where is the boy? I remember a boy.”

CARRIAGE ACCIDENT.

“Ahh. Never much trusted cars. Or horses.”

THEY GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.

“Must I?”

SOON. BUT WE MAY SIT HERE AWHILE.

SQUEAK

DO YOU HAVE ANY BISCUITS?

“No. Shame really.”

YES.

“Is it truely turtles?”

ALL THE WAY DOWN. I HAVE SEEN THEM.

“Ahh. I would love to see it. Perhaps a small trip before?”

IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE.

“The light is slower there… and there’s a monkey….”

ORANGUTAN. SAME PRINCIPLE.

“Yes… will they remember me?”

SQUEAK.

“What was that? I could not hear you.”

HE SAYS WE WILL, SIR.

“I never much liked the trouble people had with you. You seem like a nice fellow.”

I HAVE MY DAYS.

“Don’t we all?”

SOME LESS THAN OTHERS.

“Is it quick?”

YES. AND I BROUGHT THE SWORD. CEREMONY DICTATES IT.

“Ahh. How about a cup of tea?”

I WOULD ENJOY IT. DO YOU PLAY CHESS?

“No. how about checkers?”

And so they sat, two old friends regaling each other, though the old man could not remember all of the details, the cloaked man and his rat filled him in, when it was needed.

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “DEATH Walks with Sir Terry, and I Wonder What They Are Talking About

  1. Missed you, Kip and very glad to see a post from you but terribly sad news about Sir Terry. The tweet from Death on Pratchett’s official Twitter was the thing that tipped me over the edge into the vale of sniffly tears.

      • Life had a bloody nerve my darling! You want me to send they boys round and give life a taste of it’s own medicine?
        Lovely to see you honey bee xxxxxx

      • Caty! I am touched by your sweet, violent suggestion and am delighted to see you! Hope all has been well in the green and pleasant land of Essex.

      • I’m glad to hear things are better now. If you want to talk, you know my e-mail address. 🙂

        I’m much the same, though it’s still kicking a bit. Pet stuff. The kitten (now called Miranda) I found has become a permenant resident. She adorable and very sweet, and because she has a chronic nasal condition of some sort (she’s a snorker), she’s unadoptable. She has a nasal flush scheduled for next month so hopefully we can get some idea of what is going on. She’s also had some trouble healing up from her spay, which we are working on. Considering everything she is going through, including nasal drops twice a day, she is incredibly forgiving.

        Taeda had a tumor suddenly (and I mean within ten days) appear on her ear which the vet was scared was a mast cell tumor. But they cut it out and biopsied and it turned out to be a benign histiocytoma (which normally appear in dogs one to two years of age, Taeda is five so that threw them to the more dire initial diagnosis). I just took her stiches out yesterday.

        So we’re good (sorta, worried about Miranda still), but financially it has not been easy.

        And I have just been exhausted all the time. Haven’t gotten much done at all.

      • Thanks for the offer of an email ear, Kip. I appreciate it. 🙂

        Thank god Taeda is ok, though I’m surprised life didn’t take the opportunity to kick you while you’re down.( I’ve become rather cynical about life lately. 😛 ) I thought Miranda might end up staying with you. Poor little snorker. I’ll now imagine her speaking like Chuckie from Rugrats.

        As far as productivity goes, my main activity lately has been breathing and watching reruns of various sitcoms.

      • Well, the same weekend that Taeda got a bit of her ear sliced off and Miranda was spayed, one of my front tires died and I had to replace both front tires and get a front and back end alignments on my car. So, yeah. It kind of did.

        I have been watching TV. I never watch TV. Granted, I don’t have one, but rarely is there anything that interests me that much. But I found a website where people will post TV episodes online (it’s how I was keeping up with Sherlock and Doctor Who), and now I’m watching: Arrow, Flash, Agents of Shield (and Agent Carter in the recent interim), The Blacklist (damn you James Spader! *shakes tiny fists of rage*), and of course the Musketeers. The last of which is the show I actually love and will re-watch (which is my acid test, “is this so good that I will want to rewatch it?)”. The rest of them, I know I’m just killing time. And enjoying watching James Spader be brilliantly smug, or smugly brilliant, whichever.

        Oooo…Sherlock/Blacklist crossover. Sherlock Holmes and Raymond Reddington trying to out think and out-smug one another. That would be so much awesome!

        So, there, you see the extent of my mental capacity at the moment.

        That and verbally beating up stupid 50 Shades of Grey fans.

        But someone recently got in touch and mentioned the old JPK fics, so I may be breaking out the Strike Back DVD within the next few days to finish that last story.

      • If I may paraphrase the late George Carlin, fuck life and everything that looks like life! I say we take Caty up on her offer to send some lads round to give life a kickin’.

        My pop culture interests intersect with yours in the MCU. I’ve been meaning to get off my metaphorical arse and do a blog post about the man who has replaced RA in my affections, Sebastian Stan aka The Winter Soldier. It’s important news that my public has a right to know. 😀

        I’m also keeping up with the latest season of Archer but I’ve deliberately avoided getting hooked on any new shows. I fritter away enough of my life as it is.

        Is it even possible to verbally assault 50 Shades fans? That’s like making sarcastic remarks to broccoli.

        Sorry about the late reply. For some reason best known to itself, WordPress isn’t notifying me of replies to my comments.

      • Re: Sebastian Stan. My, he does clean up well. 😉 What else has he done? (I have to say Tom Burke is getting a little competition from Ryan Eggold who plays Tom Keene/Jacob Phelps on The Blacklist.)

        Are you disappointed by Olicity falling apart? Tres’ bummed about that. Not so much they are a OTP, but because Amell doesn’t have chemistry with any other woman in the show. But it’s been a good season, and always glad to see John Barrowman at work.

        The Flash is very good. Different flavor than Arrow, lighter, more fun. (Though things just got very serious with this most recent show). The difference between the two remind me of a JLU episode in which Batman and Orion visit The Flash in Central City and Batman keeps having to hold back Orion from wading in and getting violent because this is the Flash’s turff and he knows how to handle it. Basically, Batman respects the Flash for handling his city his way.

        What frightens me is the relationship in 50 Shades is a textbook abusive relaitonship.

        No kidding: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jwh.2013.4344

        And that has nothing to do with real BDSM which James obviously knew nothing about and completely misrepresented (as well as the people who practice it). And yet so many women find this story “romantic.” You try to talk to them about it and they say, “It’s just a fantasy, it’s just escapism.” But why would any woman want to “escape to” or “fantasize” about an extreme stalking, obsessively controlling, moody, rage-filled, threatening, selfish douchebag who is not a true Dom, but an abusive prick looking for surrogates to take out his rage at mummy on? I mean two scenes border on rape (they are certainly rape fantasies). One of which she gives into hate sex under threat of violence and even says so after the fact.

        And this is supposedly sexy?

        And then I read this article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/03/18/392860281/alarming-number-of-women-think-spousal-abuse-is-sometimes-ok

        And that is beside the permissiveness the U.S. culture has toward rape as repeatedly proven by victim blaming, the way Universities have covered up rapes that take place on campus, the shoddy way police departments handle the cases, the accusations the victims face in court. And that is just female rape, male rape victims have it even worse.

        And suddenly the popularity of 50 Shades falls into cultural context.

        And am I very sad for our culture.

  2. I missed the passing of Leonard Nimoy, I was investigating an alien planet at the time, just like he taught me way back when. But Terry Pratchett’s death hit harder, his relationship with dementia (the embuggerance) helped us deal with it by lessened the stain, but still exposing the ugly truth of its spitefulness. As you said, with his writing ‘you laughed your head off between nods of “Good point” or silences of profound poignancy.’ He slyly focused on the clear truths, by leading us through the glare of the absurdities.
    He will be missed, was there ever a truer cliché?

  3. @augustick
    Think nothing of it, we have an interesting mix of x Eastend gangsters in these parts, all up for a wee bit of mischief, if ya know what I mean…(wink, wink, nod’s as a good as a Turner seascape to a blind ‘orse)
    Essex is much as usual, a heaving hot bed of BORING! I’ve been in NZ for five glorious weeks, reminding my daughter what it’s like to have a slightly daft old woman for a mum. She took it all surprisingly well actually.
    I trust all is well in the land of Oz?

    • You were in NZ and you didn’t even pop in here for a cuppa?! I bet you didn’t even wave as you flew over my house! Grievances aside, does your daughter live on the North or South Island? Never been to the North but had a look around the South once and it’s truly beautiful.

      • I did, I waved like crazy, YOU, on the other hand, were making a sausage sarni, I saw ya!
        The stunning SA flight attendants only had to tell me to calm down once or twice (never a hair out of place those women, the passengers all look like the worst ‘before’ makeover pics, but the attendants still look like the ad’s, how does that work?)
        Lucyloo lives in South Island, on the Canterbury Plains, they run a dairy farm. I now know more than is actually comfortable about cows.
        I have Awe Fatigue, the country is stunning, and the people just my kind of cranky.

  4. Oooo…Sherlock/Blacklist crossover. Sherlock Holmes and Raymond Reddington trying to out think and out-smug one another. That would be so much awesome!
    Made me think, Moriarty! that’s who Reddington reminds me of! Now that would be wonderful, maybe Moffat and Gatiss should get together with the Blacklist writers, they are short a villain now on Sherlock????????

    • They definitely are very similar and hold very similar places in the criminal underworld. (Moriarty is a “consulting criminal,” Reddington is “the concierge of crime.”) Well, Moriarty has returned (at the very end of the last episode of the last series). I think Moriarty is the smarter of the two, but he’s bat-shit crazy. A full blown psychopath. His obsession with “beating” Sherlock is his undoing. Red is sane and detached. He rarely holds a true grudge and then his object is to remove the person, not toy with them. If Sherlock got in Red’s way, he might try to set him aside “gently” at first, but if Sherlock persisted, Red would just put a bullet in his head. Not take all the time and effort to ruin him as Moriarty did. In short, for all his circumloquacious joviality, Red does not fuck around. For all the accusation of playing games from Liz and others, he does not seem to be into game playing unless he is beating someone at a game they started or there are very high stakes involved.

      Red also holds onto allies not only by fear (as Moriarty does), but by cultivating friendships. People work for/help him not only out of profit or fear, but true loyalty which I think is an advantage he has over Moriarty. And there are crimes he would not stoop so low to commit, including exploitation of children and human trafficking. He also does not revel in the death of innocents.

      I think, oddly, he and Sherlock might find each other on the same side. (Moriarty would definitely qualify to be someone on “The Blacklist.”)

      And wouldn’t *that* be fun to watch?

      • I would love it, nice bit of convoluted shenanigans sooths my soul! I’ve been watching ‘Turn’. Hmmm, my knowledge of the War of Independence is shaky I’ll admit, so some reading up is required. Also, why do they all have Irish accents? Bit confusing that.
        But Jamie Bell is not strong enough to carry the lead, he’s good but something is missing. JJ Feild on the other hand seems underused. Quite like it though. And Outlander, yes I am an incurable romantic. Liked the books, nice strong, non virginal woman in the main role, good history (to a point)
        Now just waiting here in a corner for Sherlock to come back…

  5. This is in reply to your last comment to me, Kip. (It appears our discussion has exceeded the limit set for nesting comments. ) What surprised me in that NPR article you linked to was how the acceptance of
    domestic violence has suddenly declined in some places recently. But there is still a massive amount of work to be done. We think that in the west we’re far more enlightened about such things yet look at how, for instance, we give a free pass to violent men because they’re “artists”. I still remember how disgusted I was when I learned Sean Connery believed hitting a woman was fine so long as it was with an open hand. Sean Penn actually pled guilty to assaulting his then-wife Madonna and is still the darling of Hollywood. He has the gall to get up in public and lecture others on humanitarian issues and instead of telling him to STFU and check his own “humanitarian” issues, he’s treated with respect by his peers. I won’t mention Michael Fassbender as there does seem to be a question mark over the alleged episode with a girlfriend but there are innumerable instances of Hollywood, that symbol of left-wing bleeding heart liberalism, being just totally cool really with violence against women. It does appear that racism plays a huge part in this too. Chris Brown continues to be attacked to this day, and rightly so, for his assault against Rihanna but it was no worse than what Penn did to Madonna. As always, the bottom line seems to be White Guys Are Untouchable.

    I’m still reading that academic paper you linked to (and god, you really do have the most interesting links! )

    Haven’t watched any of the Marvel tv shows, although Amell is a fairly smokin’ dude and John Barrowman should be in everything. I wasn’t even into the movies until I saw CA:TWS. I have a friend I watch movies with and she’s a massive Chris Hemsworth fan so I saw the Thor films with her and they were enjoyable. We watched the Iron Man movies because you usually can’t go wrong with RDJ and they were such fun. But Captain America? Just a walking American flag that makes Super-truth-justice-and-the-american-way-man look like your average ISIS recruit. Blah. Not intereseted. Aaaand I’ve just realised I’m taking over your comments section to make blog posts when I have a perfectly good blog of my own. So I’ll continue it over there…as soon as I remember where the hell everything is….

    • Yeah, Connery’s comments about hitting women kind of destroyed my enjoyment in his films. I don’t think spousal abuse is valid either way. (I know some women take advantage of the ingrained lesson many men have of “you never hit a lady” and hit their male partners.) But Connery said it was o.k. if she got argumentative. *rude gesture* Up yours Sean. Alec Bladwin. Mel Gibson. Sean Penn.

      Sean Bean has also had an accusation leveled at him by his most recent wife, though the charges were dropped and while Bean is rough around the edges, none of his previous wives claimed him to be abusive. (After three marriages, I think a person should just accept they are not marriage material and go with long-term GF/BFs.) I mean Russell Crowe is also been pugilistic, but as far as we know, none of his GF’s or his wife has ever claimed he took a swipe at them. I hadn’t heard about the Fassbender thing. Those are more fuzzy as we really don’t have the full story. This is one of the reasons why too much speculation about personal lives can be damaging.

      I mean, the entire “Gamergate” thing began because a resentful ex-BF wrote a nasty blogpost maligning the woman who dumped him. How much truth was behind his accusations is unknown, but misogynist basement dwellers who resent women in gaming ran with it and proceeded to call her a “slut” and “whore,” and accused her of sleeping with gaming reviewers for good reviews and it just ballooned from there into attacks on any prominent woman in gaming they happened to take a dislike to. So we have to be careful about running with the “question marks.”

      But you make a good point: White guys do tend to be “forgiven” spousal abuse more quickly than men of colour. I wonder if “Christian Grey” was Black, Latino or Asian if his behavior would have been considered as “romantic” by the story’s fans. Someone pointed out that if Christian Grey earned $19k/year stocking shelves at Walmart and lived in a trailer, 50 Shades of Grey would be an NCIS episode. Actually, I think you could take Christian Grey, as he is written in the book, without changing a single thing, and make him the villain in a psychological thriller.

      Making Captain America interesting has always been a challenge even for comic book writers. He is at his best when the set up is like CA:TWS, when his ideals, the classic ideals, of what America should stand for runs smack up against the corruption of those ideals that takes place in reality. During the height of the U.S. terrorist scare, about 18 months after the Patriot Act was voted in, Marvel staged this massive crossover called “Civil War” which pitted heroes who felt they had a right to keep their identities private led by CA against those that felt they should register their identities with the U.S. government led by Iron Man (who was warped a bit by the writers into that kind of bureaucratic “for the greater good” villain) . So basically, it was a civil liberties question. Other than that, he’s great character for espionage or leading the Avengers.

      • Connery is old time Glasgow, no apologies for him. Hopefully the species is still evolving.
        I think it brings up the whole thing about ‘knowing the actors’, do I really want to know the opinions of actors, why? They are essentially empty vessels till filled with the words of greater beings (that would be writers ;)) Some are clever, some are not. Some are the product of their time and background, like Connery. We give them an importance they do not deserve. To paraphrase WS;
        They are poor players, strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage,
        And then are heard no more. Theirs are tales
        told by idiots, full of sound and fury,
        and signifying nothing…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s