Remembering Sir Terry Pratchett
I was going to write about something else today. I had plans. But you know the maxim. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Life. Or in this case, Death. Thanks to Sir Terry Pratchett, I have a fairly good view on Death. Death, an Anthropomorphic Personification. Not cruel, just very good at his job. And today his job was Sir Terry Pratchett. My heart sank when I read the news. We’d all been expecting it. Terry had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in December 2007. From the moment he announced it, his fans started counting the moments, and relishing each one. One more convention, one more book, one more speech. One more adventure.
Sir Terry Pratchett colored my reading and enhanced my imagination. Good authors always do. So whatever plans I had today to write about whatever nonsense I had planned….they are gone. I have few words I consider worthy enough to use in remembrance of one of my favorite authors. Fortunately for me, someone left this in the comments on his blog, and I share it now with you.
From the comments on the Terry Pratchett page:
“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.
I AGREE. IT IS A SHAME TO SEE HIM THIS WAY.
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…”
“Yes, that. We knew each other?”
ONCE. AND WILL AGAIN, SIR.
He so rarely said it, and these feelings… remembering his young apprentice, 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 fiery blue eyes, and becomes aware.
“Quite right. Is it time already? I have so much left to do.”
YOU HAVE GIVEN ALL YOU CAN SIR.
“No, not cancer. Alzheimer.”
I AM AWARE.
“So, where is the boy? I remember a boy.”
“Ahh. Never much trusted cars. Or horses.”
THEY GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.
SOON. BUT WE MAY SIT HERE AWHILE.
DO YOU HAVE ANY BISCUITS?
“No. Shame really.”
“Is it truly 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?”
“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.