discworld

An ode to the death of rats

The night was dark and gloomy. No stars were visible across the densely clouded sky. The cold wind of winter howled occasionally as it made its way across the empty streets, stirring some noises into the otherwise quiet streets. Behind the noise of the galloping wind was a tapping sound. It slowly grew stronger as it made its way through the street towards a wide bridge, where it abruptly stopped. The noise belonged to two heavy-set gentleman who were carrying a third individual with them. That individual seemed less at ease but that might be have been due to the fact that his feet were encased in cement. The two heavy-set men were about to heave the incapacitated men off the bridge and into the cold river below, when a set of quick steps echoed through the streets.

The heavy-set men stopped and looked around them to find that the quick steps belonged to a strangely clad gentleman who had was wearing a colorful red robe and a large pointy hat with the word wizzard on it, his face was decorated with a large brown beard.

The three people on the bridge forgot everything for a moment; what they were supposed to do; who they were, and just stared open-mouthed at the strange manifestation that stood in front of them.

‘I am very sorry to disturb you, but could you perhaps tell me when I am?’ asked the strange ‘wizzard’.

Noticing that his colleagues were somewhat lost in their minds, trying to make a piece that shouldn’t be there fit in their world, the encased person took the opportunity to speak and try to convey as many signs as possible to the ‘wizzard’ that he needed help urgently. The signs manifested themselves as winks, eyebrow raising, little fits of coughing and other such tricks. ‘You are in 1955… huuehuumm…’

‘Oh!’ the wizzard seemed to ponder at this and stared back at the gentleman. ‘So this might be roundworld right?’ he asked.

The incapacitated gentleman was becoming increasingly anxious. He tried everything he could think of short of crying out for help and nothing seemed to be working. ‘I guess so… I don’t know!’ He answered angrily. ‘But we could talk about it all you want over a pint?!’ he said smiling a large and nervous smile.

The wizzard stared at the gentleman and said ‘No thank you, I’ll be running away now. Thank you.’

This seemed to break the spell and the two heavy-set men finally moved from their position. Understanding that this might be his very last chance the gentleman called out ‘Aren’t you going to help me?!’

‘Oh no!’ answered the wizzard ‘I can’t risk something happening to me.’ and with that the wizzard was gone his quick steps quickly nothing more than an ancient memory.

The heavy-set men turned back to the job at hand.

‘Can’t we talk about this? I mean this was so weird, why don’t we just laugh it off in the pub?’

The men looked at each-other and silently agreed that going to the pub was a very good idea indeed. They heaved the gentleman over the edge and walked towards the nearest pub where they had a good few drinks. The gentleman’s plunge into the water was witnessed by no one except a pigeon who happened to fly by. What happened after the plunge was also witnessed by no one. Not even the pigeon. A strangely clothed person took off his pointy hat and robe and jumped into the water…

Note:

This is my little ode to Terry Pratchett whose work I admire and cherish. May you rest in peace and may death and the death of rats welcome you into their domain.

End of a dream

As many have probably heard by now, Terry Pratchett, the master of discworld and one of the most loved and best known authors around the world, has passed away. He was fighting with Alzheimer for a while now and it has finally after a struggle won. Alzheimer, however did not mean that Terry Pratchett stopped writing, not by a long shot. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007 Terry Pratchett wrote making money, unseen academicals, I shall wear midnight, snuff, raising steam and the shepherd’s crown all in the discworld series. Next to those he also wrote: Nation, Dodger and with Stephan baxter: the long earth, the long war and the long mars.

The reason I list all these books (and its not even all of them), is to show one simple yet prominent characteristic of Terry Pratchett. The incredible stamina and perseverance¬†he had. The incredible strength that made him such an incredibly witty, funny, dramatic, and simply amazing writer. Think about it, how many people do you know who can write so many books consistently, while struggling with Alzheimer. Naturally the disease progressed slowly, but still to be able to write at such a pace with such vigor, is simply perplexing to me. I know enough people that struggle to write one book in a year or two, and here is the great terry Pratchett putting every single one of us to shame. His quality never really diminished, certain books you enjoyed more than others but the quality of his work was always there and although I didn’t really like Nation, I loved Dodger.

I grew up reading his books and they taught me everything about a world very different from our own, where the world is flat and carried by four elephants on top of a giant turtle, across space. A world unlike anything I have ever read previously and yet so familiar I could almost taste it. ¬†It is this familiar feeling that I so associate with the discworld. This feeling of knowing its a strange world and yet everything in it is as though it was just in my back garden. That is the charm and wisdom of Terry Pratchett. To me he was the greatest fantasy writer and now the world is poorer for his loss. I am poorer, and more than that I will always treasure the memories and the legacy he has left. It somehow feels slightly unreal because there was always a new book coming out, always a discworld fix to fill my need and now that he is no more there is a hole that will for quite some time remain empty…