A Tribute To Terry Pratchett

Some of you might not yet have realized this, but we lost a literary legend in the form of Terry Pratchett, who shaped and created the extremely popular Discworld series. Spanning well over fifty titles and spilling out into the realm of games and even film, this loveable and witty series is unlike anything that we will ever see again. So I simply say, damn we’ve lost another. Terry Pratchett died yesterday at the age of 66.

The following is a section literally ripped from my very first novel and I can think of no better way to pay tribute to his memory than to showcase a piece that was directly inspired by him. The only setup you need for this piece is that my main character and his at the time girlfriend, are having a discussion with a spirit who tells them all about the afterworld. So it seems that the Gods must be crazy after all…

“Damn, you guys sure have a hell of a sense of humor up there.” I could tell that Cleo was about ready to hit me for my blatant disrespect of the dead. But I didn’t care either.

“This isn’t some kind of joke, Will. Also, “up there” is not really the residence of the spirit world. We exist on the same plane of reality as you do and the dead can still have contact with the living, it’s just that here the frequency is much higher and more “beautiful” than it is over there. I’ll put it bluntly…It’s hard to hear in this dimension.”

What she said made a lot of sense. I’ve read about ancient priests who used to send their prayers up by twirling around a rope as fast as they possibly could, so that the frequency would be high enough to reach the heavens.

“The funniest thing over here is that so many humans think that their gods don’t answer their prayers and they end up becoming atheists, or agnostics, or some other confused crap. Yet the true reality of it is that it’s not that your gods are reluctant to answer your prayers; it’s just that they aren’t loud enough for them to hear.”

That sounds reasonable as well. I guess this is why those who holler and scream to their gods have a better connection, since they can actually hear their prayers. Hell, the gods probably hear so many screaming and hollering bands out there that everyone else’s prayers just get numbed out by all of the amp fuzz. What‘s even more hysterical, is that most of those bands aren’t even in prayer. They’re just really loud.

“This is an odd thing to quote from for me, but since there’s no religious judgment here, there’s really no wrong thing to believe in…”

Imagine that. In the end, everything is right after all!

“But the bible actually says, “Make a joyful noise unto the lord.” I don’t know so much about joyful, but any noise would be heard better than the bunch of mumblings that normally come from people’s mouths, and we damn sure don’t like it when people speak in monotone with their preacher. That will make us want to turn somebody else’s noise up, so that we don’t have to hear idiots mumbling their prayers.”

She kept a southern accent even into the next world. That’s kind of scary.

“This actually reminds me of a funny story. Zeus and some old African god… I can’t remember his name, exactly… but they were playing chess, I think… It looked like chess…”

You can’t remember if it was chess or not? Oh well, so much for getting all of the answers after death.

“Anyway, we’re listening to this noise and Zeus is concentrating really hard against this old African god and all of a sudden, we hear some light mumbling. Well, it starts to sound like radio static. The god that they’re praying to isn’t even around at the moment; I think he went fishing with Jupiter and Ra.

Regardless, Zeus starts hollering to me to find the frequency that they were listening to and to turn it up. So I did turn it up and then the mumbling became even louder. I guess it was on a Sunday morning, even though time isn’t measurable here, but that’s the specific point when we get an awful lot of mumbling and we’ve even thought about having a calendar posted for earth time, because we wanted all the spirits to know that it would be extremely hard to hear any noise during that period. Even the good noises on a Sunday morning are blocked by all of the mumbling that everyone else does, whether it’s in their heads or not.”

To make a long story short, Zeus gets really mad and he starts up a hell of a storm. He still gets angry every Sunday morning and his anger will eventually continue to build up until it becomes strong enough to wipe all of you out.”

She started to laugh. “Hey, I don’t make the rules.” she said, still smiling, as if the end of humanity was a funny thing. I didn’t think it was a very funny story, but humor must be different on the other side.

Another thing that you’d never guess is that you people are our radio and our television. We watch what you do and we hear what you say, or write, or scream, or holler, or whatever it is that you do these days. The old gods actually like the loud noise that your “heavy metal bands” make these days. It reminds them of the old tribal chants that really got them “fired-up” back in the old times.”

“This is all well and good.” I said. “But wouldn’t you like to go back to the other side, permanently?” I asked Holly’s ghost.

“Well, you asked the question, Will. You wanted to know what it was really like in the spirit world, so I told you. Of course, there are many other worlds that we are connected to and sometimes we completely cancel your world out to hear the noises of other worlds that you couldn’t even dream of…”

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