Greetings all! As you all may know by now, Sir Terry Pratchett, fantasy author and creator of the hugely-popular ‘Discworld’ series, sadly passed away last week. As well as being an amazingly prolific author- with over 70 novels to his name- he was also outspoken about Alzheimer’s disease, having being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s a number of years ago. His novels- set in the fictional world of Discworld, and the city of Ankh-Morpork- described grumpy witches, wizards, librarians turned into orangutans by errant spells, wayward vampires, cats that could turn human (I’m thinking of Greebo, of course) and, of course, a personified Death, complete with a scythe and a love of cats, who always TALKED IN CAPITALS.
He was a brilliant author, and will be sorely missed by his legions of ardent fans (myself included.) To mark his passing, my friend Druss_Lives* has conjured up his own fanfic- a fitting tribute to Sir Terry’s whimsical and wonderful imagination, that includes Sir Terry himself, living an afterlife in his own Discworld…
A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) by Druss_Lives
Sir Terry Pratchett opened his eyes and looked around. He could feel hard cobbles under his back and appeared to be lying in the middle of a street. There was a smell, old sewage, fish, smoke and delicate overtones of stale beer and sweat. WELCOME HOME SIR TERRY said a deep voice nearby. Death stood slightly to one side, complete with cowl, blue sparks for eyes, and the compulsory scythe. “Oh, so that’s it then, is it?” said Sir Terry. USUALLY YES, FOR YOU, NO, said the robed figure. Sir Terry poked his own arm with a finger; it was reassuringly solid. “Shouldn’t I be ghostly or wispy or something like that?” he said. USUALLY YES, FOR YOU, NO repeated Death.
“So what happens now?” Asked the confused, but expectant, author. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE WAITING TO MEET YOU. JUST OVER THERE IN FACT. Death pointed a bony finger across the cobbled street. There was a building there with all its windows ablaze with light and the sound of conversation and the clink of glasses clearly audible from within. A much faded and dilapidated sign read ‘The Mended Drum’.
“Lead on” said Sir Terry. NO, AFTER YOU PLEASE replied Death. The door opened and all noise and movement inside ceased instantly. The place was packed. All eyes turned to the door as the two newcomers moved to the centre of the room. In a small space sat three women. Witches always seemed to have a small space around them!
Nanny Ogg smiled and raised a tankard the size of a small bin and said “Wotcher Tel” and took a large gulp of scumble.
“Gytha” snapped Granny Weatherwax. “Wot?” said Nanny. “You never held with royalty or any of that nonsense”. “I knows” said Granny, “but I mean, it’s Him isn’t it?”
She paused and looked at Sir Terry, then slowly she raised her teacup to him, sipped the hot sweet liquid and settled back in her chair.
The third chair was occupied by another old woman, but this one was not dressed in the sombre blacks and greys of the other two! She was clad in the most unrealistic shepherdess costume you could imagine. It was in pale blue with elaborate white lace edging. There were flounces on top of flounces and it was all topped off by a wide matching bonnet outlined in pink ribbon. She was sitting back in the chair with her feet stretched out in front of her. She had on the biggest pair of black boots, poking out from under the frilly blue dress. A large pipe was jammed in the corner of her mouth, and vast clouds of smoke wreathed her brown and wrinkled face. The smell of Jolly Sailor tobacco drifted across the room. Her twinkling eyes met Sir Terry’s, and she gave the tiniest nod, smiled, and continued puffing on her pipe.
“Ahem”, the tiny noise crashed into the silence like thunder. Terry Pratchett looked towards the bar. There were three men standing there. Over to one side was another small rat-faced man with a tray on a string containing something that may or may not have been edible. His mouth was open in a large O.
The man in the middle who had spoken said, “I am Lord Vetinari, patrician of Ank Morpork. May I welcome you to our fair city”. Sam Vimes scratched an armpit, took his cigar out of his mouth and gave him a lopsided smile and a friendly nod. The third person in the group was Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor of Unseen University. “Come in, come in”, he boomed, “here, you’ll be ready for this”. A full pint of foaming Old Peculiar was thrust into Sir Terry’s hand.
The room paused, expectant. Sir Terry turned to face them and raised his glass in salute. As one, they rose to their feet and raised their own drinks to him. They all drank. The party began…..
Now move away from The Mended Drum, where the first chorus of ‘A Wizard’s Staff has no Knob’ is just beginning, and soar with us above Ankh-Morpork, up, further and further, until the entire Discworld is spread beneath you. Now, speed towards The Rim, and over into the space beneath it. See the mighty Great A’Tuin swimming lazily through space. Approach the head of the enormous beast. See the eye, bigger than a planet. What’s that in the corner of the colossal orb? A trace of moisture! In space?! It forms into a gigantic tear that rolls slowly down Great A’Tuin’s scaly cheek. The great beast swims slowly on through space for ever and ever ….
-Reproduced here with permission of Druss_Lives.
*Yep, this is a pseudonym. Druss_Lives is a huge fan of the works of the late, great David Gemmell, and his hero, Druss.