събота, 14 март 2015 г.

A Farewell


Photo: http://tyngel.deviantart.com/
"I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT FOR THE FIRST TIME I FEEL WHAT HUMANS PERHAPS CALL "EXCITEMENT", declared Death in a voice like two slabs grinding against each other.

"SQUEAK?"

"AREN'T YOU EXCITED TO MEET YOUR MAKER?"

"SQUEAK!"

"YES, I KNOW HIS TIME HAS COME", Death's sigh echoed like the moan of an ancient bell. His bony hand reached out for a timer. In the fathomless deep of his eyes there was a glint of sadness.

"STILL, I THINK THERE IS ONE LAST THING WE CAN DO FOR HIM."

***
There was a crowd of ethereal human forms around the bed. Well, there was also an orangutan. And something named Nobby Nobbs.

They had all come to bid the Maker farewell. Sir Samuel Vimes was puffing nervously on his cigar while a tear rolled down his cheek. Sergeant Colon and corporal Nobbs pretended not to notice that. Carrot was sobbing uncontrollably in Angua's arms, and Cohen the Barbarian noisily blew his nose in a grubby handkerchief.

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg were staring intently at Lu Tze. The Sweeper shook his head. Even he was powerless.

"OH, YOU ARE HERE, TOO", Death looked at Rincewind and for a moment the bluish flames in his eye sockets glinted red. "DON'T WORRY, THIS TIME I HAVEN'T COME FOR YOU."

The wizard relaxed, approached the bed gingerly and took off his pointy hat.

"So, it's you I have to thank for everything that happened to me. We have to talk about that some time," he remarked, slightly angry, but then smiled and stepped aside hurriedly.

Mustrum RIdcully had prepared to deliver a speech, but changed his mind. Nobody needed that at the moment. Dibbler was trying to sell some of his sausages, but, catching the stern gaze of lord Vetinari he decided this was not such a good idea, after all. The Luggage offered his services nonetheless, and the sausages departed on a mysterious journey through his insides.

"Farewell, our Maker, and do not forget that one doesn't die as long as his name is spoken," said Moist von Lipwig kindly.

Even the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork showed some traces of feeling:

"Allow me, sir, to express my deepest sorrow on the occasion of your imminent passing," he started in a lancet-sharp voice. "I feel obliged to remark that I admire your work."

This was perhaps the greatest compliment he was capable of. Vimes sat on the bed and kissed the old man's forehead.

"If I could arrest the one who did this to you, I would," he said, sympathetically. "Farewell, my friend!"

The witches approached nervously. Tiffany stood next to the dying man and gently touched his nand.
"Thank you for everyting!" she whispered. The sad lament of "Ach, crivens!" was heard from under the bed. Susan put a hand on her shoulder and nodded to the old man on his deathbed.

"And remember that for us, you aten't dead", added Granny Weatherwax with a sniff.

The crestfallen orangutan came last. The Librarian pulled the dying man in a tight embrace and left a banana under his pillow.

The old man took a good look at everyone and a smile beamed on his face. He was ready. He gave a sign to Death, who pulled a magnificent sword from underneath his cloak. Death swept the sword. The blade cut the air with a sound like a finger running around the rim of a wet glass. Terry stood up and took a last look at his body.

"Good job," he winked to the hooded figure.

"ARE YOU GLAD IT'S ALL OVER?"

"Yes. And it seems I have to thank you for bringing them all here," he said, pointing at the crowd of smiling faces. "I know this is not the usual procedure ..."

"I CAN MAKE EXCEPTIONS IN SPECIAL CASES."

"So, what comes now? Don't I fade away and disappear?"

"YOUR CASE IS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT," replied Death, and if he had a mouth, its corners would be going up in a smile. "YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A GOOD CHESS PARTNER FOR A LONG TIME NOW. WOULD YOU KEEP ME COMPANY?"

"I would love to. Will I finally meet Albert?"

"YES."

"I think I'll have to ask him a few things about life and death," Terry concluded wisely.

"I SAID ONCE THAT NOBODY LIVES FOREVER AND THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF UNIVERSAL WISDOM," said Death while they were both climbing on Binky's back under the cheers of the gathered people ... and orangutan.

"I WAS WRONG."

 ----
 
In memoriam to Terry Pratchett, who came to this world on April, 28th, 1948, and left it on Binky's back on March, 12th, 2015. He is one of those people who inspired me to begin writing and if I could tell him something, it would be "Thank you for everything, sir! For me, you shall live forever!"

Author: Pavel Apostolov

Translated in English by: Thursday Next

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