Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zombie

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have Z for Zombie.

You did know I would end up here, right? 


A Zombie is a corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, especially in certain African and Caribbean religions. The Magic Island, a sensationalized account of a narrator who encounters voodoo cults in Haiti and their resurrected thralls, introduced the concept of the voodoo zombie into western culture. Since then the zombie has evolved into a mindless flesh/brain eating re-animated corpse, popularized by movies like Dawn of the Dead, shows like The Walking Dead, games like Left for Dead, and books like How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse by Max Brooks.

I definitely don't want to be a zombie and if I turned into to one I'd hope someone would off me pretty quick. However, I love zombies in movies and books and games. What about you? Are you a fan of zombies or could you do without them?




Excerpt from Hogfather by Terry Pratchett


“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

MY POINT EXACTLY.” 
 
***

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for...

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have Y for...

Nada. Zip. Nothing. Not a single Y word in my dictionary that anything to do with death. Can you think of one? Are we there yet?



Excerpt from Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett


YOU FEAR TO DIE?

"It's not that I don't want... I mean, I've always...it's just that life is a habit that's hard to break...”







Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for Xibalba

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have X for Xibalba.



Xibalba is the name of the underworld in K'iche' Maya mythology, ruled by the Maya death gods and their helpers. Some say the entrance is a cave in the vicinity of Coban, Guatemala. Cave systems in nearby Belize have also been referred to as the entrance to Xibalba. It is described as a court below the surface of Earth ruled by the twelve Lords of Xibalba.


Excerpt from Hogfather by Terry Pratchett


HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING. DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE SO FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Wake

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have W for Wake.

A Wake is a watch or vigil held beside the body of someone who has died, sometimes accompanied by ritual observances including eating and drinking. Traditionally, a wake takes place at the home of the deceased. A wake is different from a funeral in that is a less formal affair, lacks structured rituals, and is often a time to remember the deceased and share stories. In many instances a wake is held the night before the funeral.

I could go for a wake, I guess, sans the body. Do you think you'd prefer a wake over a funeral? Or would you want both?


Excerpt from Mort, by Terry Pratchett...


BEGONE, YOU BLACK AND MIDNIGHT HAG [he says to a woman that's come in the shop].

The Cook's small eyes narrowed.

"'Oo are you calling a midnight hag?" she said accusingly, and hit the counter with the fish again. "Look at this," she said. "Last night it was my bedwarmer, in the morning, it's a fish. I ask you."
 

MAY ALL THE DEMONS OF HELL REND YOUR LIVING SPIRIT IF YOU DON'T GET OUT OF THE SHOP THIS MINUTE, Death tried.

"I don't know about that, but what about my bedwarmer? It's no place for a respectable woman up there, they tried to - "


IF YOU WOULD CARE TO GO AWAY, said Death desperately, I WILL GIVE YOU SOME MONEY.

"How much?" said the cook, with a speed that would have outdistanced a striking rattlesnake and given lightning a nasty shock.

Death pulled out his coin bag and tipped a heap of verdigrised and darkened coins on the counter. She regarded them with deep suspicion.


NOW LEAVE UPON THE INSTANT, Death said, and added, BEFORE THE SEARING WINDS OF INFINITY SCORCH THY WORTHLESS CARCASS.

"My husband will be told about this," said the cook darkly, as she left the shop.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Valhalla and Valkyries

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have V for Valhalla and Valkyries.

The Ride of the Valkyrs (1909) by John Charles Dollman.
In Norse mythology, Valhalla, is the hall presided over by Odin. This vast hall has five hundred and forty doors. The rafters are spears, the hall is roofed with shields and breast-plates litter the benches. A wolf guards the western door and an eagle hovers over it. It is here that the Valkyries, Odin's messengers and spirits of war, bring half of the heroes that died on the battle fields (the rest go to Freya's hall Folkvang). These heroes, the Einherjar, are prepared in Valhalla for the oncoming battle of Ragnarok, ie, the end of the world as it is.


Excerpt from ? by Terry Pratchett

Death: THERE ARE BETTER THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN ALCOHOL, ALBERT.

Albert: "Oh, yes, sir. But alcohol sort of compensates for not getting them.”




Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for Undertaker

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have U for Undertaker.


An Undertaker is a person whose business is preparing dead bodies for burial or cremation and making arrangements for funeral. This would be a difficult job, I think, regardless whether one's business is preparing bodies, or making funeral arrangements. I am reminded of the undertaker in The Godfather, who comes to him for a favor, in return for a favor at a later date. The undertaker is very nervous when The Godfather comes collect, but it turns out all he wants is for the undertaker to make his son (Sonny) look presentable for the funeral. I am also reminded of the show Six Feet Under, which often began with a death and the subsequent preparation of the body, which sometimes had things to say.

I would just as soon not have anyone messing about with my body. Just shove it into the crematorium and be done with it I say.


Excerpt from Mort by Terry Pratchett:

"You really are Death?" said Kreeble.

YES.

"Why didn't you say?"

PEOPLE USUALLY PREFER ME NOT TO.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

In which I tell you about R for Reincarnation which I forgot.

Honestly, it seems like I can't get through the A-Z fest without screwing up at least once. The sad thing is I totally thought I had R taken care of. I knew R was for Reincarnation. And then I saw that everyone was writing about S and it looked like I was on T. Which told me something was wrong, and that something was likely me!

As you know by now, my theme for this years A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have R, completely out of order, for Reincarnation.



Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, can begin a new life in a new body. Known as Punarjanma – it is one of the core beliefs of Hinduism that is generally accepted by many of its practitioners. Reincarnation is the natural process of birth, death and rebirth. Hindus believe that the Jiva or Atman (soul) is intrinsically pure. However, because of the layers of I-ness and My-ness, the jiva goes through transmigration in the cycle of births and deaths. Death destroys the physical body, but not the jiva. The jiva is eternal. It takes on another body with respect to its karmas. Every karma produces a result which must be experienced either in this or some future life. As long as the jiva is enveloped in ignorance, it remains attached to material desires and subject to the cycles of births and deaths (Samsara).

There is no permanent heaven or hell in Hinduism. After services in the afterlife, the jiva enters the karma and rebirth system, reborn as an animal, a human or a divinity. This reincarnation continues until mokṣa, the final release, is gained.


This makes the most sense to me except for two very small problems. One I mentioned before, which is that the laws of physics do not support the idea of a soul or consciousness that can exist separately from the body. But, as the Dalai Lama said, it would also be difficult to disprove reincarnation. The other problem I have is math. In 1682 the estimated world population was at 320 million. There are now approximately 7.4 billion people on this earth. So where did all the new souls come from?

Setting those issues aside (because who wants to dwell on anything that might quash the idea of any sort of after life, right?), reincarnation makes sense to me because of evolution, which is the natural order of things. This world, all of us, the animals, plants, insects, everything is continually evolving and maybe reincarnation is part of how we evolve, become better people who are more concerned with the good of all than all the good we can gather for ourselves.

Do you believe in reincarnation?

Excerpt from Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett

“SEE! I HAVE TIME. AT LAST, I HAVE TIME."
Albert backed away nervously.
‘And now that you have it, what are you going to do with it?’ he said.
Death mounted his horse.
I AM GOING TO SPEND IT.”




 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Tomb

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have T for Tomb.


A Tomb is a large vault, typically an underground one, for burying the dead. I don't know about a tomb. Especially one way underground. What if you woke up a ghost and were stuck there? Forever? Plus, what's the point? Who's going to come visit a tomb? Of course, the point was to bury a person with everything they might need for the next life, which usually included all their riches, which of course led to tomb raiders...

On the other hand, it might be fun to investigate a tomb. Or it might be really claustrophobic.


Excerpt from Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett...

DEATH: WELL, MATHS...GENERALLY I NEVER GET MUCH FURTHER THAN SUBTRACTION.




 

Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Soul

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have S for Soul or Spirit.

According to Wikipedia, the soul is the incorporeal and immortal essence of a living being. According to Abrahamic religions, only human beings have immortal souls.

I like the first part, but not the second. According to my belief system (assuming the soul exists separately from the body), every thing has a soul.

Do you believe you have a soul? I hope I do. There's only one problem. The laws of physics do not back this idea up. 


Excerpt from Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett in which DEATH attempts to get War to ride out with him [Famine and Pestilence have declined]...

TALKING OF THE OLD DAYS, he [DEATH] said carefully. I'M SURE YOU REMEMBER THE TRADITION OF RIDING OUT?

War gave him a puzzled look.

"Mind's a blank on that one, old boy."

I SENT OUT THE CALL.

"Can't say it rings a bell..."

APOCALYPSE? said Death. END OF THE WORLD?

War continued to stare.

"Definitely knocking, old chap, but no one's home. And talking of home..." War looked around at the twitching remains of the recent slaughter. "Spot of lunch?" 






Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for ...

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have Q for absolutely nothing. I couldn't find a single damn Q word that had anything to do with death.

Can you think of one?


Excerpt from Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett in which DEATH finds FAMINE in a restaurant in Genua eating Duck and Dirty Rice and tells him they need to ride out because it's the end of the world...

Famine listened, although he never stopped eating.

"I see," he said at last. "Thank you, but I think I shall sit this one out."

SIT IT OUT? YOU'RE A HORSEMAN!

"Yes, of course. But what is my role here?"

I BEG YOUR PARDON?

"No famine appears to be involved, does it? A sortage of food per se? As such?"

WELL, NO. NOT AS SUCH, OBVIOUSLY, BUT-

"So I would, as it were, be turning up just to wave. No, thank you."

YOU USED TO RIDE OUT EVERY TIME, said Death accusingly.

Famine waved a bone airily. "We had proper apocalypses in those days."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Purgatory

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have P for Purgatory.

La Divina Commedia di Dante (Dante and the Divine Comedy), fresco by Domenico di Michelino, in the nave of the Duomo of Florence, Italy

Purgatory is another one of those places you might end up when your dead. According to Catholic Church Doctrine, Purgatory is sort of a holding area for those souls destined for Heaven who did not in life reach "a sufficient level of holiness." The term dates back to pre-biblical times when it was believed that prayers for the dead "contributed to their afterlife purification." Supposedly, no soul remains in Purgatory forever. But. Half of forever could still be a pretty long time...


Excerpt from Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

"OH, YES, said Death. ONCE THERE WERE FIVE OF US . FIVE HORSEMEN. BUT YOU KNOW HOW THINGS ARE. THERE'S ALWAYS A ROW. CREATIVE DISAGREEMENTS, ROOMS BEING TRASHED, THAT SORT OF THING. He sighed. AND THINGS SAID THAT PERHAPS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SAID."

Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Ossuary

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have O for Ossuary.

Ossuary of of the high priest, Joseph Caiaphas, was found in Jerusalem in 1990. The Israel Museum, jerusalem

Ossuary: "a chest, box, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary."

Admittedly that's a nice box, but I think I'd feel a bit cramped. What about you? Would you like your remains to reside in an ossuary?


Excerpt from  Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett:

DEATH: WITCHES ARE MATRILINEAL. THEY FIND IT MUCH EASIER TO CHANGE MEN THAN TO CHANGE NAMES.



Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Near Death Experience

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have N for Near Death Experience.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-science-of-near-death-experiences/386231/


A Near Death Experience, or NDE, is an experience some people have when they come close to death, such as being in a car accident, drowning, or having a heart attack. One of the interesting things about NDEs is how similar they are for people all over the world. The current thinking is that NDEs are "a hallucinatory state caused by various physiological and psychological factors." But there are plenty of learned people who would disagree, like Eben Alexander who wrote about his experience in the book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife.

If you want to read a really interesting article about NDEs, click on the pic. It will take you to a piece in the Atlantic I found fascinating, though too long to include here. I'd love to hear what you think if you get a chance to read it or, just tell me what your thoughts are on Near Death Experiences. Do you think it's just the braining lulling you into a false sense of security before it, well, dies? Or can the consciousness exist separate from the body?


Excerpt from Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH is let go...

Albert [DEATH's servant]: Ah. What you mean is, you want to be alone.

DEATH: I AM ALWAYS ALONE. BUT JUST NOW I WANT TO BE ALONE BY MYSELF. 


Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Mausoleum

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have M for Mausoleum.



A Mausoleum is a resting place for the dead, sometimes an entire family. The one above is one I marked for my current WIP, a Supernatural Murder Mystery. One of my characters spends time in that place. I wonder what it looked like when it was first built. I imagine that the person or persons who owned it must've all died out, hence its sad state of neglect.

Would you want to be interred in a mausoleum? I'm going to pass. It seems like wasted space - unless of course I come back as a ghost, in which case it might make for a cool home base...


 Excerpt from Grim Reaper, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH is let go...

DEATH: I'VE NEVER BEEN VERY SURE ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT. I AM NOT SURE THERE IS SUCH A THING AS RIGHT. OR WRONG. JUST PLACES TO STAND.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Last Rites

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have L for Last Rites.

According to Wiki, Last Rites are the last prayers and ministrations given to many Catholics when possible shortly before death. The last rites go by various names and include various practices in different Catholic traditions. They may be administered to those awaiting execution, mortally injured, or terminally ill. The last rites are meant to prepare the dying person's soul for death, by providing absolution for sins by penance, sacramental grace and prayers for the relief of suffering through anointing, and the final administration of the Eucharist, known as Viaticum, which is Latin for "provision for the journey."

Dutch School, c.1600: Last Rites, Oil on wood, 92 x 90 cm



 Excerpt from Grim Reaper, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH is let go...

[In which Windle Poons, of the Unseen Universtiy, doesn't quite die] 

"What was being thought by Windle Poons, in the humming, flashing cockpit of his brain, was: well, it's true. There is life after death. And it's the same one. Just my luck"


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for Karma

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have K for Karma.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, Karma is the principle of retributive justice determining a person's state of life and the state of his or her reincarnations as the effect of past deeds.

So, if you screw up this time, next time might not be a picnic. Of course, sometimes there's lessons to be learned and unfortunately most lessons have to be learned the hard way: by doing them over and over repeatedly until it finally dawns on us that there's another better way. Like in Groundhog Day.

Do you believe in Karma? Or are you like Han Solo when he so famously said, "Kid, I've flown from one side of the galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense."


Excerpt from Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett...

"I meant," said Ipslore, bitterly, "what is there in this world that makes living worthwhile?"

Death thought about it.

CATS, he said eventually, CATS ARE NICE.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jahannam

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have J for Jahannam.

Jahannam is one of the names for the Islamic concept of Hell, per Wikipedia. According to the Qur'an, on the last day the world will be destroyed and all people and jinn will be raised from the dead to be judged by Allah as to whether they deserved to be sent to paradise or hell. Hell is for those who do not believe in God, have disobeyed his laws, and/or reject his messages.Suffering in hell is both physical and spiritual, and varies according to the sins of the condemned. As described in the Qur'an, Hell has seven levels (each one worse); seven gates (each for a specific group of sinners); a blazing fire, boiling water, and the Tree of Zaqqum.

The Tree of Zaqqum (2012), Artist Name:Homa. Reference Al Quran; 37 سورة الصافات - Verse 64-65 Al Quran. This tree is the food of dwellers of Hell-fire mentioned in the Quran.

Not all Muslims and scholars agree whether hell is an eternal destination or whether some or even all of the condemned will eventually be forgiven and allowed to enter paradise.


I'm guessing Hell sucks no matter what religion you practice.


Excerpt from Mort, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH takes on an apprentice...

[The abbot has just died] "...What's happened to the usual fellow?"

"Usual fellow?" said Mort, bewildered.

"Tall chap. Black cloak. Doesn't get enough to eat, by the look of him," said the abbot.

"Usual fellow? You mean Death? said Mort.

"That's him," said the abbot, cheerfully. Mort's mouth hung open.

"Die a lot, do you?" he managed.

"A fair bit. A fair bit. Of course," said the abbot, "once you get the hang of it, it's only a matter of practice."

 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Irkalla

 My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have I for Irkalla.


In Mesopotamian mythology, Irkalla is the underworld which is ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal and her consort, the death god, Nergal. Irkalla had no punishment or reward, being seen as a more dreary version of life above, with Erishkigal being seen as both warden and guardian of the dead rather than a sinister ruler like Satan or death gods of other religions.


So. That wouldn't be too awful. Right? Then again, imagine an eternity in some dreary place you could never leave.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread991564/pg1&mem=


Excerpt from Mort, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH takes on an apprentice...

Mort was impressed. King Olerve had held on to his throne for many years and, even when dead, knew how to behave.

"Oh," he said, "I see. I didn't expect to see you so soon."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

H is for Heaven and Hell

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have H for Heaven and Hell.


http://i-r-s.deviantart.com/art/Hell-vs-Heaven-151375523

These are two places we might end up after we die. Hell is supposedly for all the bad people, and heaven is for all the good people. My question is, just how bad and how good do you have to be to get in the door? Where's the line between too bad and good enough? If you repent is all forgiven? Should it be? Maybe there's some dude somewhere whose job is to figure out where you're going. He's been given the criteria by the higher ups and when you arrive, he tallies everything up. All those rotten things you said, every unkind act, but also the nice things you did which hopefully far outweigh the bad. Because let's face it, who wants to go to Hell?


Excerpt from Mort, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH takes on an apprentice...

Mort(wretchedly): Wait. It's not fair. Can't you stop it?

DEATH: FAIR? WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT FAIR?


Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Ghost

My theme for this year's A- Z Blogfest is DEATH (who I hope is like DEATH in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series): "...tall, thin (skeletal, as a matter of fact), and ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Generally shows up when you're dead, or just when he thinks you ought to be." Today we have G for Ghost.

Ghost: the discarnate soul of a deceased human being or animal still occupying the physical realm.


Okay, I admit it. I wouldn't mind coming back as a ghost. It would be interesting to stick around and see what happens. That's what kills me about death. You don't get to see the end of the whole story; you only get to see the end of some of the characters' stories. Being a ghost would let me watch everything as it unfolds.

The only problem would be that after a while I might get jealous of the living (and the story, which might just be a repetition of all that came before in new clothing) and all the things they can do. Like eat. Yep. That's the first thing that came to mind; watching someone eat a big juicy burger and fries, slice into a piece of Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake...well, that just might turn my afterlife into hell. Maybe that's why most ghosts leave.

Do you believe in ghosts? I'm not sure if I do. I've never seen one - only pictures - but then again, I've never seen a lot of things except in pictures, so...


Excerpt from Mort, by Terry Pratchett, in which DEATH takes on an apprentice...

Mort: What are we going to do now?

DEATH: THERE'S A PROMISING WAR IN KLATCHISTAN, SEVERAL PLAGUE OUTBREAKS. ONE RATHER IMPORTANT ASSASSINATION, IF YOU'D PREFER.