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Soul Music

Formats: Paperback. eBook. Audio.

Be careful what you wish for. You never know who might be listening.'

There's no getting away from it. From whichever angle, Death is a horrible, inescapable business. But someone's got to do it. So if Death decides to take a well-earned moment to uncover the meaning of life and discover himself in the process, then there is going to be a void of specific dimensions that needs to be occupied, particularly so when there is trouble brewing in Discworld. There aren't too many who are qualified to fill Death's footsteps and it certainly doesn't help the imminent cataclysm that the one person poised between the mortal and the immortal is only sixteen years old...

THE HISTORY

This is a story about memory. And this much can be remembered…

…that the Death of the Discworld, for reasons of his own, once rescued a baby girl and took her to his home between the dimensions. He let her grow to become sixteen because he believed that older children were easier to deal with than younger children, and this shows that you can be an immortal anthropomorphic personification and still get things, as it were, dead wrong…

…that he later hired an apprentice called Mortimer, or Mort for short. Between Mort and Ysabell there was an instant dislike and everyone knows what that means in the long term. As a substitute for the Grim Reaper Mort was a spectacular failure, causing problems that led to a wobbling of Reality and a fight between him and Death which Mort lost…

…and that, for reasons of his own, Death spared his life and sent him and Ysabell back into the world.

No-one knows why Death started to take a practical interest in the human beings he had worked with for so long. It was probably just curiosity. Even the most efficient rat-catcher will sooner or later take an interest in rats. They might watch rats live and die, and record every detail of rat existence, although they may never themselves actually know what it is like to run the maze.

But if it is true that the act of observing changes the thing which is observed[1] it’s even more true that it changes the observer.

Mort and Ysabell got married.

They had a child.

This is also a story about sex and drugs and Music With Rocks In.

Well…

…one out of three ain’t bad.

Actually, it’s only thirty-three per cent, but it could be worse.

Where to finish?

A dark, stormy night. A coach, horses gone, plunging through the rickety, useless fence and dropping, tumbling into the gorge below. It doesn’t even strike an outcrop of rock before it hits the dried river-bed far below, and erupts into fragments.

Miss Butts shuffled the paperwork nervously.

Here was one from the girl aged six:

What We Did On our Holidys: What I did On my holidys I staid with grandad he has a big White hors and a garden it is al Black. We had Eg and chips.

Then the oil from the coach-lamps ignites and there is a second explosion, out of which rolls – because there are certain conventions, even in tragedy – a burning wheel.

And another paper, a drawing done at age seven. All in black. Miss Butts sniffed. It wasn’t as though the gel had only a black crayon. It was a fact that the Quirm College for Young Ladies had quite expensive crayons of all colours.

And then, after the last of the ember spits and crackles, there is silence.

And the Watcher.

Who turns, and says to someone in the darkness

YES. I COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING.

And rides away.

[1] Because of quantum.

Read The book extract online

i think soul music is great i love the way it come off the page and death is one of my best characters and Susan as well i am very dyslexia but i find hard too read but i love the print word and the books of discworld .

peter walker

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