It’s not even 15 months since we lost Sir Terry Pratchett. WC is missing him badly. The sense of loss hasn’t diminished.
Do you know about the Drabble Project? It’s a competition to see who can tell the best story is exactly 100 words; no more, no less. Back in 1988, Pratchett submitted a Drabble which, for WC, is still the definitive example of the genre. In egregious violation of British intellectual property law and a couple of international treaties,1 WC herewith shares Pratchett’s entry.
Incubust by Terry Pratchett
The physics of magic is this: no magician, disguise it as he
might, can achieve a result beyond his own physical powers¹.
And, spurned, he performed the Rite of Tumescence and called
up a fiend from the depths of the Pit to teach her a lesson she
wouldn’t forget, the witch.
The phone rang.
“Nice try,” she said, “It’s sitting on the bedhead now.”
His breath quickened. “And?”
“Listen,” she said.
And he heard the voice of the fiend, distant and wretched:
“…frightfully sorry … normally, no problem … oh god, this
has never happened to me before…”
¹See the Necrotelicomnicon, p.38.
©1988 T. Pratchett
All the classic elements of Pratchett: puns, magic, logic meticulously followed through and even a footnote. In 100 words.
WC feels a little better now. Thanks.
- Who knows if the treaties are still in effect after Brexit? ↩