Terry finished his tea and placed the cup carefully on the table beside him, there was something not quite right, something at the corner of his vision kept playing tricks with him. He looked over at his book shelves, so many books, so many adventures not completed. He was proud of his work, the books had obviously given him finances to write, but it was the joy of creating that had always made him happiest.
He turned his head to the left and looked at something that wasn’t there, he hadn’t seen it a few minutes earlier either, but he knew it was something small, something blue and red was moving round the sides of his room swearing as it knocked into things.
“Hello!” he called. “Who’s there?” The silence that answered was filled with so many things holding their breath that he smirked to himself. “It’s okay. I don’t bite.” He chuckled, and could hear movement behind his chair, muffled voices followed by a slap sound and more cursing before the bookcase nearby shook slightly.
He found it odd that he wasn’t afraid, he didn’t feel the need to call out, to worry, he actually found himself enjoying the experience immensely, the Nac Mac Feegles were no worry to him, he had scotch in the sideboard if anything went wrong but at the moment the sun shone through his window and he smiled.
A book fell from his bookshelf, well more flew half way across the room and it impacted heavily against the wall before dropping spine down onto the floor. “Careful now.” He chastised whatever had thrown it, “You don’t treat books like that.” He stood up and walked over to it, bending down carefully he stopped.
“Oh it’s you.” he grinned. “Whatever are you doing in there?”
“Okay. Calm down, there’s no rush, you’d best give me a hand then.” Terry reached down and grabbed the warm leathery hand that greeted him, pulling him inside and as the book shut, two blue figures wearing kilts ran hell for leather after him and dived inside. The world span and the first thing that hit him was the smell, it smelt of cabbage, of rot and filth, but then he opened his eyes and the stench seemed to vanish away. The cobbled streets were lined with people, all standing silently watching him, each one nodded, curtsied or in the case of Gaspode, stopped licking his balls long enough to look up and wag its tale.
“Welcome to your City, Sir.” Captain Carrot saluted, Nobby Knobs stopped picking his nose and looked sheepishly at him before wiping his finger on his uniform and tried to salute.
“This is all very unexpected.” Terry smiled as Carrot led him along the street. “Even the witches have come out.”
“Everyone’s here for you, Sir. Even Blind Io came down, but he got confused and fell into the Ankh.”
“At least he’s a god. You don’t need a miracle though to walk on the Ankh, Sir. You know that.” They walked on, the people silently falling in behind them after they passed by, and he stopped and turned to look at them. Each one was a friend, each one smiled and nodded respectfully as he surveyed them.
“We need to get moving, Sir.” Carrot took him by the arm, “There will be time to see everyone later, but for now the Patrician awaits for you.”
“Oh, Oh yes, Okay, we don’t want to keep him waiting I suppose.” Terry started to speed up, the Patrician was not someone to be kept waiting, and a few minutes later they arrived at the palace gates and they swung open, the guards standing proudly in a line leading up to the main doors.
“I’ll hand over to the Commander from here, Sir. Can I just say what a pleasure it is seeing you in the flesh as it were, if you know what I mean.”
“It’s an honour for me too, Captain, I can assure you.” Terry shook him by the hand, hiding the wince as he felt bones being crushed and he was pleased to see Commander Vimes walking over, the batter cigar sticking out of the side of his mouth.
“The Patrician is waiting at the top of the stairs.” The commander smiled and they walked up silently.
“Commander.” Terry stopped half way. “I’m in my dressing gown aren't I”
“So you are, Sir. Very fetching it is too can I add. I do have your hat for you here, it thankfully does not say `Wizzard` on it, He took it from him and placed it reverently on his head and that seemed to be the end of that. The Patrician stood as they approached and walked over, shaking him by the hand he turned and gestured to the palace behind him.
“Your house awaits you, Sire.” He could see the look of wonder on Terry’s face so continued, “I have been merely holding your seat until you arrived. You are here now, so my job is done. Your people await you.” Terry slowly turned and looked down the steps at all the faces below, so many faces, so many stories.
In his room the book was picked up by a thin skeletal hand, the cheers of the crowd finally stopped as the book was closed and it was returned to its place on the bookshelf.“WELL, THAT WAS A GOOD END.” THE VOICE OF DEATH BOOMED. “I WONDER IF HE LIKES CURRY.”