I am standing in a bookstore that sells nothing but sci-fi and fantasy, handing a Terry Pratchett book to the woman behind the counter.
“Oh, this is a good one,” she says, wistfully.
“I never feel lonely, reading his books,” I say. “Ever.”
“The day he died, the phone just rang and rang all day. People who shop here, people who used to work here – everyone called just – just to cry, you know? Just to say they missed him. That they were sad.”
“He made a whole world!” I say, “And – and – we don’t get to visit anymore!”
“YES,” she says, “Yes, that, exactly.”
“The power of stories,” I say, and she nods.
And then we talk, for awhile, about Granny Weatherwax and Vetinari, and Corporal Carrot.
We talk, for awhile, about our old friends.