John MacDonald on Finality

Cessation. Ending.

A stopping of her. I heard the night sounds of country and city. Yawk of a night bird nearby. Faraway eerie pulsing of siren. Whispering drone of light traffic on University Drive, lights in moving patterns. Grinding whine of trucks moving fast, a mile or so away. Random night wind clattering palm fronds.

This was the world, bustling its way on through its allotted four billion more years of time, carrying its four billion souls gracelessly onward. A lot of them had stopped tonight, some in blood and terror. I tried to comprehend the enormity—the obscenity—of the fact that Gretel Howard had been one of them, just as dead as the teenagers who impacted a tree at a hundred and ten miles an hour near Tulsa, the flying dentist who didn’t see the power lines, the Muslim children dead by fire in Bangladesh, the three hundred elderly in Florida who would not make it through the night in their nursing-home beds.

I could not fit my mind around the realization of finality.

From: The Green Ripper: A Travis McGee Novel

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