It seems only fitting that if I am going to subject a parade of authors, artists, occultists, and the like to unburden their souls and reveal the intimacies of their final consumptions before meeting their ultimate reward, that I should, at the very least, go first.
In the coming weeks, you will read the Last Writes of a number of talented and thoughtful individuals, folk like William Meikle, Josh Reynolds, Alethea Kontis, Maurice Broaddus, Michael Hughes, Kelli Owen, Greg Mitchell, Tim Prasil, and a whole lot more…
But like I said, I get to go first.
The premise is simple. I, and those that follow me, face our final rest, but before Death claims us we are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with us into the great unknown.
I will begin with a lettuce and spinach salad topped with peas, boiled egg, shredded cheese, croutons, bacon, and smothered in bleu cheese dressing, followed by an appetizer of jalapeño and cheddar poppers, hush puppies, and a small glass of chocolate milk.
The main course will consist of haggis over spanish rice, liver and onions, baked potato with butter and bearnaise sauce, corn cake, and fried morel mushrooms. I’ll wash it all down with a mixture of water and cranberry juice.
Dessert will be a slice of apple pie and a slice of pumpkin pie.
The end-cap, seeing as I’m dying and all, will be a pack of Marlboro Red, each lit from a match, one after the other, smoked slowly as I enjoy a bottle of 40 year old Glenfiddich.
I’m not sure I can think of a harder question to answer. I put such a value on words and stories, both real and imagined, and, to be honest, I’ve been pondering this for weeks.
I’ve had a copious volume of books dancing in my head, from Crowley to Gaiman, Tolkien to Howard to the Havamal, and more… But in the end, there is only one clear choice and that is whatever novel my son has in progress. If I were to leave the world tomorrow, that would be Word Hollow and that would be fine with me.
Let me leave this life with Connor’s imagination as my wings.
Another tough call, but I think it would have to be Excalibur. It’s beautifully shot, with the myths of Britain woven tightly in a spectacular narrative about honour, love, and sacrifice, about death and rebirth. I would like to leave this world with Nicol Williamson’s words on my lips.
“The days of our kind are numberèd. The one God comes to drive out the many gods. The spirits of wood and stream grow silent. It’s the way of things. Yes… it’s a time for men, and their ways.”
Ah, the easiest of questions here. I have said since I was fourteen years old that there is one song that I would like to be married and buried with and that is “The Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin.
Enchanting lyrics and near mythic guitar, “The Rain Song” is transcendent and it has never failed to carry me up and away from the mundane world around me, transporting me to a timeless, ethereal realm where magic is real and wondrous.
The First Person to Greet You on the Other Side
This is a no-brainer for me. I’ve lost quite a few people in my life— friends, colleagues, family —but none have been quite as special as Robert Brent Smith.
Brent was as close a friend as one can have and his passing, just shy of two years ago, has weighed heavy on me ever since. I loved him like a brother. I can think of no other face I could hope to see staring from across fabled Bifrost upon the road toward the Realm Eternal.
And with that, the inaugural Last Writes comes to a close. Tune in each week, on Monday, to see how these queries are addressed by those invited into the Hallowed Halls of the Occult Detective.
Till then, farewell, and Happy Hallowe’en.