Why Death is Silent
by William Fischer
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Ages and ages ago--before man's first fire, before the dinosaurs rechristened themselves
birds, before the galaxies began spinning into spirals--there was a lot of hustle and bustle as
everyone got ready for the Creation. Physics hurried to write up his laws, the elements fought one
another over the number of electrons each would get, and the good Lord rubbed His temples in
frustration as he heard an argument between Life and Death.
The dispute concerned how much power these two would have to play against one
another in their eternal give-and-take. Said Death: "It's a simple matter. All living things come to
me, at the end of it; all living things I lead away from this plane. I must have the greater power,
to better claim each life!"
"Yes," answered Life, "but for each being that you take, I spawn fifty more, and ever
shall, 'til the Cosmos changes. I must have the greater power, to create more beautiful and
The fight went on in this vein for some time, the poor Lord doing His best to force a
compromise. After many eons and no progress, He threw his hands up and declared: "Enough!
Both of you shall claim your power from the gifts I set before you now," and six bags appeared
before Life and Death. "If you two are going to play give-and-take for all Time, you may as well
get into the habit; divvy up the spoils yourselves. But each of you must have at least some of
"But how shall we divide them?" asked Life.