"The bees of Death are big and black, they buzz low and sombre, they keep their honey in combs of wax as white as altar candles. The honey is black as night, thick as sin and sweet as treacle.
It is well known that eight colours make up white. But there are also eight colours of blackness, for those that have the seeing of them, and the hives of Death are among the black grass in the black orchard under the black-blossomed, ancient boughs of trees that will, eventually, produce apples that ... put it like this ... probably won't be red.
The grass was short now. The scythe that had done the work leaned against the gnarled bole of a pear tree. Now Death was inspecting his bees, gently lifting the combs in his skeletal fingers.
A few bees buzzed around him. Like all beekeepers, Death wore a veil. It wasn't that he had anything to sting, but sometimes a bee would get inside his skull and buzz around and give him a headache."
Terry Pratchetts Discworld-böcker är mestadels en samling rätt enkel (men för all del effektiv och ofta rolig) satir och hejdlöst dåliga vitsar. Men den här inledningen till "Faust eric" (jo, den heter så - med överstrykning och allt) har en påtaglig poetisk ton som fascinerar mig; den är mycket mörkare än resten av boken (och har egentligen ingenting med resten av historien att göra heller).