Comment on After Death

  1. Both AfLi AfDe are so beautifully and skilfully written. I hope you are proud of your virtuosic and sensitive style, so lovingly crafted, because it is a wonderful artistic achievement.

    A powerful ending to this haunting, dark story. The subtle canon references are fun to pick out (the "empty house", Moran being likened to a tiger), but those were the only light moments for me. Was there also a HoB reference as well (Moran's red eyes, and comparing him to a dog)? Bringing that vision into the waking world and overlaying it with something right out of Sherlock's horrific nightmares about John underlines how close Sherlock is skating to the edge here, mentally.

    I felt empathy towards Moran, like TRF made me feel towards Moriarty. The sheer waste of life, of talent, the good they could have done.

    "The syllable echoes and shimmers, filling the room with light. "John. John. John. John." An open oh of a name in his baritone mouth, swirled and thick like the sweetest of honeys. "Dʒɑ́n." He says his name over and over, the word streaming from his lips like water, easy and liquid, until his voice gives out."
    "Your body warm next to mine, your breath like sweet almonds, your eyes sparkling like mint and lemons. I think it was called joy.)"
    Two beautiful sets of metaphors, which stand out so starkly because they are sensual and bright, so different from the horrors that crept out from Sherlock's subconscious.

    "I don't deserve to remember you, after everything I've done. But I've waited so long. So long.)"
    How palpable his longing here. I know he deserves anger, but all I could muster in response after that line was tears.

    Two resurrections: first, the life-giving reboot to his body; second, the determination to return to John ("Slowly, he crawls out of the earth and rises to his feet, his clothes smudged with dirt, errant leaves stuck in his black hair"), despite his agonizing epiphany over just what his absence has done to John.

    And the images work so well, because they represent After Life in miniature; packing so much emotional punch as gradual changes are immediately and painfully apparent in the photos. I realize now that the lyrics for Mueller and Schubert's "Der greise Kopf" [The grey head] do predict the future for John, alas. I think by the end of After Life he would welcome turning grey, if he felt it meant the end of his existence was that much nearer.

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    1. *blushing* Thank you so much. This story has been a labor of love for me, and has taken on a life of its own beyond what I could ever have imagined.

      The red eyes weren't a direct reference to BASK, but I can definitely see that interpretation! I don't know where the "dog on fire" bit came from--it just sprung up from some dark, painful place. I've used the howling, lonely dog metaphor in the past, but nothing so violent.

      It will be a relief to describe some joy in "After Love," after describing so much terror and pain for so long.

      Last Edited Fri 24 Feb 2012 06:27PM EST

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