I am not only omniscient. I am omnipotent.
I am benevolent, too. No matter what I do
to the characters.
Killing off Beth, for instance, from scarlet fever.
Beth, who, like Peter Pan, wanted to never grow up,
never did. To the end she was faithful to dolls.
And Jo loved her, and poured out her heart in a poem
to the sister passing from her.
Jo lived, to tell the story. Of life among women. Of love.
And thousands, maybe millions, of girls
(Sure I know exactly, but why should I tell you?),
girls who wanted not to grow up have wept
over Beth’s death until they couldn’t see the pages,
and made Jo’s choice, have lived to be old women,
sometimes even authoresses. …It is sweet to be an old woman.
It is sad to die young. But anyone can see that Little Women
could never be the book it is if Beth had not died, that Jo,
crying, and poking the fire, and fighting herself for acceptance
that Beth is dying, and writing her poem – is some of the best stuff.
Right up there with Jo in the attic, mad with invention,
munching apples, smudging ink. So, Beth dies.
And so does everyone else, sometime.
For roughly similar reasons.
Except me, of course. The All-Knower.
The one who knows Everything. Always.
And for whom every moment is Now.