I used to be a Catholic, and when I first started police work, I worried about that. I saw a lot of people dead or dying for no apparent reason . . . not people I killed, just people. Little kids who'd drowned, people dying in auto accidents and with heart attacks and strokes. I saw a lineman burn to death, up on a pole, little bits and pieces, and nobody could help . . . . I watched them go, screaming and crying and sometimes just lying there with their tongues stuck out, heaving, with all the screaming and hollering from friends and relatives . . . and I never saw anyone looking beyond. I think, Michael, I think they just blink out. That's all. I think they go where the words on a computer screen go, when you turn it off. One minute they exist, maybe they're even profound, maybe the result of a great deal of work. The next . . . . Whiff. Gone.
( John Sandford )
[ Eyes of Prey ]