The author of souls is weary. Almost exhausted. So many souls! Eight billion and counting abroad on the tired earth right now and fifteen more, defunct, for each one of the living. Can’t do the sums. Re-incarnation? Is that a thing? If it isn’t (don’t remember, don’t go there), fifteen times eight with how many zeros? Nine? When was the last truly proud soul? Or a soul of which we can be truly proud? There was that little girl from the Caucasus, killed in Aleppo just the other day. Her blue eyes looking unafraid into the screaming shell that took her back into the great memory banks of eternity. Did we, may we, how can we, find another body for her to inhabit? Sure we can. But the files! It’s not as if we don’t have assistants. But none (or few indeed) of any utility. And, after all, they have ambitions of their own. As well they might : what else is a soul but an implied fate? And who, or which, would not want to have some say in the disposition of the eternal dimension of the story of their sorry self? It quite defeats us. Or should we say almost. Almost.