Friday, November 04, 2005

Death Speaks

This is a short story by Jeffrey Archer and I have always loved it.Thought of sharing it with you all.

Death Speaks
Jeffrey Archer

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdadm for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

6 comments:

  1. Wouldnt meeting "death" in the first place would mean that the servant is dead. Same is true for the merchant who meets death as well... If the servant could meet "death" and still escape from it, why cant he escape again...:)...

    Also, I wonder why death is characterized as a woman...:)

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  2. Because, a man wrote the story?!

    I am sure Survivor wrote this for some reason, I can't see through it though.

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  3. Mindframes,

    I guess Bumblebee answered your question .

    You can come close to death many times, but only once can you set a specific appointment with death as stated in the story.

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  4. Oh, now I understand... and that too, a smart one...:)

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  5. That is a great short story. I love short stories that end with a twist in the end and leave a lot to the imagination of the reader. This is the type of story where you will want to read the story again. The 2nd time the sentences will have a different meaning. Kind of like Night Shyamalan's Sixth Sense. Alfred Hitchcock writes short stories like this too and I believe is Night Shyamalan's inspiration.

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