The Reaper Dreams: A Short Story

“In my dreams, I was drowning my sorrows. But my sorrows they’d learn to swim.”-U2
Death dreams. Each night, he lives the life of a different soul from start to finish. The Reaper experiences that individual’s story for a lone evening before he awakens once again to collect the souls of those whose time has come. Each night the process is repeated, and each night Death is tormented and tortured. His is a lonely existence, but a necessary one. Reminded daily of the simple pleasures he cannot share in as he walks among oblivious mortals, waiting to reap what is due to him. Each night he assumes another deceased’s identity and is again plagued by the artless reality that none of it is his. That it never was, not the joy nor the misery, not the pain or the pleasure, nothing, for it is not his to savor. Death roamed and endured his heartache in silence. He studied the mortals, resenting their freedom of choice and expression. And though he knew that many of them lacked those freedoms, he still envied them. While they were allowed to exist, to relish in life, to find love, happiness, and woe alike, he had been cursed to wander amongst them as an outcast, forever personified as a symbol of despondency and tragedy. He was cursed to dream of all that he could never have. Damned since the beginning, condemned to drift in saturnine sterility. He had been allowed to exist, but only at the cost of eternal solitude. Death dreams, but it is not as pleasant as one might assume. © 2016-2022 The Paper Life All Rights Reserved

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