This is a short story available for free at Book View Café’s fantasy section.

“When Reedy Watson was still a young man, he determined he must find a way to avoid Death. He came to this determination as a result of the death of his father, a very direct and uncomplicated man who, as the cliché goes, died young and left a good-looking corpse. He also left a sorrowing wife and perplexed child. His father’s death impressed Reedy. Within a few years, Death dominated his thoughts.”

And so Reedy flees Death. He changes his looks and name and enrolls into various collages one at the time. He studies Sciences, Archeology, Anthropology… He gets a degree after another from different collages and all the while he tries to see Death so that he can avoid it. When he accomplishes something, he sees Death and flees again. So he learns not to be remarkable.

Because he has to move and change his name every couple of years, he has few friends and no partner. He never even visits his mother.

This story is strange and compelling and thoughtful.