Don't Fear the Reaper

Don't Fear the Reaper
AP Photo/Petr David Josek

The manner of my death struck me as amusing. It was the summer holidays at the boarding school near Ipswich where I had been teaching for two years. The site was deserted, save for the few members of staff who had nowhere better to go. I was taking a walk by the seawall to the south of the school, a long earthen barrier which had been created to prevent flooding. Seized with an uncharacteristic urge for adventure, I deviated from my typical route and turned instead along a crooked tongue of wet sand stretching out into the Stour Estuary. On my third or fourth step the ground seemed to give way, and my leg descended into a sodden mass up to the knee. Undeterred, I took another step. This time my whole leg was immersed, and my other had begun to sink. Before long I was trapped, waist-deep in a kind of quagmire, as though the earth was attempting to drink me in.

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