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Jeremeeh Kousse collections: Tales from the Savannah 12

By Jeremeeh Kousse.
Jeremeeh Kousse is a playwright. A griot and a comedian.
He is also a crypto researcher.

From his collections: Tales from the Savannah 12

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Samuel, who was 108 years old. Despite his age, he looked astonishingly youthful, more like a man in his seventies. Samuel was not just a centenarian; he was a multi-billionaire with investments spanning agriculture, finance, oil and gas, gold, education, and real estate. His vast empire was a testament to a lifetime of hard work, shrewd decisions, and relentless ambition.

Samuel’s life was a tapestry of remarkable achievements and deep personal losses. His beloved wife had passed away at the age of 88, leaving him with six children, numerous grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Though surrounded by family, Samuel often felt the weight of solitude, as all his childhood friends and business partners had long since passed. Despite his wealth and the love of his family, Samuel was plagued by the aches and pains of old age and a haunting sense of emptiness.

For the past four years, since he turned 104, Samuel had been experiencing something strange. Each night, he would hear an eerie voice in his room, beckoning him to come along. At first, he dismissed it as a nightmare or a figment of his imagination. But as he reached 108, the voice grew louder and more persistent, waking him at frequent intervals throughout the night.

One fateful night, the voice was louder than ever. It called to him with a clarity that made his heart pound. “Come and let’s go,” it whispered directly into his ear. For the first time, Samuel responded, his eyes wide open in the darkness. “Who is that?” he asked, his voice trembling.

A cold silence followed, and then the voice spoke again, introducing itself. “I am Death,” it said. “I have come to take you away. You need a long rest.”

Samuel, filled with fear and defiance, protested. “No, I can’t go now. I want to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up.”

Death chuckled softly, a sound both eerie and oddly comforting. “Samuel, all your childhood friends are gone. Your beloved wife is gone. Your business partners with whom you built your empire are gone. Life has given you more than most. Your time is up.”

“But I still have so much to do,” Samuel argued. “I need to put my business affairs in order.”

Death, patient but firm, replied, “You are a meticulous man, Samuel. You wrote your will when you were 61. Your team of lawyers has everything under control, even though the lead counsel passed away at 83. Your affairs are in order.”

Desperate, Samuel tried another tactic. “Dying at 108 doesn’t seem right. Let me live until 120, like Moses in the holy scriptures.”

Death, amused by Samuel’s bargaining, agreed to grant him more time. But it was clear this was only a temporary reprieve.

Years passed, and Samuel reached the age of 121. The voice returned, unwavering and resolute. “Samuel, it is time.”

This time, Samuel had no more excuses. He had seen his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow, and he had come to terms with the inevitable. That night, he drank a glass of wine, a rare indulgence, and drifted into a deep, peaceful sleep.

When the news of Samuel’s passing spread, there were no tears. Instead, there was a celebration of his long and extraordinary life. His family and those who knew him celebrated the legacy he left behind. Strangers, too, soon took over the empire he had spent nearly a century building, as is the way of the world.

Samuel’s story became a legend, a reminder that no matter how great one’s achievements, life is transient, and death is the ultimate equalizer. He had lived a life filled with accomplishments and love, and in the end, he found the rest he so richly deserved.

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