The Life and Death of George Hayes

[ Read this in Dutch ]

short SF story

Jim flew to Sao Miguel to chase down a myth of eternal life. His Angel came to the island to seek death. Their newfound friendship will take them beyond their desires. 

Publication history

The Life and Death of George Hayes


On the plane, between cauliflower clouds and the stars that lit them from above, flying towards the island that would grant him eternal life, Jim met his Angel of Death. She was petite and blonde, bright and compassionate, not at all as he expected an Angel of Death to be. In a cabin full of chilled air, dimmed lights, and snores, they seemed to be the only two people awake. The only two people alive, he amended, for that was how it felt: a giant, vibrating hearse, flying towards a mass burial with 170 snoring corpses, and him buried alive. His Angel, of course, had every right to be there.

He was reading the Origin, and across the aisle she was writing letters, one by one, closely scrawled sheets that she slid into an envelope as soon as she’d signed her name, not even waiting for the wet spots to dry, addressing and stamping the envelopes with ruthless efficiency. Her magazine net already held a dozen of them; if she kept up her pace, she would soon have to remove the inflight magazine and the safety instructions to accommodate her outpouring.