The Man Who Fed On Tears always knows whose time it is to pluck from the world of the living. His existence is one of a symbiosis between his need for the tears and woe he causes to those closest to the deceased, and the natural order of life and death to which he is bound. He never questions himself or his actions and has never made a mistake. Until now.
Stella is a four-year-old girl who misses her mommy and wants to see her again. She doesn’t yet understand the concept of loss, so when she sees close family members crying, she tries to stay cheerful and optimistic. After all, Mommy said they’d see each other again when the time comes At Horizon’s End. So if they’ll meet again, why is everyone crying?
Short stories are always challenging to review, especially ones of exceedingly short length, such as At Horizon’s End. However having been sent a preview copy, I was willing to take the task on so shouldn’t complain about the challenge.
The story is a poignant dealing with, and understanding of grief, essentially from three sides; four-year old Stella, her family (to a lesser extent as they are mostly in the background) and Death, who is having something of a wobble in his understanding of the impact of the job.
The touching, simple and sparse narrative switches between these two main characters, offsetting a child’s innocence and moving way of looking at things with something more timeless and harsh in death who, is humanised to good effect. The split narrative works well and fleshes out the scene to good effect.
This is a story of love, a short, sharp piece of prose which I really did enjoy. The conclusion is strong and raises some interesting speculations which adds to the overall story. It’s a lovely piece of writing, it won’t take you long to finish but if you are anything like this reader you will think on it for a good time after.