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Conversations With Death [ESL Audio Short Story]

Hey! This is a new short story that I wrote for my English students. There are some interesting words and expressions that you might not know. So feel free to ask about them in the comments below. Enjoy reading this short story, and if you can listen to the audio on Gumroad or Patreon.

Conversations With Death

Once upon a time, there was a dirty, corrupt politician. He thought he was the cat’s pajamas. He thought he could do anything he wanted and get away with it. He skimmed money from all the social projects. He hung onto money that belonged to others so he could increase the interest in his bank account. In all, he was a real scoundrel.

He lived a long and happy life without ever really caring about other people, but one day all of that changed. He received a visit from an angel. It was the Angel of Death.

“Your time has come, Mr. Politician. I’m here to take you to the Great Beyond.” said the Angel of Death.

The man shrugged his shoulders and stood up to go with the Grim Reaper.

“I’ve had a long and happy life,” the man said. “I guess I’m as ready as I will ever be. But first, let me tell my family goodbye.”

The Angel of Death just laughed. “No need for that,” he said. “They are all coming with you.”

The man was shocked. “No, please. No. Don’t take them,” he begged and pleaded. They didn’t do anything. They don’t deserve to die.”

The Angel of Death said, “They’re not going to die because they did anything bad, just like you aren’t dying because you did anything bad. It’s just a part of life. Everyone dies.”

The man started to cry.

“What are you crying for?” the Grim Reaper asked.

“I’m sorry for all the bad things I did. I’m scared that I’m going to suffer for it. I want a chance to make things right.” he said.

“Oh, don’t worry. You will. You will,” said the Angel of Death. “It’s not over yet. Death is just the beginning.”

The man looked at him strangely. “It’s not. It’s the beginning of what?”

“This is where you switch roles and take the place of those you once mistreated. Now you get to experience life from their point of view,” the hooded angel said.

“What? No. That’s a fate far worse than death,” he said with a scream.

“You thought you were going to get off scot-free after all the things you did with just a slap on the wrist. Did you think you would just waltz into heaven or drop into hell? Oh, no, my friend. Now you get to experience the way you treated others first hand. That’s the fun part,” the Grim Reaper said with an evil grin.

“But that’s not fair,” said the man with a sigh. “I don’t deserve to be treated this way.”

“Treated what way? The way you treated others. They suffered at your hand. So, now it’s more than fair you take their place and experience what they experienced because of you.”

“That sounds like Karma from some ancient, far-eastern religion. I don’t believe in that stuff,” said the old man.

“No, no, my friend,” said the Fiend with a cry. “This is love. The love you were taught. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Your mother taught you this from the time you were just a child. You had your entire life to prepare and practice.”

“But she didn’t tell me that I would suffer the same fate others experienced at my hand,” the old man whined.

“How would your mother have known at the time exactly how it would play out. She only taught you what she sensed intuitively. But you didn’t even try to play nice or fair with others. You sought to take advantage of them at every turn your entire life.” the Grim Reaper shook his head in disgust.

“Please, no! I want a second chance,” the old man pleaded and begged.

“Sure, thing,” said the Angel of Death. “You’ll get it when you experience what you did to others. And you’ll have the chance to do better.”

“But will I remember this conversation?” the man asked.

“Of course not,” the Grim Reaper replied.

“So, then it’s not fair,” the old man whined. “How can I learn to do better if I don’t remember the lessons I’ve learned.”

“You don’t learn by being told. You learn by experience. You learn by loving. You learn by doing. And you learn by practicing. So, don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of time to practice. C’mon. Let’s get this over with.”

The Angel of Death reached out to touch the old man with his scythe. The man screamed, and everything went black. Suddenly, he woke up in bed beside his wife.

He looked at the clock. Five a.m. Had it all been a dream? It felt so real. He was sweating and shaking and crying.

“What’s wrong honey?” his wife asked when she woke up beside him. “Were you having a nightmare?”

The old man leaped out of bed and ran to the kitchen. He cooked a huge breakfast. He served his wife and children breakfast in bed. He invited all his neighbors over for breakfast too.

Everyone was shocked at the change in the old man. At first, they thought he had gone bonkers. They tried to get him to calm down, but then they realized that they liked this new version of the old man much better. So, they let him be.

No one understood what had happened to the old man to bring about such a radical change. This wasn’t the same arrogant person they had known the day before.

But they didn’t mind it. They actually liked him much better. And always after that, the old man tried his very best to treat everyone around him the way he would want to be treated himself.

Was it real? Was it true? Would he live again as those around him? He didn’t know. He didn’t care. But he would do his best to be prepared. So, when his time came, he would be ready for the scythe of the Angel of Death.

Would You Like To Listen To the Audio for Conversations With Death?

Thank you for reading the short story ‘Conversations With Death’. If you want to listen to the audio, just click the blue button below that says ‘I want this!’ I’m asking 0.99 cents for it, but you can pay what you feel is fair or have available. Or you can listen to all the audios for the month on my Patreon page.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment or hit me up through the contact page.

More Stories & Resources

ESL Short Stories – See all the ESL Audio Short Stories here and find another one to read or listen to

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Learn & Improve Your English – Tips and suggestions for learning English and developing your skills

Time Machine Man [ESL Audio Short Story]

Joe is a man who dreams of traveling back into the past, and then later of traveling into the future. But what will he do when the opportunity arises? And why do we desire things that we end up hating when we finally get them?

This is a short story, I wrote for my ESL students to help them improve their English listening and speaking skills with the audio for Time Machine Man here >>>

There was a man. His name was Joe. Joe lived in the future. Society was messed up. People were messed up. Joe felt like he didn’t belong there. He wanted to build a time machine. He wanted to travel back in time. He wanted to go back into the past. He wanted to return to the good, old days.

Joe talked about it all the time, but his friends just laughed at him. “Forget it, Joe. If you build a time machine, travel to the future. The future is where it’s at.”

Joe didn’t agree with them. He thought that the future would be worse than the present. Besides, he didn’t know what was in the future. But he did know what was in the past. He loved the past. He lived his entire life thinking about the past. He studied the past.

He ended up quitting his job at a research facility. He became a history teacher. He read about the past. He read about different cultures. He traveled to many different places.

Joe wrote many articles. He gave many speeches about past history and cultures. He became very famous. He consulted for famous movie directors who made movies about the past. He made a lot of money and became very rich.

Joe told everyone that they should build a time machine and return to the past. The past was where it was at. If they could return to the past, they could do whatever they wanted.

One day, a friend of his from the research facility paid him a visit. He told Joe that they had built a time machine. He asked Joe to join them on their first trip. But Joe didn’t want to go. He liked his life here and now. He thanked his friend for the invitation.

“But I thought you wanted to go back into the past. I thought you didn’t like it here. You said that people were messed up. You said that society is messed up. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You should go,” his friend said.

“Nah,” said Joe. “I like the status quo. My life is good here, and I don’t want to mess it up. If I travel back into the future, it might mess things up even worse. You shouldn’t travel into the past. You should travel into the future.”

Joe contacted his famous friends. The celebrities and politicians. They passed a law to ban time travel into the past. They didn’t want to mess things up. They were afraid someone might change things and cause them to lose out on the good life.

There was a huge public outcry. Most of society wanted to travel back into the past. They wanted to change things. They wanted to try and change their lives just like Joe had when he first began. But now that things had changed and life was good, he didn’t want to shake things up. It would be too risky.

There was a huge debate. People screamed. People cried. But celebrities and politicians were firm. The law was the law. If you broke the law, you suffered the consequences.

“You do the crime, you do the time,” they said.

The scientists in the lab didn’t worry about it. Joe’s friends from the research facility traveled back in time. They found Joe while he still worked at the lab before he became famous.

“Hey, Joe. It’s us from the future. The future is messed up. People are messed up. You’re messed up. We came back to pick you up and take you back in time.”

Joe just shook his head and refused to go.

“No, I don’t really want to travel back in time,” he said. “I like it here. I like my life. I don’t want to mess that up. We need to look to the future. The future is where it’s at.”

His friends just sighed and shook their head. They didn’t understand what was wrong with Joe. How did this happen? They didn’t know.

“Sorry, Joe. Our machine can only go back into the past. We don’t know how to make it go forward into the future.”

They couldn’t figure it out. How someone could complain about something all their life, and yet when faced with the opportunity to change, refuse to take it.

“Okay, Joe. Stay here and enjoy your life,” they said. “We’re going to travel back in time to see the past firsthand. We’re going to make history together with those who live in the past.”

And off they went. Joe just smiled. Talking about the past was nice. He loved reminiscing about the good, old days. Joe liked to complain. He liked to think about how things could have been. And yet, he didn’t want to relive the same things over again. He wanted to look forward to discovering what would happen in the future.

Joe began researching everything he could about traveling to the future. He talked with everyone about the future. They just laughed at him and called him crazy.

Joe ended up quitting his job at the research facility. He wrote many articles. He gave many speeches. He consulted for many famous movie directors making movies about time travel. Joe became very famous. He became very rich.

Until one day, he received a visit from his friends from the research facility.

“Hey, Joe,” they said. “It’s us from the past. We discovered a way to travel to the future. Let’s go see what the future holds for us.”

But once again, old Joe refused.

“Nah,” he said and shook his head. “I don’t really want to travel into the future. I like it here. I like my life. I don’t want to lose what I have. I love my friends. I love people. I love society. We need to stay in the present. The present is where it’s at.”

His friends all sighed and shook their heads. They didn’t understand what was wrong with Joe. How did this happen? They didn’t know. How a man who complained all the time refused to change and follow through on what he said.

Joe just smiled as he sat in his old brown chair. He picked up his pen and wrote his first fiction novel about a man with a time machine who could visit the past and visit the future whenever he wanted. But Joe himself never worked up the courage to go with them. He only wrote out the stories that they told him.

Thank you for reading my latest ESL short story, Time Machine Man. I hope you enjoyed it.

If you have questions about any of the vocabulary or expressions, leave a comment below. Let me know what you thought of the story and how you interpret it as well, if you want some extra writing practice.

If you would like the audio file that I narrated to go along with it to listen to, it’s available on Gumroad. Just click the green button below that says ‘I Want This’. You’ll also get the PDF, ePub, and Mobi versions for download as well.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help

More Short Stories & ESL Resources

Read the latest ESL audio short story here

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Improve your English skills here

 

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