The Appointment is a spooky story for kids about a teenage boy who has a frightening encounter with Death. It is based on an ancient fable called “The Appointment in Samarra”. One version was retold by W Somerset Maughm and another version appeared in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
There was a sixteen-year-old boy who got a Summer job working on his grandfather’s farm. One morning, his grandfather sent him into town on an errand to buy some provisions.
The boy drove the pickup truck into town and parked outside the market. As he was walking along the street, he was jostled by somebody in the crowd. When he turned around, he was shocked to see it was the Grim Reaper… Death.
As he stood there in the marketplace, Death beckoned to him.
The terrified boy jumped back ran back to the pickup truck and drove back to the farm as fast as he could. When he got there, white-faced and trembling, he told his grandfather what had happened.
“Let me take the truck,” he begged. “I’ll go to the city and hide. Death will never be able to find me there. It’s the only way to avoid my fate.”
His grandfather told him he could have the truck and the boy floored the accelerator and tore off at high speed.
After he left, the grandfather went into town looking for Death. Eventually, he found the Grim Reaper standing in the crowded marketplace. The grandfather walked right up to Death and asked, “Why did you frighten my grandson when you saw him this morning? He’s just a boy. Only sixteen years of age. He’s too young to die.”
“I’m sorry about that,” said Death. “I did not mean to beckon to him. I was just startled. You see, I was very surprised to see him here in the marketplace. I have an appointment with him this afternoon… in the city.”