Aiden was a rising literary critic, renowned for his fearless iconoclasm. Twain, Whitman, Kerouac, Emily Dickinson: no one was safe, the living with the dead. 

On the eve of the publication of his first book, Aiden awoke to see Death standing over his bed with a length of rope. 

“I’m dreaming!” He gasped, frozen with fear. “ I created you in my mind!” 

“Created me?!” Death replied, “You haven’t created one thing! You throw stones at the dead who dare to try!

Aiden lay sleepless, self-diagnosing his vivid sleep paralysis until the morning light revealed the rope coiled beneath his window.