Happy Monday! Welcome back to the daily grind. Days like these deserve a double shot of espresso.
This weekend, between applying for jobs, hanging out with people and seeing the bling ring (with the wonderful eadurbin!), I wrote this short story about Charon, the Greek god who ferries the dead to the underworld.
This story, however did not happen in a vacuum. I am a part of an incredible website called HitRecord (http://www.hitrecord.org/). It’s a collaborative website full of amazing creative people of all stripes. Check it out. A lot more of my work is on that site with the same name, Musing5225. One of the themes we have been working on recently was the other side. So I thought of Charon, a god who lives in between.
Between Time and Eternity
Author’s Note:Language is PG but deals with Death.
“For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” -William Penn
I carry all across. There are faster ways than my old wooden boat, but some journeys are meant to be slow. Even those who rush to the Styx need time between the breathing and the breathless (but all arrive when they should).
Don’t ask me if I’ve seen your loved one. I’ve seen everyone who has crossed over. The billions fade into a few molds. Each person is slightly different, but they say the same lines, wear the same feelings, and leave my boat in the same manner.
Some arrive shocked. Some boar or boulder cut them in a moment. Their necks twist and strain as they regain their bearings. They pester me with how and why and what happened? I row in silence. I promise only a ride across.
Too many come full of arrogance. They dangle money, fame, sex, and power. Leaning close, they share the same knowing smile.
“Tell me the way back. And it will be yours” Their lowered voices tickle my ears.
“Who says you can give it anymore? You left it all behind” I laugh and push them off. So many fools, passing through. They all carry the same flimsy plans. “It belongs to another now.” I drive on, enjoying the silence. When we arrive they step out, but their hands tremble.
Others fill the ride with nervous chatter. They still fear the dark, and their own imagination. I hmm, and ahh at the right moments. I cross slowly for them and my lantern shines brightly. .
But I stay for the young ones. So many come to the Styx alone. I carry the babies in a sling across my front, soothing them with my heat and smile. For the toddlers and young ones, I carry small gold coins.
“Hold it up to the fire” I whisper, “and look up.” They giggle, creating stars above us. I move swiftly for them. Games are easier than their questions and wide eyes. When we arrive, some try to give the coins back but I always refuse them. They shouldn’t leave my boat alone.
You all come carrying questions. I know only this: the movement of water, an endless parade of faces, the stories of a land above and a mystery beyond. Someday you will find yourself by my dark river. Look for the lantern and the old wooden boat. I will be there, waiting.