now go to bed

The ferryman stands, spits to the side, walks the length of the dock to me, his feet making a hollow thud on the soft wood.

I am bedraggled. There’s mud in my hair. He shakes his head sadly, asks for my hand. I give it.

He runs the point of his knife across my palm, drawing blood, holds a small vial to collect the dripping. “Much as I love you,” he says, “there’s always a cost and I must collect my fee.” He stoppers the bottle and pockets it, folds my fingers over the wound. “Now go to bed. You’re tired. You need to rest.”

OOO

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