The flood waters receded.
There was a flood, a rush of noise, a fullness beyond capacity. Some things were lifted and carried. Some things were buried. Everything, everything was tested in its hold.
I lie in the mud plane, a swath cut by the drag of what had fallen. Everything now is still and lumpish and brown. I am indistinguishable from the rest. Slowly I come to understand that the still air above me is not water. I could sit up now. I could stand. I uncurl my fingers.
There is a green smell to the brown, an edge of mint. The ground crackles like rice crispies in milk, the wet soaking in, the air bubbling out. “This is good mud,” I declare, rising to my elbows on the strength of the revelation.
From where the water left him in the top branches of a tree still standing, the Ferryman throws back his head and laughs.