There is mud. Over everything. In everything. My hair, my ears, my mouth. The Ferryman takes my head in his hands, clears my eyes with the pads of his thumbs, gives voice to words I can’t make any sense of. I know nothing but mud, my skin rings with the taste of it.
I want it to be over. I want to be done, to wash clean, be weightless, to rest. But its not over. I can feel the next wave coming. Like when you’ve been vomitting all night and there’s nothing left to expel, and you are wrung out with exhaustion, but there it comes again, gathering in the pit of your stomach, that tremor you have come to know so well, the precurser to the great and unstoppable surge. There’s another wave coming. I don’t know if I can see it through.
“Look at me,” the Ferryman says. “Hey. Look at me.”
I find his eyes, black and shining in his weathered face. There is a light reflected there. My light. The Ferryman gives my light to me. “Look at me,” he says. He will not leave me. He will keep telling me back to myself, through whatever comes. He will keep stoking that fire.
The great wave is coming. The mud trembles. The Ferryman holds my face in his hands. “Look at me,” he says. “Right here. Look at me.”