- I... I was run over by a car. I felt a burning pain in my thighs and felt myself weightless, for a moment, before landing head-first on the asphalt.
- I was in a line in this darkness. An unending procession of almost faceless shades shuffled forward in rags. Some of them bleeding, some of them decrepit, some belching water. Time seemed to lose all meaning as we stood, one after the other. Shuffled. Stood. I couldn't begin to estimate how long the line had been. Minutes, hours, days...? It blended together like in a dream.
- Finally the decrepit shade ahead of me did something different. He climbed into a boat. As he sat, hunched, near the middle, a blinding light at the aft began to slowly move. A staff slowly pushed the dark boat into the black water, and it drifted away. Again, I lost track of time. At last I realized that the boat was closing on me, now, again, empty.
- Instinctively I knew to climb aboard as it slowly drifted to a halt in front of me. Something was different. The one before had sat facing the fore - I found myself sat opposite. As the boat embarked on a new journey, I realized, through the veil that obscured my senses, that the blinding light was a woman. She softly, yet firmly, pushed the boat adrift with a long pole. It seemed as if I could see nothing else, the darkness and the shades burnt through by her light.
- As she pushed us across the black water, she seemed amused by me. She smiled softly, and with a velvet voice seemed to giggle to herself as I tried to focus my vision on her. She let out a gentle murmur of surprise as I finally managed to turn my face up to her. With every thrust of her pole, a long braid swung elegantly from her head. Her long, white dress fluttered - with her gentle exertion, surely, as there seemed to be no wind in this horrid place - like a yard of bleached linen drying in the sun. I could watch her or I could watch the rest of the world - the blackness was made featureless next to her.
- I saw movement out of corner of my eye. I had to consciously shield my eyes from her to see what was happening around us. There were more shades in the water - these as black as the night, and completely featureless. They rolled and weaved in the water, as if it was filled to the brim with them. Black hands grasped at the maiden in white's braid, but to no avail. Each attempt was foiled by a twist of her chest, a crane of her neck, and the braid again swung into the air and out of their reach. She had turned her attention to them, giving them the same soft giggles as she earlier had myself.
- I turned myself to face away from her - to the bow. I could make out a rocky, desolate terrain around the water. The murky water was not, in fact, full of shades - they, rather, gathered towards the boat. Five rivers converged in a marshy maze of water and water-logged ground. As to our destination, I could not tell. The darkness seemed to somehow selectively obscure the other side of the water.
- Finally the boat pulled ashore, the light seeming to appear out of nowhere. A meadow stretched from the riverside, blooming with a ghostly white flower. A long stalk ended in a white fuzz, and finally the fuzz culminated in a wheat-like structure - almost a braid - at the top. I staggered out of the boat and turned to address my ferrygirl. She, again, smiled, laughed, and told me things would start to make sense any second now. I thanked her and helped her push the boat away. As she drifted away, I saw her blow a kiss to me. I heard a soft, distant voice tell me we would meet again.
- As she shrunk into a pinhead of light in the darkness, I took the first trusting step into the white meadow.
Ara Ara Charon (one shot)
harblador Sep 18th, 2014 (edited) 1,467 Never
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