This week’s rerun is a new one for me. I was away for its original version. I’ll post my story below and welcome your comments; my own thoughts follow it so as not to pre-influence yours.
I take their silver coins, these travellers, and I carry them, one by one, to the teeming world on the other side. A few of them know my name, most do not. A few of them thank me; most barely notice the ferryman taking them from living shore to dead.
One day, a coin will spill from your jaw, and I will take it, open palmed, for my labours. Will you see me? Will you know my name, my parentage, my history? Will you take the hand that aids you aboard, or shun it in one final push for independence?
I had originally planned to write something a little more subtle, linking the Staten Island ferry with Charon on the Styx, but leaving it up to the reading to decide which it was.
Then I wrote the line in bold below, which gave it all away, but which I loved. It didn’t make it into the final edit of the story, but once it had crept in, I felt the piece needed me to be clear. The Ferry fell away and only the Underworld was left.
Darkness and the Night, Father and Mother, Uncle and Aunt… all a single unholy coupling that made me fit only for that endless grind of conveyance.
So, in the end, there is very little of the picture left. I would like to edit longer, but the little boy who was one when this image first appeared is now three and a half, and is pretty peeved that I took even half an hour out of his day to write this. Charon isn’t the only one who would appreciate a bit of appreciation and a break 😉