In Noctem

"Carry my soul into the night May the stars guide my way. I glory in the sight As darkness takes the day. Ferte in noctem animam meam Illustre stelle viam meam. Aspectu illo glorior Dum capit nox diem. Cantate vitae canticum Sine dolore acte Dicite eis quos amabam Numquam obliviscar Sing a song, a song of life Made without regret Tell the ones, the ones I loved I never will forget I never will forget."

I walk calmly through the mist, not knowing what lies ahead but not caring either. Somehow i feel like this is the direction i should go. I stumble into a wooden sign mid-stride, it startles me. I look at it and see there are some carvings etched on it. They're hand-carved letters, they spell out "Welcome drifters, to the River Styx" I kept on walking, a feeling of foreboding welling up inside the pit of my stomach. I had always heard of the River Styx, never quite remember what it was though. The late afternoon sun, with a eerie almost dead shine, hides from me as i walk on the the barely visible horizon. The darkness takes the late day, and I feel more at one with myself. My feeling of dread calms, somewhat. A silhouette is visible through the mist, finally someone after what i believed endless walking.

"Hello?!! Hello, sir?!"

As i get closer i see the figure, whom i presume to be a man, is hooded and leaning on a long wooden staff. He stands still, like a statue which just adds to the creepiness of the atmosphere here. I am standing on a shore, with two worn-out rowboats. The murky waters reflect the faded moonlight in the sky, the water seems to be never-ending. At the end of each row boat is a staff holding a dimly-lit lantern.

"Hello sir, i just wanna know. Is this the River Styx?"

The man nods, and turns his head as if looking for something. He faces me suddenly, i can feel his eyes fixed on mine. I can feel his gaze and feel something else, a sort of sorrow emanating from it.

"No one came here to pay the toll?"
"Toll? What toll??"
"The toll to ride the ferry of course..."

As he says this he points down. I notice his finger and hand are as white and slick as bone, making wonder how long this man has to live, if he's even alive. I look down to the shore and notice dead bodies all over the shore. I give a short, horrified scream and cover my mouth to prevent any sound coming out. In this place, i dont believe sound is welcome. I look towards the man, who is still looking at me, i get the same feeling of regret and despair.

"Cant i pay the toll? How much is it?"
"No one came to pay your toll for you? How sad..."

My heart feels a deepening sorrow everytime i hear a word come from his mouth, like he knows all the sadness that's ever existed and accepts it as his own.

"You mean, someone was supposed to pay a toll for me?"
"Yes, someone in the World of the Living, a friend or family member. No one showed up. Again, how sad."
"......World of the Living?"
"Yes, they're supposed to help you on your way to the Underworld. But with no one to pay the toll, you receive no help."
"......Well....what do I do now?" All this sudden news that I'm not in the World of the Living has made my mind work in a flurry, not understanding anything
"Now....now you must travel on your own. Guide yourself by the stars and keep onward, no matter what may be in these waters. My sympathies to you."

With this, he walks towards boat on the left, takes out a long oar, and hands it to me. I walk towards the boat and stand on it, putting the oar in the water, getting ready to set off. The man goes back to his original stance from when i first saw him.

"Wait, sir..."
"Please, my given name is Charon."
"Ok, Charon....can you send a message to those in the World of the Living?"
"Mmmmn, yes I can. Only through signs and animals, I can't directly communicate with the World of the Living, but i find my ways if i have to. Why?"
"Can you please....please tell the ones I love, that I will never forget them. I will never forget." Tears start to well up in my eyes as I think of them, as I think of her...

I feel his gaze on me once more, except there a feeling emanating from him other than sorrow. One of.....acceptance? I cant figure out what it is.

"Yes son, I shall do that. You must be on your way now."

With this I set off for the horizon, where the sun set for what I presume to be the last time. In this darkness that I prefer, I remember past memories of my time with my family, with my love. I cant help but remember her, and her song. So full of life her song was that it made my spirit soar. So I begin to sing her song. All that is heard in this never-changing landscape, is the sound of my oar on this water, the stillness of the river, and her song being sung through me.





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