Charon

March 16, 2017
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Two kids, seven--a boy--and ten--a girl--tumble down a dune and giggle with the wind. Two moms hold hands and watch, huddled on a beach blanket, one in a white jacket and the other in a black. The one in white melts into the sand and snow; the one in black dissolves into the sea and sky. Smiling, they nod and watch the kids take off across the empty shore--a long, straight stretch of silky sand and vacant shells. The boy and the girl pass a rowboat run aground and stumble towards the lighthouse at the end of the earth. Its hollow beam trembles through the mist, grips the tips of waves and tugs itself farther from the beach. The children struggle to charge across the viscous distance, but the lighthouse continues to fade. The rowboat is next to them again, and a young man beckons them aboard with a boatman’s pole. Now their parents begin to panic, begin to rise and chase after their children. The winds sighs and shoves them back. The ferryman helps the boy and the girl into the boat, then paddles to the still glowing scar seared into the sea. The children smile and wave goodbye.






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