The Ferryman

“Take courage in the darkness. It will shelter you from sight. Let the night swallow you deep into her bowels where only fools and madmen wander with any degree of certainty. Here there are uncountable twists and turns for you to lose yourself in. Fear not the ghostly faces that pass you in that maze. Look deeply into their eyes and you will realize that they are facades, apparitions floating freely in front of the void. They are spectres permanently inhabited by the statelessness of intoxication; a wishy-washy veneer of drug addicts, intellectuals and politicians. They are the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the ebb and flow of the void. Beware the void and its siren song. It takes years of specialised training to plunge into that ocean. You do not have that training. You will either need to train yourself or find one who has crossed the void and returned. You will be lucky to find such a one. So maintain your discipline and train yourself all the time. When you are ready, you may be guided. And stay away from the void until such time.”
I am truly afraid now. I do not understand a thing this guy is saying. He stands over me with a syringe in his raised hand. He twists his lips into what I assume is a smile meant to reassure me. I gaze at the straps around my arms and legs. God, the light is cold in this windowless cubicle.
The I have that thought again. What if he kills me? I would never know. I would have paid him millions to kill me. I try to get up.
“Mr. Hal, please do not move. We are about to put you down and you need to be calm,” he instructs me. He has seen this moment thousands of times before. A mass murderer?
“Are you sure?” I growl.
“Do you have a choice?”
I hate him for reminding me. I exhale with my body.
“Do it,” I instruct him.
He leans into me, twisted lips and sparkly eyes, and expertly drives the needle of the syringe into a bulging artery in my forearm then depresses the plunger. Its yellow contents disappear into me. It is too late to turn back.
The darkness comes.

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15 thoughts on “The Ferryman

  1. Pingback: The Man on the Ferry « Filling a Hole

  2. Team Oyeniyi

    Have you been watching Soylent Green again? That is what I thought of when I read this, although I recognise that and your writing are worlds apart – yours is going someplace entirely different.

    And somewhat darker.

    Reply
    1. scribbla Post author

      I had to google Soylent Green! Haven’t seen it yet (or read the book it’s based on) and perhaps never will. Have to admit I’m no fan of Charlton Heston. But I laughed out loud at the youtube preview for the film! So dramatic – I love it. Oh, and you can figure out what the ‘reveal’ is by watching the trailer, lol.

      Reply
  3. Kay Camden

    The beat in the first two sentences is fab. I was almost disappointed to see it change. But then when I got to the narrator’s thoughts, I was pulled back in, because I, too, didn’t understand a thing that guy was saying. Great way to create sympathy for the POV character – which is, I think, one of the most important parts of writing. Have you made any effort to learn how to do this stuff or are you just winging it each time?

    Reply
    1. scribbla Post author

      I wing it each time, I’m afraid. In fact, I write mostly from a place of fear. Each time I sit down (well, almost each time) I have no idea what I’m going to write about and very little time in which to do it. So I try shut myself up and write. I try to listen to the voices that have a story to tell and transcribe them as faithfully as possible.
      Like this piece. I hammered out the first paragraph and then reread it and said, “What the fuck does that mean?” I guess it’s obvious how it developed from there.

      Reply
      1. Kay Camden

        Well that’s cool. Because it really isn’t supposed to mean anything, to us at least. So, it’s intended, yet unintentional.

        Reply
  4. Billie Jo Woods

    Very intense and nightmarish. I couldn’t help feel a bit guilty about the last time I had to put my dog to sleep after reading this though. My mind works in very odd ways sometimes.

    Reply
    1. scribbla Post author

      Sorry to have caused you to feel guilty! I wondered about my phrasing, but made it rather deliberate in the end.
      Thanks for reading and leaving a little bit of insight behind. I appreciate it.

      Reply
  5. Evelyn

    SUCH a TEASE!!!
    I demand more. DEMAND.
    I love believable sci-fi. My husband and I were just talking about how when its believable its much more terrifying…

    Reply
    1. scribbla Post author

      Yeah – I love believable scary stories too! I remember that was what always drew me to King and Koontz. They started their books so believably that they just sucked you right in. Once the stories started to strain believability I’d always feel disappointment, despite how great the writing was.

      Reply
  6. Indigo Spider

    Interesting little psycho-thriller scribble. You write the type of dark, sci-fi, urban gritty stuff I like that is so rare to find. I swear, one day, when you write an entire novel, if you don’t send me a signed copy I will just have to find you in Nambia!

    Reply
    1. scribbla Post author

      I promise I’ll send you a signed copy because I want one of yours in return!
      The more I scribble, the more I realize that the book I author will most likely be an urban sci-fi kind of thing. It appears that is where my mind wanders off to the most, which is news to me!

      Reply

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