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Pushing off was easy enough, Charon had been doing this work for a long, long time now, far longer than either one of them had been alive in fact. The waters barely stirred as he stroked, never looking at either of them as the darkness within his hood seemed fixated on the darkness ahead. Finally though, as he’d known would happen, she could no longer stay quiet.

“How do I know this isn’t just a dream? How do I know that you didn’t drug me and I’m lying on the floor of my home, drooling like an invalid while I’m under the impression that I’m here at all?”

He smirked, offering Charon a brief glance as he did. The ferryman of course did not respond, the shadows within his deep hood shifting not a bit.

“If you have to protect yourself by believing that I can’t stop you,” he replied, “But if you want to know this is real, just dip your fingers in the waters and see what happens. This place has existed since before our people were walking upright, as it was the gods that created it, at least in this part of the world.”

“What do you mean?”

He sighed, “Every god that has ever been claims the right of creation, but their scope is a bit exaggerated. Even the mighty Zeus didn’t manage to create the world he tried to rule, nor did any of the alpha gods, not even the Titans, or the Primordials before them, of whom there were many. This world of ours is one speck of water-saturated mud in a universe that, as far as anyone, even the gods know, has no definite end. To think that any one god could possibly rule over all of it and know everything is possible in a sense, but it’s still so far beyond our reckoning that we take it on faith and then claim it to be fact because to believe anything else is to admit that life has no meaning.”

“There is only one God,” she insisted, “He created the heavens and the earth, just as He created humanity.”

“And he created this place?” he asked, motioning from where he sat towards the impenetrable darkness that loomed all around them. “I saw nothing in the scriptures that mentioned a river leading into the underworld, though Christian myths and legends would make it seem as though we’d be far warmer by now. That part I could agree to.”

She narrowed her eyes at him, no doubt readying a quick retort, but instead simply replied with “The eyes of the doubter are closed.”

“And the eyes of the ignorant are blinded, thus do they follow the bleating of the other sheep and think it to be salvation.”

He could only grin as her mouth hung wide open in response.

(to be continued)


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