Wilom regretted letting Vanda talk him into see the ferryman, but he didn’t turn her away when she came to collect him. He’d meant what he said. Vanda shouldn’t need to bully him into facing his problems like an adult, and he needed very badly to be done with this particular problem. Continue reading
Vanda was out somewhere — probably working for the lighthouse keeper — and Wilom had no desire to see anyone. The Heads still hadn’t sent the date for their next meeting. He didn’t fancy spending another day wandering around coffee shops and trying not to listen in to people’s personal lives. And he definitely did not want to see Mr Treene. Continue reading
Vanda didn’t appear the next day, but the day after. She found Wilom in their usual tea shop. In a moment, they were above ground, then there was a brief impression of the city, and then the countryside. They weren’t walking for very long before they arrived at the lighthouse. Vanda pulled Wilom around the side of the tower, and suddenly they were standing in the lighthouse keeper’s living room, where he was just putting on the kettle. Continue reading
After several increasingly hazy walks home, Wilom had to concede that the unease in the back of his mind was probably, finally, worth the trip to the ferryman. Continue reading
A short story of the ferryman and the lighthouse keeper.
The ferryman pushed away from the bank and began to row. He was used by now to the lack of noise and the feel of the water against his oar, but he was still not used to having his own boat. No senior ferryman to speak to on the way back, nobody to ask if he had questions. Continue reading
Wilom started to grow tired of waiting for the ferryman to say something. Being in the boat was starting to chafe. Not the job – Duty – itself; there was never any difference in that. But he and the ferryman seemed to have hit a sort of rut. Their silences were nothing like the companionable silences they used to have, the silent understanding that there was nothing they really needed to say. Now, they seemed stale. The big unanswered question of whether Wilom would leave or stay hung between them and Wilom couldn’t talk without feeling like he was deliberately avoiding the topic. The ferryman’s manner didn’t change, but Wilom was sure he felt it too. Continue reading
The lighthouse keeper met them at the bank.
“I have one for you,” he said, handing the soldier over to Wilom. Nearly literally; he was holding the soldier with one arm wrapped around his back and under his arm to support him. Continue reading
Wilom had to coax the young man into the boat. He cried the whole way, though he tried to disguise it. Wilom made a few attempts at encouraging conversation. The young man made no response except for a weak smile, but that was enough. He got off at the other side, and didn’t look back or wave goodbye. Continue reading
“Ferryman?” Wilom asked, as the bank drew close.
“Would it be alright if I got out of the boat for a little while? I want to go for a walk, and I’d like to talk to the lighthouse keeper if I could.” Continue reading
It wasn’t very far back to the village, but Wilom was surprised how dark it had gotten. The lighthouse keeper waited around the corner while Wilom slipped the note under the door and hurried away. Continue reading