I had my orientation/training day today at Town Hall and the Community Centre. My head is stuffed to nearly bursting with information right now. Otherwise, it went pretty well - everyone was really nice and welcoming.
After dinner I needed some peace and quiet so I went out and weeded the last of our onions and leeks (Kat had already done the rest), as well as most of our broccoli plants. That was much needed - both for the garden and myself.
Anyway, let's keep this experiment going with: The Crossing, Part Two.
“You did keep us waiting for an awful long time,” War added, then laughed. It was a sharp, short thing that held no joy. “Even by our standards!"
“I told you,” the man said as he brought the pole forward once again. “I was delayed.”
“Yes, you did tell us that,” Death said. He was standing in the middle of the ferry, holding on to his scythe with his left hand. Had he have been another passenger, the boatman might have suggested this one was afraid of the water surrounding them. But he was who he was, so the boatman wisely kept that thought to himself. “But you did not apologize.”
“Wasn’t my fault,” the man muttered. “Ain’t my fault, ain’t my apology you need.”
“Then who, dear mortal, should we be… requesting… our apology from?” Famine tilted his head to the side as he stepped closer. “Is that, perhaps, something you can provide us with?”
“It would be the fair thing to do,” War added. “After all, you did keep us waiting for so long. If morning had arrived before you did…”
“But it didn’t, did it?” The man countered with more righteousness than he had any right to feel. “My agreement was to get you across the river before morning, and that’s what I’m doing. So as far as I can see I did nothing wrong, even if I wasn’t there at the exact second you showed up on the bank. I can’t imagine you’ll get to Kingstown much later than you would have if I hadn’t been otherwise preoccupied.”
“Kingstown?” Death asked, the name of the four horsemen’s destination hanging from his lips like an icicle.
“Or, you know, wherever it is that you’re going.” The boatman shifted his attention back to his work as sweat appeared on his brow. “How should I know, right?”
In the silence that followed glances were exchanged, even among the horses. Within seconds a decision was reached, without so much as a nod or a hand signal. Even the boatman felt it.
“What?” he asked, his voice suddenly lacking the bravado it had displayed moments earlier.
“You will tell us why you were delayed,” Pestilence said, stepping back and notching one of his putrid arrows in his black bow. “And, much more importantly, you will tell us who it was that delayed you.”