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from The Unforgiven (First Draft.) by Leila Miller

Chapter 8

“You’re sure about this?” The boatman’s ghostly garble came from deep within the dark and tattered robe.

“Yes.” Angela announced her fingers shook as she hand the boatman the sack of money.

Stepping into the boat , she grew nervous as it tipped to one side before righting itself. She scowled as the boatman’s ghostly laughter erupted. Reaching down on the dock, she reached for her bag. 

“That stays behind.” The hollow voice echoed over the lapping of water. “The medallion as well.” 

Angela’s hand immediately grasped the necklace around her neck. In that moment she nearly changed her mind. To leave her medallion behind, the last safety line she had to get home, nearly took more courage than she had.

With shaking fingers it took more that one try to get the clasp undone, removing it, she slipped it into the pocket of her bag. Taking a deep breath, she took a seat at the front of the boat.

“Last chance to change your mind.” The soft comment came from behind her as the boatman slid the craft away from the dock. Angela shook her head no and the boat slid effortlessly into the river stream.

For better or worse, she was on her way. May the Gods have mercy on her.

The boat master was quiet on the trip down the river. Angela didn’t mind. She need those moments to collect her thoughts. She didn’t know who the spy was, and that concerned her. But how many Oneiroi visited the Underworld. You are, a voice in her head quietly reminded her. Hush, she told herself. She rolled eyes.

The river was dark, and it held no reflection of her face when she peered over the boat at it. There were no waves, no current, just a sullen blackness. The smell of the river when it swept over her nearly caused her to gag. The smell was like nothing she ever experienced. The rumble of the laughter from the man behind her caused her to turn. 

“What is so funny?” She demanded. 

“You.” His laughter was deep, and free. She hadn’t heard anyone laugh the wa...

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