❝We form our own sort of twisted community, those of us desperate enough to fish in the River Styx.❞
It’s the gold we want, the coin placed in the mouth or upon the eyes of the dead to pay the ferryman. He takes the gold and takes the dead too, but he does not keep the gold. It glitters at the bottom of the River, untouched and unused. Hades does not need it and does not miss it, lord of all the wealth beneath the earth (including our precious dead) as he is.
We, who for one reason or another cannot earn our gold any other way, who are willing to risk traversing the paths to the underworld, we make our way to the River and hope, with every dip into the water, not to rouse the nymph it is named for, for her fury at our transgression is cold and implacable and all consuming.
Sometimes, the water is truly as calm and quiet as it always appears. Other times, one of us will venture in and be swept away by its invisible, indomitable current, never to be seen again except as a shade. But with every wading into those waters, we gain another treasure, as precious as the coins in its own way—a strengthening invulnerability to harm by mortal weapons and mortal fire.
We, who are largely outcasts, constrained to the fringes of society, value such protection as much as we value the bread and meat, garments and shelter, that the gold we fish for provides us.
Fictober is a challenge where writers respond to a prompt a day for the whole of October.
This year's prompts are from Deep Water Prompts on tumblr.
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