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Charon, the Ferryman of Hades (Part I)

In THE DEADLIEST LIE, Miriam asks her father to tell her what he knows about the disappearance of the precious alchemical scrolls she’s borrowed from Judah.

The only response was the metallic cry of a gull circling the courtyard.

It seemed pointless to ask him about the scrolls, to give him yet another opportunity to either lie or scold me for being preoccupied with foolishness while neglecting my duty to Noah and our families. So, with nothing more to say, I prepared to leave, this time without requesting permission and without hurrying.

On the contrary, I stalled. I edged out of the chair, heaved a sigh, stretched out my arms, and cupped my knees before lifting myself out of the chair, shaking out the skirt of my tunic, and smoothing its folds, hoping he would change his mind and confide in me. When he didn’t, I turned toward the atrium, looking back from the mahogany doors but once to see his face twisted in a grimace. His was holding his head in his hands, the heels of his palms pressed against his temples like a vise as if he were mending a crack in his skull. I realized then that I would have to unearth the answers myself, even if Charon had to ferry me across the rivers Styx and Acheron to do it. Charon is the ferryman of Hades who carries the souls of the newly dead across the rivers that divide the World of the Living from the World of the Dead. Miriam comes close to getting a glimpse of him in Chapter 21 when she nears an alley between the shell of an old slaughterhouse and an abandoned brewery.

How does Miriam fare as she crosses that alley? Watch next week for Part II of Charon, the ferryman of Hades.

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