They met in the early days of autumn, among the dying things; she the younger but wise
for her years, he the elder and far past his time. They walked, and as they talked, diminished the
space between them. They were new acquaintances, and old friends, kith and kin and more.
That was the first meeting, when the leaves departed the trees and their words whispered
beginnings and ends. She talked about new life and her dreams of the future she wished would
come. He talked about old life, remembering how it had felt to be alive and in the full weight of
youth. And when he boarded the ferry to return to his home, it was heavy with thoughts of her.
Their next encounter wasn’t far after that, at the dawning of winter, when the cold winds
seep into bodies and chill them to the bone. They were closer now, for better or worse, playing a
dangerous game with a foregone demise. It was thrilling to feel the blood rushing through his
veins, old veins that served a dead heart; it hadn’t lived in far too long. In too short a time, he
was back on the ferry, dreaming of the living while returning to the dead. And she was dreaming
The days and nights that followed were hard on them both, filled with desires of the dear
and hopes of the departed, with secrets whispered on the wind and taboos shared beneath the
earth. His spirit was with her as her words were with him, and always there was something new.
And every lonely ride on the ferry hurt them more and more. And they kept on.
Some people, wise in the magics of the heart and the soul, say that those two keep on to
this day. She still lives, for Death will not take her; it refuses to unite them. Death is jealous.
She keeps a candle in her window, and waits for him to come back. He is still dead, and
eternally he seeks a way to regain entrance into the living lands, but Death will not allow it.
Death is jealous. Some people whisper that they are cursed; that they broke the rules and pay
their consequences even now. This is what happens when the dead love the living. This is what
happens when the living love the dead.