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The International Writers Magazine: Crossing Over

The River
• Daniel Cook
The boat did not rock. It moved straight, so straight in fact that I became unsure as to whether the boat was harnessed to a pulley system beneath the clear black water.
We crossed the river perpendicularly.


I do not know why I presumed it to be a river. There was no current and I could see no decline or direction to the water. To say that the water was still only serves to allude to the scene, it does not express exactly what it was that I saw; I knew it to be water for we passed through it, yet we did not displace it. The water disappeared allowing for our mass to take its space and then it seemed to reappear in the vacuum that we had left in our wake.

I did not look at the oarsman, nor did he look at me. I did not know how many trips he had already made, or if indeed I was to be his first. I presumed this not to be the case. He breathed heavily, indolently. He may have escorted an uncountable number of people across these waters; perhaps each of them had found the thoughts that I had in these turbid depths. Perhaps it was these depths that were the cause of these thoughts in me and in each traveller before me. Mine were surely not inimitable. Each clean reflection on the pervading blackness seemed to be soaked in retention and remorse, each flicker of light bearing a story that will now remain untold, at least in the words of its owner. What fragments of these tales remain with the people who heard these stories when they lived, what sentences, what details, what tones have been laid to rest, buried with their owner, immortalized in death.

The oarsman has gestured to me now. His breathing reduced to forbearance. We have arrived at the once further shore. I must go now and leave the oarsman behind to make the lonely journey back to the shores from whence we came.
© Daniel Cooke February 2013

My Narrator – Volumes 1 - 2 - 3
Daniel Cooke

Recently I have become increasingly annoyed with my narrator. Her tone is soft and arcane yet somehow sinister. Her method of description is scrupulous and incidental

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