The Last of That Strange Wine

The ferryman sipped the last of his ouzo and waved me over.

“I’ll take another,” he said as I walked the length the bar. I grabbed a bottle and gave him a long pour. He raised his glass to me, then brought it to his lips.

“I’m tired of coins, you know,” he said.

I knew, but just gave him a questioning look.

“What use are they to me?” He drank the last drops from his refilled glass and stood. “I don’t even need them _here_.”

It was true. All our drinks were free.

“See you tomorrow,” he said on his way to the door.

“Tomorrow,” I replied.

Soon, I was closing up the bar for the night. As I worked, I tried to keep my mind from the pull, that constant ache in my head telling me that I didn’t belong here, that I should be across the river.

I washed the glasses and put everything back in its place. I didn’t need to check the bottles; after all, they’d all be full again tomorrow morning.

Well, all but one.

I went into the back room where I slept, thinking about that strange skull-shaped bottle of wine that I kept out of sight below the bar. There was one drink left — for me, when my wife Helena joined me here on the shores of the Acheron.