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Loneliness, the face of pilgrims eyes was known
As the door opened wide

The air inside the house felt different already-- hazy, dim...and bleak. I walked to the ship slowly. It had seen better days: chipped paint, the faded color betrayed its age. I could just make out the name under the rim. Mostly all worn off now, the gold paint read:

The driver, covered head to foot in a tattered brown cloak, gestured for me to get in. I sat down carefully and he followed. Then the two-seater ferry began to float across the murky waters. As the perpetual sunset lay frozen in time before us, leaving us in cold and darkness, my forlorn reflection stared up at me-- an image not my own-- a vile specter from the blue darkness-- I turned away in disgust.

My guide sat still and quietly paddled the boat, not with oars, but with a twist of his wrist and a sprinkle of fairy dust. Through the open folds of his cloak I saw sad and tired eyes, which stared at me in wonder. After a time, I worked up the courage to address him: "Who are you?"

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