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Up and down was the boat upon the water. The surgeon shrugged, looking at the wild-eyed youth again before asking him the second time are you sure you want to go now?

and the youth, smiling, gave a vigorous nod. Sighing, the surgeon reeled in his line and slipped into his boat shoes.

The youth wore no shoes and no shirt, just a heavy blanket of fear. As the youth jumped into the boat, the blanket fell upon the river.

The surgeon followed him aboard and began untying the boat from the dock. Overhead the sail flapped something fierce against the wind, even tied tight as it was. The surgeon hadn't noticed the wind at all until the youth approached him at the dock—he was just about to recast and all of a sudden there was the wind, out of nowhere like some freak storm.

The surgeon began to explain how he didn't make this trip often, even though he knew it well. The youth unfurled the sail while standing upon one side of the boat. It was a small affair, a skiff if anything at all. The youth knew that if he stared at it too long, it was liable to disappear. It could float; the wind would be more than enough post-purchase.

The youth thought that this was going on for too long. The surgeon announced that this voyage would only go so far: that there were barriers past which he was not yet himself ready to enter, much less guide an other to.

The youth watched the dock and the shore and the houses all recede.

The surgeon stated that typically he would go in for just a soda. Though he rarely did.

Go.

The last time he did, it was to go past the preserves to fish tomorrow and free beer after but that took more time than he had left.


Under the bridge was where the ship sped fastest yet. The surgeon and the youth leaned and pulled to dodge the larger, slower vessels. A different sail crossed their path as they cleared the bridge, its blue metallic against their flow north below. It would have been a close call if only

the winds surged, bringing new sky to charge on.  

After the bridge they were almost there. 


Inside, the escalator was different. The surgeon and the youth stood on separate parallel platforms, each at a 45 degree angle. The ascent seemed overly long.

The youth waited outside while the surgeon got his sometimes soda. Time got ripe but never got in.

After, they dropped down to the water. The boat had sunk.

They swam back, against the current.

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