THE FERRY OF SOULS, the short story by A.L. Salmon

“A sensation of fleeing in terror came to him, followed by a swift sense of security.”

….reading ghost or horror stories like this. Or just fiction in general. Vehicles for our souls for a nonce of creative nonsense or something far more serious or enlightening. Terror or excitement, dread, eventual healing… for those who grow old doing it.
This young man who has become a ferryman needing a strong arm for the currents thereabouts, and has taken over from a now weakened old man who used to do the job, and who once told him of the souls that use not only the ferry but also the ferryman himself as vehicle to cross, and as payment for their fare.
Think of it. What the journey, who the traveller? Or vice versa.
A short work that is a mighty vehicle for what we do, what we read, or what we write.


The book collection context of above single review:

EDIT (15/11/22) —

“He was hearing strange music in a dream. Perhaps it was the moonshine that waked him, yet as he awaked the sound continued with no break, and he sat up in his bed with wide open eyes.”

The story of a violinist as leader of an orchestra makes a pact with the daimon or demon here playing with seeming wondrousness on a violin or viola d’amore when he wakes, a pact whereby he had to promise that as payment to the demon or daimon he would need to accept he would ever play as wondrously as that.
And what vile violins he did then engender around him ….yet you need not worry. Full of potential orgies and Satanic rites, this story is safe for you to read, viz. “Persons also of sluggish or unimaginative nature escaped altogether from its morbid charm.”
But even if you are not one of those sluggish souls, this book as a ferry of souls (in eponymous story or overall collection’s title) has also hidden benefits as the tutelary devil’s viol continuo behind this book shows full well that “Even on the sensitive its effect was not the same in all moods; so that it would seem that the listener himself was always partly responsible for the result, hearing that which was already in his own soul.”
The reader, too.

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