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In Which by Louise Carson

Finalist for The QWF Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature in 2019




     It had been night when the woman had found the boy lying in the boat. Still night, though almost morning, and the ferryman’s giant body floating face down in the water, the boy’s precious hair rope disintegrating, shreds moving idly on the river’s surface, drifting slowly to its banks to be claimed by shore birds for their sketchy nests.
     It was still night when she woke him. Still night, but the morning’s mist was beginning to rise from the river and the rills that trickled down the hillside.
     Bits of human hair were stuck to his face and hands, and to his garments, and he sobbed as he plucked at them. As they leaned together, the ferryman’s body turned in the water, face up, and for a moment they thought he was alive.
     She set the boy rowing himself across the water, then sat on sand and rock by the slow-moving river Sith and watched him go, and keened as she tore some of her gray hairs loose from her head. And the sun rose and with it the wind, and the keening rose from her body, and the mist became a hard rain.



Broken Rules Press