But first, it's quieter now. The Taurons circle the room, sitting and watching. Before the altar is the priest, and before the priest Yusif and William sit in chairs; attended by Sam. He stands behind them, his skin telling the story. Yusif offers the priest a coin for the ferryman, to buy Shannon's passage; William says goodbye to his sister as Ruth weeps.
"Will you grant them passage? They will have passage. Will you let them go? Will you bid them farewell?"
They do, with tears in their eyes. A boy should never have to say goodbye to his mother. Not like that.
"Then they will live forever in peace. They will live forever in your hearts."
An elder woman sings a song -- another form of the ode to the dead that was in that rap song, matter of fact -- while the rest of them say goodbye. The voices of the dead. The priest closes their omega, writing the story on Yusif and his son. Sam holds the candle and the ink, weeping at the well. Every painful stab is a reminder and a blessing, as they tell the story. As they sacrifice flesh to the story.
It's the Tauron way; it's the oldest story in the world. One day the woman who wrote it -- who lived only through her art, who never left the darker garden; who was so beautiful already but could have been so much more, out there -- will become one of Willie's favorites. It goes like this:
Here is a little forest
Whose leaf is ever green.
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been.
Yusif leads his son home again. What started as a funeral becomes: A wake.