A blinding white sun glows against a red sky filled with seagulls.
"And so death became different. And the world I love became more dead than alive."
Beneath the crashing seafoam, souls fall downward toward the ocean's depths. The red string continues downward.
"They went into the sea. A merciless flood of ghosts. First there were a thousand... then millions. Billions. An unending rain of the dead. An ocean's worth of lost souls without any hope of reincarnation."
Red faces fill up the bottom of the sea, far from the light above.
"They sing for me to send them somewhere better than this. 'Take us across that celestial river,' they say. 'Let us sleep. We are tired. Where is the ferryman to bring us home?'"
A skeletal figure with a skull-like face - with the same red and black-plated eyes - sits curled up in a corner, looking forlorn. Banded fins reach outward, vestigial limbs of a god. He holds the red thread with a single hand.
"I am so sorry to keep you all waiting. The ferryman can't take you home anymore."