I met the Beatles on the boat to Hades. They wanted sandwiches. They were sitting on a bench on the top deck, all squashed together. They looked pretty ill. Their skin was pale and yellowing. It hung saggy from their bones. The bags under their eyes had long forgotten sleep.
I greeted them.
“Have you got any sandwiches?” said Ringo.
I apologised and said that I didn’t.
“Not any cheese and pickle?”
I shook my head.
I asked them how they came to be on the boat to Hades.
“Got any sandwiches?” said John, raising his voice as if I were hard of hearing.
Again I said that I didn’t. The Beatles exchanged glances and rolled their eyes.
It was funny, I said, all four of them here at once.
Paul leaned forward and said slowly, “Do… you… have… any… sandwiches?”
I said that I hadn’t bothered packing any sandwiches.
I looked away and out over the grey sea. There was no sound at all. After a while I looked back at them.
“You don’t, by any chance, have any sandwiches, do you?” said George.
Instead of responding I walked further along the deck. When I was fifty or so paces away, I looked back. The Beatles sat there together staring out to sea, motionless.