The air was cold, but the salt from the sea embraced him with an eerie emptiness that he could not comprehend. He opened his eyes, and that very same sea stood below. Patiently awaiting to welcome him with its icy blood. It was dark.
The moist air threw knives at his lungs with every breath. And it seemed as if his very own sweat froze to his skin, an odd addition to his scarred body. He looked up. The moon was full, staring down at him with an illuminating glare, aiding in the painting of the picture that would soon sum up his life. He could not remember what brought him to this point, and it didn't really matter now. The consequences of decisions past had no more relevance. All that mattered was now. And now, he had rolled the dice one to many times.
His time was coming, he could tell. He sat down on the cliff top, gazing across the black horizon with which he was becoming acquainted. It didn't look comforting. Not one bit. The temperature was falling with every passing second, chilling his bones. The spectacles that cut into his flesh were freezing at the rims. His graying hair created a lighter foreground for the dark background that surrounded him. He ran his hands down his face in the way that men do when a daunting frustration comes over them. This frustration was one of anxiety and pain. The end was coming, and he calmly accepted it.
The sound he had been waiting to hear finally came. Those familiar, rhythmic footfalls echoed behind him. He slowly rose to his feet and turned around. But even though what was to be seen was expected, there was no mental way to prepare oneself for what it was.
The figure that stood before him was one that had haunted his dreams, haunted his reality, and had penetrated the deep depths of his mind. The thing he had simply come to refer to as "The Abyss," a name he had created in grade school, looked him straight in the eyes. But the strange factor of it was the he could not see the Abyss's eyes at all. The Abyss appeared to him in humanoid form. It wore a black duster. Blacker than the darkest corner of the Earth, effectively shadowing the rest of its "body," if you could call it that. Its face, too, was shadowed. Hiding any sign of facial feature. No eyes, no mouth, no nose or cheeks. Topping it all was the black fedora, tilted forward to further cloud his face.
It stood there. It stood tall, dark, ominous, terrifying.
He could feel the blood in his veins slowing down… potentially hypothermia setting in. His toes had gone completely numb. The air was on the border of freezing now. His breath condensed in a thick fog before his face, creating a temporary smokescreen that blocked his view of the figure. The rock under his feet had begun to become slick with frost. Potentially dangerous if he tried to make an escape, but he knew better. His time was coming. The end came closer.
You could hear it breathing, but no air escaped. It raised its left hand and reached into the right inner flap of its duster, withdrawing a sleek, red cylinder with a single button and a long, chromed steel spring. Its weapon of choice; a straight razor. The very same razor it had used to claim the souls of countless others.
The old, bedridden woman in Fargo; the poor wino in Moscow; and soon, the middle-aged lad on the cliff tops in Massachusetts.
The tens of thousands that were slain at the hands of Genghis Khan. The countless souls taken in the name of God during the Crusades. The millions of Europeans that fell to the Black Plague. It had been there for all of it. And it would still be there after its business with him was taken care of.
It started toward him in a slow, savory stride. Straight razor drawn, the blade reflected brightly against the moonlight.
When it was within five feet of him, he felt the tumors that were imbedded throughout his body pulse in tearing agony, and he fell to his knees. The dark figure stood over him now, patiently waiting to strike his soul one last time.
He stood up, head down. Slowly, he raised his eyes meet those of his adversary. And, again, there was nothing to meet. Just the blackness that had loomed over him for all these years. His jaw clenched and tears welled up in his eyes. They fell like frozen rain.
"I… can't… won't let you take me," he said. He swallowed, took a deep breath, and backed away from the Abyss. He continued backing away in till he felt the ocean's wind flapping against his jacket and blowing his hair towards his crown, the sea below him howled for his visit. The figure had yet to move. The fear he felt was overwhelming; the closure, comforting.
The lone figure took a step towards him, and he responded by taking another step back. But this time there was no more rock to support him, and he fell, and he fell quickly. The Abyss stepped off, too, and reached out for him as if to give him a warm hug. But there was no hope for it to catch him.
The trip from the top of the cliff to the icy hell that awaited him was a short one. One that seemed to have lasted a thousand years. The only thing he thought of the entire way down was what he had done to deserve such a fate. Before he knew it, he had plunged into the icy depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The same sea that took over 1,200 lives in 1912 on the Titanic's maiden voyage. Come to think of it, it had been there, too.
He blacked out in moments, and never felt any pain.
The darkness finally engulfed him.