Toes jutted beyond the edge, tips chilled to the bone.
He gazed beyond, the terrifying maw draining all essence and light, all cheer and life.
The far side beckoned, yet no bridge could span that divide. Above, the radiant blue caressed his face, assuring him for every dusk there was a dawn; but such promise echoed hollow against the gaping black before him.
Its embrace was inevitable. Even now his head was pierced by stabs of pain, his heart murmuring with uncertainty and panic, limbs aching and knees quivering.
None cared where he was, just as none cared for his own private darkness. None could see or comprehend, and none asked, perhaps fearful they be drawn in themselves, perhaps too self-centred to offer any measure of empathy or understanding.
He was beyond help, beyond guidance, beyond knowledge and wisdom. The hunger drew him in, beyond any ability to divine or resist, yet his heels remained firmly rooted to the last vestiges of ground at the periphery of the abyss, as if they dwelt independent, fiercely resisting that downward slope into darkness.
Teetering on the edge, he desperately wanted to turn his back, to step away and roar defiance at the inevitable, yet he had not the strength to move to the left or to the right or even fall backwards.
The chill had seeped up from his feet and now curled around his chest, pulling him in. He could no longer feel anything below his neck, his heels at last surrendering.
He tipped without realising, the blackness embracing him.
Even encased in bleak despair, he vaguely realised he still had a choice. He could stay still and calm, sinking to oblivion…
…or he could swim.
The abyss still had a far side, after all.