The heat of the day was quickly waning. The sand where he sat shifted as he wrapped the blanket tighter around his legs and over his shoulders, covering his head so only his face was visible. He liked the feeling of being in a cocoon, safe, secure, protected from what lurked outside in the dark.
‘It’s almost time.’
He knew not to argue. Nothing good ever came from arguing. He simply continued to look straight ahead. From his vantage point he could see the vast horizon, but the setting sun was somewhere slightly off to his right.
Watching the pulsating, orange orb slowly sinking into the dark green ocean was oddly mesmerizing, familiar and comforting.
The far limits of the water, a perilous barrier against the lava flow of dusk, seemed miles way. An unattainable rim along the flat surface of the world where the oceans’ depths plunged into an unfathomable abyss.
‘The changing light is making the distance seem further away than it really is. It’s all just an illusion.’
Always the voice of reason, there was nothing that couldn’t be explained. Still, there was a niggling question floating just out of reach.
It wasn’t every night he would come watch the sunset. Some days were better than others. Clouds were good, rain wasn’t, unless there was a storm. Storms meant wind and wind made the voices louder. The voices would sing to him on these nights.
Once a brilliant shaft of light broke through the storm clouds, and it was like hearing a celestial choir of angels, the voices were so clear and beautiful. He couldn’t stop crying until the rain ended, washing away the final strains of that heavenly hymn.
He longed to hear that choir again. That’s why he was on the beach, watching this sunset. It was time, yet he was afraid. Fearful of the unknown. He wasn’t worried that the journey would be painful. He feared being alone.
‘I’ll guide you. It’ll only take a few moments. It’s so beautiful there, and you will finally be among friends.’
Loosening the blanket, he pulled his legs out first. Spreading out the corners, he stood up on the still warm sand. He felt a slight chill, but wasn’t sure if it was from the night breeze or nerves. He kicked off his shoes and began walking toward the surf.
At the first touch of waves upon his ankles, he let out a little laugh, turning briefly to look at the Dockers he left above the tide line. It seemed a useless gesture, not wanting to get his shoes wet, like it actually mattered now.
He was surprised at how balmy the water still was, even this late in the fall. This was going to be easy.
‘See, I told you. It’ll be like walking into a dream, only on the other side you’ll be in your new home.’
Facing west, he stood for a moment to watch as night swallowed the day, finally able to stare directly at the sinking sun. The beauty of it taking his breath away.
Sighing deeply, he turned back toward the horizon and began walking, his arms outstretched at his sides, his smile growing broader the further out he went. The water rising to his knees, then thighs, his hips, chest, as he made his way slowly to the edge of the world.
His body was never recovered, only the blanket from his room he left on the beach. The one his grandmother made for him when he was born. There was no suicide note. He didn’t end his worldly existence. He had simply followed the voice to a new life where the universe ended.
My challenge went to Cedar: “Eeny, meeny, miney, moe”
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