The wind whipped like my conscience; the former external, the latter inside but hustling to get out and join the wind.

Such thoughts came to me through a mind darker than the raging black sky that, for now, ruled the world. That sky invited me into the darker-still bog. It promised a different kind of black: still and peaceful.

I lowered my body into the swamp until just my hands were on the bank. They were the last link with firm ground; my mind was already in the mire.

But the swamp would not take me away, not fully and entirely. There was no sucking current, no last minute lurch of fear as I realised what I had done to myself, how I had lost control and was now just another part of nature running its course. Instead of black oblivion, my treacherous feet found solid ground.

I was defeated in my last effort on earth.

Very slowly, very pitifully and with some weariness I moved my hands. First the left took hold of a tuft of grass, making paper cuts on my fingers. The pain broke into my mind, slicing it like my wafer-thin skin. Then the right found a rock, protruding like a statement of intent or a rusting road sign on a once travelled highway.

I hauled myself out and sat on the edge, shivering from my failure.

Then I took a lungful of sweet marsh air while a frog, perched on the bank, looked on my antics with disdain.

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