The Sharkman

Deep inside the woods, we are greeted by a scary silence until the sound of leaves crunching under feet draws our attention to The Sharkman, examining his surroundings as he begins to speak.

“We are not perfect people, by any stretch of the imagination. We are ugly, broken people, always on the edge of sanity…and all it takes is a little push to send us into the abyss. We can choose to step away, but we always manage to find ourselves back where we started. For many, the descent is terrifying…but for some, it is the biggest thrill in the world. The question of what lies beneath is one that demands an answer, whether or not we choose to hear it.”

He soon approaches his destination, walking towards a giant crater in the middle of a field as he continues.

“Imagine yourself at that place, for just a moment. Imagine yourself so full of uncertainty, so full of doubt that it consumes you and pushes you over the edge. As you fall into the abyss, that uncertainty tears you apart, exposing the very worst part of who you are. How can you come back from that? Is it even possible? Or can you be so consumed by the uncertainty that you accept the monster you’ve become?

“Imagine the infection coursing through your veins, driving you further and further away from sanity as you embrace the evil that lurks within. The disease is so crippling that over time, it pulls you closer and closer to the edge…and the infection destroys your will to the point where you decide the only way to save yourself is to take the leap. You cannot make such decisions without collateral damage, though, and your choices destroy the lives of those you consider friends…those you consider family. They are pulled into the abyss with you, forever trapped by the sickness you’ve spread unto them.”

He takes a moment to look at the moon casting its light over the field, punctuating the darkness of the crater as he continues.

“Imagine hiding in the shadows for so long, that returning to the light reveals that you didn’t come back the same as you left. Deep inside, the shadow waits to pull you over the edge, where eternal darkness awaits. You can pretend everything’s alright, but deep down even you know that nothing’s as it was. The shadow depends on you hiding it, confident in your rehabilitation as you step toward the abyss unafraid…and then the shadow reveals itself, pushing you into eternal darkness. There’s no turning back for the heroes that hide their brokenness, only misery.”

“Imagine being so broken that you can no longer play the hero, and accept that you are just as broken as everyone else. Imagine being someone else’s puppet, as they pull you by the strings toward the edge. They force you to stare into the abyss, wishing you could end your suffering by jumping in…and when they’ve taken every ounce of your joy, they finally oblige and push you in. Every hero finds their breaking point, the moment they have to choose whether you will stick to your guns, or succumb to the darkness.

He makes his way toward the crater, looking over the edge into the seemingly endless darkness as he speaks once more.

“Six men enter the abyss, but only one can say he can see the way out. I have felt the infection of doubt flowing through me, I have watched as my own mistakes have destroyed others in the process. The darkness I’ve seen pales in comparison with the responsibility of being the hero people need. Everyone faces their day of reckoning, and only one man can escape the abyss that awaits…so sayeth The Sharkman.

With that, the face of the The Sharkman grows smaller as we come to realize we are being pulled deeper and deeper into the abyss before fading to black.