30th september of the year 2000...


Denny slipped quietly from the family’s small home, late at night, not wanting to disturb his wife or two children. He was resolute about what he intended to do on that dark, moonless night; and absolutely nothing was to deter him.

Strangely, he was at peace that night, for the first time in many months. He felt an odd sense of relief as he stepped out into the dark quiet of the night.

Calmly, Denny drove to the nearby escarpment, and slowly made his winding way to the summit. He had carefully planned each and every facet of what he was about to do... right down to the finest detail. 

Denny had wrestled for months with the demons which had plagued him his whole life, and had begun to pound him with unprecedented and relentless force. For months he tried in vain to find answers which could relieve his torment, until exhausted and defeated he had convinced himself that his disappearance was the only and noble course of action available to him - desperate to escape the constant turmoil and to spare his young family any further pain.

High upon that mountain top, Denny brought his car to a halt. The site he settled on was heavily shrouded by a canopy of Eucalypts, towering high overhead - excluding virtually all light, in the most foreboding fashion. 

The breeze had begun to freshen sharply, and could be heard to whistle eerily across the face of the escarpment , dipping down towards the valley below, where his loved ones rested in peaceful slumber. As the wind picked up, it's forceful gusts howled through the treetops, causing them to sway in a flurry of tormented confusion above.

Denny sat reclined in his seat for the longest time, door ajar; just drinking in the poetic scene that played out before him. A fierce lover of nature, the lively display that the night cast, brought him peace and a hint of sadness at once. 

Suddenly, the melancholic reverie shattered, as a startled crow let out an unsettled shriek, piercing the darkness and rattling the peace. Denny shook his head, as if to awaken himself:

“Oh well”, he thought... “it’s time anyway!”

 

The leaf litter blanketing the earth, rustled under foot as Denny alighted from the car. His senses finely attuned to his surroundings, as though he had become one with them, every scent and sound seemed magnified and carried a sense of grandeur.

Denny idled around to the back of the car, and the boot lid creaked - as if in protest - as he opened it to retrieve a length of hose, a roll of tape, and a few old rags that he tossed to the ground, and there they laid discarded and limp.

Denny set to work with hose and tape in hand, feeding one length into the exhaust pipe and stretching the other through an agape window and to the car. He winced, as his hand struck the undercarriage of the car, while he ripped at the tape, working fervently to secure the hose in place. In one swift scoop Denny collected the discarded rags and stuffed them inside the exhaust, tightly encompassing the hose. Kneeling there, he paused to admire the quality of his workmanship, thinking:

“Dad taught me how to use this sort of tape, and to make sure you
‘half lap’ it, to ensure complete coverage. He’d be bloody proud of this job!”

 

As Denny carried on in his stealth mission, sealing off the car from the world around, he felt as if he was watching himself from afar. Almost alienated from the steps he was tasked with... his course of action had merely become an inevitable end that he had accepted. The scene that seemed almost to be unfolding before him of it's own accord, was the final act in his play called 'life’. Although he owned the leading role, he felt little control, but rather as if he stood among an unseen audience that watched on in silence.

With his set-up complete, Denny slumped back into the car, and roared the engine into life. He settled back at ease, as the engine too lulled to a comfortable idle. In a decisive move, that sealed his fate, Denny then took the keys from the ignition and threw them from the car - well into the darkness - and shut the door on the world around him.

Locking the doors, Denny reached for the bottle of Jack Daniels that he had smuggled safely along with him. He had just been thinking that he needed his old mate ‘Jack’, as his accomplice, if he was to complete his task. Many times over, he had come this far along, only to pull himself back from the brink of death, but this time he was determined in his resolve.

“Sorry to get you into this Jack”, Denny laughed. “But you know it’s for the best… hey?!”

 

While the world still slumbered, in the pre-dawn hours of October 1 2000; high above his loved ones, on the adjacent escarpment, Denny lost consciousness. In the chill that precedes sunrise, he quietly slipped into that transient state that exists between this world and the next.

In a meticulously planned and methodical manner, Denny had taken his own life. His years of torment were now over, and in peace he was to rest at last.

Denny had previously always managed to hold out for one more sunrise, to battle his demons another day. On October 1, 2000, although the sun dutifully rose to take it's place - illuminating the eastern horizon with new life; Denny’s ‘sun’ had already set. For him there would be no rising - not in this world, but his light shines on.