Drifting south on melting ice, pulled toward death by the tide, the creature wondered which would end him first: the melting platform beneath him? Lowering his bulk closer and closer to the frozen ocean. The grumbling sky above? Pregnant and dark, heavy with rain to wash him away. He wondered which might hurt more, dissolving in the frigid tide, abluted to naught by the deluge. Did it matter, truly, after an existence full of deaths? First in pieces, the remains of a dozen different lives, then on the table, by lightning, then bit by bit with every life he took since.

Adam, he decided then, Adam is my name.

Not creature, not abortion, not wretch nor demon nor fiend: Adam. It was a small victory, to define oneself, but in the end it is all even monsters have.

A victory so small, none but the now-named beast, and the quiet sea would know it.

He looked at his hands, and saw they swam in blood. How violent to steal a life, how easy. Imagining each kill claimed the breath of his maker. That by robbing the doctor of all he treasured, the creature avenged its own birth. The fear in the doctor's eyes at that moment followed him still. 

Alas, all he had stolen was his own chance at self. A raindrop fell on the creature’s cheek. Brushing it off with a finger, his skin gave and he saw gray flesh fall away from his face and into the ocean. How quickly you fall apart when nothing in you wants to hold together. Were he able, he would have wept. Had he the anger he felt with his fingers wrapped around his father’s love, he might have screamed at the sky. Had he a soul, or faith, perhaps he would beseech heaven for mercy from a silent God. Had he courage, he would rise, slip into the waters, and oblivion, and be forgotten.

The sky grumbled again. More droplets fell. More dead flesh discarded itself onto the melting floe. Adam sighed. Courage was no longer necessary. When you wait long enough, the inevitable comes whether you choose it or not.

Given no option, why not embrace the ineluctable end?

Wincing, he forced himself to sit, peeling himself from ice which melted and pooled and froze again around him, tugging at his skin, tearing until he left it behind like a shedding viper. He stood on shaky feet, and tottered towards the edge, stumbling, falling, toward the deep.

With each step, he left more behind. Toes and fingers, a foot, an eye. A self that crumbles to the coda. A microcosm of life that takes and takes and wears all down to the nub.

I am Adam. He thought, closer now, closer. I… was Adam.

He stared into churning, icy froth.

I was.

He pitched forward, plummeting into the ocean flood, disappearing as it began to rain in earnest. The wretch did not emerge again.

Soon, with the force of the torrent, even the ice was gone. With it, every trace of the creature that yearned, the abortion that dreamed, the fiend.