Dark and foggy night over a half-dead city, lampposts emitting a sickly yellow light, barely enough to illuminate the damp street.
This is the setting chosen by a man chosen by an idea.
Beneath the sound of cars going by - some fast, eager to leave this place behind and some slow, sleepy at this hour - beneath the droning electric buzz of the lampposts. The baying of a dog. Deep beneath all that, there is another sound crawling.
Something metallic is being dragged on the pavement. Something heavy. Something with a tip, something with an edge. Something with an ominous aura pervading it.
And grasping that axe, wielding it lazily and absent-mindedly, dragging it, is a scarred hand. A torn flesh-host of four fingers and a stump of a fifth one, barely long enough for a ring to be worn there. A copper ring. The hand is so full of scars that the patch of burnt flesh on it seems to be the closest thing to what used to be healthy skin at some point.
The arm that supports it is less scarred, but more stricken. Wounds, some deep, some shallow, some closed, some gashing and bleeding little trails of blood.At shoulder's length, a torn cloth rests, one that could have been the result of burning a shirt and then trying to put it out before it was fully consumed by fire.
The steps of this axe-wielder are light. So light, in fact, that they can not be heard above the dragging of the metal beside them. Seemingly ancient boots move with no sign of grace or beauty. The feet are merely the means to a cause. The cause of the axe.
The light of a lamppost gives a quick view of this ruggedy figure. A man, by the looks of his chest under the torn and burnt tee-shirt. A large wound rests heart-sided on his chest, and it seems to be bleeding still.
This doesn't stop the footsteps. Nor the dragging.
His neck seems thin and long, scarred nearly as bad as his hands.
The mixture of flesh, muscle, tissue and bone that forms his head is a snake's trail of rugged features, scars, scabs and burned flesh. His nostrils bare, no nose to cover them, merely two slits on a skull. His ears misshapen, as if bitten by wild animals.
His eyes are two flames fed by two perfectly circular ethereal lumps of coal, two literal flaming pieces floating in the space of his eye-sockets, though the rest of his head stays unharmed by them.
His mouth is two times the length of his lips across his jaws. Be it wounds, scars, cuts on his blackened cheek's flesh, there is only one thing certain about his maw, and that is his ubiquitous, bloodlust-driven, mad grin of pointed, long, canine-like teeth.
And his steps go on.
The dragging of his axe goes on.
And in his head, in this wraith's skull, a single thought.
'In the dark I lie, by my hands they die.'
And this night, like every night, his words are true.
This night, like all the others.
The Axeman Cometh.