dark | side | thursday | one

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

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Do you have a dark side?

Or, think you may have one. Or indeed worry that you might have one. Or, for that matter, worry that you don’t and would like one? If so,  join me here each week for dark | side | thursday.

Over a period of 52 weeks, I am writing a story. A dark story that will unfold as the weeks pass. Each Thursday, at 13:00 UTC, I will post a new chapter. Each chapter will be exactly 500 words long, and will be accompanied by a photograph. You can catch up on the story so far by clicking here on dark | side | thursday


Share your dark side?

I invite you to join me either by writing your own dark story, week by week, or, if that is too much, by dropping by, now and then, perhaps when the mood suits you or, perhaps, when it doesn’t, and by sharing a photograph, poem or a suitably dark piece of prose. To cross over to dark | side | thursday create your post, tag it dark side thursday and link to it by clicking on the dark | side | thursday badge below, where you can also find all the contributions so far. Or you can simply share your link in the comments section of my weekly post. And, should the mood take you, you can add the badge to your post.

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dark | side | thursday | one

It stopped. Suddenly. Under the spring sun.

Over. All done. Nothing more.

A soft wind caressed the few hairs left on his head. As he gazed, without care or regard, over the serried ranks of headstones.

All those names. Those faces pasted to the marble. Staring back at him.

The fake plastic flowers. Their fake, plastic, feelings.

Death. Decay. Despair.

He had been shocked, by the flowers. The intensity, of the flowers. Their lack of life. Lack of pollen. Lack of decay. Their, lack. Their fake colours spoke to the horror. In his heart. In his soul. If he had one.

Walking, among the dead. The cold gaze of the stone sentinels. So little to do. Just staring and waiting until the wind abraded their faces into anonymity. They left their statues, to absolve their conscience. Standing. To do the bidding of those who no longer care.

He felt it. Even before then. That moment. He felt it.

He had come to learn, to capture the essence, to absorb his new culture. Familiar, and, not.

And all those names and dates and faces and false, fanciful, fake, flowers.

He pressed the shutter release over and over. Yes, he did. That’s what he did. Over, and over. Recording, reporting, revealing. And, later, he would know. More than he wanted. He would. Know.

Pollen covered his shoes. A light dusting. Dust, that troubled him.

And, those massive, stone, slabs. Sealed. Suffocating. Echoes of Poe. That damp earth. The broken finger nails. The strangled cries, of despair. Beneath.

He continued. To walk.

Among those slabs. Those inscriptions. The man, hanging on the beams of wood, one vertical, one horizontal. A fractured world. Lost hopes. Lost dreams. Always fighting. And, then, a photo on a stone. A photo.

He was incensed by the injustice. The rows of small stones. The mausoleums of the rich, the mayors, the benefactors. Who decides. Of all those faces, gazing out from the stones. Which deserved his care? His attention? His lens?

Troubled. He pressed on.

Soon, he found it. It, found him. They, found him. And it, they, will never let go.

The space. The emptiness. Between the stones. That stopped him. Made him think. Too much, as always. He had always thought too much. Without thinking.

There was no grass. No marble. No stone. No written homage to the great and good. No stone sentinel.

What had been there, was gone. No smooth marble cladding. Only bricks, scraped, exposed, bare. Industrial. Yes, industrial. The stark futility, pierced him.

What of those who had knelt here? Those, who had been left behind. What of them?

He stared at the bare boards. Those rough hewn, wooden, boards. The concrete lintel. Surrounding that terrible open hole. The slates. Dragged across that gaping, terrible, hole.

He knelt. He looked. He, saw.

A cold pit. Filled. With water.

Cold walls. They no longer constrained their bitter cargo.

And, he looked. He heard. He saw. He felt. What had been there.

The end.


The portal to dark | side | thursday opened on the twenty first day of may in the year twenty hundred and fifteen and will remain open for fifty two weeks.

one | fiftytwo

59 thoughts on “dark | side | thursday | one

  1. This is a great idea! I’ll try to join in (don’t think I’ll have time this week) with different poems and stories. I love this first part of your story too – it sets the scene so well whilst giving nothing away. I hope you get loads of people joining in!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy Andy Andy. Very good story. I read it out loud and the pace is excellent. Do I understand that this will be a serial story?
    I have a little short piece of writing that I’ve wondered if it’s too dark to publish here…. Maybe I could try it??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Holy crap, Andy… a continuing story exactly 500 words each week over 52 weeks! Have you gone mad? lol It’s a fantastic idea! AND one heck of a challenge. I can’t wait to see where this goes. This, for sure, is something I want to take part in from time to time. I have no clue where I’ll go with it, but it sounds like fun. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, thank you Amy! Yep, it appears that I have gone mad, or perhaps my madness has now taken public form 😉 I just hope I can stay true to my own challenge. I do look forward to seeing you on the dark side as and when you can… thank you again!

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  4. What a great idea – and yes, I agree with Amy, you’re a total madman. I don’t have a clue what I could write for 52 weeks, but popping in with shorts would be fun. I’m always drawn to the DARK SIDE.
    A great opening instalment – so intriguing and mysterious. And a lovely image too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Andy, this is a cool idea and a very ambitious project that fits you well. And the launching post was carefully and beautifully crafted. Chapeau.
    I will follow the developments here. I already saw many enthusiasts in the comments. DJ debut was stunning. Like you, I may not be able to sleep for a whole week or month.
    As to joining the fun, I’ll pass this time. I rather focus on my bright side for the time being, as I haven’t been very attentive to it in the last years.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lucile, I really appreciate your comments and feedback, very kind as so often. I agree that DJ’s debut was stunning and quite disturbing…I hope I don’t come to regret choosing to launch such a dark project. And, of course, I understand your focus on the bright side and I wish you well in that of course! Maybe for me, I can try to corral my own “dark side” in the confines of this project and allow myself to focus the rest of my time and energy on more positive, happy and brighter matters…

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      1. No problem. My pleasure. DJ is good at it and I am happy that you have a place for her to show her superior skills.
        Thanks for understanding. I’d love to join a challenge organized by you but I am afraid I just wouldn’t be good enough on the dark matter as much as I’m not with poetry. But I will be here cheering you guys up! And if any of you get too dark and lost, I will bring some light in. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. count me in… I’ve just entered into my darkest moods ever…
    I’ll enjoy reading you and am looking forward to your stories and photographs, Andy
    and I just found the title to my next photo (or prolly to my next 52 photos… or to my next 152 photos) in your text…
    I guess everybody have their dark side…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alexandra, I hope whatever causes those dark moods can be alleviated in some way soon. I am delighted that you will take part in the challenge when you can and look forward to seeing how you do so…and thank you, again. We all have a dark side, and I think, hope, a bright side too!

      Like

    1. Thank you, I think it fair to say that there may be a few twists and turns in my story and possibly even an “undead” element…and thank you so much for your darkly hilarious contribution!!

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  7. Brilliant idea, and yes, totally mad – but that’s why I LOVE it! I know I’ve got a dark side thought not sure how it will come out but what a perfect place to test it. Now, is it me, or all of the comments and hopeful contributors women?! Surely, with the exception of Andy of course, it isn’t just we females with a dark side?
    Either way, looking forward to reading more of your story Andy, and joining in when I can.

    Liked by 1 person

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