Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge? Are you open to sharing your dark side? Then read on.
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.
dark | side | thursday | six
The pain seared through his arm.
He woke, in fright. His eyes would not, could not, open. Cold cracked tiles lining the floor of the corridor did not make for a comfortable resting place. And he was wet. Very. And cold, so cold.
Twisted fleeting fragments flashed through his mind as his tortured senses fought to deal with the pain, the cold, the wetness. The emptiness he felt.
Blackened branches bruised his mind, a collapsing corridor. A moment when he slipped. Through.
And oh Hid, her voice. Her voice. Oh, that voice he wished not to remember, to erase.
He had heard her voice. Soft and pleading, seductive and terrifying.
“Don’t let him, don’t let him take it, not now, it’s so close. Please…hear me…”
His fingers had grasped the bottom of the flight of stone steps. Cold, slimy and old, like that thing that twisted inside him. Then, nothing. Cold, dark, empty, breathless nothing.
The voice, her voice, still echoed inside his head. She had been there, in his mind, in his soul, although he no longer imagined he possessed such a thing. Not now. Perhaps she’d always been there. Deep inside. Each time it happened he felt this. The cold, the emptiness, the desire, the sorrow. The terror.
His back was sore, bleeding. From the blackened bark? His eyes, now open, looked around. Blinking, swollen and sore. Taking in the dark corridor, the tiled floor, the damp concrete walls, the ceiling scored with deep cracks like aching distended veins.
No trees, no steps, no voice.
And the door. The door, leading back to his table, and the box.
He stood, began to walk, his breath ragged, thready and broken, pain flashing along his arm with each step. His eyes widened, dry and swollen, when he heard the door click and swing slowly open.
He walked to the door, paused at the threshold. Would anything have changed had he stopped at that point? He walked in. Did not look at the box. Oh, he wanted to.
He stopped at the shelf. Dust covering the few books that lay there, unread. He picked up the leather bound journal, walked back to his table, pulled back the chair, sat down, took his flask, hungrily downed another harsh shot.
The journal was old, the leather cracked, stained and unloved, it was held closed by a thin leather strap, tightly wound around the yellowing pages.
His belly warmed as the shot flared deep inside him. His fingers, shaking now, took hold of the leather strap binding the book and he began to unwind it slowly.
He opened the cover, the pages stuck together with the dust of ages past. He quickly the found the page he wanted, began to read, again, he knew the words, but.
She lay still, after she fell. Her waking fingers tracing the edge of the cold stone that marked the top of the stone steps.
Through her pain she tried to speak.
“Don’t let him…”
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.
six | fiftytwo