dark | side | thursday | five

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

atownend_2015_05_15_6919-Edit


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.

AJT_6650-Edit


dark | side | thursday | five

The door closed behind him.

The dark corridor stretching out ahead.

That damned box. The box that wanted him to press the button, slide his fingers inside, release the key, release it. That box now waited behind that door. Release, waited behind that door.

He could not think of that now.

He knew if he did, he would be lost. Again.

He walked on down the hall.

He felt the pain. In his arm. It hurt, as it always did. And the corridor narrowed. The ceiling, the walls, the floor, dark, shifting, coalescing. And the pain. Oh, that searing pain.

Dark, so dark. His chest tightened. Air, he needed air. He felt the walls closing tight around him. How could that be?

The sound of stone, stone slowly scraping over stone. The dull heavy thud. No light. No light. No light. Only dark remained.

His lips had touched hers. She kissed him back, wanting him, hungry for release. She felt his need, his fingers.

Then. Darkness. Again. Blue eyes twisted. Gone. Empty.

She could not breathe.

The pain twisting, growing inside her. His lips cold. She pulled away. The light gone again. The emptiness remained, engulfing.

He shivered as his eyes blinked open. He was not in the corridor. The air damp, musty. He could hear water flowing nearby. Flowing swiftly, darkly.

Light began to filter through the crooked, leafless, blackened branches of a tree. He struggled to remember where he had been, where he was.

The corridor. He had walked through the door, entered the dark corridor.

Which now appeared to be formed from the bark of a forest of ancient black trees.

He struggled to sit, the pain in his arm intensified, his breathing ragged. He sat with his back pressed hard against the rough bark, not caring about the scrapes he would suffer from later. Reaching into his pocket, he grasped the seductive slick metal of the flask. Unscrewing the cap, he pressed it to his lips and felt the harsh liquid burn down his throat.

She had pulled away. Could not face those empty, not blue, eyes for now. The pain in her belly gnawing and churning inside her. He had turned away from her. His eyes averted for now.

She walked, slowly at first, then began to run.

He did not follow. He had turned, those empty eyes watching as she ran.

She had tripped. Fallen. Her hands reaching out.

That was when she had seen the steps. Rough stone steps, descending in front of her. Cold and damp. The emptiness inside her churned again as she looked down the steps into the shifting darkness below.

The harsh jolt of the shot revived him a little.

He turned his head. The pain in his arm screaming and raging.

He bit hard into his lip, rose unsteadily to his feet.

At that moment, he saw them. Ahead of him, through the trees. Rough stone steps rising into the darkness.

Then, oh Hid. Then, he heard her.


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.

five | fiftytwo

off season

“It’s big and it’s bland, full of tension and fear.
They do it over there but we don’t do it here.”
lyrics from “fashion” by david bowie

atownend_2015_05_15_6853-Edit-Edit

off season

low season

unseason(able)

off season / in need

(for wordpress weekly photo challenge – off season)

*shot with nikon d700 and nikkor 70-200mm f/4 lens at 135mm, ISO200, 1/200s at f/7.1, second hand dreams*

dark | side | thursday | four

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

atownend_2015_05_16_00896-Edit


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.

AJT_6650-Edit


dark | side | thursday | four

She saw.

Or she thought she saw.

The key felt alive in her fingers, vibrating.

His eyes. Those sparkling blue eyes. The eyes that made her melt, want him, need him, ache. There. Those eyes that took her. Made her. They had gone. The light at least had dimmed.

And, in that moment, those eyes grew dark, twisted, shifting.  And, empty.

Her breath would not come.  The hand holding the key cramped and pain shot up her arm. Cold tendrils of fear spread from the very centre of her. That empty place deep inside her. That place that would always be empty. Not that she knew that then. Oh no, then, even at that moment, she wanted, hoped, needed.

She dropped the key.

Looked away.

And, from the corner of her eye.

She saw.

He paused for a moment. Writing had once seemed so easy to him. Now it had become a bitter fight. He had to tell their story. His time was short. He knew that. His fingers ached and fought back. Again the cold seeped into his veins, his bones, his mind.

His eye strayed to that box.

He closed his eyes and, for a brief moment her emptiness spilled into his mind. Or what was left of it.

He stood. The rain pounded against the glass, the sky ripped by cold fire.

He turned. Reached for the bottle. Poured a little into the glass. He closed his eyes, tipped the harsh clear liquid down his throat and rasped those words again, “na zdraví”.

He remembered. All of it.

And he knew he had little time.

He touched the box. Felt it vibrate a little. Closed his eyes.  And, in the darkness, swirling, pulsating, he saw it. Not for the first time.

The day he had found the box he had gone there to learn. Walking among the dead. He had not imagined just how much he would learn, and how important that learning would become.

Turning back to the bottle, he took another shot, felt the burning liquid flare deep inside him. Sat down, picked up the pen. Laid it aside. He could not concentrate. He wanted to press the button again and release the key.

She saw.

From the corner of her eye.

And then it had passed. The shooting pain faded. She breathed in. The cold empty feeling deep in her belly remained, twisting and cramping.

His eyes were blue again. She ached. He bent down towards her, and as he did so, reached for the key, picked it up and held it out to her. She took it. He moved closer, her lips found his.

He knew he could not open the box this night.  He stood, walked to the door, looked back, paused, opened the door and walked out into the cold dark hall. The door closed behind him.

And, in that room, the box waited.

It knew he would return.

Knew he would press the button, slide his fingers inside.

It wanted.


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.

four | fiftytwo

space | animal(s)

“in the space between chaos and shape there was another chance” 
 ― jeanette winterson

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space

not that much to ask is it

space to run

space to hunt and tear and devour

not that much to ask is it

space to leap

space to howl and eat red meat

not that much to ask is it

space

not this pink collar

not this cold kennel

not this,

space

(for tech of the month: focus on animals from lucile and perelincolors)
(also for laura’s literary lion. space.)

*shot with nikon d700, and nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens at ISO200, 1/400s at f/10, edited in lightroom cc and analog efex pro, claws and pink collar optional*

vivid

                                     "all the robots descend from the bus" - daft punk is playing in my house, lcd soundsystem
 atownend_2015_May_27_00800-Edit

(city of london, window dressing)

(for wordpress weekly photo challenge – vivid)
*shot with nikon d700, nikkor 70-200mm f/4 lens at 200mm, ISO450, 1/125s and f/4, edited in lightroom cc and color efex pro 4, who’s playing in your house?*

vivid on belgianstreets

dark | side | thursday | three

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

_20141207_001288_269787


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.

AJT_6650-Edit


dark | side | thursday | three

He opened the box.

Again, as he always did when the time was right. Since he had first found it.

Pressing the concealed button, he slid open the lid with care, darkness seeming to slither out of the box.

He stood, walked to the window.

The rain continued to sluice down, the window smeared. His bones ached. His heart too. He sighed. He turned back to the box.

He took it out.

The key.

The key he had first found in the box, in the hole in the ground. He had crouched down at the edge of that hole, gazing into the darkness. Feeling, as he did again now, the cold, the uneasy shifting sensation deep inside. The fear, yes, always that fear.

He had spotted the simple wooden box, sitting in a niche in the dark walls of that terrible hole in the ground. A black painted wooden box. A box lined with smooth black metal, a box that seemed to reject the very idea of light. And, the box that contained the key.

The key, which, on that uncommonly warm spring evening so long ago, as their fingers touched, they had found on the grass as they sat there on the side of that path. And so it had begun.

And they had felt the cold, the same bone chilling cold he felt now.

How things might have been had they left that key lost amongst the grasses of that path.

He picked up the key.

A simple, not ornate, key. Black. Like his heavy heart. He turned it again in his fingers.

He held the key as he looked into the rain, the dark clouds. Thinking, again, of them. Of it. Always of it.

He turned back to his desk, placed the key back in the box, slid the lid closed tight. For now.

He sat again. Picked up once more the pen and continued to write.

They stood, she took the key from his hands, she intended to keep it safe. It was, they were not. The sun, that had warmed them as they walked had abandoned them.

They walked on. Still not wanting the moment to end. Even though the evening had grown cold. Had they looked back, would they have seen? Their fingers entwined, they looked up. The stars seemed different tonight. Shivering, she turned to him.

His hand aching, he stopped to write for a moment. His mind drifting back, to the moment he had decided. Decided to reach down into that terrible hole, to reach for that box.

He had lain on the dusty bricks, his face pressed against the filth at the edge of that terrible hole. Stretching he had been able to grasp the box. And he brought it out. Into the light.

At that moment, the air had grown chill. And, he felt it. For the first time. Its presence.

As she had felt it when, holding the key in her fingers, she looked into his eyes.

And saw.


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.

three | fiftytwo