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 | eight
The approaching footsteps were heavy, laboured. Her belly churned, ached, as she took a small step forward, his fingers had slipped away, he stood still, did not follow as she walked on.
She looked back, she saw, nothing, blackness, the void. She turned, walked toward the sound of the footsteps. Into the dark.
He had stepped back into the corridor. The key in his hand. It was time, he knew it, felt it. His eyes took in again the cold tiles lining the floor of the corridor, the deep cracks running along the ceiling. Gripping the key he moved forward.
There was a door at the end of the corridor, he knew that. It opened to the stairwell, that descended down to the street. Of course it did, hadn’t he been this way so many times before?
Only, the last time he had walked this way, it had been different, he remembered the pain, the sounds, the blackened branches of the trees. He could feel the scratches still on his back. Closing his eyes, screwing them tight, he willed those trees back into existence.
Nothing, cold tiles, cracked ceiling. No trees.
He reached the end of the corridor. Took the rusted metal doorknob in his hand and turned it.
She was alone in the dark, not even her fingers were visible. The key gripped tight in her fingers, she must not drop it. She turned and turned, no light, no sound, not even those footsteps. Beneath her feet, nothing. The darkness pressed against her face, sucked the breath from her lungs, pressed down on her chest, her belly. She fell, down into the dark void.
Her silent screams filled only her mind.
The door opened, the creaking of the rusted hinges filling the cold corridor with echoes of despair. He put the key into the pocket of his jacket, stepped through the door. The stairwell wound down into the dark, the bare bulbs in the ceiling at each level swinging, flickering, buzzing, as their lives approached an end. An odour engulfed him, the dense rotting smell of overcooked cabbage. He began to descend the stairwell, his hand gripping the cold railing, his steps tentative, reluctant. He heard cries, screams, children’s laughter, moans and groans of joy and fear, he heard people. But not her.
He reached the bottom of the stairwell. To his right through a row of filthy windows shapes shifted uneasily. The corridor ended in two filthy metal half glazed doors that opened onto a lobby. A row of mail boxes stood before him, their dark slits oozing with unwanted newspapers, demands for unpaid bills, neglect, despair, lost hopes of letters never received.
He stepped over broken bottles, dust and decay, pushed open the door to the street, crossed the uneven many times mended concrete path that approached the building. He looked up into the black roiling sky, the relentless rain, he turned to look back at the door though which he had passed.
And screamed and screamed.
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.
eight | fiftytwo