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 | ten
The lift shuddered to a grinding halt.
Pushing himself away from the graffiti covered wall, against which he had been leaning, he felt heavy, old, faintly nauseous.
The stench of days old over-cooked cabbage again assailed his senses. The odour of cheap floor polish, mixed with rotting vegetation, aggravated his feeling of hopelessness.
There was another smell. Familiar, one which he could not quite pin down, which felt out of place. A faint odour that made him shiver, something sinister twisting inside. Memories, bad ones, stirring.
Pushing open the creaking wooden door, he stepped into the dimly lit corridor, reached into his pocket, took the flask and again drank deep, the familiar feeling flaring, burning, inside him. Not enough though, he took another draught, this time gulping the burning liquid down his throat so hard he almost choked. Screwing the cap back tight, he replaced the flask in his pocket and walked towards his room, his eyes fixed on the cold cracked tiles beneath his feet. The damp concrete walls closed in on him. Closing his eyes, the effect of the burning liquid, still turning inside his belly, accentuated the nausea he had felt since the lift had shuddered to a halt.
She lay motionless on the metal hospital bed. Breathing thready, pulse unsteady. The pain in her arm, where she had pulled on the needle, had eased a little, the pain in her belly had not. She slid her hand under the plain white cotton shift which barely covered her. Fingers tracing the bandage taped over her belly, she flinched as pain threatened to engulf her. She lay back, her mind racing. The emptiness inside her roiling, black, pitiless.
He reached the door to his room. A chill feeling of dread settled over him, the pain in his arm intensifying, as if his elbow had been wrenched out of its socket. Or shattered with a hammer. He shivered, reached out to the door, turned, and slowly, with trepidation, pushed.
Her eyes blinked open, her body shivering. She had dozed off. The light in the room unchanged, the machine to her side humming. Moving her arm, the needle shifted in her tortured flesh. Mind racing, she tried to sit, pain ripped through her belly forcing her to stop, to lay back on the metal bed. Then, she heard it. A faint noise, a metallic scraping sound. Struggling to locate the source of the sound she turned her head towards the side of the room away from the humming machine, the needle again digging into her.
She saw the door opening slowly.
Something felt wrong. As he slowly pushed open the door to his room, everything felt very wrong. That smell, the familiar odour that had caused him to shiver, intensified, acrid, sweet, lingering uneasily in his nostrils.
Her eyes opened wide, breath caught in her throat.
Where his desk should be, a woman, clad in a white shift, on a metal hospital bed, turned her widening eyes toward 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.
ten | fiftytwo