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 | eleven
He stepped into the tiled hospital room, walked slowly toward the woman laid out on the metal hospital cot. The acrid, cloying, sweet, smell of the anaesthetic, lingering in the room, caught in his throat.
The metal door stood open behind him. Damp, chilled air rolled across the tiled floor.
Watching him approach, she struggled to breathe, her eyes fixed on his. Hope began to bloom inside her. Hope, or perhaps fear.
He walked across the room to the metal cot, stood over her, leaned forward, his hand reaching out, slowly.
For a moment, as his hand moved toward her, she was afraid, pulling away from the approaching fingers, the needle digging in to her. She felt him gently brush a strand of hair away from her eyes. Strong fingers, yet warm, soft, comforting. He leaned further forward, she could feel his warmth, smell his skin, and she felt his lips brush against her cheek.
He pulled away. Walked around the metal cot, toward the humming machine. He reached down behind it, found the cord, pulled it out and the humming stopped. Moving back to the cot, he gently pressed his thumb down over her skin where the needle pierced her, and, in a swift, smooth and practised movement, pulled the needle from her flesh. Reaching down, to a shelf tucked in below the machine, he found a small white bandage and pressed it gently against the spot of blood which had welled up as the needle was released. He taped the bandage in place, stood back for a moment. He had not spoken since entering the room. His movements as if in a dream, someone else shifting levers, pressing buttons, sending instructions to his limbs.
She felt his arms move over and around her, supporting her, helping her sit. He sit beside her on the narrow metal cot. His arm around her, her head, heavy, weary, collapsed into his shoulder. She felt his arms envelop her, comforting, protective and strangely familiar.
Tears spilled from her eyes, her breast heaving as powerful sobs racked her body, the pain in her belly twisting and growing, she pressed herself closer to him. Heedless of the what, the why, she felt safe, protected, and hope began to course through her body.
He had stopped thinking when he entered the room. His mind, for now, a blank, his actions measured and precise, his mind distant, dislocated, absent.
He felt her warm body against his, felt her shaking, pressing against him, seeking comfort, answers. For now he had no answers. All he could offer was comfort and for the moment, silence.
Then, they heard it.The harsh sound of stone on stone. Grating. The room grew colder still.
Turning their eyes to the open door, they froze as they saw what stood, unmoving, at the threshold. The comfort they had shared drained away as they looked into the featureless frozen face that was turned towards them, stone hands held out, palms open.
It began to speak.
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.
eleven | fiftytwo