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 | fifteen
The key turned. The screaming filling his head. The cold, foul smelling water seeming to rise.
As the lock clicked he bent over the box, and with both hands carefully raised the lid. The hinges along one side groaning, rank fetid air spilled out of the box.
Then, the screaming stopped.
Removing the key, and placing it back in his pocket, he threw the lid back roughly against the dripping wall of the corridor, and looked inside.
Trapped, exhausted, fingers bleeding, mind broken, she stopped moving. She heard a sound, oh so far away, a metallic grating noise. Her breath caught in her throat, her heart pounding. The darkness pressed against her face. Hope mixed with terror. Her hands clenched, her fingernails digging into the palms of her bleeding and bruised hands.
The box was dark, darker than hell. And it was empty. And not merely empty, the darkness seemed too intense, seemed endless. Then in the gloom he saw. As his eyes adjusted to the murk, he saw a flight of ancient stone steps leading down into the dark. Without thinking he stepped into the open box, the rank air filling his nostrils, making him gag. Holding the sides of the box, the splintered wood piercing his palms, he reached down with his foot to the first step, letting go, he began to descend.
The noise had gone, she could hear nothing. Only the pounding of her heart in the confined and terrible space. Dark clouds of despair filled her mind. She was stuck, there would never be any escape. Here in the dark. Alone.
The steps were cold, so cold his feet became numb, and wet, filthy water cascaded from the roof, from the open bottomless box. He reached the bottom. The floor was sandy. He raised his eyes and as he did so the gloom seemed to begin to disperse, two faint circles of glowing sickly yellow light flickered high above him from what seemed to be windows in the curved wall. He was in a circular chamber, as the gloom lifted he realised he was inside a hollow sphere, in the centre of the sandy floor a circular grating.
He turned, and there in front of him, the faceless figure stood once more. Blank face seeming to look toward the grating. The palms outstretched in supplication. The air in the chamber was foul, a brew of the familiar acrid anaesthetic and something rotten, something long dead. His mind reeling, he turned toward the grate in the floor.
The dark surrounded her. Her body cold, wet, unmoving. Her mind began to close down. Then, another sound, still far away, she heard another metallic scraping sound, a sound of ancient metal, screeching.
He had reached down, slid his fingers into the lattice of the grating and began to turn, following instinct, or some long buried memory. The grating groaned, the rusted metal screeching as it turned in its base. Finally, it was open.
Slowly, he lifted the grating.
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.
fifteen | fiftytwo