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 | eighteen
He had tripped, turning to look back at the couple staring down at him, seeing her empty expressionless face, those chilling, blank eyes. And their hands entwined.
He shook his head, he had landed painfully at the foot of the staircase, narrowly missing the large candle which had burned as he tripped but now smouldered, thick black smoke twisting upwards.
The pain in his arm had returned, he reached into his pocket, hoping to find the flask, needing a shot to revive him, it was not there. The key was though. He looked again, back to where the couple had stood, they were nowhere to be seen. His mind was reeling, the events of the past hours had become too much to bear. He wavered on the edge of insanity.
Picking himself up, his body shaking he began to climb back up the staircase.
The man, the woman, the stone figure had vanished. The trestle tables remained scattered across the room, the white plates with their bloody imprints remained.
How could she have survived? She had been dead when he found her, when he carried her into this hellish chamber, when he had dropped her lifeless body in front of the man and the impassive stone figure. And then? Then she had appeared standing, with him, the man in black, her hand in his, that part hurt the most, seeing her hand inside his.
He staggered on toward the table that contained the bundle of rags, something cold and oily turning in his belly as he approached. The pain in his arm intensifying, his breathing ragged, his pulse thready.
He knelt before the table, reached out and touched the bundle of rags, as he did so he felt something shift inside, and heard a faint sound, barely human, almost feline, a low croaking, mewling sound. He began to unwind the rags. The filthy layers of cloth falling apart as he continued to unwind.
And there, it was.
The body the size of a new born child, but it was no human child. Its emaciated frame was covered in dark matted fur, black and streaked with blood, the creature’s limbs were pulled tight in against the thing’s body. Each of the limbs ended in a ragged bloody claw. A tail curled tightly underneath its ragged form. The creature’s head was tucked into its chest, the eyes closed. He could see the thing’s chest moving as it tried to breathe, the sound hideous. And it smelled of things unspeakable, dark things that should not be encountered in the light of day.
He reached out and took the creature in his hands, it was warm, but barely so, he could feel the lungs desperately trying to expand, could hear that croaking, mewling sound, a sound he would never be able to forget.
Then the creature began to lift its head, the eyes sprang open, eyes running with a viscous black fluid.
Opening its fang filled mouth, it hissed, and spat in his face.
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.
eighteen | fiftytwo