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 | twentyfour
The empty tomb lay open before him.
Here he was again. It would all start again. Or not. He had no idea. No idea at all.
Back then, it had been warm, he remembered the caress of the soft wind in his thinning hair. He remembered the sound of the shutter as he captured image after image. What had happened since then, why had it all changed?
This time, snow piled thick on the stones, the hole in the ground remained open, a dark pit. Rough boards pulled across the opening did not cover the hole entirely.
He fell to his knees, in the snow and ice. He put his head in his hands and tears streamed down his face, through his fingers. His chest heaved as the grief poured out of him. He cried out her name, his voice ragged and desperate. He collapsed to the floor, his face pressed in the snow. Huge sobs wracked his body, his eyes burned.
Then the bells.
Those damned bells.
Clanging, crashing, a crescendo from the circle of hell, from the forsaken, the lost ones, erupted around him. His body pierced and pummelled by the sound. His thoughts suspended as the sound of the bilious bells blasted him. The sound seemed to spew up from the ground, from the pit, a sinful shattering sound.
He pressed his hands to the sides of his skull, pushing his fingers deep into his ears to try to keep the terrible sound at bay.
The ground below him shook, blood seeped between his fingers, oozing from his ears as the sound slammed into him.
He crawled along the icy ground toward the pit.
His fingers grasped the edge of the dark hole. A vague memory shifted inside him, a memory of reaching into the pit, and finding that journal.
He pulled himself to the edge. The ice numbing him, his belly frozen, his fingers dead and lifeless.
He looked into the pit.
There, below him, dark, cold emptiness.
The pit was full of water, black water. Black death, black hell, black despair.
And then the surface rippled. His excoriated eyes saw shapes shifting, rising to the surface and fading.
Row upon row upon row of slabs, cold still slabs, all that was left of them, the ones who had gone before. Each slab ornamented by a cold flickering light, a face in a faded photograph, captured in a frame forever1. Words echoed in his mind, words that meant nothing to him now, but which once had. His mind dissolving, dissociating.
And all those fake plastic flowers.
And all those fake hopes in a false fanciful future. They had never believed. None of them.
He pulled himself toward the edge.
He felt his balance shift, the slabs blurred in front of his face. He reached down, his fingers stretching out.
He fell forward, plunging down into the dark.
The icy cold waters engulfed his head, his mouth open, dark water filled his lungs.
His eyes closed.
1 Based on lyrics to ‘Uncertain Weather’ by Genesis.
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.
twentyfour | fiftytwo