dark | side | thursday | twentyfour

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

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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.

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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.

Again.

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

poetry 101 rehab: talk

Do you miss the Writing 201 Poetry course by the Daily Post? If so, then join this blogging challenge and let the poetry flow!

AJT_9591-Edit


How does it work?

Feel free to answer the prompt, twist it or ignore it; write a poem of your own or share a poem by another author. Write about your inspiration, your creative process or other poetry related thoughts, but this is in no way obligatory. Nothing is obligatory in this challenge. The idea is to get together, talk poetry and have fun!


How can you take part?

Anyone can take part, anytime you want. Publish your poetry post and add a link to it by clicking on the Poetry 101 Rehab badge below or share your link in a comment. Use the tag Poetry 101 Rehab, so we can find each other in the Reader.

badge-rectangle

I will act as your host, and I’ll be here for you to reply to your comments, read your poetry, like and comment. While this post is the starting point for the challenge, do visit fellow poets in the link-up and chat to them on their blogs!


This week’s prompt is TALK.

talk
talk to me
talk to me about it

don’t talk
don’t talk to me
don’t talk to me about it

maybe
maybe there is
maybe there is, no point

in talking
about it

or, maybe there is
after, all


My starter for ten, entitled TALK was inspired by not being able to, but wanting to. What will your take on the keyword TALK be? Blog about it in a poetry post and share your link in the comments section of this post and by clicking on the Poetry 101 Badge above.

dark | side | thursday | twentythree

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

atownend_2015_01_31_00165-Edit-Edit


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.

AJT_6650-Edit


dark | side | thursday | twentythree

In front of him, dead eyes gazing back at him, stood the stone figure.

The stone figure which for the briefest of fleeting moments had given him once again, a taste of her.

Then, slowly, those dead eyes faded away and the figure’s face became a blank canvas, waiting for the fingers of an artist to bring it alive. Or something worse.

He was exhausted, disorientated, spent.

Snow was falling all around him. A heavy white blanket, suffocating and covering him. The pain in his arm intensified, the pain in his heart, his soul (if, as he often wondered, he had one) unbearable.

His loss threatening to engulf him.

The stone figure began to blur in the snow, it’s features receding until it vanished, merging with the swirling particles of ice in the air.

He pushed himself up, began to walk again along the street, cold cobbles unforgiving as he stumbled along, in what direction he had no idea, nor care.

A clattering noise behind him, and a strident ringing of a harsh bell, tore through his torpor.

A tram pulled up alongside him, it’s windows opaque and dirty, red painted sides battered and worn. The number three could just be discerned on the snow covered board fastened to its side. The door cranked open, he stepped up, climbed aboard, the door slammed to behind him.

The tram was empty.

The air cold, damp. Like a tomb. Echoes of long gone passengers hanging in the air.

The tram rushed ahead, swaying, bumping, increasing in speed, twisting, following iron rails laid in the road. The cabin at the front of the carriage empty, driverless.

Rows of seats lay empty, like the spaces in his heart.

Not for the first time, he felt fear building inside him, his chest tightening, the tips of his fingers growing numb.

The bell clanged again, three times.

The tram stopped. It’s wheels sliding on the icy surface. A screaming noise filling the air, as the brakes gripped and forced the tram to a halt.

The snow outside piling up, obscuring everything.

The door at the front of the tram opened, he moved toward it, stepped down through the narrow exit on to the paved surface. Walked away, the door of the tram remained open, the tram, empty, standing still by the roadside.

Ahead of him, through the swirling snow, he saw a long stone wall and a pair of rough iron gates.

He approached the gates.

As he did, they slowly opened, inwards, away from him, inviting him.

He saw the path winding away from him, away from the iron gates. A vague sense of déjà vue twisting in his belly. He had been here before. Then, back then when things had been so different, it had been Spring then, no snow, warm sunlight, not harsh cold emptiness.

Shapes loomed around him, cold stone figures, slabs of stone. Fading photographs of those whose memories were long gone.

And there, in front of him.

The empty tomb.


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.

twentythree | fiftytwo

project 365 mobile | mono | square | week 19

On Sunday, 14 June 2015, I launched my Project 365.

You can see all the images as they are posted to the mobile | mono | square album on my flickr account.

My plan, let’s see if I can stick to this, is to post a weekly update here each Sunday.

Desktopmms-Edit

poetry 101 rehab: rain

Do you miss the Writing 201 Poetry course by the Daily Post? If so, then join this blogging challenge and let the poetry flow!

AJT_9576-Edit-Edit


How does it work?

Feel free to answer the prompt, twist it or ignore it; write a poem of your own or share a poem by another author. Write about your inspiration, your creative process or other poetry related thoughts, but this is in no way obligatory. Nothing is obligatory in this challenge. The idea is to get together, talk poetry and have fun!


How can you take part?

Anyone can take part, anytime you want. Publish your poetry post and add a link to it by clicking on the Poetry 101 Rehab badge below or share your link in a comment. Use the tag Poetry 101 Rehab, so we can find each other in the Reader.

badge-rectangle

I will act as your host, and I’ll be here for you to reply to your comments, read your poetry, like and comment. While this post is the starting point for the challenge, do visit fellow poets in the link-up and chat to them on their blogs!


This week’s prompt is RAIN.

the cloud

arrives above

soon to shed

her heavy heart

the rain

drips down

silently to smother

the cessation of summer

and, inside

the rain

perpetuates

the pain


My starter for ten, entitled RAIN was inspired by, well, the rain falling outside. What will your take on the keyword RAIN be? Blog about it in a poetry post and share your link in the comments section of this post and by clicking on the Poetry 101 Badge above.


(image shot with nikon d700 and nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens at ISO200, 1/125s and f/5.6 and submitted to Lucile’s photo 101 rehab, the rain washes way the pain?)

Mara Eastern created Poetry 101 Rehab.

(extra)ordinary

“if you’ve not been loved as a child, you don’t know how to love a child”
― jane gardam, old filth

atownend_2015_02_15_00263-Edit

(laeken cemetery, brussel)

i wasn’t

(or, didn’t feel so)

but,

i do

that’s (extra)ordinary

and, worth

telling?

(for DP weekly photo challenge – (extra)ordinary and lucile’s photo 101 rehab)

*shot with nikon d700 and nikkor 16-35mm f/4 lens at ISO280, 35mm, 1/125s and f/4 and edited in lightroom cc and analog efex pro 2, rehab under way (again)*

project 365 mobile | mono | square | week 18

 

On Sunday, 14 June 2015, I launched my Project 365.

You can see all the images as they are posted to the mobile | mono | square album on my flickr account.

My plan, let’s see if I can stick to this, is to post a weekly update here each Sunday.

Desktopmms-Edit

dark | side | thursday | twentytwo

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

2015_07_05_03208-Edit-Edit


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.

AJT_6650-Edit


dark | side | thursday | twentytwo

The harsh clanging of the bells filled the chamber, filled the chambers of his mind. Drove all other thoughts from his mind. What little remained of his mind.

If he still had one.

He was no longer sure. How could he be?

About anything. Or anyone, least of all himself.

Or her.

After all that had happened.

It had all become too much, too overwhelming, too intense, too many competing, conflicting emotions.

He felt her arms slip away from him. Leaving an empty space where there had been passion and warmth. And hope.

Hope that had again been dashed.

The soft tender warmth of her lips, the feel, the urgent burning heat of her body, her leg entwined around his, began to fade. His hope, his love, held on.

It was all he had. That, he knew, that, he could not let go.

The sweet taste of her mouth, her soft lips, her love, her desire, replaced by the taste of bitter smoke and death, stone and dust, a hole in space, a place that had vanished. Changed.

The clanging of the bells ceased.

Abruptly.

He fell to the stone floor of the chamber. He was alone. The stone figure, the woman he loved, the woman he had hurt, gone. He could not breath, the tips of his fingers had become numb, his chest tightened, his vision blurred. All that had passed before clouded his mind, his pulse raced, his heart stuttered.

He turned.

Walked out of the chamber.

Back out to the staircase, the one he had climbed inside the tower.

It was gone.

The stone staircase had gone.

In front of him, the door to a lift slid open. In a daze, unthinking, he stepped in, saw it in the mirror. He saw, but could not see. Glass, the smell of fresh paint, instructions in case of emergency. It all meant little to him.

Not now. Why would it?

Clouds enveloped him. She, enveloped him, absorbed him. Her shade. Her hand in the hand of the man in black, her eyes cold, the taste of smoke and death and despair.

The lift dropped down. Inexorably. Taking him away from her. From the stone cold figure, the taste of smoke and death.

The door slid open.

He stumbled forward, he pulled the heavy door open.

Walked out into emptiness. The square empty, the people gone, the clock continued to mark the passage of time, for what purpose he no longer knew nor cared.

He walked, one foot in front of the other, no longer aware of his surroundings, just walked. It was so cold. So very cold.

He remembered.

The cold.

Her hand in the cold. He held her hand so tight, too tight, he knew. Even then, before it happened.

He fell to the floor, the pain in his arm ripping through him. Snow piled on snow, his way blocked yet he continued. What else could he do?

And then.

In front of him.

Her eyes. Dead inside.


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.

twentytwo | fiftytwo

poetry 101 rehab: windows

Do you miss the Writing 201 Poetry course by the Daily Post? If so, then join this blogging challenge and let the poetry flow!

2015_09_29_04288


How does it work?

Feel free to answer the prompt, twist it or ignore it; write a poem of your own or share a poem by another author. Write about your inspiration, your creative process or other poetry related thoughts, but this is in no way obligatory. Nothing is obligatory in this challenge. The idea is to get together, talk poetry and have fun!


How can you take part?

Anyone can take part, anytime you want. Publish your poetry post and add a link to it by clicking on the Poetry 101 Rehab badge below or share your link in a comment. Use the tag Poetry 101 Rehab, so we can find each other in the Reader.

badge-rectangle

I will act as your host, and I’ll be here for you to reply to your comments, read your poetry, like and comment. While this post is the starting point for the challenge, do visit fellow poets in the link-up and chat to them on their blogs!


This week’s prompt is WINDOWS.

windows inside never disclosing our worst side

windows inside never disclosing our worst

windows inside never disclosing our

windows inside never disclosing

windows inside never

windows inside

windows

open, the windows

and let, what

is inside,

outside.


My starter for ten, entitled WINDOWS was inspired by, well, these windows in a railway station during a recent journey. What will your take on the keyword WINDOWS be? Blog about it in a poetry post and share your link in the comments section of this post and by clicking on the Poetry 101 Badge above.


(image shot with nikon d700 and nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens at ISO200, 1/640s and f/13 and submitted to Lucile’s photo 101 rehab, a window on my soul – if i had one)

Mara Eastern created Poetry 101 Rehab.