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 | twentyone
The voice filled his mind, throbbing, pulsating, the words torturing his soul, as his eyes burned.
The voice continued, pleading and crying out.
‘Only you can stop the pain. Don’t leave me out in the cold. Don’t leave me out to die’1
The creature at his feet circled as he stood transfixed, head splitting, tears running unheeded from the corners of his reddened eyes. He felt the creature brush against him, a shiver running down his spine as it gazed up at him, sparkling blue eyes unblinking, its tail curling around his ankle as its purring mixed with the noise in his head.
Then the noise stopped. Abruptly. The faceless stone figure stood still, staring into his tear-streaked face inside the bubble. The voice had gone now, all he could hear was air hissing inside his helmet. And his breathing, which was thready. Like the erratic beating of his heart. The pain in his arm returning, searing up toward his shoulder, taking his breath away.
He moved painfully toward the stone figure, reached out his hand and with his fingers traced the cold stone face. As he did so he felt a vibration within the stone. A vibration that seemed to stem from the very heart of the stone figure, from its cold and silent heart.
The stone began to shake and tremble. And again he heard a voice in his head.
This time a voice he knew, and one that he had believed he would never hear again.
“Don’t let him, don’t let him take it, not now, it’s so close. Please…hear me…”
Words he had heard before. Her words. The words of a dead woman. A dead woman he had loved. A dead woman he had hurt. A woman whose body he had held in his arms until he had dropped her out of exhaustion at his feet. A woman whose shade had appeared to stand before him, her hand enclosed in that of the man in black. Her eyes cold and lacking in feeling as they gazed at him, as he had sat broken and in despair on the cold hard floor of that terrible chamber.
Her voice faded away again.
His pulse was racing, his breathing erratic. As he looked at the face of the stone figure it seemed to swirl in front of him, the blank face changing, features seeming to rise from the cold stone.
It was her face.
Without thinking he tore the bubble away from his face. Stepped toward the stone figure. Her eyes seemed to be emerging from the cold stone, her eyes and the soft gentle curve of her moist lips. His eyes closed, he felt those warm lips gently touch his, pull away quickly, then touch again harder. He moved his arms around the stone figure, feeling her soft warm body as it pressed against his. Their lips touching again, he pulled her tight against him.
And then, the chamber filled with the harsh clanging of bells.
1 Lyrics from Dead Inside, by Muse
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.
twentyone | fiftytwo