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.
This post is submitted both as 28 : 52 of my dark | side | thursday serial story and as my late response to Day 16 of the WordPress Writing 101 course in which we are invited to ‘mine your own material’. So, this week’s chapter draws on some earlier posts, at least in part.
dark | side | thursday | twentyeight
Realisation spread through his body. A raging plague consuming him. Undoing him.
It all began to make sense.
Yes, he was the man in black. Always had been.
There was no time for this though. No time now for defragmenting the hard drive of his psyche. That task would have to be demoted, paused, left bouncing on the menu bar, until he was in a better state to deal with it.
For now, his mission, objective, goal, was simple. Survival.
And, he realised, it did’t look too rosy right now. No, not rosy at all. Not even the palest shade of rosy. Frankly, it all looked rather funereal now.
He still had the key.
That much was true. But oh, he had more than that. He had the things he held in his heart. Not his soul, if he had ever had one, that was gone. Now after, well after -that.
A fragment of a rhyme kept bouncing around his mind:
‘The man in black, who traveled so far, put away his heart’
The fragment bothered him, something slipping away, from the boundaries of his conscious self.
Stop it. He said to himself.
Now. Now, focus, on survival.
Survive. Live. If you ever want to see her again. You must live. You must remember what it is to be the man in black.
Another fragment fiddled with his failing mind:
‘Do you know, the man in black?’
Did he, could anyone know him. Really?
He felt the ground below him collapse, fragment, he felt his body begin to slip through. He heard her voice, that voice, the voice he heard in his dreams, in his nightmares. Her voice. And those words, those terrible words, words that still made him numb.
‘Don’t let him…’
But he had. And now he was, finally, facing the consequences.
The ground opened beneath him. The floor of the sealed tomb opened up and he fell into the darkness.
The desk in front of him was empty. Save for that box, his leather bound journal, and a pen.
He reached out, picked up the journal, opened the first page, read the words scratched out on to the parchment. He turned the pages, slowly, one by one. Pausing every now and then, to linger over a phrase, pause and reflect on the language. He turned to the final page of writing. He sat back in his chair, hesitated, then, picking up the pen in his left hand, began to write, the words flying off his pen, ink spraying. Then, when he had finished, he placed the pen carefully on the table, nib facing away from him, closed the journal and, with great care, wrapped the leather strap around the journal, sealing it. He picked it up, walked to the window. Holding the journal, he looked through the rain streaked portal into that dark night.
The end of the first cycle had arrived, as he had always known it would.
Now, the dance would start again.
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.
twentyeight | fiftytwo
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