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 | twentysix
He was soaking wet.
Every fibre of his clothing was dark, wet, cold and clinging to his shivering body. The place in which he had awoken seemed pitch black. He could see nothing. He could feel nothing.
For a moment, a moment of pure terror, he imagined that he was blind. Those few seconds, fractions of seconds, seemed to stretch into eternity. The prospect of a life of eternal darkness took his breath away, his mind froze.
Then, slowly, he began to remember.
First, there had been a key. When he had opened his eyes, he remembered finding a key. His mind wandered as he mulled over how he could possibly remember having opened his eyes if he could not see. He pushed that thought to the back of his mind.
Something told him that he had no time for such thoughts.
Oh, how he longed for the short, sharp, internal warming of a shot of slivovitz. The feeling of the viscous liquid covering his tongue and flowing freely down his throat, warming and calming as it filled his aching belly.
His mind wandered. Memories of plastic flowers, faded photographs, a walk on a spring day. Memories of taking photographs. Memories of searching for something. Something special. Those memories haunted him.
And, of course. She, haunted him.
He recalled how, on that warm spring day, a day filled with hope, he had first found that (or was it now, this) hole in the ground. Recalled how they had walked around it, wondering about its history. Wondering about those rough hewn boards pulled across the opening.
And then, of course, he had returned.
And, in doing so, he had found the key.
His memories were blurred, confused and contradictory. He found it hard to make sense of the fragments of recollection that engulfed his mind. Driving snow, ice and an endless road, a journey filled with hope and expectation. A large, empty square, a tower with a clock that had changed over the ages, some felt it boring, out of place, its figures changed over the ages by tyranny. A column, a column that somehow made him think of plague, of death and horror.
And, of course, he remembered her. The feel of her hand in his. He remembered it all. The hospital cell, that small hard, narrow bed. What they had done there, what he had done to her. He remembered the cries as she submitted to it all. He remembered the box.
He remembered the end.
Her hands, those fingers that he had held in his. Entwined in those of the man in black.
Her eyes, lifeless, cold. Her gaze fixed on him but with no emotion, no feeling.
Whatever had been there. Gone.
He needed that shot, needed it more than ever. His fingers reached down to his pocket, blind instinct reaching out.
And he knew then. What he had always known.
Bad things happen.
Then, something inside him shivered, stirred.
He was not quite dead yet.
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.
twentysix | fiftytwo