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 27 : 52 of my dark | side | thursday (yes, I know it’s late) which is a milestone in itself as it marks the opening of the second half of the story, and even includes a minor revelation, but it is also my response to Day 13 of the WordPress Writing 101 course in which we are invited to ‘play with word count’. For my own ‘constant readers’ you will know that this story is being told in 52 instalments each of 500 words. So I think it qualifies, you tell me. Or not.
dark | side | thursday | twentyseven
No. He was. Not. Dead.
He remembered it all.
The first day he had walked in that place, how he had felt, misty ambiguity, the strangeness of that place, the feeling of calm he felt there. And yet. Those plastic flowers. The faded photographs.
That hole, in the ground.
Her empty eyes. Dead inside.
Her hand in that of the man in black.
He screamed out loud. A scream from the darkest part of hell. He screamed. In the name of ‘hid. He screamed and screamed until his throat was sore and grating. He screamed as he remembered the snow, snow, on snow, on snow, his way blocked, the cold, the fear, the loneliness. His hopes smashed, pulverised under all that snow, the heavy burden that smothered his mind. Cut off the very air to his bursting lungs.
And no one. Not a soul.
No one heard.
But. Then. He thought. No. Not like this. No.
He tried to open his eyes. Tried to push his body up, his fingers numb, his mind more so.
The man in black.
A knife sliced through him. His stomach turned to water. His head pounded. He could not breathe.
What was it, about the man in black?
Who was the man in black?
He had always known. Right from when it first started.
His eyes would not / could not see. Would not see what was there to see.
His fingers gripped the key. His body, mind, spirit (he had no soul, not now, maybe he never had) would not give up. He was not ready to move on yet. Not yet. Maybe never. The spectre of the man in black would not leave him. She would not leave him.
Or maybe he, he could not let her go. Not yet. Not after all this. All they had lived (or died?) through. Together.
His fingers tightened around the key.
This bloody key would yet save him.
If only he could bloody remember.
Faded photographs. Her photographs. Moments in (their) time.
The man in black. Yes, and him.
So much to remember, so bloody much to forget. Or not.
And then, his freezing, numb, fingers, found it. A narrow crevice in the unyielding stone floor.
Her, again, he remembered her. Again.
Not unyielding. Oh. So, not.
Pushing that to the back of (what was left of) his mind, he grasped the key in his freezing fingers. Pressed it deep into the yawning crack in the floor.
He pushed it deep, deeper, pressing it into the folds of the earth, he felt the floor vibrate as the key penetrated the folds of the crevice his fingers had opened in the floor.
He felt the ground beneath him move. Heard the ground below him moan as it was violated, torn asunder.
He heard her cry.
‘Don’t let him…’
And then. At that precise point in time. With no doubt.
He realised that he, no one else, was the man.
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.
twentyseven | fiftytwo
WordPress Writing 101 (November 2015): Day 13