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 | thirtyeight
It was time.
He heard insistent clicking. Dry fingers snapping together. His command to return.
He opened his eyes. A large bladed circular fan attached to the ceiling rotated unevenly, moving the desultory air around the room, otherwise seeming to achieve very little else.
A motor, hidden below the leather couch, on which he reclined, hummed as it returned him to an (almost) upright position.
A tall thin man in a white coat drew in a short breath, adjusted his heavy framed black glasses with his left hand, coughed, and offered him a long glass filled with a colourless liquid, and a single thin red straw. He observed that the straw was ribbed. A couple of centimetres from the end, to allow it to bend.
‘Take a sip, this may help you.’
He took the offered glass and, holding the straw with a trembling hand, took a slow tentative sip.
‘I think I need more than this to help me, guess you can’t add a dash of scotch to it?’
The thin man smiled briefly, he didn’t reply, took the glass and placed it, with great care and precision, on a low white plastic table at the side of the leather couch.
Sitting down, in a narrow wooden framed chair, with square cream cushions, a slim aluminium light fitting curving around his right shoulder, the man in the white coat looked at him. He said nothing. His eyes were cold, grey and piercing. He brought his hands up, fingers pressed tightly together at their tips (he noticed the man had six on each hand). The man’s fingers formed a tent, a refuge. He drew his steepled fingers up to his mouth, thin and cruel lips, and gently pressed his fingers against the slit where those lips joined, his brow furrowed. The man leaned back, the chair rocked a little, he took another breath, deeper this time. He opened his mouth, as if to speak, then stopped. He pushed himself up from the chair, stood and walked towards the wall to the left of the leather couch.
He raised his hand and placed his palm full against what seemed to be a random patch of nothing on the smooth clean white wall.
A rectangular section of the wall shimmered, the air seemed to vibrate for a moment, and an image began to resolve on the wall.
He looked at the man in white, opened his mouth, as if to speak. The man in white turned to him, raised a single finger to his mouth and turned to the screen.
The picture was blurred, greens and greys, blurred and unclear. Then, pixel by pixel, the scene became clear.
A man and a woman, walking, together and yet apart, distant, dislocated. Pausing to read inscriptions, photograph plastic flowers, wandering among cold stone. Their paths diverged and digressed, then, again, converged.
On the screen on the wall the two figures approached a hole in the ground.
And he saw the shadow.
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.
thirtyeight | fiftytwo