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 | fortytwo
Of course, he never did see it, nor feel it’s cold dead fingers touching his shoulders. Perhaps if he had, then things might have been different.
Maybe a beast realised, visceral and present, would have been harder to contend with. He would never know, of course.
He did remember the fear though, the endless nights, the longing for that sliver of light, the longing for the voices to welcome him. Voices he knew were never welcoming, but raised and angry, cold and cruel. The light a deceit. The nights that ended in the cold break of day, the longing again for the night. An endless cycle.
He remembered the longing he felt when the bird that was blue, and named pinkie, flew free. And how (back then) he had wanted to be that little bird, to fly to be free.
As he continued typing, he could smell the ripe odour of rampant rhododendrons.
Wet leaves, oozing under the constant rain, giant green sentinels guarding another world, through to which he could never pass.
His thin, scrawny little legs pedalling as hard as he could make them, the wobbling wheels of his bicycle spinning in the air as he rolled to one side and the rattling stabiliser wheels sparing him (once again) more bloodstained knees.
Guiding the bicycle along the rain slickened and bumpy ash filled path that lay between the forest of rhododendrons. Fear filling him as he knew that he was off the path, the path where they could find him. He was alone. Alone to face the dark wet green leaves, the shapes that moved behind their cold embrace.
He could hear the rusted creaking of the swings.
He (thought he) could hear the swishing of the bird’s bright blue feathers as it escaped.
He pedalled quickly past the row of red and blue painted (rusted) swings that towered above him, streaked and covered in slime accumulated under the endless rain. Echoes of long gone children, laughing and crying as they swung (out to dry – he thought).
And ahead, at the top of the rise, across the grass. The bandstand.
He had to reach the bandstand.
He knew he had to reach the bandstand.
Before it, or they, could stop him.
As he typed, he remembered the terror as his little wobbly wheels shot out from under him. Felt again the pain as his head hit the gnarled root of a tree that had been the cause of his tumble, felt the trickle of blood seeping from the gash on his forehead and running into his eyes. Remembered how he had sniffled and forced back the tears, remembered how he had stood again and walked towards the bandstand.
He could hear the music still. Off key and stilted. He could not recall the tune.
The slumped shoulders of the solitary pianist, the way the figures frail fingers fought to slash out the fragmented refrain.
He turned away from his keyboard.
He realised that had been when it began.
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.
fortytwo | fiftytwo