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 | fortyfour
He grasped the box with his fingers and withdrew it from the hole in the side of the chimney stack.
He held the box in both hands, standing there in the dark. The rotting stench of modern man’s failure, to live in harmony with his environment, filling his nostrils.
The chattering, rustling sounds around him abated, the denizens of the dark base of the chimney stack for once silenced.
He turned and walked back to the light, holding the box still in both hands.
His door lay closed before him. He could not remember climbing back up the concrete stairs. He let go of the box with the fingers of his left hand and opened the door. He closed and locked the door behind him. Walked across to his narrow desk, laid the box on the desk, almost but not quite touching his silenced Mac.
He opened the door of the fridge next to his desk. Took out the bottle, flipped open the wire clasp that held the rubber bung in place. He lifted the bottle, noticing how little remained, lifted the bottle to his mouth and in one swift movement drained the bottle, leaving not a drop.
The liquid burned and swirled inside him. He knew that sensation only too well.
He sat at his desk. The box before him. His fingers moved over the box and, knowing exactly where to press and with how much pressure, the box slowly opened to him. He reached inside and took out the key.
As his fingers touched the key a short sharp shock ripped into him, the same feeling he had when he touched the tone arm of his turntable, his feet bare and cold on the tiles.
He stood, walked through the door, into the sleeping area. He switched off the lights, lay down on the bed and held the key in both hands.
He lay there, the key held so tight in his palm that the knuckles of his fingers tensed and whitened. They would hurt later, and badly. For now he was oblivious.
He closed his eyes and as his mind drifted, so a light seemed to appear before him. A faint light, not unlike that thin strip of light that lay at the end of the corridor. And, like that light, a light that promised much but seemed to grow more distant the more he reached out towards it.
He heard the screams. He felt the searing heat of the flames. Screams mingled with the roar of the flames, the ripping of wood surrendering to the fire. And the terrible smell, the smell he could never forget.
As she burned.
His eyelids flickered as the flames gathered and roared. His fingers iron hard as they held the key.
He heard her screaming over and over again, the same words he always heard.
‘Don’t let them take him, not now…’
And her anguished eyes, as she looked through the flames towards him.
Her words, always repeated. Never heard.
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.
fortyfour | fiftytwo