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 | fortynine
Walking with a purposeful stride, he did not turn back, did not see the pillar of smoke towering over the breaking waves.
He knew, that were he to do so, he would recall that other pillar. The plague column in that empty square. That recollection would now serve no purpose.
It never had.
The flames roared, the driftwood boards cracked, split, burned easy and fast, soon only a blackened smear would remain on the shoreline, until the waves took that also. All that remained of the journal. And the story that it had contained. Now, only he could tell that story. Or so he thought.
The sun rose higher over the ocean. A fierce burning light, pushing back the darkness. For millenia, the people here had taken comfort from that sight. And feared the dark side when the sun fell below the rock strewn horizon to the east and shadows devoured the land.
He paused. Of course, he knew what he had to do now. There really was no choice. There never had been. Every step of his journey had been inevitable.
The sound of the fire had dissipated. The susurration of the waves all that lingered.
He hummed a few lines of a song, from back then, in another place, under a different sun.
every breaking wave, on the shore,
tells the next one, there’ll be one more
every gambler knows, that to lose,
is what you’re really there for
He reached a narrow wooden jetty that extended into the waves. Tied up at its end a small wooden yacht rode the swell. He felt the beginnings of a breeze, walked to the yacht, stepped aboard, began to prepare for his departure.
Finally, when he had readied the vessel, he pushed away, faced towards the wind, tightened the sails, leaned back, feeling the power coursing throw him as the yacht harnessed the energy in the wind and waves.
He set a course for the sun.
His journey required him to head westward once more.
The wind had now strengthened, blowing steadily, as he worked his way out to the line on the horizon.
In a wooden compartment, in the bow, were two large glass bottles filled with crystal clear water. There was food, not much, but maybe enough for what he needed. Well, he smiled, we will see what we will see, I guess. He smiled again, felt the breeze on his face, it felt good.
As the sun began to fall behind him, the breeze also faded. A bone snapping chill descended. Darkness reached over the water, its tendrils sneaking out from behind him, enveloping the yacht. He dropped the sail and made what preparations he could for the long night to come.
He took out a black rain jacket from his pack, pulled the zipper up tight, fastened the velcro pads at the cuffs and neck. Took out his metal flask, drank deep.
He coughed, curled up in the bottom of the yacht.
He was ready. Finally.
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.
fortynine | fiftytwo