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 | forty-six
The noise of cold often recirculated air was all he could hear.
Her screams had faded.
He had woken from an uncomfortable sleep, his back ached, left leg numb, the seat buckle seemed to have cut through his middle. And his bladder was full.
The long incessant rushing and hissing competed with the roar of the engines propelling the thin metal tube through the frozen night. Most of the human cargo, or geese as they were often dubbed by the flight crew, sat sleeping or pretending to sleep, underneath the thin red blankets which bore the stern warning that they were not to be removed, and were the property of the airline. He tried to imagine what kind of person would want such a thing and couldn’t and so gave up trying. His eyes gazed over serried rows of heads resting against the, to his mind, equally undesirable white pillows which probably also bore the same pointless and unwelcoming warning. The only light at that point provided by movies flickering on the back of each screen, or the occasional reading light shining like a warning to lost mariners. Which, in a way they all were.
Plastic cups littered the aisles, and he heard the rattle of the trolley as the flight crew, who looked as tired as he felt, began to distribute breakfast. Quite why it was called breakfast defeated him, they had flown through as many time zones as there were in the normal working day and so he had lost track of time already. Still, he took the package that was offered to him with reasonably good grace and, with the nail of his thumb, prised it open. A small plastic container of (probably over-sweet) orange juice, a cheese and ham pastry, a bar of chocolate, various plastic utensils, assorted paper towels and wet wipes lay there. It was hardly like finding the presents under the tree at Christmas but it would do.
Then, he remembered his bladder was full.
Putting the pack of breakfast delights to one side, he unbuckled and stood, with some effort, after several hours sitting almost motionless. He squeezed his way past the breakfast purveyors and took his place in the line. No one spoke, no one looked anyone in the eye. When he was done he stretched and walked back to his seat.
The cabin lights were now on, the window shades up, the bright sun offended his eyes.
The voice over the PA system provided the (supposedly) necessary scraps of information about his destination, it would be sunny, but cold, and the airline were thrilled that he had chosen to fly with them, because, after all, other airlines were available. He hadn’t, but felt it churlish to point this out.
He stowed away his tray table, placed his seat in the upright position, longed for the smoke that the light above his head warned him he must not even contemplate.
Reaching into his pocket, he felt the key.
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.
fortysix | fiftytwo