This post marks the end of a project I started one year ago.
For 52 weeks, I have opened each chapter of this story with these questions.
Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge? Are you open to sharing your dark side?
I then, as I do now, invited you to read on.
Did you have a dark side?
Or, thought you may have had one. Or indeed worried that you might have one. Or, for that matter, worried that you didn’t and would have liked one? If so, for 52 weeks, I have invited you to join me here for dark | side | thursday.
I have been writing a story. A dark story that has unfolded as the weeks passed. Each Thursday, at 13:00 UTC (with a few exceptions), I posted a new chapter. Each chapter was exactly 500 words long, and most were accompanied by a photograph (and those that miss a photograph will soon have one).
If you wish, you can catch up on the whole story here.
Shared your dark side?
I would like to thank all who have joined me either by reading some of my posts, or by writing your own dark story, week by week, and those who have dropped by, now and then, perhaps when the mood suited you or, perhaps, when it didn’t, and by sharing a photograph, poem or a suitably dark piece of prose.
I invited you 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 could also find all the contributions to date. Or you could simply share your link in the comments section of my weekly post. And, should the mood have taken you, you could add the badge to your post.
I will now work on a compilation of the story. More about that in due course.
Once again, thank you for coming with me on this journey.
And now, finally, my closing chapter.
dark | side | thursday | fiftytwo
The fingers were smaller than his, delicate and trusting, those of a child. They held his hand tight. He turned to look down at the boy. The boy’s eyes were clear and bright, they held his gaze.
The boy spoke.
‘Our time is running out.’
In reply, the man squeezed the boy’s hand tighter, looked toward the horizon. Spoke one last time.
‘There will always be time.’
– – –
What follows are extracts from contemporaneous news reports.
Police are investigating reports of a man and a young boy thought to be missing off the west coast. Their identities have not been released to the press. A police spokesperson declined to comment on whether their investigation was linked to recent reports of a yacht seen adrift in the ocean. The spokesperson confirmed that officers were investigating a number of leads and asked that anyone with information should come forward. The spokesperson declined to comment on the relationship between the man and the boy.
Police confirmed today that a trawler returning to port encountered a yacht drifting in the ocean off the west coast. The skipper of the trawler, having recalled reports of a missing man and boy, interrupted his journey and members of the crew boarded the abandoned vessel. The yacht was wooden in construction, in good condition, the sails had been carefully stowed, there were no signs of damage, empty water bottles and unopened packages of food were found in a wooden compartment. Un-named sources stated that a black key had been found on the floor of the yacht. When asked for confirmation on this point the police spokesman declined to comment, stating only that the vessel had been taken ashore for further investigation.
This weekend’s dramatic stormy weather was in part responsible for the discovery of human remains in a recently opened tomb in the town’s main cemetery. The tomb had been open for some time although no one at the site was able to explain why. A lightning strike had caused heavy damage to a tree, part of which had collapsed and fallen through rough hewn boards that had been used to cover the entrance to the open tomb. Workers called to inspect the site reported that the open tomb had filled with water and that, when checking the damage, they discovered the the remains of two unidentified persons below the surface of the water. Police were called to the scene but declined to comment on the discovery.
Un-named sources have reported that remains recently discovered in the town’s cemetery were those of a man and a woman. Both were reported to have been badly burned and the body of the woman suggested that she had recently undergone abdominal surgery. Police declined to comment on what they described as unhelpful speculation.
Sitting on the bench, she watched them, busy behind the hastily erected screen that covered the tomb’s open mouth.
As the evening drew in, she placed a hand over her swollen belly, smiled, and rocked a little.
The portal to dark | side | thursday opened on the twenty first day of may in the year twenty hundred and fifteen and closed today
fiftytwo | fiftytwo