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 | twentythree
In front of him, dead eyes gazing back at him, stood the stone figure.
The stone figure which for the briefest of fleeting moments had given him once again, a taste of her.
Then, slowly, those dead eyes faded away and the figure’s face became a blank canvas, waiting for the fingers of an artist to bring it alive. Or something worse.
He was exhausted, disorientated, spent.
Snow was falling all around him. A heavy white blanket, suffocating and covering him. The pain in his arm intensified, the pain in his heart, his soul (if, as he often wondered, he had one) unbearable.
His loss threatening to engulf him.
The stone figure began to blur in the snow, it’s features receding until it vanished, merging with the swirling particles of ice in the air.
He pushed himself up, began to walk again along the street, cold cobbles unforgiving as he stumbled along, in what direction he had no idea, nor care.
A clattering noise behind him, and a strident ringing of a harsh bell, tore through his torpor.
A tram pulled up alongside him, it’s windows opaque and dirty, red painted sides battered and worn. The number three could just be discerned on the snow covered board fastened to its side. The door cranked open, he stepped up, climbed aboard, the door slammed to behind him.
The tram was empty.
The air cold, damp. Like a tomb. Echoes of long gone passengers hanging in the air.
The tram rushed ahead, swaying, bumping, increasing in speed, twisting, following iron rails laid in the road. The cabin at the front of the carriage empty, driverless.
Rows of seats lay empty, like the spaces in his heart.
Not for the first time, he felt fear building inside him, his chest tightening, the tips of his fingers growing numb.
The bell clanged again, three times.
The tram stopped. It’s wheels sliding on the icy surface. A screaming noise filling the air, as the brakes gripped and forced the tram to a halt.
The snow outside piling up, obscuring everything.
The door at the front of the tram opened, he moved toward it, stepped down through the narrow exit on to the paved surface. Walked away, the door of the tram remained open, the tram, empty, standing still by the roadside.
Ahead of him, through the swirling snow, he saw a long stone wall and a pair of rough iron gates.
He approached the gates.
As he did, they slowly opened, inwards, away from him, inviting him.
He saw the path winding away from him, away from the iron gates. A vague sense of déjà vue twisting in his belly. He had been here before. Then, back then when things had been so different, it had been Spring then, no snow, warm sunlight, not harsh cold emptiness.
Shapes loomed around him, cold stone figures, slabs of stone. Fading photographs of those whose memories were long gone.
And there, in front of him.
The empty tomb.
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.
twentythree | fiftytwo