Isolated is a point of view.  I look off to the horizon.  It took an hour to go the last ten miles driving.  Looking at the pathway.  I’m in disbelief.  Either I’m following an army or it’s a trap.  You don’t lure someone out here.  It’s remote.  Too many places closer.  Bodies line rest stops, interstates, country roads,  but this is out there.  Hardly sends the right message if you go unfound.

Walking to the back of the Jetta, I keep an eye on the three vehicles here.  The jeep stands out.  Why walk?  In and out.  Before someone sees or hears you.  It’s over.  No one runs to the cops saying it was a silver Jeep, it was off road, you know it looked like every other Jeep!    I’m hoping it’s a tourist.  Some tourists should go to fucking Disneyland.  Crossfire and the Mouse don’t happen much.  

“Pluto with a MP taking out Minnie and Cinderella…that blue dress could hide an RPG and an AK.  Hell, maybe this is like that.”  Who I talk to I’m not sure.  I just know it’s good to talk every once in awhile.

Six boxes of 9mm.  Eight magazines don’t work out like it should.  I hate carrying extra weight.  The sand tears up the gun.  It’s a shame.  Places like this should be used.  The equipment doesn’t deserve it.  People are replaceable.  A good gun with perfect sights not so much.  The backup stuffed in the sock within a hiking boot.  Millie tucked carefully within the small of the back.  She needs gentle care.  She is life itself.  Without her, missions don’t go smoothly.

I scan the lot.  A distant cloud rises.  More traffic, great.  Time to head up the hill.  I watch a jogger crest the ridge.  Long graceful strides carrying him down the dune.  It’s a mile distant from where he comes.  I should shot him.  He tarnishes the harshness of the desert.



Killing Time

An old oak tree tops the isolated hill.   Leaves gone with the cold wind of change.   At its feet, stone slabs rest weary upon scrub.   The green drained from the earth.   The howl of the wind echoes in the void here.

A solidarity figure rests high in a saddle.   The dark clothes match the scene.   The horse looks made of shadow.  It’s head raised.   It’s nose twisting to find a scent.  The tail snaps side to side. Time had slowed.   The pale Sun frozen in the sky casts a hazy glow.

A muffled voice shatters the scene.   It’s origin distant.   It’s direction approaching.   The solitary man hears but fails to garner his attention.  Horses show from the other side.
Three encumbered by three men.

The solitary man walks the shadow horse toward the tree.   A left hand produces a single strand that arches gently over a branch.  At its termination, a loop dangles. 

Of the four men, only one regrets it’s killing time.

Also added to ..

The Vision

The two dark set eyes dilate quickly.   The body wrapped in cotton cloth settles back into it’s half circular standing bed. The head is the only part moving.  The straight jacket holds her together.

“From the mountains.   They come in a tan truck and a white Mercedes.   There are eight total.   The mountains face west.  Seven, there are seven bombs.   They will be in the streets of London.  Tuesday, 230pm, every half hour until they are all gone.  The Tube. Clapham High, Oxford Circle, Whitechapel, Hackney Downs…. They will kill you all!”  Figurine hisses.  She blinks twice. Her eyes close. 

The black suit stares at Figurine.   “She done?  Is there more?”

The white coat looks over,  “She’s out.  Four hours at least.   She’s 90 percent accurate.   Highest psychic rating ever.”

They turn away. The row of bodies surround both sides.   Five bodies mark the end of aisle.   The triangular knob closes the file of psychics.

“So what do you use on them.   To get them to talk.” The black suit inquires.

“Water.  They believe they have no choice.  It’s called being locally blind.   They all do it.” The white coat answers.

“Rainer, it’s happening Tuesday in London.” Black suit talks into phone.

“This Tuesday?” Comes the answer.

“She said Tuesday. ”

For the beginning. ..

In the Beginning

dark | side | thursday | fourteen
by andy townend
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…….

The office building was a block of white brick and glass. A row of concrete pillars separates the parking lot.  Jimmie sits perched on one.   His grey and white flannel hung loose over a wife beater tee.  His jet black hair slightly spiked.   A cigarette fills the air around him. He looks like a distorted view of a king in his court.

“Jules, I’m here.   This is your shot to back out.” The phone in his hand is reaching voicemail.

Jimmie drops a plastic bottle.   The wind tumbles it toward a row of cars.  He gets up a leisurely follows the stray.   The wind pushed in toward a silver compact about five deep on the street side.   Just catching it as it goes between two cars.   A flash of metal no-one sees.   The top of a blade finds a rubber brake line.   A single drop bleeds.

A smiling man throws the entry bottle in the trash can. Then vanishes.

Emerging from the same building comes Celeste. Her brown hair drawn back, purse and bag on right side, cell phone in left hand. She is headed for the silver car.

“Oooh, he never answers! Yes, I know leave message. … hey it’s me. I’m doing to look at something. Call me! Really call me!” Her voice tell herself, it ain’t happening anyway.

She opens the car and throws the bags on the passenger seat. Hoping in the driver’s seat, she is off. She had a hot buy on a collection at an estate. A quick couple of rights and she is on highway.

Her phone rings as she merges. “Julian, you have the worst timing! I’m getting on highway! Hang on, I’m putting it on speaker. Oh shit! ! The brakes. ..” a loud sound of twisting metal. An impact with glass shattering. Then dead quiet.

“Hello. Hello?! Are you there? Hey answer me!” Julian pleads. There’s no response.

Julian stares at his phone. The reality of the moment hits home. He had a missed call. He didn’t want to take it. He had a change of heart but it didn’t matter now.

He pauses and calls 911. His mind reels. He was part of this. They will know. They will find out. But he has to call.

“What’s your emergency?”

“There’s been accident on highway 71. By Snow exit.”

“Thank you sir. We know. Are you involved!”

Click. The call drops.

Julian is paralyzed. His little house closes on on him. What has he done?

There’s more. .. kind if a throwback Thursday

What Lies Inside – Schwartzberg Castle

Sie wurden gewarnt! (you were warned)

The sign clear on message didn’t register.   The castle shown it’s frame.   Large sandstone walls turn dark the ground.    It’s former windows frame blue skies on the other side.  The forest clearing didn’t seem to allow light to cast shadows from the walls.

Eli leans against a wrought iron fence surrounding their destination.  “Hey, I see a door! Let’s get in before someone find us here.”

Henry has been standing back. Staring at the walls.   There’s a feeling here.   It’s almost as if it wants to say something to them. “You know it says ‘ you were warned’.  You got the guys to go in!”

An arch dark as twilight formed a ten foot tall door. The six foot width fastened with cross bars. Twin metal bars project outward. They produce an audible clunk noise. The door doesn’t budge. After a couple tries, both push against the chunk of wood. It creaks and groans. An inch, then two. Another push yields a foot, no more.

The other side is a hollow building. Dark floors and ceiling wedge between walls. A world filled with furnishings looks trapped in time. Over twenty meters away, the far corner walls are gone. Not toppled, just gone.
The small opening in the door allows passage in. The light stays mostly outside.

“Henry, do you hear it? It’s like a whisper.”

“Man, you are in coolest place ever. Are you scared?” Henry hides his own nerves better. He hears but can’t tell what it is.

They stare at each other. A low sound slides with a chair across the room. A cool breeze points out the chair. The air is stale. Movement stops before it’s seen. But the sound send to keep moving through the room. Voices lost in whispers echo.

“Its getting dark. You staying in here, Eli? I’m waiting to see what comes out at night.” Henry smiles his words hang in the air.

“Me and my shadow aren’t going anywhere.” Eli points at a dark spot besude him. Irregular black patch rests at his feet. There is no light to cast it. It wasn’t noticed at first.

“Eek! Let’s hide in the sleeping bags! Really, man. It’s just an old castle.”

In silence, two bags are laid out. They stare out into space. No human voices to be heard. Whispers never really leave the air.

In a second, it’s dark. Wind enters from the door. Dust spins veils above them.

Henry wakes up to see Eli. Standing on the table. He is reaching toward the ceiling. “No! No! Noooo!” His eyes see a friend fall of table, but not falling. The image burns through his mind. Screams turn to muttering bits of words not known.

The struggle to gain control takes forever. When the fog clears. Two college friends square at each other. They know what they saw. It was the other hung by a noose.

The whispers clear up in their ears. “You were warned, Sie wurden gewarnt” Over and over.

Part 1 below