‘The Dark Side‘ (from forthcoming second-person viewpoint anthology ‘It’s all about you’) is a 682-word second-person short story following a few moments of a couple’s life which we soon learn has not been a happy one. The husband has come to take their child and his wife is not prepared to let that happen without a fight. It starts like this…
Your heart quickens as you hear gravel shifting. A large car – his Daimler. You’ve got it all planned but of course there’s no guarantee… What if…? It’s no good thinking what if? you tell yourself. You only have one chance. To escape. Be free. Alive again. You stand up straight and your hands tighten around the bundle you hold close to your chest. It’s the key to everything. This is what it’s come to, you know he’s here to kill you, take your child, his heir.
You hear the car door slam followed by heavy footsteps, slow and determined – keeping time with the blood pounding in your ears.
The footsteps stop at the front door. You wait to see what he’ll do next. Ringing the bell would be the last thing, the door itself too heavy for even him to break down.
Part of you wonders how he found you so quickly; you’d hoped for later rather than sooner. This is Jessie’s house and only she knows you’re here. Even your mum doesn’t. But the devil has ways of making people talk. Everyone has a weakness. You know that Evan is his, and only getting his son back would bring him here. You hold your breath and listen but the only sound is a clock, ticking away the seconds; a countdown to the inevitable.
Read more by viewing or downloading the story free from Smashwords. It’s also been mentioned in Alana Woods‘ 25 essential writing tips: guide to writing good fiction.
Reviews received to-date:
- 5* on Smashwords: “An excellent example of a short story written in 2nd person. The tension building up was marvelous and the character came over as authentic. Loved the ending too.“
- 5* on Smashwords: “I need a moment to come down. That was a tense, wild read! I want to know what happens next!”
- 4* on Smashwords: “This is tight, breathless writing that carries the reader to the end… and rewards with a good last line. No cliched twists for this capable writer. Well done.”
- 5* on Smashwords: “You know it’s a good story when you give no thought to the writing or the writer. As I read ‘The Dark Side,’ I was completely drawn in to the action. It’s a short story that creates a heart-thumping momentum and briefly allows a peak into someone else’s world, one you are grateful is not your world. It’s a great read that leaves you wanting more.”
- comment left on blog: “What an inspiring site, Morgen. I’ve just finished reading the Dark Side. I could feel the woman’s anxiety and pain. The build up to the husband coming home carried me along. An extreme ending speaks of a marriage filled with violence and pain, well written.”
- via email: “I never downloaded a short story before, and I gotta tell you that I really enjoyed it. It’s been sitting in my iBooks for a couple weeks now, and finally gave it a quick read this morning. I’m sure everyone tells you they wanted to keep turning to read more pages, but I suppose that would have defeated the purpose. Very clever! Thanks for giving me something to ponder.”
- via email: “Just got completely drawn in and very surprised by The Dark Side. Good work… good 2nd person. I can see why you are interested in this form. Your story is in my e-library and I look forward to downloading more.”
- 2* on iTunes: “I liked the intenceness of the book. I just think it could have told more like why the guy was going try and hurt the girl. And why… <spoiler>”
Generally pleased with those. 🙂
Short stories are my favourite format to write and read so there will be many more to come, either individually as freebies or $1.49 anthologies (as the ‘Story A Day May (stories)‘ and ‘Story A Day May (challenge)‘ are) as well as the occasional novella or three. 🙂