The Speed of the Dark


I can’t stand the cold of another night exposed – I don’t think I can stay hidden for much longer. Any marks I leave on the walls just disappear. Three days, two nights. I can’t keep running, trying to stay faster than the speed of the dark.

The doorway. I can see the blue-stained wooden frame – the pain in my legs, unbearable. Up, up, down, down. This labyrinthine island, the white walls overbearing. Ominous.

Left foot, right foot.

Left foot, right foot, slamming down onto the footprints of a thousand generations.

Broken lives, abandoned homes.

All bite and no bark, they shadow me.

I have to be faster than the dark.


This story was written for BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday prompts The Speed of Dark; All Bite and no Bark and Can’t Stand the Cold as well as  Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers. I also smuggled in a famous secret code, can you figure out what it is? Comments and criticism always welcome!

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34 thoughts on “The Speed of the Dark

  1. Dear Chris,

    What is he running from? Great description and evocative writing, but I’m at loose ends trying to tease meaning from it. I’ll keep an eye on other comments and wait for enlightenment.



  2. I think it does well not to tell us what he’s running from. Mysterious. After all, who is interested in something that they know all about?

  3. “Faster than the dark ” — cool phrase that says it all. Nice piece.

  4. I don’t need to know what he’s running from, it’s far scarier in my imagination.

  5. Too dense to see the secret code 😦 but I enjoyed the desperation of the piece.

  6. Of course, you quickened my heart beats by a few paces, i might as well not exercise for this week…lol. This is as evocative as can be…run dear fella, run!

  7. boomiebol says:

    I wonder what he is running from…very well done.

  8. A good build of well-written tension.

  9. Carrie says:

    you’ve definitely set the tone for fear. Is this a play on a Greek myth?

  10. Hi Chris,
    I was reminded of the tale of the minotaur, and this does look like Crete.

  11. Tom Poet says:

    Enjoyed the tension and I like the title. Nice piece. Here is mine..

  12. Well written piece that draws you into the mind of the man, now if only I could figure out your hidden code….

  13. I loved this! I can’t figure out the code, but I recognized the Be Kind prompts! Brilliant!

  14. K.D. McCrite says:

    Very nice. Gives me shivers.

  15. Ominous. He’s running, but from what? Great hook.

  16. Lora says:

    I feel he represents all those who are attempting to escape from the frightening chaos of the Middle East. …To me… “footprints of a thousand generations” says it all. Nice work. I’m #2 this week.

  17. Paul says:

    Very well done. I felt he was running from something or things supernatural. Otherworldly. Excellent take. I was late this week. Number 54, at http://photovignettes.wordpress/2012/10/12/1459.

  18. You not only draw us a picture, but throw us into a certain state of mind. Brilliant. The code was lost on me, too, I’m afraid. It’s going to drive me crazy!

  19. rich says:

    does it have something to do with vampires? being faster than the dark because that’s when they come out? and they bite but they don’t really bark to announce their presence. thousand generations – because they’re immortal.

    • That’s not how I thought of it, but I do rather like this interpretation, I feel that it ties the whole story together quite nicely. May be time to return to another vampire story though…

  20. Brian Benoit says:

    Seems like there’s been some confusion on this, and I don’t know if my interpretations even anywhere near what you intended, but I get this surrealist / Jorge Luis Borges sense of an endless maze with no escape. I enjoyed it

  21. OK guys and dolls, I’m pretty sure I built up this whole “secret code” thing a little bit too much. I feel like you’re going to be disappointed when I reveal what it is…

    The horror in the darkness is not (for me) a physical danger. I suppose I left it vague and unmentioned so that you would come up with your own horrors – as most of you did. The way that I felt about it when I was writing was, as Brian Benoit mentioned, that it was a Kafka/Borges inescapable maze.

    The code is the Konami Code… UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A. If you type it into almost any computer game it will unlock different cheats. You can also use it on a number of websites – I know Facebook used to have a little virtual dinosaur run across the bottom of the page.

    P.S. I told you you’d be disappointed in the code…

  22. […] chriswhitewrites fiction BeKindRewrite, creative writing, drabble, fiction, flash fiction, Friday Fictioneers, InMon, monsters, short stories, short story, very brief story, writing 32 Comments […]

  23. […] chriswhitewrites fiction BeKindRewrite, creative writing, drabble, fiction, flash fiction, Friday Fictioneers, InMon, monsters, short stories, short story, very brief story, writing 32 Comments […]

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