Farewell to the Inkwell

Written by Ashcloud


Adieu mon ami,
For now it must be
The end, our farewell, our adieu.

Adieu mon ami,
Forever we will be,
A team beyond any description.

Adieu mon ami,
Full of fond memories,
Of our friendship and time spent together.

Adieu mon ami,
In our hearts you shall see,
The impression you left through your wisdom.

Farewell to the Inkwell,
You shall be missed dear,
Though your legacy shall continue,
Through the ones you held near.


Our last published post of 2015, and one that marks it beautifully. Ashcloud’s tribute poem, “Farewell to the Inkwell” is a goodbye to our wonderful little community on the Inkwell Forum. It’s served us well – six years in fact – and I’m glad that Ashcloud amongst many of our other members could be a part of it. If you wish to view her other published work on Inkblots, make sure to read her poems “Waterworks” and “Is it Wrong?”. You can also view her new blog, here.

Thanks go out to all our lovely members. Some will still continue to publish their work via Inkblots, while others have moved on. Either way, I wish everyone the best. And thanks to a wonderful 2015 for Inkblots to all our followers, readers and contributors. You are all superb people.

Featured Image CC // Jonathan Blocker

Advertisements

Magic as a Science

Written by Doishy


An extract taken from A Scientific Reference to Magic – A Journal. 

1.0 – An explanation of.

It is here that the actual science [or as much as we understand it] is described and broken down. Many people, notable scientists and mages as well as lowly thinkers, have tried to decipher the truth about magic. What follows is, to date, the best and most accurate explanation of magic as it currently exists. Most of the proof for these ideas have come from experimentation and careful observation of it in use, as well as rare and unexplained sightings. That which is written here has been verified by multiple trusted sources and, therefore, is most likely to be comprised of strong theory.

This chapter acts as a building block, showing you the basic concepts – as an introduction to magic – that will be explored more intricately as the book goes on. The first part will explore the energies and forces involved with the concept that we now know as magic. The second will introduce the idea to the theory of using magic and give a very brief overview of what chapter 2.0 will explain. The third and last will give an explanation into the variations of souls within the concept of magic and will present examples of them and how they differ. It will also give insight into the concept of Applications and Filters that will be presented in chapters 3.0 and 4.0.

1.1 – Associated Forces
The first thing that is obvious is that magic stems from somewhere. It follows the laws of energy; it cannot be created, nor destroyed. There is always a constant amount of it in the universe and it can only be manipulated. The main question is: What created this energy in the first place and where is it located?

The first question cannot be answered without the ability to go back in time (which many have tried with disastrous consequences). Because of this only theories have any merit, and even then they are limited. The most popular ones usually stem from or around the concept of a deity or multiple deities. The church has a well-known extremist faction within it that believes God is responsible for the creation of magic and that mages are, therefore, descendants of angels, fallen or otherwise, that live on earth to use his gift to spread the word. They believe, of course, that the miracles mentioned within the bible were the work of mages. The limits within this theory obviously lie within the question of whether or not God, in the traditional sense, exists. The idea of magic strengthens the belief as it holds very little scientific value at present, so such an idea has more substance to it.

Other examples of ideas are rooted more in traditional science going with the theory of the big bang. Within the event both the core elements that make up the universe were created as well as certain sorts of radiation. This branch claims magic is just another sort of radiation that was created and has travelled alongside all the other sorts, across the universe. Again, the problem here is proof. As the ways to measure magic as an energy are very limited, getting a reading off the big bang is nigh on impossible. Even measuring the background levels and using maths to calculate the probability is difficult.

The living organism theory is also very popular. This leads to the belief that magic itself is a sentient entity, much again to the idea of Gaea or other such things. It is a spirit that embodies itself within everything, some people insist in calling it part of, or the embodiment of, Gaea. This theory holds much sway, if not for the evidence, for the knowledge of it since ancient times. It is less of fact and more of a good term for it. As a whole though, it isn’t widely used to describe the magical energy out of circles that hold such beliefs.

Because of these examples of theories and many others, the ability to discern the true origin of magic is very limited. Instead, most experts in the field of study prefer to look at where it is located, in order to ascertain more thorough research in the hope of finding answers to the origin question.

The answer as to where magic is located is very easy, in fact, it’s almost everywhere. The energy that seems to form the basis of magic is emitted from almost everything. This includes things, living or dead from humans, to the lowliest speck of dirt. It also flows through these things, with the energy from each thing flowing through everything else. If one were to see the energy [of which people have been recorded to be able to do] then you would see a plethora of connecting strands going to and from everything in your sight, and it would be complicated, much like a network of neurons in a brain.

Another thing to note is these energies change. As a stream of it goes through something, it inherits a slightly different aspect to itself. An example is as such: If a stream of this energy were to flow through fire, it would take on a slightly more wavy aspect and, possibly, [for those who could see such things] a slightly reddish hue. If this fire aspect stream were to then flow through a pool of water it would change again, becoming more liquid in its movements and perhaps taking a blue hue. [Please note all descriptions are purely metaphorical, I do not know what the streams actually look like when seen, or if they can be seen at all.] Because of this constant changing it seems that each ‘type’ of magic is associated with certain aspects of the world.

Not every object causes a different stream, however. There are objects that share aspects such as dirt, sand and stone. All of these seem to produce the same sort of energy and, therefore, it can be theorised that they share some sort of ‘magical property’. Pretty much every non-human entity that is alive seems to come under one of three sorts of energies; most plants and fungus share, insects including arachnids and the like, and all other mammals, birds and sea life. It is not sure as to why there are only three sorts of streams that stem from such a genetic variety of species, but further research is always being conducted into it.

Humans are another thing altogether. It seems that when energy passes through us it does not take on a new aspect linked with ourselves. Instead, it takes on the aspect of our bones, blood and parts of us that make up our bodies, but it does this with any animal. It does not seem to have a specific affinity or aspect directly linked to us as a species. Rather, humans are quite different and, in fact, act as something else instead of just another conduit to flow through. This leads towards the theory of the soul. More of this shall be explained shortly. All that is known is that humans have something that does set them apart in terms of magic and the energies involved.


 

Perhaps when we think of magic, we don’t think of it as a science. Rather, we think of magic as something that’s just not real. Doishy’s extract from a larger piece of work which theorises magic as a science is so interesting, we just want to keep reading! Is there such a thing as magic in this world? I hope so. But for now, we’ll have to theorise it as a simple feeling rather than what comes out of a wand, or fingers, or wiggles of a nose. If you enjoyed Doishy’s writing, make sure to view his other published pieces such as, “The Sound of Silence” and “It’s the Magic Number”. 

Featured Image CC // Jeff Krause

The Fall and Rise of All

Written by Dice


An extract from “The Fall and Rise of All” –  a larger work of fiction based around the fantasy world of Eate. 

The castle suddenly shook and large lumps of rock fell from higher battlements. Some hit other fighters, some rolled harmlessly away. None came close to hitting Jaric. Dejectedly, he looked across at the tall tower on the other side of the courtyard – they had already lost it two days before. At the top of what was the tallest tower in the castle complex, another battle furiously raged; one no mortal being or Maysa would have ever seen before. It had started years before and the Thrwan armies were here to take advantage. For at the top of the tower, the Lord God Dorun fought the The Creator. Dark clouds wrapped around the tower and lightning constantly flashed against it.

Occasionally, the immense power of these two beings erupted from the tower and shook the ruined city. Jaric had fought in long sieges before, but never had there been so much destruction. It had once been Ceannais, the grand capital of Dormanica, but now it was mostly rubble. Buildings and siege proof defences flattened by the indefinable celestial battle.

“Breach! The Gate is Breached!” came a cry from inside the keep.

This is it, thought Jaric, it’s over. The keep has been breached, the endless hordes of Thrwan soldiers will flood the remaining defenders. The fighting will be hard, but eventually it will be over. Other sword and spearmen were already rushing past Jaric into the keep. Slowly, using the wall and his sword for support, he wrenched his tired body to his feet.

He was just about to join the others rushing to the keep when the floor shook more violently than before and Jaric fell again, this time against the parapet. The battle went deadly silent for a moment, like it often did after the worst shakes, almost as if the battle was taking a breath before continuing. As the shouts restarted the ground shook even harder, feeling like liquid. Tossed like a ship on the roughest seas, soldiers were strewn. The few remaining buildings in the city crumbled like magical dandruff. Jaric clung onto one of the merlions with all his might. There was an almighty crash of lightning and the whole ground seemed to lurch down, throwing everyone, including Jaric, into the air. Jaric himself toppled over the battlement falling into the courtyard; his fall only broken by the dead bodies piled against the wall.

The ground stilled and Jaric jumped to his feet expecting to find every enemy soldier in the congested courtyard facing him. But they had all fallen too and were shakily returning to their feet. Jaric looked around him, other soldiers from his platoon had also fallen from the wall and were standing either side of him, looking up at the tall tower. The Thrwan soldiers also turned to look up at it; scared of what he’d see Jaric followed their gaze.

The whole roof and the walls surrounding the top floor of the tower were gone. The clouds had parted in a spherical shape. It was hard to see so far up, but in the centre two overly large human shaped figures struggled against each other. They were encased in a large ball of blue light which was pulsing and trying to expand.

Suddenly the ball of light exploded, expanding in all directions at an incredible rate. It raced towards Jaric who turned away from it to protect himself, but as it passed it only felt like a strong gust of wind. He looked back quickly. The whole top half of the tower had blown away, the debris scattered for miles. The two figures from the top were falling at an incredible speed. One held the other below its own body, aiming its opponent’s head to the ground. All around Jaric, soldiers stood aghast, there wasn’t much time to understand what was happening, but somehow everyone knew this was it, the battle of the gods was coming to an end. Doubt flashed in Jaric’s mind, what if Dorun lost?

The two falling divine competitors crashed into the floor of the courtyard and the whole ground lurched again, like carpet swept under one’s feet. Jaric fell, this time hitting stone floor. He ignored the pain, it was just another bruise after all. Others who had been close to the impact where thrown across the courtyard into the surrounding walls, some were thrown clean over.

Jaric ignored the new pains in his body and, like everyone else in the courtyard, scrambled to his feet. Everyone strained their eyes, willing them to look through the dust cloud in the centre of the courtyard. All wanting the same answer, which god, if either would still be standing.

Some Thrwan soldiers who had been closer to the impact screamed, what did that mean? Did it mean Dorun had won?

The dust began to clear, only one figure stood in the centre. Three times taller than any of the mortals around it and undoubtedly female. The Godess, the Creator, the Mother, had defeated Dorun. The dust dissipated making the image clear. She stood amongst them barefoot, wearing a simple thin-silk unblemished white dress. Womanly in shape, she was without a single imperfection, had long golden hair which flowed in the wind, and bright blue eyes that stared with determination and hate. The Goddess was more beautiful than any human, or elf, any of them had ever seen. Her beauty was terrifying. She had overthrown Dorun, and her body and clothing showed no signs of battle that a mortal would expect.

Soldiers from both sides screamed, some fled. Jaric stood paralysed in fear of the vision in front of him.

The Goddess seemed to hear the screams and looked around her. The anger and hate in her eyes faded into sadness. She looked down at her feet. Apart from a small crack in the courtyard floor there was no sign of the impact. She looked up quickly as if she had sensed something. The Creator looked at the humans around her with an expression of determination softening, while tears began to fill her sad eyes. She no longer looked terrifying; instead she looked devastatingly beautiful and, despite her large size, completely fragile.

When she spoke her voice was soft and soothing, but immeasurably sad.

“My children. My lost children. I… I am sorry.”

Tears freely flowed from her eyes as she faded and vanished. Her words were poignant, she had called them her children, never before had humans been called the children of The Mother. They were not elves or Maysa, they were raised as dirt, as pawns of war. And sorry, sorry for what? All in the courtyard wondered it. Sorry for destroying their God? No, she had spoken to those who followed Thrwa too. Sorry for destroying the city? No, it seemed more meaningful than that.

All stood in silence staring at the crack left by the impact. Light spread across the courtyard as dawn broke from behind the courtyard’s fallen eastern wall. The quiet was broken by the clanging of metal on stone. Jaric looked behind him. Dormanican soldiers were throwing their swords down in surrender. Their God was dead, what was the point of fighting in his name? Jaric threw his sword down and looked towards the Thrwan army. Someone shouted something in the Thrwan language an they raised their bows and aimed at the surrendered soldiers.

This was it at last thought Jaric as he closed his eyes. It was ending.

There was a great rumbling sound when Jaric slowly opened his eyes again. The Thrwan soldiers had lowered their bows and turned in the direction of the sound, which was getting louder. Jaric raised his arm to block the blinding sun and, though the light glare faded, he still could not process what he could see rising high above wreckage of the city.


As part of a larger work, Dice’s story excerpt is a bold telling of war. The Rise and Fall of All reminds us that a war between Gods and Goddesses, however epic, still paints a terrifying picture of destruction. In complete disarray, the city falls, and so do the hearts of men, women and children. The battle between power is a never-ending one, but in the end it’s The Creator who hates herself for all she has unleashed. If you enjoyed Dice’s work in the World of Eate, perhaps view other stories from a fantasy world published on Inkblots, including “The Ascension of the Pilgrim”. 

Featured Image CC // Tim Lucas

 

Short Poetry Spotlight – The Cold, Sleepy Chill of Winter Darkness

Written by Dizzy Dazzle


Awake in a Sleeping World

I’m awake in a sleeping world.
Buses yawning as they drift down icy roads,
Smoke rising lazily from the rooftops of quiet buildings,
Tucked away in the darkness,
The sky blinking groggily back at me.
I see the moon, snoring behind blankets of clouds, mumbling in its sleep;
Refusing to give itself away to the energetic sun.
A sigh of wind, almost silent
Before lights come on.
Awake in a sleeping world.

Winter

One morning early in winter
I did see
A man and his dog
Walking through the dark trees.
They lean in close
And speak;
Can you hear them?

Husha, husha, husha,
Sing the trees.
The wind blows so eerily
Winter is here they sing.

They walk up the hill,
Breath steaming in the icy air.
Beware, beware sing the trees
Winter is here.

No sun here,
But shady hollows and frozen streams
That once flowed
Easily, dreamily.

Footprints in the grimy snow,
A man and his dog
Walk through the dark trees,
One morning
Early in winter.


Bringer of winter darkness, Dizzy Dazzle’s poetry is simple yet gorgeous. As dive head first into winter and its cold snap, sleep comes easy and we take to hibernation during those months – just like animals. We go out less, bringing the parties indoors when the weather is terrible. But when we do venture out on those crisp and fresh early mornings, with our breath hanging in the air as we breathe, we cherish the moments of clarity. If you enjoyed our Short Poetry Spotlight, perhaps you should view our previous edition here. If you’re captivated by Dizzy’s work though, why not view her previously published work “Howlers

Featured Image CC // Anja Jonsson

To Prove

Written by Terrestris Veritas


I wouldn’t call it anything other than what it was. Things happened and I just got on with life. The way people tell you to, shouldn’t have to dictate certain things, but because they’re “bigger” than you it does. Even still, you get to have your way occasionally; though it pales in comparison to how often they get they’re way.

The way to do things is in secret. That often works since to observe and criticise something you must first know about it. So if they never know about it, they cannot do a thing. The triads that were in The Hatch were actually quite nice despite whatever crimes they were accused of. One of them told me she could help me do what I wanted, help me get revenge for what they did to my friend. Even though it wasn’t them at fault this time. It was more like him.

Her name was Lipi. She was from the south and locked in the binding chains, the sort that inhibit the use of vintage powers. Even though I couldn’t break them, she still taught me a lot. She gave me elixir to awaken some powers, others she guided me towards. Pretty soon I had all the strength that someone my age was capable of wielding.

Vintage, however, was illegal for common people. It was only used by the elite hunters that they owned and by those in the south. Even though it was frowned upon for the latter, it was still tolerated up until a certain distance from the border. Since it was such an exclusive art as well, it could be identified pretty easily. Luckily for me, Lipi had been observing my crystal magic and taught me how to hide vintage within the crystal. “Since crystal is in your soul, you can do everything through your own soul.” That was what she told me.

She had been a good teacher, given that it was through the constraints of The Hatch – and I felt proud that a little girl such as myself had been such a good pupil. I owed it all to her. As I stood over his body, I felt my heart give a little skip and my crystal flare a little brighter. Maybe I was built for the killing business. At the very least, I had proved to myself that little girls just like me can have quality time with a boy; and make sure it’s his blood that’s spilt, rather than hers.


Inspired by our July HHC challenge themed under ‘Justice’, Terrestris Veritas’ short piece is a beautifully dark tale woven to keep us suitably intrigued. We feel there’s a glint of magic in the moonlight here; blood spilled from previous lovers, hearts beating and skipping. If you enjoyed Terra’s work as much as we did, why not view his previously published work such as “Spark of Hate” and “The Wisps on the Moor”. 

Featured Image CC // Macroscopic Solutions

Winter Editorial – There’s Magic in the Moonlight

Hey Inkblotters!

It always comes as a surprise when the end of the year draws near. We’re starting to pop on our woolly knits and embrace the cold air over a warm cup of tea, coffee or even mulled wine. And of course there’s Christmas to start thinking about. The rush of shoppers as they take to the high street and plow through their savings is more than just a little bit bonkers. Think Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which will clearly be many times worse since the 5p bag charge was brought in for the UK.

With all that said though, it’s still the most magical time of the year. Tonight it’s Bonfire Night, so get out your sparklers and your rockets, or go watch a beautiful display disperse in the dark sky. And afterwards, it’s time to start thinking of a white Christmas.

Inkblotters may have noticed we’ve changed our format for the end of 2015. Inkblots will be moving into seasonal issues, given the closure of our lovely little writing forum. But that’s not to say the magazine will be closing its doors – in fact we’re looking to rebrand ourselves entirely for 2016 with a new logo and look. There will be more information on all of the above in the New Year Editorial.

For our Winter issue, it’s all about magic in the moonlight. So we’ve got some cracking poetry from Dizzy Dazzle in a new Short Poetry Spotlight on November 25th, alongside short fantasy fiction from Dice on December 5th and, later, Doishy on the 10th. Our content will conclude with an absolutely beautiful tribute poem from Ashcloud on the Inkwell writing forum’s closure – a must-read on December 20th.

Of course, we’re still continuing with our Half Hour Challenge themes. November’s theme is Magic in the Moonlight, while December’s theme comes under Farewell. Both of which are beautifully fitting for the time of year, as well as the closure of The Inkwell.

Before I forget, for any of those participating in NaNoWriMo, that’s National Novel Writing Month, I must wish you the very best of luck. Yet again, I cannot dedicate the time to take part in it, though I envy those who can! I say it every year, and I’ll say it again, but one year I shall definitely take the time out and participate.

For now though, it’s time for me to say a fond farewell to our lovely readers in 2015 and I’ll be back with the New Year Editorial in January. How time flies, eh? Make sure you have a wonderful Christmas.

Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Annie Fischinger

Morte Mare

Written by Alex McCarron


There’s a pool way out on the moor, as deep as you ever did see. And there’s a lady who lives in that pool, and she’ll come out if you ask kindly.

“Please won’t you come out, please can’t I see—” She’ll rise up, her face like a shadow on the water at night, for it’s all dark depths and deep, hidden teeth. Her name’s Lizzie Jack, and she once was a girl, a girl twice your age and three times as pretty.

Plump and fair our Lizzie was, with slim hands, long fingers, and such strong white teeth. She used to work spells and she used to bring children all alone to the moor at night. She rocked them and spun them, and sucked the life from them, and drowned them in the pool at night.

Now Lizzie had a sister; a sister who followed her to see what she did at night. She saw Lizzie lift the bones from the pool. She saw Lizzie crack them and suck them, and lick the marrow from her sharp white teeth.

With every bone she sucked, and every life she took, Lizzie grew fairer, and far fairer still. She grew fat and full, like a billowing cloud, and her hunger grew with her. Day and night her teeth ground in her mouth, ripping her own cheeks and tongue. She longed for meat. The bones called her back.

Her sister watched, and her sister followed her. She couldn’t believe it, but she could stand it no longer, so she pushed Lizzie into that pool. How Lizzie screamed, how she fought, clawing her own fingers to the bone. And how long her sister held her there, long after she’d breathed in the black water. She drowned Lizzie in that pool in the moonlight.

Night after night she came back to see Lizzie at the bottom of the pool. Lizzie cried and cried, and said, “Sister, sister, I’m rotting away, and the children all hate me. Sister, oh, sister, their bones hate me so.”

Now her sister loved her, though she was a witch and a murderer. With her own hands she drew Lizzie’s face up from the water. She kissed her wet and crumbling forehead.

“I bind you to these waters,” she said. “I bind you to these bones. I bind your lips so you will not speak. But if anyone is a fool enough to come here, let them rot in the water with you. I’ll not leave you alone.”

Her sister knew a witch’s words; her sister had a witch’s power. Lizzie sank down, gnashing her teeth.

Lizzie’s sister returned every night to talk with her beneath the water. She grew old, with a handsome husband and a house full of children. Far and wide she spread their story, so nobody would go near the pool but her. But one day she set out early, striding tall in the mist of the moor, and she did not come back.

Her children searched for her, we all searched for her, calling long into the night. We found her, but late, much too late. She’d fallen and split her head on a stone. We buried her where she lay, for what the moor takes it must keep; so her blood seeped into the earth and her bones sank until they lay buried in the roots of the hills.

But Lizzie still waits, for nobody’s told her that her sister has died, and nobody ever will.

If you go to that pool, and if she rises up, don’t look in her eyes, but look at her hands and her teeth. Lizzie’s hands are scabbed and twisted. Her teeth are broken and bloody and ready for your throat – for she is so hungry, and so lonely, with only the bones rattling beneath her, night after night after night.

If you look in her eyes, you’ll see the beauty she once was, fat and full as a cloud, gathering little children into her arms. You will jump into her arms, and Lizzie will carry you down to the dark depths and the feast among her bones.

There’s a pool way out on the moor, as deep as you ever did see. And there’s a lady who lives in that pool, and she’ll come out if you ask kindly.


Inspired by the classic ghost story, returning contributor Alex McCarron has written such a creepy tale. The black water has seeped through and into Lizzie’s spectral figure. We can’t get enough of this terrifying pre-Halloween treat, hiding under our blankets and pillows, just hoping to avoid the gaze of Lizzie and her sharp teeth. If you enjoyed Alex’s short horror story, make sure to read her other supernatural tale published earlier this year, “Jenny of the Road”. 

Featured Image Courtesy // Fatal Frame, Nintendo