Not Today

Written by Lumberjacktom

The most precious commodity in the universe... A baby. Image courtesy of babble.com

The most precious commodity in the universe… A baby. Image courtesy of babble.com

Your skin is so smooth, almost translucent on the delicate curve of your sleeping body. I’m overcome by how fragile you look in that moment; your eyes closed, your shoulder length hair splayed across the pillow. I’m trying to tell if you’re beautiful. I think I’ve forgotten what it means. A squat, square face, big eyes, softened by your smile. A child’s face. Innocent. You have a child’s body as well, I might still mistake you for a boy, if there were any of those.

Doc says you’re ready for a child. He tells me you’re strong for your age, that it don’t matter that your breasts haven’t come through yet, that a baby can live on formula just fine. I keep thinking, maybe if I tell them you’re barren, that your womb’s no good, maybe they’d let me keep you. I wouldn’t have to break your fragile little frame, squirt my seed into your tiny body and let a little life grow inside, ’til it forced its way out, and surely split you on its way. Maybe then, when they didn’t care anymore, I could keep you safe, until you were properly a woman, ’til you knew what it meant to bear a child.

But they wouldn’t let me do that. They’d test you this way and that until they were sure, then they’d go inside and have your ovaries. Or put someone else’s baby in, one made in a lab from the chromosomes of men, a perfect little womb-bearer made to specification by the bio-engineers with their microscopes and pipettes. Just like you.

You wouldn’t let me, either. You want a little life too; it’s what a girl is born for, they say. And why wouldn’t you believe them? It’s what you’ve been told all your life, that is. When you grow up, when you come of age and your body says its ready, we’ll find a man for you, and he’ll give you a little one. Wasn’t it what you were born for? Just like the mother they put you in, deemed fit and seeded with life. So of course its what you want. What you say you want, anyway; I think you’re more scared than you say. I think you know you’re too little, too unspoilt by the world, else you would complain more that we haven’t tried. Seems fitting, you say, that we should get to know each other, since we’re a couple now, some kind of courting period. If it goes on much longer, they’ll find out. They’ll spread your legs on the doctor’s couch, and find out I haven’t yet broken you. Then what? Maybe they’ll seed you with someone else, and leave you with me, so I can stand by you; hold your hand while you push out someone else’s child. Or maybe they’d take you from me, say, “If you won’t use her, someone else will.” Scared to be a man. If that’s how you figure it, I’m as much a man as you are a woman, though I was one and a half times your age when you were born.

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Keep Smiling Through

Written by Dice

Dancing on VE Day, May 1945. Such a wonderful celebration! Image courtesy of graphics20.com

7th May 1945. The sound of celebration was in the air. The Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace was awash with excitement and colour. People danced, sang, cried, laughed, hugged and kissed each other. All wanted to share the moment of triumph. Rule Britannia and long live the King.

Robert was no longer celebrating; he had join those crowds early on, but now he walked alone over the rubble of bricks and mortar that had once been his family home. Only a few weeks earlier it had been hit by a V2 Rocket. Robert had been serving at the war office at the time, but his wife had witnessed it. Robert thanked God that she survived, and that their son, Albert had been evacuated a year before. He tried to picture what Gloria had described. She had said she watched the rocket fly through the roof, a moment later there had been an almighty explosion as if the devil himself had reigned damnation on the street. Deafened by the explosion, her hair flying in the wind from the blast, Gloria had watched as other houses and buildings fell to the explosion, yet their home had remained standing like a lone soldier whose comrades had fallen around him. The wind had changed direction whooshing past her, racing back towards their home. And in that following instant their home was gone. Other houses had pieces of wall remaining, some had only lost a single wall. Robert and Gloria’s home was completely obliterated.

Robert kicked at the bricks sombrely. He had been frustrated enough with his amputated arm that had prevented him from re-joining the fight back in 1941 and defend his family. And now their home was gone too. What kind of a man cannot defend his family or provide a home? He had tried so hard. Everywhere was full. Robert wasn’t a poor man, he offered much to possible land lords. All he wanted was a home to shelter his now deaf wife, if he couldn’t help or defend her, he would provide a home. But he had failed.

As darkness fell Robert could still hear the joy and laughter throughout the ruined city. Limping he made his way down the steps into the Holborn Underground Station, where he and his wife had lived since the bombing. As usually he was greeted with the stench of urine and sweat. The stay in the Underground was unpleasant, but where else could they go? As Robert reached the bottom he could hear singing.

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The Humanitarian

Written by Dizzy dazzle

humanitarian_aid

Could you do what this woman does? Image courtesy of wikipedia.

The Humanitarian dreams
Not of mansions or swimming pools or plasma TV’s
But the hungry next door
With bread in their hands
And a baby who’s happy, not crying.

The Humanitarian sees
The good and the bad
The right and the wrong
And the things in between
The things that he’ll change, the people he’ll save.

The Humanitarian leads
He treats the poor soldiers of the blood red war fields
The one armed gun man
And the pilot with no legs
He hopes they’ll never fight again.

The Humanitarian believes
That those that are poor, those that are hungry
Those that are frightened, those that are lonely
Will live to see another day
And the Humanitarian smiles.

Simple and with more than a pinch of truth to it, Dizzy’s poem really conveys quite a deep message within. Dizzy has been submitting wonderful poetry for quite some time and I for one hope it continues to be the case.

Death’s Mistress Prologue

Written by Miss Smiley

Phone a friend

When will you get the call?

She hums softly, hiding her musings under her breath as her hairbrush glides slowly through her hair. Her eyes hook dreamily into the two green eyes that stare at her, a dazed smile spreading across her lips.

“Corinth! Hurry up!”

Corinth jolts back to life before the mirror, broken from her reverie. Hastily coming to her senses, she pulls her smooth, auburn locks into a quick ponytail. She tugs at it impatiently before slinging a courier bag across her thin shoulders and rushing from the room.

“Corinth!”

“I’m coming, Mum!” She rolls her eyes. “Jeez!” she mumbles to herself. “Anyone would think it was life or death!”

She quickly reviews this statement and, frowning, wonders if it actually is a matter of life or death. The news article she is meant to be writing today is a big one, and one sure to be a direct focus of the librarian, Mrs. Connelly, who ran the school newsletter. Not known for her sensibility or any particular semblance of wit or intelligence, Mrs. Connelly would, no doubt, have no issues with making any student’s life hell for the sake of her beloved newsletter. Corinth often wondered how a woman so superbly unsuitable for human interaction had come to be deemed fit for running a school library, let alone a school newsletter.
Shaking the thought from her head, she checks herself.

Camera…check.

Notepad…check.

Um…

Pencils! She rummages in the kitchen drawers, carelessly sharpening a stubby pencil into the fork compartment. Check.

Satisfied, she plucks a green apple from the fruit bowl sitting on the table, a present from her older brother, and glances hurriedly out of the windows. A glimpse of her mother pacing the driveway, not unlike a caged tigress, catches her eye and she smirks to herself on her way out of the house.

Corinth yanks the heavy door open.

“Cori—! Oh, there you are. Come on! Are we going or not?”

Corinth nods silently, making her way to the door of her mother’s Volvo. She slides her petite frame onto the leather seat and quietly closes her door.

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Bruises

Written by Rivers of Tarmac

tigers_fierce_cuddle

Such fierce creatures sharing a beautiful connection for one small moment.
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

She reaches out to my face. Gentle, like one approaching a startled animal. I tremble, I flinch, I pull away. Her expression flickers; betrayal, hurt, confusion. She hides it. She wonders if I saw.

I saw.

She begins to make gentle soothing noises, “sshh, it’s alright, it’s OK, you’re OK. I’m not going to hurt you. Sshh it’s OK, you’re safe, it’s alright… you’re OK… sshh.”

I don’t realise for a while that I’m crying. Her face – pale and white, shining in the darkness – is a mask of fake smiles and comfort. Mine is a mask of dark purple and blue, and fear. She edges closer to me. I school myself to stillness. Gently, oh so gently. Her extended hand still rests on my face. She strokes the marks, her fingers barely making contact yet leaving white-hot trails behind them. Whether these are trails of pain or confusion, I am still not certain, but I feel it in my skin – whatever it is. Her eyes fill with tears as she traces the lines of one bruise, then another, then another and another until I realise I am no longer breathing. My breath falls out in one ragged gasp and I am sobbing, she is sobbing. My shoulders shake and yet my face is still, and tears stream down her face yet her hands are steady and she continues to touch me. I am trapped under her gentle fingers that exert no pressure yet somehow hold me pinned. Her breathing steadies, her eyes dry, her lips part.

“I’m sorry.”

I shift my head, ever so slightly. It could be a nod or it could be a twitch, but it causes her fingers to leave my skin, and I gasp sharply at the feeling of her absence, of a space between us. It feels like freedom and fear all bundled together. I yearn to be away from her. And yet, I yearn for her to touch me again. I lean forward, towards her, trembling.

“Please…” I whisper, and she brings her hand back to my face. There’s this electricity between us, an incredible spark, and I’m afraid. She meets my eyes. She presses her fingertips firmly onto my face. It hurts. Her eyes are stern, now,  determined. She whispers one word.

“Beautiful.”

She does not say if she means me or the bruises, and I do not ask.

Bruises is Rivers of Tarmac’s second piece in Inkblots, after her interesting take on the Half Hour Challenge theme Wishes, entitled “It Is Hard To Tell“. This work of fiction was particularly inspired by Rivers’s need to write a dark occurrence between two people after listening to a playlist full of poignant lyrics. 

Sheffield Steel

Written by Elanor Rose

sunset

The sun set, flame red, there was no delay.

We met on the day that the world would end
and clasped fingers in the dark, unafraid.
As the steel sheets of Sheffield tumbled down,
fell beneath our feet, fell into pierced ground,
we stepped amidst the debris side by side.

As the red brick of Birmingham crumbled
we fumbled to find something lasting and new.
We remembered the cities that forged us,
now gone – and struggled to salvage the dust
unnoticed by the ruins around us.

And when then the rain came, we were ready.
The sun set, flame red, there was no delay.
We watched it sear through the thunder-clap clouds,
no longer humbled, no longer content
to allow our origin to be lost,
to admit our time together was spent.

Sheffield Steel marks Elanor Rose’s first poem published in Inkblots. Her inspiration was based on a challenge she set herself: to write romantic poetry without referring to the traditional romance tropes found in poems, such as flowers, forever afters and fairy tales. 

Gone – An Alexander Episode

Written by Dice

puff_smoke_vanish

Once you step outside the Room, you cease to exist. Are we just a puff of smoke? Abstract, fluid.

“Mr Speaker, would the honourable member like to explain why my idea of a takeaway from Jekies was scuffed so? He may do well to know that Jekies serves the best food in the Milky Way,” called out Alexys.

Alex laughed. Today, the Impossible Room had been made to look like the inside of the Palace of Westminster, and so they had decided that they should debate the question over dinner in the House of Commons. Alex, Alexys, Lexi and Zander were all dotted around the large debating hall. Lexi stood to answer Alexys’s question when a terrible shout came ringing down the halls of power.

“Zander!”

Everyone went quiet and looked towards the large double doors. Standing in the opening was Alexander, his face white with horror.

“Jennifer’s gone!”

Zander stood very quickly, horror spread over his face too.

“Impossible!” he cried in response. “No one can leave or enter this place without you or me knowing.”

“She’s gone! I watched her disappear in front of me. It happened instantly.”

“Who’s Jennifer?” asked Alexys loudly.

“You best be joking,” shouted Alexander back at her.

“No,” replied Alexys quickly, surprised at Alexander’s angry reaction.

“We don’t know her, Alexander,” said Lexi calmly, backing-up her sister.

Alexander looked like he was going to react very angrily when Zander spoke before Alexander could even open his mouth.

“Alexander, they are not like us, they are not yet Alexanders. They cannot remember if a timeline changes. The only reason they are still here is because they’re in the Room.”

“Zander, you’re suggesting…” Alexander didn’t finish his sentence before he ran out of the room. Continue reading →