Inkblots Christmas Special – Festive Fiction (Part 1)

holly_bannerHey Inkblotters,

Welcome to our Christmas Special post for all our wonderful readers and followers. This year we’re posting a few festive tales to get you into a sparkling mood from our 24 Door Advent Calendar – exclusive to members of our forum. Below are the first two short stories and more are on the way! So put your feet up, grab a mince pie, mulled wine (or a glass of sherry) and read on…

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

mince_pies

Let’s kick off with a short story with our favourite sweet pastry treat.
Image Courtesy of Splenda at reveal.co.uk

Door 23 – Mince Pies

Written by Rob

Thwak Ng jerked from his reverie, and picked up the ringing phone on his desk.

“Tok Long Viet Kong Education Centre, Major Ng speaking,” he said.

“Ah Ng, good morning, Colonel Bhadi here. Did you get my little gift OK yesterday?”

“Good morning colonel. Yes, the problem has been dealt with in the usual way.”

Colonel Bhadi is puzzled: “Problem? What problem?”

Ng is puzzled by Bhadi’s puzzlement: “We carried out the executions at dawn.”

Colonel Bhadi shouts “who on earth have you executed?”

Ng is worried. “The two men you sent.”

“You’ve shot two innocent batmen?”

“I thought that was what you wanted.”

“Why? In God’s name why? They were just bringing you mince pies.”

“That’s right: we always shoot Minh Spies.”

Continue reading →

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Rewound

Written by Lost in a Dream

A beautiful new world, full of colour and vibrance…

Finally, I emerge from my cocoon
To find the flowers back in bloom.

Their petals burn deep orange and red,
From tears and ashes they were fed.

A new chapter has begun:
Even the cruellest winters
Must yield to rain and sun.

With eyes fixed on an endless sky,
I spread my wings.
Now, I am ready to fly.

Ever ready to see the beauty in life, Lost in a Dream is fast becoming famous over on the Inkwell for her elegant yet impassioned descriptions of the natural world. Here’s another of her gorgeous poems: Parnassus Park.

Rosebed

Written by Miss Smiley

Beautiful scarlet roses for Mrs Hawthorne…

I only found the book this morning. Not much I can do about it now. It was weird – I found it in my roses, just outside my bedroom window. That should have triggered me off straight-up, but no. No, sensible Mrs Hawthorn Bridge doesn’t spot anything wrong with this.

Naturally, I opened it up. I’m the person who opens up other peoples’ medicine cabinets, after all. Like I wouldn’t open up a weird book outside my house, my room. Puh-lease.

That wasn’t even my first mistake.

It was all in a weird code. I couldn’t make head or tail of it at first. That was exciting. I love a good puzzle. But I was late for work and what was I going to do, leave it there, right outside my bedroom window? I think not.

So I took it to work with me. Thinking about it, it probably wasn’t my best move, but hey – can’t do anything about it now, can I?

I took another glance at the book at lunch time. I really wish I hadn’t. It wasn’t about the code – that was easy, once I’d started. Just a typical picture code – squiggle means A, small cat means C, that kind of thing. That really wasn’t the problem. The problem was the content.

Continue reading →

Commune

Written by Fantasy Girl

family_domestic_abuse

Don’t suffer in silence. For more information on Domestic Abuse please see http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/
Image Courtesy of elaph.com

“I can’t deal with this anymore. You’ve sat by and watched this happen for years and you’ve never done a thing about it! How can you live with yourself?” 
“I tell him not to, I swear! I can’t stop him though!”
“It’s not good enough anymore! I hate it here! I hate you for letting him do it! I hate him for everything he’s done! I hate my life!”

She woke with tears in her eyes, quickly wiping them away. “Ouch,” she mumbled, feeling the tightness in her joints as she walked to the mirror to inspect herself. The bruises that mottled her skin had almost disappeared, but the ache was still there.

Just a few pale yellow patches left.

She shook her head in disgust. She pulled on some leggings, a vest and a light cardigan to cover them up, ran a comb through her hair and quietly left her room.

She could hear her mother and father talking in the kitchen as she stood at the top of the staircase. Continue reading →

Short Poetry Spotlight – Mattress and Graffiti

Written by Avantgardian

teddy_on_bed

How about a kip on the bed?
Image Courtesy of Inkblots

Mattress

battle arena for baby brothers
dance floor for sister’s dolls
keeper of coins yet to be counted
carrier of clothing spread and novels read

cover for cash and valuable deeds
habitat for spiders home to silverfish
a pillow harvest a stuffed bear preserve
snack bar washboard trampoline

lounging place for naked bodies
groping thrashing flailing sleeping
unseated table (topped in tasteless sheets)
that stirs a cerebral discussion

what stimulant of discordant dreams
what altar of opposite function.

Graffiti

Adversary of civilized men
petrified in dry cement
like an acorn thrown in reverie
these words the seed of artistry.

New contributor Avantgardian submitted a selection of  short poetry to Inkblots Magazine; our editorial team has chosen the two we thought explored such a simple object or theme in an intriguing light, offering new or a change of perception. Through his own style, Avantgardian has produced two top-notch poems, and we’re excited to see what else he creates. 

Angela’s Touch

Written by Rob

diary_close

“I’d always felt Jenny had kept a part of herself in reserve.”
Image Courtesy of englishthroughlaxas.blogspot.com

I wasn’t even aware that Jenny kept a diary, until I found it lying in the hallway. I guessed it must have fallen from her bag. I recognised immediately what it was, even though it wasn’t written on a pre-printed, pre-dated book, but rather in an ad hoc collection of thoughts, scribbled into a well-thumbed, hard-backed book. I felt guilty about reading it; I knew I shouldn’t. She’d be mortified if she knew. Although we’d been married eight years, and we’d always promised each other “no secrets”, I’d always felt Jenny had kept a part of herself in reserve. It was as though there was a locked room inside her, that she’d lost the key to. I did not doubt she loved me, but I’d never felt that she’d trusted me with her inner sanctum, the core of her, the bit that made her tick. This memoire was too good an opportunity to pass over and so I sat on the “telephone chair” and read.

The early pages were mostly taken over with worries about the children: Derek’s first day at school, Linda’s poor spelling, Derek’s cut knee, and so forth. I didn’t seem to get much of a mention until I found “Kevin is a pompous arsehole!” in thick black letters, double underlined, following a passage describing our row about the Florida trip we couldn’t afford. That made me smile. I knew Jenny had come to my way of thinking about our budget a week or so later and, sure enough, there was the grudging, “I suppose he has a point,” two pages later. Continue reading →

Monthly Editorial: December’s Content and a Christmas Eve Inkblots Special

Christmas decoration. vintage background with space for text or image.

If only we had some mulled wine to go with the sparkles – Merry Christmas!

Hey Inkblotters,

‘Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la, la la la la – I honestly hope that’s the correct amount of la’s! So, as we all know it’s the beginning of December and if you’re not happily tucking into an Advent Calendar, then you’ll surely be getting into the Christmas spirit with Cyber Monday. Generally deemed as the busiest day in the online shopping year – yes, even busier than Black Friday – Cyber Monday is all the joys of hectic Christmas shopping without the frustration of standing in heaving queues. Although, I’m pretty sure surfing the Amazon page for “deals you’ve missed” is just as heavy on the heart – good job Amazon, we love you for that. But I digress, I’m sure you’re here to see exactly what we’ve got planned for this month’s content.

Kicking off content for December is Rob’s Half Hour Challenge entry “Angela’s Touch” from last month’s Book of Secrets theme. There’s a great twist in there, so we can’t give all the details away, but certainly look out for it on the 5th. We’ve also got two short poems from newcomer Avantgardian on the 8th, then later on the 20th Lost in a Dream has written a sequel (of sorts) to her highly regarded poem Rewind, which you can read on her blog here. Plus we’ve worked a few surprises in there too.

But with Christmas only coming but once a year, we’ve got an extra special post to upload on Christmas Eve in order to celebrate the fantastic theme this month. Exclusively for our forum members, the editorial team has hand-picked and compiled a 24 Door Advent Calendar with a separate theme and incredibly cheesy rhyme residing inside. So, just for you – our readers – we’re publishing three of the best entries, so be sure to check them out on Christmas Eve.

Last but not least, myself and the editorial team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Thanks for reading/following, and we’ll see you in 2014!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor