35.2

Written by Lilith

The author wrote this as a response to 35.1 by Bobartles, fearing that his first person narrative didn’t do him justice. While we think this piece works fine as a stand alone, she’d like to request that you read 35.1 first for a spot of context.

Love keeps the winter from freezing us all to death. Image courtesy of laura-makabresku on deviantart.


It’s cold, shit, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this cold before. The draft clings to my thighs and I regret not dressing more warmly for January, but it’s too late for that so I clench my legs together, wishing for heat. I cradle my coffee in both unsteady hands and try to stop crying.

I look back at the screen. “It’s cold,” I read aloud. “I don’t notice.” I try to envision the narrator; a man so jaded and dead inside that he can’t comprehend every eddy of cool air snaking across his skin, creeping through his clothes. I know I’m meant to think he can’t feel it because he’s so cold on the inside, but something about it strikes me as wrong. Cold isn’t like that. It creeps in, not out.

I know you better than you think, dear narrator. I know your smile. My shaking hands still as I consider you, and a tiny twinge of warmth makes its way through my body. I sip my coffee, feeling a little more like myself.

How can I possibly tell you that you aren’t this person? I imagine you in his place, standing on the bridge with the harsh winter wind ripping through your immovable body, feeling nothing at all. I see myself at your side, my hand creeping into yours as you stare down at the traffic below.

Continue reading →

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Tinker’s Tale

Written by Kvothe

road_tinker

“Over the hill towards your fire, comes a Tinker whose need is dire.”
Image Courtesy of oldbaileyonline.org

When you’re lonely and cold,
When the spring day grows old,
The sun meets the western hills,
Cloak drawn against the nights chills,
All that you desire,
Short beer and a fire,
Wide boughs of an ancient oak,
And nights stars your only cloak,

Over the hill towards your fire,
Comes a tinker whose need is dire,
Cold, hungry and road weary,
But his mood never dreary,
His brown long robes muddied black,
Sturdy donkey following,
On his back a heavy sack,
The night-jars love to hear him sing,

“If you need no mending and nothing needs attending,
A wise man will still see the right time for spending,
Enjoy the warm sunshine,
But though you might feel fine,
If you don’t stop now you’ll be filled with regret,
It’s better to simply pay,
And prepare for a rainy day,
Than think of that tinker when you’re dripping wet.”

Hello there tinker,
How’s the road ahead?
I can offer food and shelter,
A fire by which to rest your head,
The stew is warm, the ale is cold,

Good evening boy, I thank you thrice,
A tinker’s debt is always paid:
Once for any simple trade,
Twice for freely given aid,
Thrice for any insult made,
I have much to give so name your price,

My bags bulge with exotic treasures,
Books of secrets and golden feathers,
Dice, ball, a trebon stone,
Bottle of brand, Draccus bone,
I offer one of these,
For the kindness you have shown,
And of that ale, yes please.

Kvothe’s Tinker’s Tale was inspired by Patrick Rothfuss’s novels The Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear – you only need to recognise his username to know he’s a fan of the books. Here, he’s adapted the verses into a new lyrical assortment, developing the author’s ideas in more depth, but keeping to the rhythm and style of the piece. Although Kvothe’s never been featured in Inkblots, he’s a veteran of our writing forum, and many members have even requested developing this piece with music. 

Inheritance

Written by Miss Smiley

grandpa_child_reading

A love was born for stories, snuggled into the arms of a grandparent.
Image Courtesy of http://www.sud.org.es/

Tommy got the inkwell for his 8th birthday, right after Grandpa died. This is because Grandpa had given it to him in his will, but, nonetheless, a present received on your birthday is still a birthday present, regardless of the circumstances around said gift.

He treasured the inkwell. Sure, it was old, with a faded monogram on the front, painted in a gold, flaky paint that was slowly peeling, but that didn’t matter to Tommy. It was from Grandpa. He’d loved Grandpa, and it was one of the only things he’d received when he’d passed away; the other thing being the first copy of Tommy’s favourite book,The Albany Treasure, written by Grandpa himself.

Grandpa was always writing things. Mum said that was his job. Tommy didn’t believe this – how could writing something be a job? Jobs were things like fire-fighters or doctors or, his personal favourite, pilots. Or teachers… maybe… though he still didn’t like them.

But Grandpa wrote stories.

Tommy asked him once how he came up with the stories. He’d heard a reporter ask his Grandpa that question once and Tommy was curious. Where did the ideas come from?

Grandpa had chuckled and told him, “not sure, my boy. Not sure. I just dip the quill in the inkwell, Tommy and the ink and quill just… go walking.” He’d surveyed Tommy for a moment, as if weighing up a decision. “In fact, the inkwell’s a bit… well, it’s a clever inkwell. If I tell it what I’m writing for, it’ll write me a story. Simple as that.”

Tommy had looked up at Grandpa’s bright blue eyes, with the wide-rim glasses tucked into his old cap, and made a decision. The decision was this – nope. He’s lying.

But he smiled anyway, because he loved Grandpa and Grandpa deserved to have his stories believed. Continue reading →

The Inkwell

Written by Sparky 

book_igloo_home

A home for book lovers and writers; that’s our Inkwell.
Image Courtesy of thisiscolossal.com

“It seems so long ago now, when we started.” The scratching of the quill was the only sound in the room. I dipped the nib back in my inkwell and carried on. “There was only a few of us back then. A few like-minded people who had known each other for a few years by that point. We had moved from one forum to another. At first we only talked online, brought together by our singular love for one author. Evolving over time as we got to know each other more. We began to explore our own creative depths with each other. We had our own world there, we controlled what happened within it. It was subject almost entirely to our own rules. I say almost, we never had full power there, but it just seemed that way. We created stories with each other, cemented friendships both through the site and out in the real world. Relationships sprung up and faded away, but the friends we made there stayed. Such was the magic of that place; our Old Kingdom.

“Afterwards, we started to pave our own path and make our own world completely. A forum dedicated not just to one author but to our work, our stories. We made more friends during that stage of our journey, more writers brought together by our joint love of the written word. I remember many moments where we all celebrated each other’s achievements. From finishing stories to creating new ones, each new world enjoyed by all.”

I sat back, reading over my words, taking a small break. The history of my writing career was almost laid bare in front of me. Everything I had written had been seen by the people I had met through these places. Those friends were amongst the closest friends I had, the ones I trusted most. I took a sip of the sweet tea cooling next to me and carried on. Continue reading →

Thoughts On Forever

Written by Topaz

forest_sunshine

Beautiful golden afternoons…
Image Courtesy of Irene Suchocki

if you ask me,
forever seems like an awfully long time.

forever consists of so many countless
slow lazy sunbeams stretching out
and bringing in new-born mornings
with tiny crocuses poking heads up wondering
if it is time to wake up and greet the world
so many countless
beautiful golden afternoons with dappled leaves
casting shadows on forest floors
and booming laughter bubbling out of shaking shivering bellies
until waterfalls of tears are streaming down red rosy cheeks
so many countless
inky midnight blacks when the shadows awaken
and the stars remembers what it means to fly
when the moon serves as a cradle for angels
and it is mandatory to spend the night dreaming
instead of living

so many countless little things
that add up to such big beautiful things

forever seems like just about the longest time there is, I think –
and yet somehow, even though all I know
is a hasty smudged green-inked name
scrawled on the soft skin of my hand
even though all I know
is an electrified first glance and a
soft sweet conversation
even though all I know
is that I can still feel your fiery eyes
burning into mine, still hear your
quiet voice echoing in my mind, still taste your
unvoiced fears and dreams and promises on my tongue –

even though I do not know anything at all
about you or me or us,

well,

somehow I think the sun’s rays and crocuses
might bloom a little lovelier;
the laughter and tears
might bubble a little happier;
the stars and moon
might fly a little higher;
and everything that makes up forever –
well, I think it might not be so long
if it were to be spent
with you.

New contributor Topaz has written us a sumptuous poem on the intricacy of nature and the innocence of love in her poem, ‘Thoughts on Forever’. Her stream of consciousness writing is reflected in the poem’s form and style, which she says was inspired by initial thoughts on the complex nature of the word ‘forever’. The free form allows her to explore the theme and provide us with a deeper connection to the piece – we think it works wonderfully.  

Thy Tears Wash

Written by Rob

valentines_day_joke

Remember to buy those flowers!
Image Courtesy of Etsy.com – RowHouse14’s full range of cards can be found here.

It was only a silly prank. No-one had any evil intent or wanted to cause any upset. I can’t even remember who instigated the idea: probably Derek – everything about what transpired had a “Derek feel” to it. Although he holds down a responsible job, he has the devil in him. One does not expect a senior business analyst to be stirring up trouble or encouraging practical jokes in the office. And, truth be told, Derek rarely actually did anything. He would usually set an idea adrift and allow someone else to run with it. Throw the pebble in the pond, stand well back, and watch the ripples.

Ken is “Mister Reliable” to most, though “Mister Boring Bastard” to some. He does not get involved in practical jokes, office shenanigans, or banter. He’s a pleasant enough bloke to talk to but he lacks imagination and likes to do things “by the book”.

We were lounging about in the canteen after lunch. Jenny was talking about Valentine’s Day and about the cards she’d received in previous years. I’ve never received a Valentine’s card anonymously, so I was surprised at the tales she was able to tell: jokey ones, rude ones, passionate ones. I guess she’s young, single, and good-looking, so that’s understandable. Margaret said what fun it was to watch someone receive an anonymous card; see them look around and guess at who had sent it. I remember laughing at that.

Various people chipped in with their own anecdotes. Jack said he always denied sending his long-term girlfriend a card so as to test her honesty and faithfulness to him. Most of the women thought that was sick. I can’t remember how we got from that point, to the plan to send Ken a card. I say, in my defence, that I thought the plan was to leave it on his desk: otherwise, what’s the point? If you can’t watch his reaction, there’s no fun to be had.  Continue reading →

Monthly Editorial: Celebrating Love In February’s Content

puppy_kitten_sleeping

Awww. We couldn’t help but put up an adorable picture of sleepy animals!

Hey Inkblotters!

Welcome to a new month and lots of new content. As it’s February, we thought we’d go all out and celebrate love – but not just the obvious type of love with the mushy, lovey-dovey stuff (though there may be a little of that…) but also a deeper kind of love: the love for our family, the love for our hobbies or just a general love for writing. If you’re single, don’t get all down in the dumps this month when you see glossy red and sickly pink hearts through restaurants or card shops, but embrace it in a different way. Love yourself for once – whether that be picking up some ice-cream and your favourite movie, or going out and enjoying a day with your mates. And if you’re all loved-up, remember that Valentine’s Day is just another day to tell your partner that you love them.

Anyway, enough of the chit-chat, I’m here to talk about our exciting content for February! Beginning the theme of love, we’ve got veteran HHC writer Rob with his take on last month’s theme ‘Inkwell’ on the 5th. He’s such a pro at writing great twists, we just can’t help but choose his short tales over and over again. Next up on the 8th is a beautiful poem written by new contributor Topaz, engaging in thoughts of love and life and how nature is truly prominent in our world – keep an eye out. And on the 20th, we’ve got song lyrics adapted from Patrick Rothfuss’ novel, Name of the Wind, by long-standing forum member Kvothe. But that’s not all our content, of course, there’s plenty more hidden in the wings.

This month’s HHC theme is a little unorthodox, but we like to change our routine up every now and then. Sherlock does this all the time, in fact that’s probably a ridiculously big clue. That’s right, our theme is Guessing and Second Guessing. To give you a little nudge in the right direction, co-editor Lilith left us this amusing picture to keep us on the straight and narrow. What can I say, most of us are 90s kids! Remember, if you’d like to submit a HHC, poetry or fiction, check out our submissions page.

And on that note, I hope you have a lovely Feb painting the roses red.

– Silver, Inkblots Editor