Little Candle

Written by Blue-Eyed Devil

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Little Candle, keep burning bright. Image // Melissa Maples

Little candle, little candle
Burning oh so bright.
Little candle, little candle
Shining in the night.

Little candle, little candle
Kiss me with its mark.
Little candle, little candle
Shields me from the dark.

Little candle, little candle
How fast you fade away.
Little candle, little candle
Please burn just one more day.

Blue-Eyed Devil’s heart-warming short poem ‘Little Candle’ is the perfect piece to close out November’s content. Of course, it suits this month’s theme ‘Light’ to a T, but it also gives way to the season of giving. Whether you read the poem with a sombre tone or one that provides us with hope instead, it’s a lovely piece of poetry from our Haiku hero. If you enjoyed Blue-Eyed Devil’s poem, make sure you check out his superb poetry such as, ‘You’re Home‘ and the ‘Inkblots Poetry Spotlight‘ featuring a number of his smaller poems and Haiku. 

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Fraction

Written by Silver

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Sometimes it only takes one moment for life to spring into action. Image // Andre Thiel

The summer haze was thick within the forest; drops of dew hung languidly from leaves the size of a small bird, while the hot mist clung to boughs of giant foliage, leaving it gasping for cool air. Even for the animals in the Congo it was a warm day, and many tried to find shade under a canopy of leaves, overhanging rocks, or their dens in the cool dirt. The promise of rain was still several days away, but you could feel it in the air. If you were lucky enough to see through a gap in the fence of foliage, the clouds were dense and ready to burst, and the Congo’s inhabitants were ready.

To travel through the Congo is a bid to lose all sense of time; a perpetual twilight. Daylight would come but once every so often and, when it did, it seared through the trees, settling into a patch of chalked dirt, where maybe a snake or beetle would bask and snooze. Soon enough, the light disperses and fades into the half-light the forest knows so intimately, and the animals shrink back into their comfortable abodes. When darkness arrives, a wonderful silence emanates from the Congo, only to be replaced by the night-lovers chirping moments later. Under a cloak of indigo and black, a hubbub of activity takes place. Insomniacs add to the noise with their shuffling and pacing, elephant calves disturb bushes with their fights and tantrums, while chimpanzees look for trouble and play games of ‘spot the forest insect’. Other restless sleepers toss and turn, while those that need shut-eye will snore and breathe deeply, ignoring the blend of nature’s sounds.

A new day dawns and, with it, the same pattern: a circle of time. But it is a day closer to the storms; they can feel it in the air. It ripples through the forest, hitting some more than others, depending on their fashion of habits. Newly born animals risk dehydration, the elders too are at risk but they are wiser to the Congo’s ways, finding dew drops hidden in the highest canopies or broadest bushes. The most intelligent – or, perhaps, luckiest – find a remote stream, where the soil is softer and the sustenance richer. But as the heat cripples the hearts of many animals, it also weakens the heart of the Congo.

For a fraction, time stands still. And in that moment, numerous events occur. The dense mist shrivels into the undergrowth, awaiting its execution. The languid dew drops quiver and shrink, pushing themselves off their veined homes, to explode into the cracked mud below. And the animals scatter. Elder birds urge their youngest to spread their wings and fly, while small apes cling to their mother’s fur as she runs through the thicket at remarkable speed. Elephant calves send out sharp chirps to their kin, making sure they don’t get left behind in the frenzy. Snakes slide out of their small dens with their babies, coolly taking their time, while insects crawl over their bodies in a hurry. With most animals gone, only the weakest are left behind, bearing the same fate as the colossal boughs and trunks.

The cries of the smallest are ousted by the roaring crackle of the heat. A fury, a blaze, a rainbow of different shades of orange and red join together and take the Congo minute by minute. It spreads quickly and consumes foliage, fruit, and those that are young or frail – condemning them to a brutal end. But not all are taken by the orange blaze. The grey clouds begin to crowd together, their anger evident through the grumbling in throats and their flashes of migraines, coming and going as the pain pleases. Grumpy and exhausted by the smoke, the clouds crack their knuckles and jab at the fire with yellow bolts, unleashing their biggest weapon: rain.

It flows freely and harshly into the centre of the blaze, extinguishing the licking flames at the clouds’ feet. The orange fury begins to abate but then a last stab of war comes forth from its raging heart, whipping at the foliage with all its might. But it is no match for the grey clouds and drowns in a sea of murky water.

With the fire extinguished, the floods arrive, and the animals flit back to their homes. Only a fraction of time exists in the Congo, but only when it is the most critical does life notice.

Written on behalf of a Fiction Frenzy challenge last year, Silver’s aptly named ‘Fraction’ takes us into the heart of the Congo, where the animals mostly live in peace. Inspired by a BBC documentary series which followed a number of animals, Silver’s piece works to re-enact what happens when the forest fires are imminent. It’s a perfect piece to reflect the very nature of our ‘Light’ theme this month. To check out more of her work, click the links for poetry such as ‘Fudge‘ and ‘ Spirit‘. 

We Listen To The Song

Written by X3naurus

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Remember the pink petals, too? Image // Gazeronly

I’d never play music too loud,
just loud enough for us to sing along.
I’d never speak of praise or hatred,
only when my thoughts are held alone.
A girl who sat by me once said she’d
heard the music.

She’d never wish in the night
until a star was born, her eyes closed.
She’d always give a glowing smile
to any dawned and dusked to fear.
A man who passed her by once had
saw the smile.

He’d sometimes stop to think,
just before he’d drown in wonders.
He’d come home to collect his thoughts,
and leave for thoughts to collect.
You looked at him and asked to
share just one.

You remembered a dying light,
but forgot the pink petals underneath.
You always screamed inside your head
when anything you loved was lost.
But I could only play the music for us to
sing along.

 
Though written a few years back, X3naurus’s lyrics are still a beauty to behold today. Stripped back and subtle, ‘We Listen to the Song’ flourishes on paper, and we can only wonder what it would be like to hear with music. Twinned perfectly with our theme this month, Light, we hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we did. If you liked X3naurus’s work, you can check out other pieces such as, ‘Minor Wounds‘ and ‘Tame‘.
 

Diaries of the Gods

Written by Terrestris Veritas

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Is it so hard to just be at peace with each other? Image // Alisa Perne

You humans; all you ever do is fight. None of you can comprehend the destruction that you impose on that which is never at fault. You were a mistake…you were never meant to be.

A curse is a terrible thing. To be constricted to a single condition and never let free. The pain of that never lessens. But you’d know all about that. For you are but pieces of a shattered dream.

You were insignificant to us, we let you breed and run wild. Then we believed you had power over us. That was our mistake. You dragged us into your meaningless wars, made us watch as your hollow ambitions swallowed you all. And we thought we couldn’t escape you.

Time and time again you would annihilate yourselves only to rise once more from the debris. None of you could recognize your own faulty ways. All you ever did was build in order to destroy. Create to kill.

Money, land, politics and possessions. The four curses of your race. Each can easily be forsaken, only you didn’t know how to live without them. And that scared you, enough to turn on your friends and allies. But when you gazed over a burning land of death, you finally realized your foolishness. You did away with yourself, unable to live all alone with your four, foul curses.

Thus, the land burned. We thought you humans had learnt your lesson. But the years turned to centuries, which rolled into millennia, which eventually became eons. You were thought as a legend, as a fable as new people came to be. Then, they turned into the one we still call ‘you’.

A dozen times history repeated itself, the land suffering while only we could hear its screams. How deaf you all were, how obsessed you were with the frail “self”. Perhaps, this was your curse.

Regardless, you hurt us and the world. You even hurt yourselves but again you ignored it. You ignored the screams, the cries for mercy, the children that begged you to stop. And you killed part of us. Always using others, too afraid to look your enemy in the eye as you take their life. Instead, you are content to observe from afar, safe and warm, healthy in your golden frocks. While you slowly killed us.

You would never learn, but who could blame you? The eons were nought but dust, and soot and ash lend no lessons on life. You are the smallest pieces in this puzzle, this wretched puzzle, and you cost us our freedom.

Your part in the puzzle is done. So why do you still hurt us? Why do you still kill yourselves senselessly? You humans, not even content with just being alive. And the funny thing is; you’ve all but forgotten that you were never part of the bigger picture. Just a toy. Just a sad mistake.

Terrestris Veritas had labelled this piece as somewhat experimental, and he wasn’t sure where it would fit. We’re likely to call it a fantasy monologue featuring a livid God and his private thoughts. A reflection upon our society, ‘Diaries of the Gods’ lends itself to this month’s theme light – if only in a small sense. A light above the world, or below it, Gods and Goddesses will peer into the lives of men and women. Terra’s piece gazes upon such atrocities and documents them. If you enjoyed this short piece of fiction, you might like some of Terra’s other work, including but not limited to, ‘Race‘ and ‘The Servant‘. 

The Dawn Song

Written by Lilith

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Dawn rises, dispelling the mist. Image // James Jordan

There is a place forgotten and lonely,
Guarded by dark angels only,
Where now a loving child named Dawn,
Seeks to bring about the morn,

She has reached these lands but newly
From a classroom most unruly,
Strange forces have brought her here,
To this darkened land of fear.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and half-dead woods;
With shadows that no man can spy,
Hidden from the human eye.

Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire.

Lakes endlessly outspread,
Their dark grey waters – lone and dead.
Such depths are still and cold,
And haunted – by the ghosts of old.

By the lakes that hide the dead,
This young girl does dare to tread,
Singing stories of the sun,
Tales of blue sky, and summer fun.

By the mountains – near the seas
The ghostly murmurs haunt the breeze,
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,
Their haunting voices; wintry weather.

By the mountains dances Dawn,
Singing out her song of morn,
By the grey woods she brings light,
Beginning as End of Darkest Night.

By the dismal streams and pools,
No more the voices of the Ghouls,
But an Angel’s sweet Dawn song,
Ending the Night of Ages long.

The Dawn Song ends; the sun is high
And shining brightly in the sky,
And Dawn? She wanders home at last
Forgetting at once what has passed.

Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
And thus this land forgotten stays,
But basks today in summer rays.

Based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe named “Dreamland”, Lilith’s copy-change poem is a scintillating read. As a narrative poem, the personification of Dawn signals the re-birth here, while Poe’s original poem reflected on darkness and supernatural occurrences. Originally designed to get Lilith back into the poetry groove once again, we think it has a great flow and works lovely with this month’s theme, Light. If you’d like to see any of Lilith’s other work, you should check out ‘Fridge Magnet Poetry‘ and ‘A Hedgehog Named Barry‘. 

Coach

Written by Rob

Happy Hallowe'en! 🙂

A post shared by Colette Stirling (@colette_stirling) on

“FGM to Mission Control, FGM to Mission Control, can you hear me Eric?”
“Loud and clear, Fairy God Mother. How are things Mabel?”
“We have a problem, I’m afraid. I’ve done white mice into horses OK. Glass slippers were a doddle. The frock took a while ‘cos Cinders has not been eating well and I made it a size too big (those ugly sisters are such nasty bitches) but that’s all sorted.”
“OK, so what’s the snag?”
“I can make just about anything out of anything, but you’ve got to give me some sort of a chance.”
“What are you struggling with Mabel?”
“Eric, I’m hanging up my wand if things don’t improve. Time is pressing. The ball will be over before I’ve got this sorted. The National Union of White Witches don’t like me chasing this kind of mission creep. I should not be deviating from the plan.”
“Mabel! Stop wittering and tell me what the problem is.”
“It’s this pumpkin. It won’t transmogrify into a coach.”
“Why ever not? You did it in practice last Thursday.”
“Because some cretin has carved it into a Jack O’Lantern!”

Rob’s HHC was written on behalf of last month’s theme, Pumpkin. It’s such a humorous piece, we couldn’t help but add this into November’s content. While it delivers on the HHC theme, it also gives a good spark in light too. And hey, since it’s in the spirit of Halloween, we’ve added in our very own Inkblots Pumpkin carving as the top image. The good news is we can add this to the Bonfire later, as it’s just started turning mouldy… er, lovely. If you enjoyed Rob’s piece, make sure to check out his other short stories such as, ‘Last Breath‘ and ‘Shot Blast‘. 

Monthly Editorial – NaNoWriMo, Bonfire Night And November’s Content

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Are you heading to a Bonfire/Fireworks display this month? Image // Aff Photography

Hey Inkblotters,

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month once again! This is the second time (I think) Inkblots has celebrated NaNoWriMo – so we wish all those who are participating in the event lots of luck! Do let us know if you are giving it a go this year in the comment section below. 🙂 Personally, I’ve yet to have a crack at it, though I assume I may do when life gets less hectic!

Aside from NaNoWriMo, we’ve got lots of content to offer this month under the theme of “Light”. An easy theme choice this month, due to the annual celebration of Bonfire Night from the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot on the House of Lords in 1605. Tying in with fireworks and bonfires, the theme will also give our readers some light – excuse the pun – relief from October’s scare-fest theme of fear. Hey, sometimes it’s hard to refuse the need to be punny funny – oh, see?

With that said, content has had a slight change in publication dates for this month. Whether or not we’ll keep this format going forward is under consideration, but it does allow ample time for each piece to headline our mag for four to five days. So, on the 5th is Rob’s HHC ‘Coach’ written on behalf of last month’s HHC theme which was pumpkin. It’s a great little short, and we’d expect no less from the flash fiction expert. On the 10th, we’ve got an awesome copy-change poem from our very own Lilith, as well as some short experimental fiction from Terrestris Veritas and lyrics from x3naurus on the 15th and 20th respectively. Finishing up on the 30th is a poem from Blue-Eyed Devil named ‘Little Candle’, it’s a real delicate treat and perfect for the arrival of the Christmas season. And of course, there’s always more to come.

November’s Half Hour Challenge theme is currently running under the theme of Spark. We’re beginning to tie in our monthly HHC themes with the current Inkblots theme so as to allow for more cohesion and less confusion for our readers.

And to briefly touch on one more point before I check out for the evening, Inkblots Magazine has managed to reach 700+ followers in the past month, which is absolutely fantastic. When I started this literary mag, I never thought it would reach those numbers, but here we are. Thanks go out to all our readers and followers and, of course, our authors. Whether you’ve only been featured here once, or multiple times, we love your work and love working with you!

Have a great Bonfire Night, guys!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor