Man’s Crisis

Written by Lost in a Dream


It was easy to become lost in a big city. Some days even he felt lost. It seemed that London’s perpetual grey sky and the constant buzz of noise was trying to dull his shine and muffle his wise words. A weak part of him wished he was not so important, then he could dissolve into the background like the lazy crowd around him.

He caught a glimpse of his reflection in train doors before they opened, the weak thought instantly dismissed. Damn, he looked good. His new glasses drew attention to his eyes. He had always known that his eyes were his best feature. He had posted a selfie of his new look on Instagram last night and everyone agreed too. 576 hearts and 215 complimentary comments. Slightly less interaction than Tuesday’s workout picture, but more than the picture of his new vintage watch. But that didn’t faze him too much. He was something of a watch connoisseur, he doubted that many of his followers fully appreciated the value of his new time piece.

He boarded the train and sat down next to a plainly dressed woman. He clunked his briefcase with purpose on the table in front of them. He was sure he could see her admiring him out the corner of his eye.

The woman had her make up bag on her lap and a compact mirror propped up in front of her. With haste she was applying concealer to a trail of fading acne along her jawline. He found it disgusting. Surely, if she ate well and worked out like he did, she wouldn’t have that mess all over her face. As he pulled out his laptop, he shuffled his wrist subtly so that the woman could see the light from the window bounce off his watch and cufflinks. A swift gesture to let her know she was out of his league.

He mused to himself as his laptop powered up. There was something ironic in the way that, by trying to conceal her blemishes, she actually drew attention to them. He smiled to himself, his intelligence and insightful nature surprised him at times. He would include this episode in his autobiography.

He opened up LinkedIn. Another publishing house wanted to help him publish is autobiography. He enjoyed LinkedIn, it gave him a chance to show his academic and professional prowess. He liked the way it stacked up qualifications in a quantitative manner, made it easy to compare.

He was looking forward to the autobiography. He wanted to give depth to himself as a businessman. Material wealth and good looks alone did not do his greatness justice. He was truly extraordinary.


Lost in a Dream’s short piece was written on behalf of March’s Half Hour Challenge theme, Reflection, inspired by her daily commutes in London. Given the main character’s vanity and materialistic nature, we thought it fitted in nicely with April’s theme and is a great closing piece to the month. While we should always take time out to love ourselves, make sure arrogance isn’t part of the deal. If you enjoyed Lost in a Dream’s work, check out some of her other pieces too, such as “Procrastination” and “Star Talk ii“.  

Featured Image CC // Otis Blank

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L.O.V.E

Written by Katie Allen


Love doesn’t adhere to independent variables or boundaries,
Unconditional Technicolor Smoke
Never dependent on absolute conditions,
Towards ultimate fruition, spectrum un-temperamental
Chemical reactions causing our bond,
To steer clear away from being fractious
Reaching steadily this critical temperature when we melt together,
Yet still solidify stronger than ever
Our fusion, though is it an illusion?
Or worse delusion, creating collisions in my mind
Defined dare I say corrosive, ever so elusive?
Abusive juicy outcomes I cannot fathom,
Your hazardous material, deep down I feel
Kind of surreal, but who cares let’s seal the deal!


Showcasing a fluid mix of strong chemical reactions with sensual imagery, new contributor Katie has successfully bound us to our screens with her beautiful poem. Weaving science with logic and illusion, love is a playful and exotic experiment that we’ll always endeavour to correct or stabilise. Katie’s poem was inspired by those early, heady months of falling in love – where all sources of logic are usually thrown out the window. But by using clever wordplay, the science of L.O.V.E was born. If you enjoyed Katie’s work, feel free to leave a like or comment below. 

Featured Image CC // George Alexander Ishida Newman

Melissa

Written by LumberjackTom


Melissa’s hand closed clumsily around the coins. Without stopping to exchange pleasantries with the pawnbroker, she stumbled hurriedly into the street. Somewhere in her throbbing head she knew that she had been driven to desperate measures, and that only a week ago pawning her mother’s ring would have been so out of the question as to be unspeakable, such was her attachment to it. But now was a different time, and whatever reason was left in her tired brain was drowned out by an overwhelming longing, a physical necessity.

All she knew was that she needed to get back to her apartment. She began to half hobble, half run, as fast as her worn out brain could manage. She stumbled again and again, her misfiring neurones sending spastic waves of pain through her body, her legs jerking uncontrollably. She ran into pedestrians without even noticing, picking herself up and running on. Presently, she came to her building.

Stumbling through the door, she fell against the lift, stabbing at the button, hitting it on the fifth try. The doors opened and she fell inside, gasping, panting irregularly. She reached for the button to select her floor, and ended up hitting three at once.
After a short wait, she was stumbling down the corridor. Hammering her key stupidly at the lock, not caring to look at the scratches around it to which she was adding. With fevered determination, her head caught up with the spinning corridor for just long enough that she managed to get the door open.

Falling against the wall of the darkened apartment, she fumbled for the electricity meter. Finding it, she slammed her handful of coins at it, forgetting to open her fingers, and was vaguely aware of warm blood running across her numbed hand as she tried again, slamming her hand against the box, so hard that the wall shook and the unwashed plates on and around her table rattled. Eventually, she got one of the coins in, the others falling useless to the floor. One or two lights came on in the flat.
Dropping to the floor and fumbling about through weeks of grime for her box, she found it. Taking the jack, she scraped it around on her temple until, finding the proper socket, it slipped in with a delightful crunch.

Fumbling with the one dial on the box, she slammed it to the maximum end of the scale. Suddenly, an explosion of colour enveloped her. She relaxed and was overcome with a beautiful feeling of wellbeing. Collapsing to the floor, her muscular tremors stopped, her breathing slowed, and, seeing the white spots before her eyes, she knew that slowly but surely she was killing herself, that she was destroying the one irreplaceable organ, the one that made her, the organ of thought.

But somehow, that just seemed okay. The spots were getting brighter now. Scenes from her life were flashing before her eyes. She was enveloped with light, and felt an enormous, orgasmic surge of pleasure, one that transcended all knowledge and emotion, one that fulfilled her instantly but momentarily in a way greater than any human would have thought possible.

Waves and surges of pleasure rippled throughout her body. She wriggled and squirmed about on the floor, with the sheer energy of the experience. Clenching and unclenching her fists, the stimulation reached a crescendo, immense surges of orgasmic excitement tearing through her body, and silently destroying her mind. Then it stopped.

For a long time, Melissa lay on the floor, silent and satisfied. The room was bright, the sounds of the city warm and inviting, the smells rich and wonderful. But most of all, she could think. For the first time in days, she could hear her thoughts, clearly and crisply. She was totally aware of the past, of the present, and of the disturbing future.


LumberjackTom’s short fiction is both incredibly thrilling and a little sad. Through Melissa’s addiction to electrical brain stimulation, we see life through her eyes and just how tortuous addiction can become. And the sweetest thing is her eventual release. If you enjoyed LumberjackTom’s work, make sure you check out some of his other pieces published on Inkblots including, “Not Today” and “Tack“. 

Featured Image CC // Kevin Faccenda

For Loved Ones

Written by Terrestris Veritas


“I’ve never taken on a job like this before,” Sandy said as she stepped over the threshold. “Are you sure I’ll be able to handle it?”

Igor smiled, closed the front door after her and gestured down the hallway. “I’m sure you’ll be just fine,” he assured her, eyes twinkling. “The kids are quite good and excited to see you. I’ve barely been able to contain them.”

Sandy smiled back, the worry fading from her mind. “They must be a delight to have around the place.” She pushed open the kitchen door. “This is quite a nice house as well. What did you say your job was again?” She turned to face him but before she could she heard a muffled thud and collapsed without a sound.

**

Igor opened the door to his kids’ room. “Lucy, Chase!” he called as he entered.

The twins were sitting on their beds on opposite sides of the room. Both were slight of stature and dressed in casual clothes. They were sitting cross-legged facing each other, staring the opposing twin down, as if they were opponents. Lucy was dark of eye with straight, black hair to match, while Chase had bright, blonde hair with piercing, electric-blue eyes. Both snapped their gazes to Igor.

In an instant, Lucy was by his side, hugging him fiercely. Chase came slower, he always was slower than his sister, but hugged his father with just as much warmth. Lucy let go and took a step back. “Daddy, you were gone for ages!” she rallied, stamping her foot in fake anger.
Igor tousled her hair, “I’m sorry darling. I was getting some work done. But I’m here now.” He smiled as she did.

Chase spoke. “Daddy, can we go back to Mensington? I miss our old home.”

Igor shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry son, but you and your sister burnt the town down, remember. There’s nothing left.”

“But you can build it again, can’t you Daddy?”

“Of course it can be built again. But it takes time. Now my children,” he said, taking their hands, “there is someone I want you to meet.”

Lucy started jumping up and down, her hair blurring from the motion. “You brought us someone to play with?” she squealed.

Chase smiled widely, ever the calm one. “Did you really Daddy?”

Igor nodded. “I did. Her name’s Sandy. She’s in the box room, waiting for you. She’s your new playmate. Why don’t you go play with her?”

Both the twins hugged him again. “Thank you Daddy!” they chorused in unison. Lucy’s eyes had grown darker, gaining a red tint, while Chase’s had grown all the more brighter with excitement. They rushed from the room, eager to meet their new friend.

Igor sat on Chase’s bed, hunched over, elbows on knees and head in hands. He was dreading the time when the children came back. He would have to bathe them, bed them and wash their clothes. He knew then he’d have to clean the box room from top to bottom, removing all the blood and get rid of what remained of dear Sandy. And in a few days he’d show someone new into the house, a new friend, a new playmate. The twins just wanted to play with people, so he made sure they had someone to play with. If he didn’t, they would get angry. But the other reason was far simpler – they were his children, and a good father wants his children to be happy. In whatever way he must and at whatever the cost.


Terribly dark and creepy, with just a touch sweetness – a perfect summary for Terrestris Veritas’s fictional work. Written on behalf of February’s HHC, Fanning the Flames, this is indescribably tense and twisted. Lucy and Chase seem so innocent until Igor’s thoughts in the last paragraph, and then it truly dawns on us what these children have done. Jeepers creepers? Just about. If you enjoyed Terra’s HHC here, be sure to view his other work, including “Diaries of the Gods” and “Race“. 

Featured Image CC // Song Zhen

 

A Sweetened Ache

Written by Ricardo


A woman’s glance is nothing but a burden to bear in life.
But what of the woman closest to my heart,
Whose fluttering lash is reminiscent of a blossoming rose;
Of a butterfly in flight;
Or of the thousand-year breaths sighed
In the heavenly orchestra of the universe.

A woman’s touch is naught but a reminder,
Where dreams can no longer be pursued.
The feigned invincible spirit of man is crushed to dust.
But not from my dear love, whose infant paws
Fill my spirit to bursting every time they caress my own selfish flaws.

The spirit of a woman cannot tame the anger of a man.
And man cannot equally domesticate thy womanly nature.
But what of the Earth-dwelling angel?
Whose spirit can reach through the eyes
And silence my primal rage.

A woman is no cause to lay one’s life down in respect,
Not in honour, in sacrifice, nor in love,
For they may never appreciate such an act.
But not my fair bride, as her beauty would tell,
for whom I would march to the lowest circle of Hell
To lay my life before Lucifer, and be damned if I may.

For my heart and soul were stolen
On the very the day I met you.
No amount of pain, or torture can overcome
the suffering of losing you.
Even in death, I will pray to the Heavens for forgiveness
And perhaps for my greatest sin,
Locked in a loveless box, forever as friends.


Ricardo’s love-struck poetry is certainly an interesting twist on blank verse, and we can’t help but feel sorry for this poor chap, locked in his loveless box in the torturous friend zone. But not all women are so cruel, just as not all men should be tarred with the same paintbrush. We all have a lesson to learn on love – it’s just never that smooth. If you enjoyed Ricardo’s poem, make sure to check out his other fine work, including “Love After Death” and “The Start of Something Beautiful“.

Featured Image CC // Margrit

 

Thorn Amidst Joy

Written by Miss Smiley


“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…”

I zone out, feeling Heath’s eyes on the back of my neck. Why is he here? I sigh inwardly and wish I was anywhere but standing where I am.

I told him not to come. I begged him not to come. He begged me not to come. But by God, I promised. I took David’s ring and I gave him my hand and my word. I love him. I know I love him, just as I know I could never love anyone else more. He is my whole world and I adore him.

But for that one week…

I block out the little voice in my head that keeps telling me it’s not too late. Because it is. It was too late the moment David proposed and I said yes. It was too late the moment I fell into bed with him and gave him everything. And it is far, far too late for Heath to come swaggering in and sweep me away, no matter how much I ache for his touch. For God’s sake, is my word worth nothing? I promised. I swore.

And I ache.

“If any man should have just cause against this union, let him speak now.”

My stomach latches onto my ribs and I hope against hope that Heath will and won’t say anything. I am torn. I am a mess. If he speaks, I know I will fall. If I crumble, I know he will speak. If I turn, we will both fall.

I will be strong. I promised. My word is my troth.

I glance over at David. He glances at me. We both smile, hanging in the balance. My gaze falls on the little twist that his lip forms when he’s just about to laugh and it makes my heart ache. I want to be married to him already. These moments are too long and too short all at once.

Someone clears their throat behind me, breaking in on our peace and I pray, for the first time in years, that it isn’t Heath. Let it pass. Let it be.

The moment passes. All is well. And all is ruined. The ring slips onto my finger easily and I smile at David. Something swells in my chest, grabbing at my heart. Is it joy? Is it grief?

No matter. I will be faithful. I will be true.

We sign the paper. I am married. We are married.

All is joy.

All is loss.


This Half Hour Challenge piece was written on behalf of February’s theme, Fanning the Flames. And we believe Miss Smiley has pitched it just right. As a sore reminder of a past lover at a wedding ceremony, those fleeting moments where all appears to be lost, and then the wild blow never hits. It was no movie moment here, perhaps the narrator of the story is Cathy from Wuthering Heights, torn between the feisty, wayward Heathcliff and the English gentleman, Edgar. Either way, we love it. If you enjoyed reading Miss Smiley’s HHC, you can view some of her other works such as, “There will be Tea” and “The Bells of Campden”.  

Featured Image CC // Cristi Sebastien Photography

 

April Editorial – Step into Spring with the Sweetest Thing

Hey Inkblotters!

We’re happy to step into Spring this bank holiday weekend – or not, depending on how the weather is in your country. Here in the UK, it’s miserable and wet, on Good Friday as well! A considerable change compared to last year with the scorching Spring sunshine. No matter what you’re getting up to this weekend, make sure you have a blast. At least I won’t be getting burnt this time around, a particular of my skin type sadly. Though I will be eating my fair share of Easter chocolate, preferably not all in one go!

Speaking of Easter, it brings us nicely to our running theme for content this April. We’re celebrating “The Sweetest Thing” this month with content ranging from poetry to short fiction. As per, we shall be kicking off content with a Half Hour Challenge entry from February with Miss Smiley’s “A Thorn Amidst Joy” on the 5th, while on the 10th Ricardo’s poetry, “A Sweetened Ache”, will set our hearts alight in a fiery way. And later in the month, new contributor Katie Allen shares her absolutely delightful poetry on the 25th, so make sure to look out for “L.O.V.E”. Of course, we have much more superb content to share with you throughout the month – don’t miss it.

It goes without saying that our Half Hour Challenge theme for April is sickly sweet and joins our current content with a sticky, gooey-like smear. I’ve been directing The Inkwell’s fellow writers to this scrumptious video featuring the friendly Pooh Bear, where everything is honey. The sweet condiment is, of course, our HHC for this month. If you’d like to send us any of your work for the challenge, you’ll find our submissions page gives you all the important details.

And with that, I wish you a wonderful Easter weekend.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Sally Ann French