Spark of Hate

Written by Terrestris Veritas


It’s a world of grand illusions. There, love is just a dream. Strangers talk to people but no-one ever hears the words they speak. Listening is obsolete, conscience is lost. It’s only human nature to keep away from pain but they always use that pitiful excuse. When they fail, and they don’t want to admit why; they say they’re “only” human, like they were born with a blight and cannot do anything to overcome it, as if they are powerless. Yet they exert their power over others, when it suits them the rules apply.

You started this.

The days go by in a blur, traveling all the more quickly when I realize how little time I’ve left, how much there is to do. Others feel lost when they have naught but themselves, but I’m happy to be one and all at the same time. Eating into the atmosphere of deceit, stripping away one lie at a time while they build it back in waves. See me crawling as I’m slowly falling off the edge; the sharp edge of a delicate balance, imposed ever so gently by you.

This speck from everywhere is you.

He saw a pretty maiden on the other side of the one-way mirror and thought: “She will be the death of me”. All the boys are the same to her, even as she rides away with another traitor, not knowing his name and forgetting him even before he fades. The wind reminds him that he’s cold, locked in his cage of helplessness. He jumped into the sea, feeling the waves drag him into a shadowy embrace, filled with the warmth of isolation. As the blood froze in his veins he thought, “Well that explains a thing or two”.

You blame one too many a person for what you created.

You saw the summer light the sky in an explosion of dreams, felt the spring return to the miracle of a thousand births and even less deaths. You thought you could rid the world of autumn, the tragedy of decay, the warmth of a million drops of rain and a hundred puddles of pain. You saw a winter without snow, wrapped in the security of comfort with a multitude of friends. It came, you went, and I remained. All from the spark of hate you saw when you felt me close. The spark that you nurtured.

Remember me I made you, dressed and trained you, turned you into the deceitful little rat you are. Lesson learned? Not for a second. Trapped in your revenge you threw yourself into an ocean of animus and forgot to come out. I would catch you, like a fisherman saving the salmon from the shark, but you might break apart from the kindness.


Having read this so many times now, I still find anger and the salty tang of bitterness upon my tongue. But author Terrestris Veritas didn’t find it bitter at all when writing this short piece for a past Half Hour Challenge. Maybe the vehemence didn’t quite spark within him. Let us know if you enjoyed Terra’s work either by leaving a like or comment below. However, if you’d like to read more of his work perhaps try reading, “The Wisps on the Moor” or “For Loved Ones”. 

Featured Image CC // Sundaram Ramaswamy

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July Editorial – Tipping the Scales with a Range of Content

Hey Inkblotters,

Wow, what a busy June we had, whizzing by in a flash. But now isn’t the time to be thinking about the madness of last month, rather I’ll be looking forward to July and the content we’ve got on offer. As the summer holidays kick in towards the end of the month for the kids, sports days arrive, and the temperature just keeps rising – especially during this British heat wave – it’s a good idea to slap on the sun lotion once again to save yourself from getting burnt. Though, that being said, it’s an unfortunate Factor 50 for me again.

So with July just beginning, we’ve got a whole range of content to share with you under this month’s theme, Tipping the Scales. It’s a theme that’s given a lot of our writers food for thought, so regular contributor Terrestris Veritas brings his A-game on the 5th with HHC, Spark of Hate. Later, we’re featuring beautiful poetry from Lost in a Dream on the 10th, while on the 20th and 25th we’ve got a double poetry special from new contributor Scarlet Hardy with her wonderfully written ode. Of course, lots more short fiction is on its way as well, so check back continually throughout the month.

As per usual, our Half Hour Challenge for July shares a similar theme to the one we run on Inkblots. So if you’d like to submit anything to us this month, make sure you write a piece within 30 minutes with Justice in mind. Also on the agenda is our Fiction Frenzy – which we’re running over two months starting from now until August 31. We’ve got two fantastic wide-ranging themes to inspire you: Sunlight and Moonlight. Remember to check our submissions page for all the details on our Fiction Frenzy rules; you can take as long as you want on your entries!

So with all that said, have a great July and I look forward to reading all of your submissions as part of our Fiction Frenzy.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Mike Bitzenhofer

Black Cat’s Doom

Written by Sparky


This is the legacy of an old cat, which has been passed down through countless generations and has survived purely by spoken tradition. It’s the only written copy known to exist today, although many of the details have been lost or changed, as is the passage of time.

Long ago, perhaps too long now to know for sure, a young black cat walked along the beach not far from his current home. Named Sam, short for Samson, though, if anyone called him the latter, they found themselves on the wrong side of his claws. He hated his name; he hated most things about his life. The families near him all viewed him with suspicion, all on account of his colour. Witch hunts were popular in his village and, lately, even innocent animals had also fallen under suspicion. In fact, Sam had almost been walking the cold path to death many times, through close encounters with hunters and mobs.

His stomach growled menacingly under the waning moonlight. Time to attempt a snatch and grab; he hoped that he would not be seen tonight. He hadn’t eaten in days, his strength greatly weakened. As Sam headed back into the village, he kept to the shadows, watching carefully for any signs of life that may betray food or danger.

His nose soon picked up an irresistible smell emanating from a place down the road. He knew that area well and had hunted many rats there. It was the local inn and, for a smart cat who knew the place, easy pickings for a fresh cooked fish or two. He crept closer to the inn, keeping in the darkest shadows to ensure he would not be seen by anyone.

As he came closer to the kitchen, he saw the door was open. Most other cats would take this as good fortune, but not Sam, he had been caught like this before and was not willing to risk it again. He kept to the shadows and watched the hustle and bustle of humans with two marble eyes. He didn’t move until he was certain of the cooking process routine. He saw a fresh fish, raw, and laid on the side near the door. He was not about to pass that opportunity up, danger or no danger.

Sam quietly padded over to the door and listened with his attentive ears. His ears flickered, straining slightly for any human movement close to him, all while never taking his eyes off that fish. As soon as he was sure the coast was clear, he made his move. With a mighty leap to the worktop where the fish was placed, he picked it up in his jaws. A quick glance behind showed the owner was far on the other side of the room. No matter the risk or reward, it was time to run.

The wind rushed past Sam’s face as he bolted down the alleyways and back streets, ones he knew so well from past exploits. The head and tail of the fish flapped back and forth as he ran. And he didn’t stop for breath until he had made the beach and his small sanctuary tucked into the caves. Once there, he put the fish down and began to eat. He hadn’t eaten in days and was savouring every little mouthful of delicious salted fish. Barely an hour had passed before the fish was reduced to nothing more than a skeleton. With all the meat gone and straight into Sam’s waiting stomach, he was finally satiated.

But the markings of betrayal are often hidden. That fish had been left on the side deliberately and it was laced with poison. Truth be told, the villagers had been suspicious of the black cat for many moons, believing Sam was consorting with despicable witches, as well as the Devil.

Sam’s stomach twisted and contorted around itself. He howled out in pain and threw himself against the rocks trying to stop it from hurting. The pain drove him mad, leaping to his demise from the cliff top and into the sea. Nothing was ever seen or heard from Sam again. That cove still has the same name to this day: Black Cat’s Doom.


Inspired to take to up his own writing challenge, Sparky penned this short story many months ago, but it still holds us with interest. Banking on superstition and horror clichés, his fictional piece works with the moral that betrayal may find one when we least expect it. Sometimes our hearts can be in the right place, but caution tells us to keep our distance. And if the heart becomes stained from a poisonous act, it can be hard to find the cure. If you enjoyed Sparky’s story, you can view some of his other published work such as, “Teddy’s Tale” and “The Inkwell”.

Featured Image CC // Stefano Mortellaro 

 

June Editorial – The Many Faces of Betrayal

Hey Inkblotters!

Wow, we’re halfway through 2015 and I still can’t quite believe it. I’m craving the heat of the summer sunshine, too, as it’s only arriving in fits and starts here in the UK. With the beginning of June, the festival season kicks off once again, children can’t wait until school’s out, and parents are a bit concerned as to how they’ll keep their offspring occupied throughout the summer. It’s a slightly busier time for me, as I not only have a number of work events and exhibitions to attend, but also the biggest gaming event of the year springs up, namely E3. But don’t worry, Inkblots will continue to bring you fresh content this month.

And speaking of which, last month we had some fantastic poetry and short fiction, and it continues into June under a new theme, Betrayal. Yes, it has many faces, often hiding the truth under our feet. But it’s also a great theme to explore. Veteran forum member Sparky takes June’s first slot on the 5th with his short story, while on the 10th we have beautiful poetry from Kvothe. Later, we have a special two-part fictional piece from Rob and a superb poem from new contributor Awokunle Toyin Sheriff on the 30th. Of course, that’s not all the content we have planned, so make sure you pop back during the month to view the latest work.

As per, the Half Hour Challenge theme for June works in conjunction with our current content theme for the magazine. So to inspire our fellow writers, we’re asking you to pen a short story, lyrics or poetry with Poison in mind. Perhaps you think of a plant, or maybe it’s the famous Alice Cooper song. But whatever your inspiration is, we hope to see some fantastic entries emailed over to us. Check our submissions page for all the necessary details. And before I forget, Inkblots is bringing back the FICTION FRENZY starting from July 1 until August 31 once again. More details will come in July’s editorial.

But for now, it’s time for me to wrap this post up, so have a lovely June and keep writing!

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Aasif Iqbal

Prologue from Aes: Book 0.1 – The Blaze

Written by Rae-Chan


Blazing flames sent shadows dancing around the buildings, the sounds of people’s screams mixing with the noise of gunshots. Freya Park cowered behind her mother, clinging onto her older brother Jun, eyes tight shut, tears leaking out from under her eyelids, and coughing from the smoke that was making its way through the shirt Jun had pressed over her mouth.

Jun was doing his best to hold his breath, he only had one shirt to use as a gas mask and he was much more focused on keeping his little sister safe than himself. He was crouched low where the smoke wasn’t as thick, feeling light-headed as he took shallow breaths, black spots starting to appear before his eyes.

“Jun, take your sister and run,” whispered Kanya Park, stepping away from her children and walking towards the front door.

“Mum, don’t!” Jun cried, immediately his lungs burned as he lifted his head, letting smoke into his lungs.

Jun could hardly see anything anymore, the smoke that was flooding the room already starting to swallow up his mother. He held Freya close to his chest as he choked on the acrid air, her small little hands clinging onto him for dear life.

“Take Freya and run,” Kanya repeated, looking back to offer her son a teary-eyed smile.

Tears spilled from Jun’s own eyes as he bit his lip, pulled Freya closer, and rose just enough to be able to move. Freya whimpered against his body as he sprinted out the back door. He ran as fast as he could, dodging the flames that were quickly spreading from house to house. He heard a gunshot from close by and felt his heart skip a beat. He knew what that gunshot meant.

The noise startled Freya and she buried her face into her brother’s shoulder, sobbing uncontrollably.

“It’s alright, Freya,” Jun lied, trying to stop his sister from hearing the tears in his voice. “It’s alright.”


Rae-Chan’s gripping prologue from her upcoming Aes series was written on behalf of the Half Hour Challenge in January. Focusing on a traumatic beginning, the prologue simply titled “The Blaze” is a great reflection on strength and how it affects characters both physically and mentally. And as such, it’s fantastic work to close our strength-themed content on this month. If you enjoyed Rae-Chan’s prologue, feel free to view her additional published pieces, including “Remembering War” and “Ignite”. 

Featured Image CC // Kaibab National Forest

Man’s Salvation

Written by Rob


Popular wisdom says one should never discuss religion or politics with a friend. Jed and Mark were definitely not friends and threw insults at each other, across the office, all day, every day. It had all started as a theological discussion but no one could remember when. Little Mark was a devout Catholic, and incapable of allowing any opportunity to profess his faith pass unfulfilled. Jed Smith, built like a brick house, loathed all things religious with a burning passion. These were two minds that could never meet, nor indeed agree to disagree. So the status quo was protracted jibes at each other’s beliefs, whilst their colleagues laughed and pointed. No one seemed to mind as this sideshow eased the dreary days of accounting practice.

When Arthur – the company secretary – retired, they all went out for a beer. A dozen employees commandeered an alcove of the pub and swapped anecdotes of Arthur’s peccadilloes from forty years’ service; all good-natured banter. It was getting late when Mark overheard two lads outside their circle discussing crucifixion in a not too reverent manner. Off like a lurcher, Mark was out of his chair, citing blasphemy laws, quoting gospel chapter and verse, wagging his finger. The lads were clearly taken aback. Mark returned to the group, looking smug, but saying it was probably time to “call it a night”.

Mark said his goodbyes, shook Arthur’s hand and ambled out of the front door. Jed noticed one of the lads nudge the other and follow. Jed couldn’t have told you why, but something in their demeanour had the hairs on his neck erect. On instinct, he followed, too.

Outside, Jed looked up and down the High Street: no sign of Mark or the lads. Then a noise, maybe a muffled voice, drew him to the alley at the side of the pub. Pinned against the wall, little Mark looked up terrified into the faces of his tormentors.
It was all over in seconds. The lads looked up at Jed’s challenge, saw his huge frame nigh-on blocking the light from the High Street, and took to their heels.

Monday morning, to an outsider in the accounts office, nothing had changed. Jed and Mark still belittled each other’s beliefs at every opportunity. But the passion and hurtful edge had gone, replaced by a “this is just a game” undercurrent, a performance for the benefit of the onlookers.


Inspired and written on behalf of May’s half hour challenge theme ‘Salvation’, Rob’s flash fiction hits the point hard. Though religion may come between many people, sometimes it’s refreshing to get a different opinion and have an open mind. And sometimes it can make the difference between a friend and a foe. If you enjoyed Rob’s HHC, make sure to view his other great pieces such as, “Ending at the Start” and “Coach”. 

Featured Image CC // Fusky

May Editorial – Lending Strength & Salvation to those in Need

Hey Inkblotters,

With the recent earthquake crisis in Nepal, it appears mother nature isn’t quite on our side over the past few months. Although I’ve personally witnessed an earthquake having been close to the epicentre, it was nothing compared to the 7.8 magnitude in Nepal. It’s still a scary experience, however, and feeling the earth and the foundations of your own house move beneath you is something equally terrifying and incredible. But for those that lost their lives in the tragedy, a little strength and salvation is needed, especially for many left without family and in desperate need of aid. If you would like to donate to the appeal, you can do so over at PayPal.

So with the warmest thoughts being sent out to those in need, our content for May reflects strength of all kinds. This month we begin with Rob’s half hour challenge entry on the 5th, following up with Miss Smiley’s beautiful lyrical ensemble “Hold My Hand” on the 10th. We also have some absolutely wonderful poetry from returning contributors Ashcloud with “Waterworks” on the 20th, and two from Katie Allen on the 25th featured in our Poetry Spotlight. As usual, we also have a few surprises popped in for good measure.

In keeping with our content theme, the half hour challenge hopes to inspire and give Salvation to many. Sometimes all we need is a little dash of hope to carry us through the day. If you’d like to send us your HHC entry for May, all the important details can be found on our submissions page.

And with that, have a lovely May and enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Slalit