Haru

Written by Rae-Chan

The following is a short excerpt from a longer work of fiction entitled “The Boy in Crystal”. Earlier in the story Lily discovered a man locked away in an underground science facility, he was kept preserved in a tank which was encased with pale blue crystals as part of “Project Future”, and Lily manages to rescue him. 


Lily and the man sat outside under the copious blossom trees. He stared up into the branches, seemingly amazed by the little pink and white flowers.

Lily watched him silently, taking in his pale skin and large, hetero-chromatic eyes. He looked like he hadn’t seen sunlight in a long time. His skin had an ugly greyish tinge to it and his hair, though tied into a braid, looked greasy and unwashed. Just how long had been in that tank, Lily wondered. Although he seemed fit and healthy, the lack of sunlight in that dark basement room made him look drained and ill.

‘What are these called?’ the man asked, awestruck.

‘Blossoms,’ Lily informed him. ‘Haven’t you ever seen them before?’

‘I don’t think so. I don’t remember ever seeing anything like them. They’re so pretty.’

Lily smiled and looked up at the flowers. She had to agree with him, they did look beautiful.

‘They only bloom in the spring,’ she said to him. ‘Bees and other insects are attracted to the flowers and pollinate the trees. Once that happens, the blossoms aren’t needed anymore so they die. Then in the summer, the trees are covered in leaves and fruit and stuff like that.’

‘Wow…’

The two sat in silence for a good ten minutes or so, looking up at the blossoms.

‘Lily?’ the man asked suddenly, pulling his gaze from the blossoms to look at her.

‘Yes?’

‘… Nothing,’ the man shook his head and looked down at the ground, a sad look crossing his face. ‘Doesn’t matter.’

Lily offered him a smile and said, ‘Don’t be shy, you can talk to me.’

‘… Are the doctors mad at you?’

‘I think so,’ Lily said, smiling a little.

‘… I’m sorry. It’s because of me.’

‘It’s not your fault. I disobeyed orders.’

‘What orders?’

‘I wasn’t supposed to go into your room.’

The man looked confused but said nothing else. After a few minutes of sitting in silence together, Lily spoke again.

‘So, what’s your name?’ she asked.

‘My name?’

‘Yeah. I mean, you know my name, so I should probably know yours too, if I’m going to be looking after you.’

‘… I don’t think I have one.’

‘You don’t have a name?’

‘The doctors never gave me one.’

‘Well, that won’t do. Everyone needs a name. We’ll just have to come up with one for you. Let’s see…’

The man watched Lily as she thought of a suitable name for him. She looked up into the branches of the blossom trees, thinking.

‘I’ve got it!’

‘Yes?’ the man asked, eagerly.

‘Haru!’

‘Haru?’

‘Yeah. I found you today, and today it’s spring.’

He nodded slowly, seeming to agree with her logic.

‘So what do you think? How about Haru?’

The man considered it for a few moments before smiling, suddenly looking happier than Lily would have thought possible, his face lifting and brightening in such a way that he almost looked healthy.

‘Haru,’ he said.

‘Haru,’ Lily repeated, laughing. ‘That’s settled then.’

Haru looked delighted, like a child who had just received the greatest gift he could have imagined. And, Lily supposed, having a name – particularly to Haru – was the greatest gift he could imagine.

‘Thank you, Lily,’ he said quietly, suddenly looking close to tears, the whole thing seemed to be, quite understandably, overwhelming for him.

‘Hey, it’s all right,’ Lily said, quickly putting an arm around Haru and giving his shoulders a reassuring squeeze. He leaned his head against her chest, closing his eyes and letting her pull him into a soothing embrace.

Lily rubbed his back comfortingly, like she used to with her little cousin whenever he got upset while she was babysitting him.

‘It’s all right now, Haru,’ she said, soothingly. ‘Everything’s going to be all right.’


A beautiful story excerpt written by Rae-Chan was certainly meant for publication this month. In Japanese, the meaning of the name Haru speaks of sunshine, spring and light – perfect for August’s sunshine theme. As alluded to above, the excerpt is part of a larger work of fiction named “The Boy in Crystal” and is well worth a read. Our author is still revisiting parts of the tale and restructuring, but if you did enjoy Rae-Chan’s work here, please see her other superb work including, the “Prologue from Aes: The Blaze” and “Remembering War”.

Featured Image CC // Walter

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Love After Death

Written by Ricardo

“Where the hell is Nina?” Sam screamed at Paula, throwing her off and making her exert herself a little more to pick up the pace. “Where is she? Did she fall? Oh god, tell me she didn’t fall.”

Sam’s heart was already beating at an inhuman rate, but with the fear of losing Nina he thought his heart was going to burst out of his chest. His legs gained an abrupt burst of energy and, in that moment, he felt like he could have leapt onto the far-off green planet they seemed to be running towards.

“No!” Paula shouted back. “Her heart rate is still on the system, there’s not many of us left,” she paused to get her breath back, “most of us fell, but she’s still alive. She’s probably going for the escape pods too. I just hope she can make it with that body.”

“She’ll make it!” Sam shouted, almost offended. The escape pods. That’s where they were heading. He didn’t need the map displayed on the screen on his forearm, he’d walked the length of this ship more times than he could remember. And right then what he hated most about the world was not the emptiness behind them, or even the thought that Nina could be down there, it was that the doors he had installed last year were the newest models by Archon’s Security. He’d tried them out himself before fitting them with his own Tarantula rifle. Nothing was getting through those. Thankfully the walls were still as shitty as ever though.

“Give me your pistol!” Sam shouted at Paula, who had drawn her sidearm and unloaded the cartridge with alarming speed. He took the cartridge and threw it overarm toward the wall they were approaching. He took the rifle from his back at the moment the cartridge left his hand and fired off a single shot. Sam was thankful he was still a little drowsy since, if he’d been on top form and as fast as usual, the blast would have blown him right back into the depths of space. Sam went first into the escape pod chamber, thrusting his shoulder into the honeycombed wall and breaking through, followed by Paula only a fraction later.

They were far enough ahead to take a second to gather themselves. There were two pods left, and besides Sam and Paula there were was only one person there – Khaj, the technician. Sam had an insatiable urge to shoot the useless bastard directly in the left eye. Why was he here rather than Nina? What reason did he have to live over her?

“Sam,” Paula knocked him from his wandering thoughts and grabbed his arm, pulling him into one of the pods. “We’ve got to go! I’m sorry, but we have to go.” Sam knew it. He couldn’t stay even if he wanted to, survival was all his body cared about right now. He’d have gotten into that pod whether he liked it or not. It was only when he saw the glow of Nina’s eyes through a slender gap in the wall that he jumped back out of the pod. Paula grabbed his ankles, forcing him to lurch uneasily and slam hard onto the floor.

“NINA!” he shouted as a small robotic feline leaped into the chamber and toward the pod, the silver metal paw landing in his palm as his fingers closed around it, with Paula pulling him back into the pod. The end of her tail caught in the door and scraped it slightly as it slammed and sealed shut. All forty thrusters fixed to the outside ignited at once, propelling the pod from the shell of Andromeda, Sam’s father’s space station turned space cruiser, and then his, and now it belonged to the infinite grasp of the universe.

In that moment Sam couldn’t have cared less. As he held Nina in his arms, tears slipping off the top of her shiny head, she consoled him with gentle words. All he truly cared about was safe and still real, still in his grasp. And as their shuttle hurled toward the distant green planet that he felt he could jump to, he knew he still had a shot at redemption. He could still make it to humanity’s colonies. He could still get Paula back to her home planet. But most importantly, he could still get Nina back to her old body. He could still make up for what he did. He could kiss her again, even just once more. He could get her back.

It was when he was drifting off to sleep with Nina in his arms that his fingers traced up and down the robotic feline’s right leg. That’s where Nina liked to be tickled – on the inside of her forearm. And it still had the same effect of making him smile like an idiot.

Then Nina whispered in her old voice, “I love you”.

There’s something chilling about Ricardo’s tale of love, death and hope. Maybe it’s because space is cold, or maybe it’s just because it’s an incredibly tense piece of work that gets us worked up in such a cold sweat. We’ve chosen a neat little excerpt from Ricardo’s ‘Love After Death’ as it’s gripping and pauses in just the right moments for great effect. If you enjoyed Ricardo’s work, make sure you check out, ‘The Start of Something Beautiful‘ and ‘Careful Driving‘. 

Featured Image // Sweetie187

I’m A Slug, Get Over It

Written by Fantasy Girl

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Seems like this guy survived from The NeverEnding Story – well, at least in this tale. Image // Warner Bros.

Psst, came a sound from the doorway of the house on the corner of the street. Psst, James. It came again.

“Who goes there?” James paused. “My god, who actually says that any more?” He added in spoken thought as he reached the place where the sound emerged from.

He looked around the corner but there was no one there.

I’m right next to you, you dimwit. Turn around!

He span around to where the voice came from, the only thing there was a slug, which was sat at eye level on the wall to his left.

That’s right, I’m a slug, get over it. Now, I have some important news for you.

“What the…” The slug’s head turned towards him, and a smile came to its lips. “You’re smiling at me, am I asleep or something? This isn’t happening.”

Get over it. But seriously, I have some news you may be interested in.

“You’re a slug! Slug’s don’t have ‘news’!”

And you’re an ignorant human, one who believes they are the only species that has breaking news.. But guess what? I’m over it, so you should be too, so shut up and listen to me!

“I… I’m sorry?” 

I said shut up and listen to me! 

James noticed for the first time that the slug’s lips were moving while he was talking. A shudder ran through his body.

“You’re creepy.”

And you’re human. Do you want to hear this news or not?

“Yes…?”

I’m going to hand you a piece of paper, and on that piece of paper there is a word. If you say this word, or this word is said directly to you, the world will end.

“…What?”

You heard me.

“I’m not sure I did… you’re going to hand me a piece of paper? You’re a-“

Yeah, I’m a slug, we’ve gathered that fact. Typical bloody human. You’re more worried that a slug is going to hand you a piece of paper than you are about the world ending!

Continue reading →

Lost In Transit

Written by Terrestris Veritas 

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Solitary and in limbo. Image // sharioon.deviantart.com

A purple haze loomed in front of me. From the centre a waterfall of brains cascaded downwards. Somehow they saw me. Somehow, they spoke.

“Every time you fall asleep you die. When you die, someone else wakes up. When that person falls asleep and dies, you wake up then. Everything in your life is connected to that person. Déjà vu is a re-occurrence of what that person experienced.”

Bent double with agony, I could barely speak. “What are you?”

The brains seemed to snigger. “Right now? I am an informer. But once, I was like you, alive but dead. Undead, if you will. Now, I stay in this transit; in limbo.”

I tried to look at the brains but my eyes wouldn’t focus. “Am I… dead?”

“Dead again, you mean?” I could imagine the seemingly endless pattern of brains raising their eyebrows – well, if they had any. “Yes and no. You were dead before, and alive again while your double was dead. But now you have jumped forward, into a place with no dead or alive status, and thus, you stay here until your double passes on.”

“He won’t wake?”

“She, actually. And no, to wake up, one must fall asleep and die. But to fall asleep and die, one doesn’t have to wake up. But to experience, one must be awake. But to dream, one must be asleep and dead. You are neither experiencing nor dreaming. You are in transit with me.”

“But why?” I tried to shout but it came out as a croak.

“You cannot fall asleep and die here. You have jumped forward, which means sacrificing certain aspects of your life to abide by the law. You must wait until your double passes on. And after that, you shall lose yourself. You will see no colours, feel no touch, and sense no emotions. Until you and your double are together, you will experience nothing.”

The brains seemed to recede into the haze. “No!” I shouted. “Come back!”

“Your double has passed on. I must leave you now. While your mind dissolves, believe that you should have done more. For yourself, if nothing else. You are nothing now. All of it was for nothing.”

The brains disappeared, and I lay slumped on the ground, running what I had learned through my mind, as I slowly lost myself.

Lost in Transit was written by Terrestris Veritas as part of a Half Hour Challenge earlier this year. It was praised by Inkblots contributors due to its creepy nature, and many of us were left wondering what Terra would be able to do without a time limit. We don’t know about you, but the idea of talking to a number of decomposing brains inside a waterfall is just a little bit disturbing. If you enjoyed his work, make sure you check out Terra’s two-part fantasy drama, The Bunyip

Star Talk ii

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Who can resist? Image // sunsetastronomicalsociety.com

Written by Lost in a Dream

Vacant was I and
vague was the stage.
The canvas of night
smudgy with inky hues,
a natural masterpiece of
Violets, indigos and blues.
The perfume of summer was still
lazing in the air.

The crescent moon
cut through the void above me 

and the stars began to blossom and bloom.

I felt the moon’s ancient gaze
as she painted the old lake silver
and illuminated the birches.
The omniscient stars hung in the sky,
Their smiles, as always, never failing to
enchant the romantic or enthuse the astronomer.

Carried by the whispering wind, 
the stars’ words echo through nature.
Though locked in an obsolete language,
Their fragile, archaic song
offers solace to
the hurt, the misused
the broken and
the confused.

‘Star Talk ii’ is one of Lost in a Dream’s older pieces of poetry, which has since been updated. We thought it was a great piece of poetry and couldn’t wait to share it in our sci-fi special this month. Though we’re not entirely sure where Star Talk i is, or if it even exists, we’re definitely intrigued by the title and the imagery within the piece. If you liked Lost in a Dream’s poetry, make sure you check out some of her other work too, including ‘Masquerade‘ and ‘Parnassus Park‘. 

Neon

Written by Nonexistent Rose

neon_butterfly

Beauty in the simplest of forms. Image // fanpop.com

I couldn’t remember the past twelve hours but I guessed that meant the drugs had worked. I’m sure it would have been much worse if they hadn’t. I felt light fingers touch the gauze around my eyes.

“I’m jealous,” Rosie spoke softly.

“Of what? Having your eyes ripped out because they aren’t good enough?” I felt my left arm tingle when she drew close, the hairs standing on end from the slight draft.

“Are you really upset about this?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“You got new eyes, Charlie. They’re beautiful, they fit right, and they work much better than your old ones; I even heard your parents paid extra to get the eyes of an expert pilot.”

“My mother couldn’t stand to see her child walking around wearing glasses, like I’m one of those, you know, slum kids. So she bought me a pair of used eyes. Big whoop.”

Rosie sighed. I was being unreasonable, clearly. But she still leaned on me, choosing to ignore my petty attitude. I almost wish I could say that I was the jealous one because Rosie still had her own eyes, but I couldn’t because she hated her eyes. She would give up both of them just for one new one. They were such a dull blue they looked grey and their vision wasn’t perfect, but her family couldn’t afford to buy her new ones. I wished my family couldn’t afford to buy me new ones. I wished our money was directed at more important things than appearances, though my mother would throw yet another unnecessary tantrum. 

But normal people didn’t wish to not be rich so I kept my mouth shut. Rosie touched the gauze on my face again. 

“I wonder what they look like.”

“Why don’t you peel off the tape and find out?”

“I thought you weren’t supposed to take off the gauze yet.”

“I don’t care.” I didn’t care if I went blind or ruined my vision back to its previous blurred state. I just didn’t care.

“I’ll be gentle.” Rosie whispered and I felt her stand up. Her touch was always delicate, as if everything she laid her hands on was as fragile as a butterfly wing. And true to her word, she was gentle with the gauze as she peeled it off. I was rough and impatient and my foot fidgeted until I nearly reached up and peeled it off for her.

I felt the air dance over my closed eyelids once she finally shed the final layer. I was scared to open them, to let these new eyes see the world. Would it look the same through someone else’s eyes? Would Rosie look like she always did, with her plain brown hair and dull grey eyes? 

“Open your eyes, Charlie,” she murmured like a mother waking her child.

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The Sound of Silence

Written by Doishy

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But music? Who knows. Image // 20th Century Fox

They say in space it is silent. In space, no one can hear you scream. The latter part is correct but for a different reason. 

In space, all you can hear….is the music. 

My alarm shudders into dance next to my light control, and I slowly ease into a painful wakefulness. The auto injector immediately stabs into my arm, shooting stimulants through my blood steam, and kicks in roughly after thirty seconds. My time of wakefulness has begun. 

I drag myself out of bed, unhooking the auto injector restraint, and prepare to shower, get suited up and head to the mess, where I grab some sort of high protein, semi-decent snack. Forced into this dismal and annoyingly depressing routine, I pick up my bag of toys and head to my booth. 

In our little station there are six of us here on rotating shifts. It’s mostly self-sufficient, only requiring the occasional order of new parts – though if we get a break (which is never) then we’d be grabbed and deposited in another room for our time off, fashioned after those arcade crane games. Each of us has our own booths set up adjacent to each other. You can see the two people either side of you and they form a strange hexagon as they face one another. 

“I left you something slow on. Seems I got nothing, but for you it’s looking like a harsh one.” I nod in thanks. Something slow means a long song, ambient and calming so plenty of time for me to set up my gear. 

“Later.” I mumble back and head into my booth.


My little world of organised clutter greets me. The trinkets on my desk are all neatly arranged in no particular order and my monitors, five in total, slowly hum to life as if they sensed me. I boot up fully and dump my gear, then sit on my swivel throne and don headphones. Checking the primary channel, I hear a crackling and, peering in through the window on my left, the monitor shows me the time I have left.  Continue reading →