Magic as a Science

Written by Doishy


An extract taken from A Scientific Reference to Magic – A Journal. 

1.0 – An explanation of.

It is here that the actual science [or as much as we understand it] is described and broken down. Many people, notable scientists and mages as well as lowly thinkers, have tried to decipher the truth about magic. What follows is, to date, the best and most accurate explanation of magic as it currently exists. Most of the proof for these ideas have come from experimentation and careful observation of it in use, as well as rare and unexplained sightings. That which is written here has been verified by multiple trusted sources and, therefore, is most likely to be comprised of strong theory.

This chapter acts as a building block, showing you the basic concepts – as an introduction to magic – that will be explored more intricately as the book goes on. The first part will explore the energies and forces involved with the concept that we now know as magic. The second will introduce the idea to the theory of using magic and give a very brief overview of what chapter 2.0 will explain. The third and last will give an explanation into the variations of souls within the concept of magic and will present examples of them and how they differ. It will also give insight into the concept of Applications and Filters that will be presented in chapters 3.0 and 4.0.

1.1 – Associated Forces
The first thing that is obvious is that magic stems from somewhere. It follows the laws of energy; it cannot be created, nor destroyed. There is always a constant amount of it in the universe and it can only be manipulated. The main question is: What created this energy in the first place and where is it located?

The first question cannot be answered without the ability to go back in time (which many have tried with disastrous consequences). Because of this only theories have any merit, and even then they are limited. The most popular ones usually stem from or around the concept of a deity or multiple deities. The church has a well-known extremist faction within it that believes God is responsible for the creation of magic and that mages are, therefore, descendants of angels, fallen or otherwise, that live on earth to use his gift to spread the word. They believe, of course, that the miracles mentioned within the bible were the work of mages. The limits within this theory obviously lie within the question of whether or not God, in the traditional sense, exists. The idea of magic strengthens the belief as it holds very little scientific value at present, so such an idea has more substance to it.

Other examples of ideas are rooted more in traditional science going with the theory of the big bang. Within the event both the core elements that make up the universe were created as well as certain sorts of radiation. This branch claims magic is just another sort of radiation that was created and has travelled alongside all the other sorts, across the universe. Again, the problem here is proof. As the ways to measure magic as an energy are very limited, getting a reading off the big bang is nigh on impossible. Even measuring the background levels and using maths to calculate the probability is difficult.

The living organism theory is also very popular. This leads to the belief that magic itself is a sentient entity, much again to the idea of Gaea or other such things. It is a spirit that embodies itself within everything, some people insist in calling it part of, or the embodiment of, Gaea. This theory holds much sway, if not for the evidence, for the knowledge of it since ancient times. It is less of fact and more of a good term for it. As a whole though, it isn’t widely used to describe the magical energy out of circles that hold such beliefs.

Because of these examples of theories and many others, the ability to discern the true origin of magic is very limited. Instead, most experts in the field of study prefer to look at where it is located, in order to ascertain more thorough research in the hope of finding answers to the origin question.

The answer as to where magic is located is very easy, in fact, it’s almost everywhere. The energy that seems to form the basis of magic is emitted from almost everything. This includes things, living or dead from humans, to the lowliest speck of dirt. It also flows through these things, with the energy from each thing flowing through everything else. If one were to see the energy [of which people have been recorded to be able to do] then you would see a plethora of connecting strands going to and from everything in your sight, and it would be complicated, much like a network of neurons in a brain.

Another thing to note is these energies change. As a stream of it goes through something, it inherits a slightly different aspect to itself. An example is as such: If a stream of this energy were to flow through fire, it would take on a slightly more wavy aspect and, possibly, [for those who could see such things] a slightly reddish hue. If this fire aspect stream were to then flow through a pool of water it would change again, becoming more liquid in its movements and perhaps taking a blue hue. [Please note all descriptions are purely metaphorical, I do not know what the streams actually look like when seen, or if they can be seen at all.] Because of this constant changing it seems that each ‘type’ of magic is associated with certain aspects of the world.

Not every object causes a different stream, however. There are objects that share aspects such as dirt, sand and stone. All of these seem to produce the same sort of energy and, therefore, it can be theorised that they share some sort of ‘magical property’. Pretty much every non-human entity that is alive seems to come under one of three sorts of energies; most plants and fungus share, insects including arachnids and the like, and all other mammals, birds and sea life. It is not sure as to why there are only three sorts of streams that stem from such a genetic variety of species, but further research is always being conducted into it.

Humans are another thing altogether. It seems that when energy passes through us it does not take on a new aspect linked with ourselves. Instead, it takes on the aspect of our bones, blood and parts of us that make up our bodies, but it does this with any animal. It does not seem to have a specific affinity or aspect directly linked to us as a species. Rather, humans are quite different and, in fact, act as something else instead of just another conduit to flow through. This leads towards the theory of the soul. More of this shall be explained shortly. All that is known is that humans have something that does set them apart in terms of magic and the energies involved.


 

Perhaps when we think of magic, we don’t think of it as a science. Rather, we think of magic as something that’s just not real. Doishy’s extract from a larger piece of work which theorises magic as a science is so interesting, we just want to keep reading! Is there such a thing as magic in this world? I hope so. But for now, we’ll have to theorise it as a simple feeling rather than what comes out of a wand, or fingers, or wiggles of a nose. If you enjoyed Doishy’s writing, make sure to view his other published pieces such as, “The Sound of Silence” and “It’s the Magic Number”. 

Featured Image CC // Jeff Krause

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The Fall and Rise of All

Written by Dice


An extract from “The Fall and Rise of All” –  a larger work of fiction based around the fantasy world of Eate. 

The castle suddenly shook and large lumps of rock fell from higher battlements. Some hit other fighters, some rolled harmlessly away. None came close to hitting Jaric. Dejectedly, he looked across at the tall tower on the other side of the courtyard – they had already lost it two days before. At the top of what was the tallest tower in the castle complex, another battle furiously raged; one no mortal being or Maysa would have ever seen before. It had started years before and the Thrwan armies were here to take advantage. For at the top of the tower, the Lord God Dorun fought the The Creator. Dark clouds wrapped around the tower and lightning constantly flashed against it.

Occasionally, the immense power of these two beings erupted from the tower and shook the ruined city. Jaric had fought in long sieges before, but never had there been so much destruction. It had once been Ceannais, the grand capital of Dormanica, but now it was mostly rubble. Buildings and siege proof defences flattened by the indefinable celestial battle.

“Breach! The Gate is Breached!” came a cry from inside the keep.

This is it, thought Jaric, it’s over. The keep has been breached, the endless hordes of Thrwan soldiers will flood the remaining defenders. The fighting will be hard, but eventually it will be over. Other sword and spearmen were already rushing past Jaric into the keep. Slowly, using the wall and his sword for support, he wrenched his tired body to his feet.

He was just about to join the others rushing to the keep when the floor shook more violently than before and Jaric fell again, this time against the parapet. The battle went deadly silent for a moment, like it often did after the worst shakes, almost as if the battle was taking a breath before continuing. As the shouts restarted the ground shook even harder, feeling like liquid. Tossed like a ship on the roughest seas, soldiers were strewn. The few remaining buildings in the city crumbled like magical dandruff. Jaric clung onto one of the merlions with all his might. There was an almighty crash of lightning and the whole ground seemed to lurch down, throwing everyone, including Jaric, into the air. Jaric himself toppled over the battlement falling into the courtyard; his fall only broken by the dead bodies piled against the wall.

The ground stilled and Jaric jumped to his feet expecting to find every enemy soldier in the congested courtyard facing him. But they had all fallen too and were shakily returning to their feet. Jaric looked around him, other soldiers from his platoon had also fallen from the wall and were standing either side of him, looking up at the tall tower. The Thrwan soldiers also turned to look up at it; scared of what he’d see Jaric followed their gaze.

The whole roof and the walls surrounding the top floor of the tower were gone. The clouds had parted in a spherical shape. It was hard to see so far up, but in the centre two overly large human shaped figures struggled against each other. They were encased in a large ball of blue light which was pulsing and trying to expand.

Suddenly the ball of light exploded, expanding in all directions at an incredible rate. It raced towards Jaric who turned away from it to protect himself, but as it passed it only felt like a strong gust of wind. He looked back quickly. The whole top half of the tower had blown away, the debris scattered for miles. The two figures from the top were falling at an incredible speed. One held the other below its own body, aiming its opponent’s head to the ground. All around Jaric, soldiers stood aghast, there wasn’t much time to understand what was happening, but somehow everyone knew this was it, the battle of the gods was coming to an end. Doubt flashed in Jaric’s mind, what if Dorun lost?

The two falling divine competitors crashed into the floor of the courtyard and the whole ground lurched again, like carpet swept under one’s feet. Jaric fell, this time hitting stone floor. He ignored the pain, it was just another bruise after all. Others who had been close to the impact where thrown across the courtyard into the surrounding walls, some were thrown clean over.

Jaric ignored the new pains in his body and, like everyone else in the courtyard, scrambled to his feet. Everyone strained their eyes, willing them to look through the dust cloud in the centre of the courtyard. All wanting the same answer, which god, if either would still be standing.

Some Thrwan soldiers who had been closer to the impact screamed, what did that mean? Did it mean Dorun had won?

The dust began to clear, only one figure stood in the centre. Three times taller than any of the mortals around it and undoubtedly female. The Godess, the Creator, the Mother, had defeated Dorun. The dust dissipated making the image clear. She stood amongst them barefoot, wearing a simple thin-silk unblemished white dress. Womanly in shape, she was without a single imperfection, had long golden hair which flowed in the wind, and bright blue eyes that stared with determination and hate. The Goddess was more beautiful than any human, or elf, any of them had ever seen. Her beauty was terrifying. She had overthrown Dorun, and her body and clothing showed no signs of battle that a mortal would expect.

Soldiers from both sides screamed, some fled. Jaric stood paralysed in fear of the vision in front of him.

The Goddess seemed to hear the screams and looked around her. The anger and hate in her eyes faded into sadness. She looked down at her feet. Apart from a small crack in the courtyard floor there was no sign of the impact. She looked up quickly as if she had sensed something. The Creator looked at the humans around her with an expression of determination softening, while tears began to fill her sad eyes. She no longer looked terrifying; instead she looked devastatingly beautiful and, despite her large size, completely fragile.

When she spoke her voice was soft and soothing, but immeasurably sad.

“My children. My lost children. I… I am sorry.”

Tears freely flowed from her eyes as she faded and vanished. Her words were poignant, she had called them her children, never before had humans been called the children of The Mother. They were not elves or Maysa, they were raised as dirt, as pawns of war. And sorry, sorry for what? All in the courtyard wondered it. Sorry for destroying their God? No, she had spoken to those who followed Thrwa too. Sorry for destroying the city? No, it seemed more meaningful than that.

All stood in silence staring at the crack left by the impact. Light spread across the courtyard as dawn broke from behind the courtyard’s fallen eastern wall. The quiet was broken by the clanging of metal on stone. Jaric looked behind him. Dormanican soldiers were throwing their swords down in surrender. Their God was dead, what was the point of fighting in his name? Jaric threw his sword down and looked towards the Thrwan army. Someone shouted something in the Thrwan language an they raised their bows and aimed at the surrendered soldiers.

This was it at last thought Jaric as he closed his eyes. It was ending.

There was a great rumbling sound when Jaric slowly opened his eyes again. The Thrwan soldiers had lowered their bows and turned in the direction of the sound, which was getting louder. Jaric raised his arm to block the blinding sun and, though the light glare faded, he still could not process what he could see rising high above wreckage of the city.


As part of a larger work, Dice’s story excerpt is a bold telling of war. The Rise and Fall of All reminds us that a war between Gods and Goddesses, however epic, still paints a terrifying picture of destruction. In complete disarray, the city falls, and so do the hearts of men, women and children. The battle between power is a never-ending one, but in the end it’s The Creator who hates herself for all she has unleashed. If you enjoyed Dice’s work in the World of Eate, perhaps view other stories from a fantasy world published on Inkblots, including “The Ascension of the Pilgrim”. 

Featured Image CC // Tim Lucas

 

Mulberry Way

Written by Lockmaker


She would not turn to them. And while she spoke to them, softly and slowly, she would not turn. They’d arrived a little after nine. Seven months filtered down to this. She sat hunched in a chair towards the window, watching the grey skies and the rain trickle down the glass.

“Perhaps I was a fool.” Her voice whispered to them. “Perhaps you should have never come.”

“Catherine, this is a chance to tell your side of the story.”

Catherine Green, reveals all. The headlines would be bold, brash and bloody. People would ask for his autograph. The fearless reporter willing to do what no other would. The genius who revealed all.

The recorder lay beside him on a table. The orderly had brought tea and left them alone in the mint coloured room.

“There was once a girl who believed she had cancer, so she took a knife from the kitchen cabinet and stabbed her husband seventeen times.”

Catherine chuckled at the thought of her infamous story, while the journalist watched her with his fingers laced under his chin. The jury had not believed her pleas of sanity; there was never a lump, never a young doctor, nor any proof of her appointment. A deranged woman who’d languished for nearly two decades within the walls of the mental unit chosen for her. Since her imprisonment there had been no signs of a relapse, nothing to suggest mental illness and yet the doctors’ reports complained of her unwillingness to accept reality.

“What’s your story?”

“We can never go back. Do you understand?” Her hand was papery and dwarfed by his own. Catherine was once a beauty, but it had faded now – cheeks gaunt and eyes watery, she turned away from him, a sigh caught in her throat.

“Catherine, I’m here to let people know your story.” He was here for promotions, cars and money but she still smiled and thanked him before clearing her throat.

“I awoke alone.”

“This was after the doctor’s office?”

“Yes. He was such a handsome man, though I never saw him again. I remember there was a light above me, it was swinging you see, casting shadows on the far wall.” She ran her fingers through brittle hair before reaching for the glass of water left on the side.

“I didn’t see him at first.”

“Who?”

“He called himself Wednesday. Such a handsome man. Such a gentle voice.”

“Wednesday, you refer to him as the umbrella man?”

“It was a black one; he would lean on it as he spoke.” Her voice lowered in a mockery of an English gentleman. “Call me Wednesday sunshine. It’s not my name but call me it all the same sunshine,” she laughed to herself before turning towards him, her voice regaining the gentle, soft quality he expected of her. “Do you wish to find him?”

The journalist blinked at her suggestion as her hand touched his own. Her face furrowed and she drew a tongue across her chapped lips.

“I advise you to leave. Drive away. Find a pretty girl and marry her. Don’t stir the hornet’s nest. When you know of him, he knows of you.” Her voice had become a harsh whisper, her eyes fixed with his own. Her nails dug into his skin.

“Catherine,” he took on the voice he used with all clients, one to reassure and coerce the story from them. “Please, this is for you. A chance to tell your story.”

“Bah.” She moved away from him, crossing her arms. “This is for you and your bank account. Don’t think I don’t know. You know, I was imagining rape or death but the doctor only spoke to me.”

“What about?”

“Truths,” she hissed the word and tapped the side of her chair. “He will show you hell for his own amusement. He spoke of so many others but wouldn’t let me see them. Once, he threw a tea party and fed me. But what did he feed me? To be honest, I didn’t dare ask. I kept finding hairs, red ones, soft like a child’s.” She turned away her eyes down as she shook her head. “ But I would never ask about what he gave me or what he called his failures.” The mock accent returned as she tilted her head back.

“I judge you dull.” Bringing her hand to her eyes she wiped away a phantom tear, her voice pleading as she spoke again. “So many names, he’d tell me them again and again, all failures. All unwilling to do what must be done. I was his play thing and he made me kill Thomas.

“I loved Thomas in a way, I married him after all and yet I wanted to survive so badly. Though he said I was becoming dull, so I amused him the only way left to me. I killed Thomas to amuse him.”

“What happened to you?” The words left the reporter almost as a prayer. He didn’t believe half of her story, he’d done the research.

Catherine Green had called into work, then spent an hour in the bathroom before walking to the kitchen, grabbing a kitchen knife, and stabbing her husband seventeen times in the chest. The police found her with the knife in her hand, whispering to herself about proving herself “worthy”.

“I was broken.” She stood with a great effort before moving closer to the window
“He instructed me.” Lifting her sleeve he saw the crisscross of wounds, they glared at him in pale lines. “Look for him and he will find you.”

“Why did he find you?” The reporter asked as Catherine let her sleeve fall and placed a hand on the window.

“I needed to learn. I never considered my worth beyond breasts and a pretty face. Life is so beautiful.”

Catherine dissolved into madness then, screaming and yelling, before the orderlies sedated her. It was clear he wouldn’t get clarification today. Pulling out of the hospital car park he reflected.

The case of Catherine Green had shocked the world of 1995; she was beautiful, white and blonde. She’d seemed so stunned and confused in those early pictures that people still doubted she was a real killer. The Rettendon murders, had taken her off the map, three drug dealers a far juicier story for those wishing to complain about the state of society. And yet something about a beautiful young woman driven to murder would always inspire people, including himself.

While driving, he formed the structure to his article: human nature versus the supernatural “hidden” killer. Paramurders would take it – a terrible magazine for aging housewives who believed in every new age trend. But he still wished to write the true hard-hitting stories of murderers and serial killers. Not stories about men with umbrellas.

It took him two hours to return to the office. Sitting down he felt his eyes glaze over, he’d wanted so much more out of Catherine Green. He didn’t want to work for the Sunday Reporter for much longer; freelance work allowed him a chance to earn more and yet he only needed one great story to propel him to the heights of journalistic stardom.

Catherine Green was meant to be such a chance and she had proven to be as mad as a hatter. He let his head sink as he opened his emails, wondering what wonderful words of wisdom his boss could provide.

Sifting through his emails quickly, the journalist stumbled upon an interesting find – an email from Catherine Green’s hospital.

Hear of me I know you. Speak of me and you will find. Search for me and I will come. I have looked into you and I find you dull. I will not play with such a thing long but I will play if you so wish.

He stared at the email before him and was chilled to the bone. Perhaps it was a joke, perhaps it wasn’t. But he knew one thing for certain, the truth of the umbrella man was now within his grasp.


A chilling tale, Mulberry Way sets the scene with a curious look into the life of Catherine Green – a female serial killer bent on revenge. With a madness that breathes life into her character, Lockmaker has written a fantastic thriller that just leaves us hungry for more. Just who is this umbrella man, is a doctor, an imaginary psychopath? Perhaps we’ll find out one day. But in the mean time, if you enjoyed Lockmaker’s work, make sure to view her other published work on Inkblots, “Dear Mister Nice Guy.

Featured Image CC // Maarten Van Damme

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

By Force

Written by OrdDiff


“Dragons. Beautiful creatures, aren’t they?” The magician said, gazing out of her tower’s window. “Faster and tougher than any beast in the natural world, yet fully aware and able to speak. There isn’t a single adult dragon that hasn’t mastered the arcane.”

The group gathered in the magician’s study was diverse. A military commander fidgeted in ceremonial armour, protecting him from the cold and not much else. A long-nosed bureaucrat scribbled away on a sheet of parchment, recording the meeting for any fuel he might use to ascend a rung on the political ladder. A kind-hearted nobleman sat with rapt attention, while his aide scanned the room for the closest exit.

“You like drakes. We get it,” the bureaucrat interrupted. “Can we please get to the point?”

The magician eyed the bureaucrat with disdain. “Very well. As you know, the secrets of flight have eluded us for the longest time. My predecessor,” she spoke the word with unconstrained vitriol, “declared it an impossibility, stifling any and all research into the area. Young apprentices were intimidated into dropping it, and sponsors were encouraged to invest in more stable research.” She turned her golden gaze to the rich man. “I must thank you again for your trust.”

The nobleman beamed with pride. “You have always done right by me, it was the least I could do.” He said with misguided humility. The bureaucrat made a particularly aggressive note.

“We knew that the secret of flight would never be found on our own,” she continued, “so we turned to the natural world. Thanks to recent accidental discoveries by the military, we gained solid groundwork on the mechanics of mundane, or physical, flight. We found out how birds and other small creatures flew and, through collaboration with the mountain dwarves, created a prototype glider.”

“Which failed.” The commander interjected, much to the magician’s chagrin.

“Indeed.” The magician countered with a sly grin. “While it was capable of carrying an amount of weight over a short distance, it was impossible to create one sturdy enough to carry anything as heavy as an elf, let alone a human or dwarf. So, we left the designs with the dwarves and turned once again to magic. Clearly, birds did not hold the answer.”

“Let me guess,” the bureaucrat said snidely, “dragons did.”

The magician smiled. “Exactly. According to our previous understanding of flight, dragon wings should never be able to carry their immense bulk. We needed their secrets.”

“And that’s where we came in.” The warlord grunted.

“That’s right, and I thank you once again for your sacrifices.” She said somberly.

“Weren’t my sacrifices.” He said, accusingly. A glare from the bureaucrat reminded him of his place, and his brow, previously furrowed, slowly smoothed once again. “Did you get what you needed from the specimen?”

The magician nodded. “Yes. With the live dragon you captured, we were able to study its magic and biology. After several weeks, and a lot of accidents, we finally got it. Gentlemen, you may want to step back.”

She ushered them away from the desk and moved to the edge of the chamber, pulling on a silken rope. The large table the group had been sitting by moved aside, revealing a large, dark hole. The sound of metal chains clinking against themselves filled the air, and slowly a wrought iron cage ascended from the depths of the tower. Inside, bound by the wrists, was what was once a human. Crimson scales covered her back, leading up to two massive, Draconic wings sprouting from its shoulder blades. A small pair of horns pierced the creature’s forehead, and a thin wisp of smoke escaped from her nose.

The three visitors looked upon the sight in horror. For the first time all night, the scratching of quill-on-parchment could not be heard as the bureaucrat’s board fell to the stone floor. “This is what we have accomplished, gentlemen.” The magician proudly declared. “A successful chimera! The dwarves can keep their gliders, this is the weapon we have truly been searching for. Take note, for we have taken flight from the dragons.”


Inspired as part of a past Half Hour Challenge, OrdDiff’s fantasy piece gives us the chills somewhat. A human turning into a dragon, though not by way of skin-changing it seems. It feels a little like a Marvel or DC superhero comic – swapping the science-fiction for pure fantasy here. By Force closes out our “Tipping the Scales” content for July, and it’s a rather apt piece to conclude on, don’t you think? If you enjoyed OrdDiff’s work, consider viewing his other short stories, including “Hunter and Prey” and “Bronze Regrets”. 

Featured Image CC // Kenneth Lu

 

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

The Ascension of the Pilgrim

Written by Dice


The gong rang through the old temple.

“Almighty Orlin from the Great Ringed World of Phorlin, you look over us.” Chanted an old priest in practiced rhythm and certainty from his position on a high dais, as he looked over the gathering crowds filling the large main chamber of the temple.

“Blessing to the almighty Orlin,” came the replying chant from a kneeling man dressed in a simple white cloak.

Upon finishing his reply, the man named Damus returned and bowed low, placing his forehead on the holy floor. He knelt in the middle of the six pronged star, each point of equal distance from him. At the tip of each point there stood a thin, three-foot high pedestal. Behind these pedestals, at least from Damus‘s view point, stood a high priest or priestess dressed in the vibrant colours of the Divine One they served.

According to religious teachings, the seven Divine Ones were demi-gods. Once mortal, they had been hand chosen by the Great God Orlin to rule and protect each of the seven Shift Worlds; six moons that orbited the large gas planet named Phorlin. The Divine Ones were Orlin’s representatives in the mortal realm and they lived in their temples on their respective worlds, which they shaped and changed as they saw fit.

Damus risked a glance forward. The pedestal directly in front of him had no priest stood behind. Instead, about five yards back, upon an ornate golden throne sat Alynne, the greatest of the Divine Ones. This was his temple, his moon, his world.

Above Alynne the old priest, his High Priest continued the ceremony.
“O’ Pilgrim, you have travelled to each of the six worlds and have received the favour of each of the Divine Ones.”

The gong sounded again and the priest standing behind the first pedestal, and left to the one directly in front of Damus, lifted a small – perhaps fist-sized – shining green orb above his head. The High Priest of Alynne continued.

“Endu, The Young, lover of life and children.”

The gong followed and the next priest to Damus’s left raised a similar orb, but her orb was yellow and slightly larger than the last.

“Sudale, Protector of the Weak, lover of re-balance.”

The High Priest named each of the Divine Ones, Ilture, Galaine and Ninsune, and each respective priest raised their orb. When the High Priest named ‘Alynne, Orlin’s Second and Lord of All’, Alynne himself stood. Raising one empty hand, he breathed into his open palm and an orange orb formed.

“Stand Pilgrim,” demanded the High Priest.

Damus stood, tall and proud, though with a slight shiver.

“Pilgrim, are you ready?” asked the old man in a powerful voice.

“Yes, High Priest,” answered Damus confidently.

“Do you accept the honour placed upon you?”

“I accept and thank the Great Orlin for the honour he has granted me.”

“Are you pure in heart, innocent in life and free from any bonds?”

“I am free to serve.”

“Do you welcome the blessing of the Divine ones?”

“I welcome and thank them for their Blessings.”

“And will you take up service to the Almighty Orlin, who has hand chosen you to serve by his side for one hundred years, after which you will bathe in the glory of his heaven?”

“I will gladly serve.”

“Then may you ascend to his side and serve him well.”

The gong sounded again and the five priests and Alynne stepped forward. In the order of their calling, they placed the orbs upon the pedestal before them. But when Alynne placed his orb, a coloured beam of light erupted from each orb. The beams then connected the orbs together and blended to create a perfect circular beam of white, intersecting each of the orbs.

Damus held his arms outstretched, as a symbol to welcome the light.

“I go to serve Orlin,” he chanted.

There was a great flash of white light from the orbs, which dazzled all in attendance for a brief moment before it vanished. And with it, Damus and the orbs had disappeared, too.


Written on behalf of our Hallowe’en Trick or Treat Fiction Frenzy, Dice’s short fantasy excerpt was originally planned for a NanoWriMo entry. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way he had expected, but we did get a great entry for our Fiction Frenzy competition. If you enjoyed Dice’s piece, feel free to view his other published work on Inkblots, including “The Game Parts 1 & 2” and his most recently published Alexander short, “Summer 1943”

Featured Image CC // Zach Dischner