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 Listening is obsolete, conscience is lost.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

The Wisps on the Moor

Written by Terrestris Veritas

She felt her foot snag in a root and lost control of her balance, falling forward to a jerking stop as the ground stayed where it was and a grip on her arm hauled her upright. The grip remained on her arm, firm but not without force. She looked up fearfully, seeing the gloved hand and crisp uniform, following along until she saw the stern, scarred face. He gazed at her with savage eyes that peeped out from underneath a shiny, leather cap.

He addressed her curtly, “Why were you running child?”

“I was chasing a rabbit,” she mumbled to her shoes.

“Speak up, and look me in the eye when you talk. There’s a good girl. Now, repeat what you just said.”

“I was chasing a rabbit.”

“Well you shouldn’t do that,” he said shortly. “Many people have important jobs to do around here and you wouldn’t want to get in their way now, would you?”

“No,” she said dejectedly, making sure to look him in the eye.

“Good. Now,” he continued talking as he led her back to the house. “I’m sure your mother would like you inside before it gets dark. No matter what, you must stay inside at night. The men here are on watch and could mistake you for someone else. And they do nasty things to people they don’t know in the dark.” He chuckled to himself as he opened the side door, still gripping her arm.


Samantha woke to the sound of someone calling her. Blinking rapidly, she looked around, straining to hear the voice again. The house creaked eerily. She gripped her bed sheets tightly. It was never quiet in this old, draughty house. And the noise made her skin crawl. Usually, Samantha slept in her mother’s room, but currently she was unwell with the baby and needed to rest alone. Having laid down again to sleep, she thought of her little brother. Samantha thought to herself: Why was he making mother so unwell? I hope she gets better soon. Her mother was the only nice person here, apart from the old maid who had made her bed for her. But no-one seemed to understand that her mother’s husband, the sergeant, was not her father.


She sat bolt upright. The voice had come from her left, near the window. Swinging her legs out of bed, she slipped on her shoes and stood up, smoothing down her nightdress.

“Samantha,” the voice whispered.

The house creaked loudly, and she jumped from the noise, almost knocking her stack of unpacked books. She walked to the window, pressing her hand against it to look out, shivering from the cold.

A small ball of orange light hovered just outside the window. “Samantha, follow us.” The voice was insistent.

“You want me to come with you? But come where?” Samantha was curious, but still cold.

“Outside Samantha. Come and play.”

Outside was warmer somehow, Samantha thought, turning away from the soft mist. Tucking her hair behind her ear, she looked around for the light. It bobbed into view, pulsing slightly. She chased after it, as it led her away from the house and up a slight hill. She kept a close eye on the ground so as to not fall over once more. Sometimes she’d think she had lost the ball of light but it would always reappear, whispering her name softly. It was just like one of her stories, she thought.

She didn’t know how long she followed that light, but eventually she came to a clearing of sorts. She heard a strange noise that sounded like water, and the air smelt funny too. But all that was driven away when she saw what she had been led to. Some distance away from her, she saw lots of balls of light – more like wisps in the mist. They were many colours including purple, yellow, blue, green and red. They zoomed overhead, chasing each other and laughing softly. And then they directed their attention to her.

“Come and play with us Samantha,” they chorused. “Come play with us.” They almost sounded like they were begging, again pulsing softly.

Samantha smiled. “Okay.”


“Sergeant, the girl has not yet been found.” The corporal stood stiffly, cap in hand and eyes front. Years of discipline could not disguise the slight tremble.

The Sergeant took a long drag on his cigarette, blew the smoke out in rings and considered the man in front of him. “How long has the little one been missing now?” he said slowly, dragging out the sentence as if he found the topic distasteful.

“Since… since your wife went to wake her sir. About five hours ago.” The corporal tried his best to hide his stutter.

He waved a hand in a mild gesture. “In my childhood, my sister would disappear for days on end, especially when she was around Samantha’s age. Indeed, I used to do the same. My parents never thought anything of it – they were guilty of the same thing. Sadly, my wife does not share my reasoning that this behaviour is simply a part of growing up. She worked herself up so much that she had to be sedated. She is not able to cope, and I do not want my child or wife at risk of further ill-health. That is why the brat must be found. Understand?” He raised an eyebrow at the shivering man.

The corporal saluted. “Yes-sir!”

“Of course corporal,” the Sergeant added with a wry smile, “I wouldn’t worry unduly if she were to not be found for some time. You say there was a slight incident yesterday with a guard?”

“Yes-sir. The guard on watch took exception to the girl’s game. He caught her as she tripped and escorted her back indoors. It was heard that he believed the child was distracting him and warned her, yet again as it is, not to go out after dark. He also hinted that he may have intimidated the girl.”

“Let him be. If he did truly scare her, she’ll come back when she gets hungry. ‘Tis the way with children, corporal.” The Sergeant took another long drag and murmured, “Had she been raised with my strict hand, such a thing would not occur, for she would know the punishment. And punished she shall be.” He declared to the corporal, “All should know, understand and receive the consequences of their actions.” He winked at the suddenly pale man. “Not a bad way to live, eh?”

The corporal was saved in answering by another uniformed man rushing in. Heaving for breath he saluted and removed his cap. “Sir!”

“Private.” The Sergeant acknowledged him. “Your report?” There was a moment of silence apart from the private’s heavy breathing. “Come on man, spit it out!”

The private flinched. He seemed to be steeling himself. “Sir. Not ten minutes ago the patrol boats from along the coast radioed the barracks. They were attempting to trail the runaways from two days ago. But they spotted something else…” At this, the private hesitated.

The Sergeant stubbed out his cigarette with a hiss and stood up from behind his desk. “Private, tell me what you have come to tell me or there will be consequences.” There was another pause as the private and corporal exchanged looks. “Out with it, private!”

The private blanched. Gathering himself together hurriedly, he garbled through the words. “They saw something on the rocks, at the base of the cliffs. Riding closer, it was clearly a body. They thought it was one of the fugitives at first, sir, but then they saw the night-gown…” He trailed off, not daring to say more.

The Sergeant remained staring at the private, mouth open in disbelief. Slowly he sank back into his chair and for a moment stared at his papers, as if at a loss. With a weak wave of his hand he dismissed the other men. They left the room as quickly as possible. It was quiet in the corridor beyond, so silent that they easily heard the clink of a bottle against a glass from the Sergeant’s room.

The haunting image of a girl driven to her death on the rocks is saddening, to say the least. But Terrestris Veritas’ words dig deep in his short fiction. We love how he’s created such a wonderful setting with Samantha and the ghostly spirits of the house. Perhaps she’s not dead though, and merely wandered into Wonderland as Alice’s doppelgänger. We can only hope. If you enjoyed Terra’s work, please feel free to leave a like or comment, or perhaps read some of his other work including, “For Loved Ones” and “Diaries of the Gods”.

Featured Image CC // Derek Bruff


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

Lift Girl – Part 1

Written by Fantasy Girl

My white shirt was stained crimson as I held her dying body in my arms. I didn’t know her – not directly anyway. She worked in the same office block as me. We would pull up in our cars at 8.45 every morning. We would park our cars next to each other every morning. We would walk in and get the lift together every morning; I was on the third floor, she was on the fifth. We would see each other in the lift down as we left at 17.05 every evening, and so on.

Her name was Shiv, short for Siobhan, or whatever variation of the spelling she used. I didn’t know this because I’d spoken to her, I’d never spoken to her apart from a polite ‘hello’ on a morning other than today, I knew it because I saw it on the front of one of her birthday cards one Monday morning a few months after I started working there. Did she know my name? I guess not. How would she? It’d never come up in our ‘hello’s’ on a morning.

She doesn’t even know my name, and I sat there, cradling her head in my lap as she lay dying on the floor before me.

The day stated as any other did: my alarm went off at six am (I snoozed until half past) and dragged my arse out of bed. I brushed my teeth and stumbled downstairs to the back door to have a cigarette. I ironed my shirt and trousers, got changed, wolfed a bowl of Rice Crispies down, and strode out of the door at 8.15.

Chris Moyles was doing his last breakfast show on Radio 1 as I climbed into the car, and ‘Star-boy’ was playing – the remake of the McFly song ‘Star-girl’ that the band did to say bye to Chris. And by the end of it, both Chris and the boys from McFly were in tears. It was a painful half hour drive; just listening to the goodbyes, the celebrities’ goodbyes, as well as the fans. I was sick of the whole charade by the time I pulled up to work. Yeah, I get it, he was a good DJ, but he didn’t deserve that much of a send-off.

I wondered where Shiv was as I walked into the office reception, but heard her shout, “Hold the lift!” as I stepped inside. As she slid in beside me, I noticed her dark hair, usually pulled back into a neat bun, was falling elegantly about her shoulders. And I soon saw why; as she pulled the sleeve of her shirt up to scratch her shoulder, I saw a bruise blossoming on her collar-bone – the purples and the blues of hurt and anguish.

Thinking back on it, I could have stopped this from happening – maybe I should have invited her out for coffee, asked her to come over to my place and look over some of the finance stuff I’ve been working on for the company, or something. It’s my fault it happened. I’d seen the signs. Most of all, I’d seen the bruises and the low self-esteem. Her seemingly irrational fear of most of the men we worked with. I should have stopped it. I could have stopped it. I could have stopped her going home… but hindsight is a wonderful thing. How was I supposed to know how that night was going to end? But somehow, I can still only blame myself.

Written on behalf of the Fiction Frenzy with the theme ‘Just One Day’, Fantasy Girl’s short story fits perfectly into the theme of beginnings. Starting at the end and gradually hooking us with a dark tale, reeling in all the raw emotion from a sudden death. It’s gut-wrenching but, still, a wonderfully told story – and this is just the first part! If you enjoyed Fantasy Girl’s short fiction, why not consider reading some of her other fine pieces including, ‘Commune‘ and ‘I’m a Slug, Get Over It‘. 

Featured Image CC / Chris Chabot

Gabe The Dreamwalker

Written by Lilith

Heart in his throat, he ran. The pounding of his increased pulse thumped through his frame, tightening at his chest like the start of a heart attack; his breath was ragged and painful and his legs ached, but he was hardly aware of any of these sensations second to the fear that gripped him. Never looking back, he plunged through the darkened streets in a direction that he hoped was homewards. Somewhere off in the distance, four paws skittered towards him.

His sprint faded to a stagger as he reached the crest of a hill. The roads were lined with streetlights, but all were extinguished and the only light he had to guide him was that of a low moon, almost full, and a few twinkling stars clinging to the heavens. The road ahead forked and he had a split second to choose a direction, but the right felt more familiar. He plunged down the street, his momentum increasing as gravity picked up the slack.

The breeze tasted of salt and the chill of the sea. To his right, trees whispered in the wind – a park, perhaps? Home was nearby, he knew it, and after a few more panicked paces he veered left. The quiet back street before him was barely any more than an alleyway, and he stared at the faded doors lining the way with confusion. They all seemed the same; peeling paint and rusted hinges, and the numbers engraved nailed just above the door knockers meant nothing to him.

He shoved his hands into his pockets, searching frantically until his thumb scraped across something sharp. A key! He grabbed it and stared at it in the near darkness, trying to make out the number scratched onto the surface. Was that a 10? A 20?

At the end of the street, the paws scrabbled to a stop, and something in the darkness snarled.

The key fell from his hands as he turned to run. Home was forgotten. What he needed was to get away, anywhere that was away from that monster. The burn returned to his lungs within seconds, and his legs screamed in pain, but he didn’t care so long as he could stay at least a few steps ahead.

The thing was on his heels already, he could hear its ragged breathing close behind him. He didn’t dare look, instead keeping his eyes on the street ahead of him, tasting the sea air and wondering if maybe, just maybe, he could make it to the cliffs before it got to him.

Up ahead, a dark figure stepped out onto the street.

He could barely see it in the pale moonlight, but he could see enough to know that it was human, and before he knew he’d opened his mouth he was yelling at it, screaming for help.

“Please! Help me! It’s going to-“

A streetlight flickered on. The woman stepped into its light and smiled gently.

“Gabe, it’s OK. It’s just a dream.”

“Help me! I can’t run any-“


The breathing behind him had stopped, but he ran on towards her.

“You’ll be OK, honey. Come on, come back to me. Wake up.”

Her face was almost glowing under the streetlight. She was somehow familiar, and so, so beautiful…

He woke in a cold sweat, with Rosa stroking his hair and shushing him, and for a moment he really believed that everything would be alright, until he remembered the truth – that the same thing would happen again tomorrow night.

Perfectly suited to our theme of Beginnings, Lilith’s prologue for Gabe the Dreamwalker is an intriguing start. A recurring nightmare, of being chased, of fearing the unknown. It’s scary but familiar since we all feel it, we all encounter it at some point in our lives. Sometimes the dream world is safe, but sometimes it’s the root of our deepest fears. If you enjoyed Lilith’s introduction here, feel free to check out her other shorts such as, ‘A Hedgehog Named Barry‘ and ‘Rain Men‘. 

Featured Image CC // Clement127

Inkblots Special Hallowe’en Post – A Hedgehog Named Barry

Written by Lilith


Scavenge hunt. Image // Tomi Tapio

The hedgehog looked up at May with wide black eyes and twitched its nose. It was a tiny ball of brown spines, sitting at the edge of the pavement and staring up at her with something akin to adoration, though the little girl didn’t know why. She bent down to him, expecting him to shuffle away, but instead he sniffed her hand curiously.

“Hello,” she said nervously. The streetlights were starting to come on now, and she was late coming back from the shops. She would get into trouble for it, she knew, but she’d spent so long deciding what pick and mix to get – choosing and weighing and taking some out and weighing again until it was worth a pound. Now she knew she should hurry back so he wouldn’t be so angry, but at the same time couldn’t bring herself to face her father’s rage.

The hedgehog sniffled at her fingers and licked them.

“Can I call you Barry?” she asked, and although he didn’t say yes or no, she decided that he was OK with it.

“I have to go now… Sorry.” Another street lamp flickered from pink to orange to yellow above her. Home was only two streets away, so she picked up her satchel back and carried on walking.

She was only a few doors away from home when she heard a scuffling sound in the gutter beside her; she looked down and saw Barry waddling through the autumn leaves.

“What are you doing?” May hissed down at him. “Don’t follow me! My dad’ll be angry.”

Perhaps he understood her words or maybe her tone of voice, but Barry stopped still in the leaves and turned around a few times. He watched her go with mournful black eyes, his nose beneath a crisp golden leaf.

May’s father was angry, but her mother was less of a wreck than usual. She took one look at her daughter traipsing in with windswept hair and muddy boots and sent her to her room at once, in a tone that was forceful, but not wholly unkind. She stood between the little girl and her husband, who had been drinking for hours and was already shouting at the slightest thing. As May’s door closed, he began to shout at her up the stairs, and although May could work out some of the words, she did as her mother had said and kept the door tightly shut, then played pop music to drown out the worst of it. He fell silent after half an hour, but when May was called to dinner there was a dark mark on her mum’s face that hadn’t been there before.

That night, as May lay in bed, it started again. First her dad yelling, then the crashes and bangs as he threw things – anything that came near to his hand – at his wife. May was too scared to put on the music, so she pulled the duvet from her bed and sat by the window, staring at the sky.

“I wish…” she began to say, but the world was too big and too scary and too bloated with unfulfilled wishes that she suddenly didn’t know what to wish for. Should she wish for her dad to stop drinking? Would that make it better, or worse? How would she know? Or maybe she should wish for him to go away again… But when he did that before her mum had sat hunched over the kitchen table for days on end, crying into her wine, pulling May onto her lap and phoning him over and over again to tell him how much she missed him and they needed him back. Did she really want that?

“I wish Barry would come back,” she said, and looked down into the garden. The kitchen light was on, flooding the yard with light, and there besides a flower-pot was… No, it couldn’t be.

She squinted down at the flower-pot, trying to make out the dark shape beneath it. The noises from downstairs faded to nothingness as she struggled to identify whether that shadow was really her friend, or just a trick of the light.

There was only one way to be sure. She threw on a dressing gown over her nightie and stepped carefully out onto the landing. She could hear them arguing again – were they in the living room? She tiptoed down the stairs, placing her feet near to the sides of each step to stop them from creaking. Yes, they were in the living room, she decided, so she kept away from that door, instead stepping into the kitchen where piles of washing up had been discarded only ten minutes ago. As she reached the back door, she heard a crash followed by a sickening “thunk” sound, and then her mother screaming.

She peered out into the night. There was the flower-pot – the big one with the poppies – and there he was, smiling his sweet half-smile at her from the shadows.

“Barry,” she whispered. The door clicked open quietly and as quick as a flash she was outside in the yard, dropping to her knees to greet the hedgehog.

“Come with me,” the hedgehog seemed to be saying to her. “Just for a little while, until your mother is feeling better. It will be an adventure.”

May glanced nervously back at the house.

“Won’t dad be angry if he finds out, Barry?”

“He would, little girl, but he won’t find out. I promise.”

She put down both her hands to the ground and Barry climbed into them, carefully keeping his sharp spines from stabbing at her soft skin.

“You tell me where to go, OK?”

He nodded.

“Do you promise I’ll be safe, Barry?”

He turned around to face her, his black eyes meeting her blue.

“Yes, little May. Right now, this is the safest place you could be.”

Lilith’s ‘A Hedgehog named Barry’ was written as part of a HHC challenge in 2013, however it was such a wonderful short that we raided through the archives in order to bring it to you, our readers and followers, as an Inkblots special Hallowe’en post. Those feelings of uneasiness through the sinister shadow of May’s father really come to light within the final few sentences. Is Barry really a lovely hedgehog? Or is something more horrible happening? Either way, we can’t help breathe a sigh of relief when our fear for May’s safety is finally over. We hope you enjoyed reading Lilith’s story, and have a Happy Hallowe’en! 

Little Red

Written by Bandit Queen


Run, Little Red. Faster and faster until you can’t anymore. Image // GettysGirl

Run, little girl, run.

The forest is not your friend now. Where are the little flowers you picked, their sweet scent similar to yours and their pastel colours dappling the dark grass in the wood? Where are your sun beams you danced between, that streaked through the darkness of the thick branches up above? They are all gone. Nettles sting your dancing feet and the summer sun has set. There is only the Hunter’s moon; a cool, silver stare cutting down upon your face, as tears stream down your cheek.

You should have listened to your mother. Words do well to the wise, not to the brave. What can words do for you now? You think to bargain with me? Prey do not bargain with their predators.

Run, girl, run.

Your ragged breaths twitch my ears. Your saccharine smell waters my mouth. Your watery eyes widen mine. You are divine.
A branch snaps. I falter. You turn.

Hairs rise on your skin as mine bristles in glee. I can see you fleeing from the pine where we met. You are running. A monstrous grin grows on my face. Can you see my teeth that will tear you apart? Can you see my body heave forward, while I begin my chase for you?

Red is a dangerous colour to wear, my love. Your cloak ripples like a scarlet river through the silver trees, and you weave in and out to try to lose me. Why do you run? I see blood on your nimble feet. The forest is no longer the refuge you loved, is it? You will paint the trees crimson and the flowers will turn pale like the moon. The forest will mourn until your body lurches and your throat turns raw from your screams.

Then you can run through the forest, past the mountains to the river, you can dance in the moonlight, and howl to the stars. Give your family, your love and guard, your elder in the wood. Leave your petty village behind: the resentment, the marriage, the hatred. You are brave. Why do you fear me when the monsters share your bed?

You stop. You do not run. There are no more tears.

The chase is over, my love.

Genuinely, we feel a little terrified for Little Red, here. This incredibly tense piece of short fiction was written by Bandit Queen on behalf of the July HHC under the theme ‘Chase’. As a predator hunting its prey, you can smell the fear within this piece. Inspired by the Brothers Grim story, Bandit Queen’s piece serves as a truly dark tale. The masquerade of fairytale slips into a stalker and a vulnerable young woman, fleeing for her life. It’s serious, and it’s horrifying. If you enjoyed Bandit Queen’s first published piece here on Inkblots, please leave her a like, or comment in the section below.  

There Will Be Tea

Written by Miss Smiley


High tea anyone? With a slice of lemon or death…? Image // Blake Bentley

The woman breathed raggedly, hurling a terrified look behind her as she ran down the alley. A shot of adrenaline hit her breastbone as she spotted her pursuer, no more than ten metres back, shrouded in the darkness, strolling along like they had all the time in the world.

Miss Herrington, however, didn’t. Too panicked even to scream, she bolted as fast as she could in her flailing skirts. The hobble skirt bashed painfully against her shins with each frantic step, almost tripping her. A thought flitted through her head –

What on Earth has fashion got against physical activity?

– too slippery and quick to follow. She threw her hands up to stop herself crashing into the brick wall. Wheeling around the corner, she scrambled against the cobblestones, wishing she had not been quite so vain that morning – without the hobble skirt and extra petticoats, she would have been much quicker on her feet.

She stopped short as she spotted the wall, mere inches from her face.

A dead-end. No escape.

“No…” she whimpered. She let out a little moan of despair and pushed against the wall with a palm, willing it to move, hoping for a miracle. “Please…”

Footsteps clicked on the cobblestones behind her. She wheeled around to face her attacker.

“Wh-what…what do you want?” It came out ragged, whimpering and terrified. Madeline Herrington cursed herself for not sounding more confident.

Her pursuer smiled from beneath a hat. “You know what I want.” A woman’s voice, refined and silky. On her hands, she wore white gloves. Madeline wondered how the woman would ever get her blood out of the fabric.

“Don’t you dare touch me!” she screamed as her attacker neared, those gloved hands outstretched to her.

“Why not?” The gloves curled around her arm, jerking her forward to the eyes of their owner. Her attacker smirked confidently. “It’s nothing personal. Curiosity killed the cat, Miss Herrington. We’re just putting that practice into play.”

“I’ll never publish it, I swear!” Madeline was weeping now, her make-up smeared with grime and tears. Her heart thumped frantically in agreement. “No one knows, I swear it!”

“Too bad. You still know.”

She looked into the eyes and recoiled. The reports hadn’t lied. The woman’s eyes were dead – lifeless, like a doll’s. “I swear I’ll take your secret to my grave.”

“Yes. Yes, you will.” The woman smiled from beneath the hat, a smile that never reached her lifeless eyes. Her gloved hand made its way up her arm to her neck, cold to the touch.

Madeline shuddered, too terrified to say a word.

The woman surveyed her for a moment with those blue eyes and then smiled again. “Goodbye, Miss Herrington. Nothing personal. Just orders.”

Madeline felt cold metal against her skin and swallowed. And then…


She hadn’t even had time to scream.

As many of our regular readers will know, Miss Smiley is a dab hand when it comes to creating suspension in short stories. This is only a mere snippet of more to come, but we hope it’s just as deadly as this piece. We’re also perplexed as to when tea will be served and if it’s laced with poison. Maybe someday we’ll have the pleasure of finding out. If you enjoyed reading Miss Smiley’s short horror, you may just find her other work just as charming in ‘The Bells of Campden‘ and ‘The Laurel‘. 

Not The One Who Knocks

Written by Blue-Eyed Devil

Part of the Grimsley Chronicles


Can you hear that howling? Image // Bill Dickinson

‘S’nice place,Grimsley thought to himself.Breaking in hadn’t been all that much trouble. Duct tape placed on one of the small windows in the back door and a sharp jab with his elbow had allowed him to enter the premises without much hassle. He had found himself in a kitchen, cleaned well but small and rather bare. Running a gloved hand over the crockery, he put a little thought into what he would use to end the owner’s life.Skillet? No. Frying pan? Been done, and recently.His eyes slid their way over to the selection of knives in a wooden block and he pulled one free, examining the blade. Yes… this should do the trick.Seeing a tall glass on the draining board, Grimsley casually nudged it off. It fell to the floor and smashed into a dozen pieces.

He moved further into the house with practiced ease, his footfalls not making a sound on the floor as he inspected the place. He was no interior decorator, but you could tell a lot about a person by the way they kept their personal space.

No pictures anywhere – could be that she didn’t have any family alive, or was estranged from any that were. But Grimsley doubted that. There were more than a few pieces of furniture about. That implied that the occupier had company often; friends, family, partner. Or partners. He wasn’t old-fashioned; each to their own. No pictures but she had visitors often? Not a sentimental type, perhaps.

Working his way around, Grimsley continued his observations. Everything looked neat, nothing out of place or flung about randomly. A tidy person, then? But a quick inspection of her cupboards and drawers revealed things simply stuffed in haphazardly. She made a show of being put together, but under the surface was chaos. Out of sight, out of mind…

Grimsley sighed to himself. Were it so easy to put that into practice.

A sudden creak brought the thug back to his purpose. His target was finally awake and was investigating the noise he had made. It had taken her long enough.

Slipping silently out of sight, Grimsley waited for the woman to show herself. He didn’t have to wait long, the figure of a small but compact person was moving past him in the dark. She was shorter than him, he noted. A pleasant change, he thought to himself.

Well, time to get on with it. He approached her from behind, thrusting the knife upwards between her ribs and into her heart.

Or that had been his intent anyway. She surprised him by turning sharply and kicking the weapon out of his hand.

Huh. That’s odd.

Grimsley blocked a punch aimed at his jaw and locked the arm in place at his side. He thrust forwards with the palm of his hand and struck her nose, but she moved into the attack and it bounced off her forehead. A knee jabbed into his stomach, making him let go of her arm.

His head was beginning to ache again. Not now. Gotta end this now.

She aimed another kick at him and he caught her leg, taking the blow to his side but grasping firmly onto the appendage. She was well muscled, but Grimsley was much stronger. She discovered this herself when he shoved all his weight into her, knocking her straight to the ground. She tried to struggle free but the stocky thug had his forearm pressing down on her neck and his whole body was crushing down onto hers.

Grimsley looked down onto the slowly purpling face of the woman as he slowly cut off her air and suddenly realised something. She was… normal. She wasn’t changing. Her face was… human.

A sudden, blinding light filled his head and he felt… renewed. Refreshed.


“It’s your lucky day, miss,” muttered Grimsley, more to himself than to her. His fist cracked into her face and she stopped struggling.

He made sure she was still breathing before he left. Placed her in the recovery position too, just to be on the safe side. Concussion was a tricky thing.

Walking back to his flat, Grimsley reveled. Everyone was a monster. Makepeace had been the first. Others had come; people he was forced to work with, those that passed down his orders, those that drank in the same pub as him. But the woman he had been sent to kill was not. The pain in his head had come, but she had not changed.

He knew what the others thought about him. He was the organisation’s pet wolf. Everyone was afraid of him, of who the bosses would unleash him on next. He remembered someone saying that even angels would cross the street out of fear from him. Knowing that they were scared of him did not diminish him; on the contrary, it invigorated him, as if he fed off of their fear.

Striding into his flat, the thug made straight for his couch, lifting the seat and revealing the hollowed out innards. He reached in, rummaging inside it until he found what he was looking for. Things have changed now. The monsters had struck fear into his heart before, but he would exorcise that fear by becoming fear itself. Becoming the Wolf that even angels feared to tread near.

Running his hand along the blade of the machete, Grimsley smiled to himself.

Yes… this should do the trick.

Blue-Eyed Devil’s Grimsley shorts began with a simple Half Hour Challenge idea, from then the Grimsley Chronicles were born. Now, our Haiku creator writes interesting scenarios for his character to get into, and most of the time it’s tense in action. There’s definitely a big sense of fear in ‘Not the One who Knocks’, which is exactly what we’re aiming for with this month’s content. If you enjoyed Blue-Eyed Devil’s short HHC, you can check out some of his other work, including Haiku Selections One and Two

The Servant

Written by Terrestris Veritas


The Idle Servant by Nicolaes Maes Image //

You were always better than me – more elegant, more sophisticated. You would say that I looked ‘dashing’ in my dark Italian suit, ‘sleek’ in my shiny black shoes and ‘ready for war’ in my white servant’s gloves. I remember how you gave me my orders, never harsh, always calm and sincere. You were always more polite than all the others, thanking me for my deeds, summoning me with a soft call, rather than a harsh snap of your fingers. You were concerned for me, always tending to my wounds, regardless of whether I deserved it or not. I remember how you once stayed behind for me, fearing not for your life but for mine.

My fellows always scorned how you cared, how I was your favourite. Often, they spoke out against you, but ceased their protests once they saw my power. They were always jealous of how I was never beaten, never punished. They didn’t understand my motives, telling me that I forgot myself and lost my purpose. But they were the ones who lost themselves.

My freedom mattered to you and that was your downfall. You always left me to myself if you foresaw no reason for me to be near. Because of my power, I was your only servant, your only protector and your only friend. Or so you thought.

I heard your call, felt your terror. My response was swift and instantaneous, as was the norm. But as quick as it was, I was still too late to help. Your body lay limp by the fireside, your killer strode away, expecting no challenge. I didn’t simply challenge him, I slew him where he stood. You deserved vengeance, you deserved peace and you deserved the fate you got.

Everyone said I had gone soft, fallen for a primitive human. You were a gracious person, but unlike the others, unlike those incompetents, I never lost sight of my goal. I never let hate cloud my judgement. For when you died, I was truly free. And dead you are: as it should be.

Written on behalf of the Half Hour Challenge’s theme Servant earlier this year, Terrestris’s piece certainly gives us the chills. Maybe it’s just that last line, or the strange voice of the narrator, but it feels eerie. The servant finally has his freedom, though it may not be how he ever expected to attain it. If you liked Terra’s work, feel free to check out ‘Lost in Transit‘ and ‘Umbra‘.