Her Eyes

Written by Arwa


She is a woman.
A beautiful woman,
full of life.
She has a wild spirit
of love.

She dances like the waves,
too delicately
and gracefully.
She walks like the wind,
lightly.
She smiles innocently,
like a child.

Yet, her eyes…
they’re tired, full of sadness,
full of pain.
Makes one wonder:
Who is she?
Where does she come from?
But she only makes one wonder, not others,
for they’re all blind,
and understand nothing
about the truth of the eyes.

Her eyes…
so dark, wild, vehement,
and violent.
Her eyes,
they scream with anguish
and grief.
Yet her voice is so serene
and lucid.

She sings with the wind,
and smiles with sun.
She embraces nature,
and dances with the waves.

She lives.


The grace of femininity is spoken of in Arwa’s poetry – and it’s not to be sniffed at either. Her Eyes describes both the beauty and the pain of a woman at her natural peak in life. Without the wonder and sadness of life, there simply wouldn’t be life, and we must fight for that day in and day out. Simple pleasures are worth it. If you enjoyed Arwa’s poetry, you can view the simply splendid poem, “Here Where The Sea Stands”. 

Featured Image CC // Tommie Milacci

Short Poetry Spotlight – The Warmth at First Light

Written by Blue-Eyed Devil


Haiku X

The fallen walls crush
All hope and dreams of freedom.
Tomorrow’s bleak dawn.

Haiku XXIV

With one final step,
The warm wind takes me, smiling,
To find peace at last.


Written by Dizzy Dazzle

Spiderwebs

A glimmer between the trees,
Fresh, catching the morning dew.
Each delicate thread a ray of light,
patterns of a spiders nimble hands.


August’s short poetry spotlight falls on three absolutely sumptuous poems, each of which are delicately balanced in the author’s choice of words and feature a beautiful flow. With sunshine our theme for this month, it’s a fantastic way to showcase some of the best poems from contributors Blue-Eyed Devil and Dizzy Dazzle. From the warmth and morning dew of first light to the very last, all three poems convey great meaning in their short form. If you enjoyed both of their work and would like to view more poetry, please see Blue-Eyed Devil’s “Wake Me When It’s Winter” and Dizzy Dazzle’s “The Humanitarian”. 

Featured Image CC // Glenna Barlow

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

Shelter

Written by Silver


Take shelter from the rain, little heart,
find a place to hide
from both the good and the bad,
all these troubles that seem to collide.

Take shelter from the snow, little heart,
the icy, dark streets are no safe haven.
You’ll slip and slide in the powder,
no longer with power to reach your cavern.

Take shelter from the sunshine, little heart,
burning with sultry anger and desire.
Stamp out those wayward flames and no longer cower,
leave the shadows of your makeshift pyre.

Embrace the clouds and sky, little heart,
and take shelter in their heavenly comfort.
A touch so soft, so gentle,
it’s something you’ve forever sought.

Please, little heart, take heed.
These are wise words that you’ll always need.
We all want to hide from the rain, snow or sunshine,
but look to the sky, little heart,
and remember your last journey before you depart.


Commenting on my own work is always a little surreal, but the poem above is certainly important to me and one that I’m glad to share with all of our Inkblots readers and contributors. Shelter is dedicated to my Nana and was written on the evening of her passing ten years ago. She was a wonderful woman who cared deeply for my own mother and her family. In fact, she was so proud of her husband that she shied away from telling us he was suffering from Vascular Dementia. Ten years ago she died of heart failure and her little heart fluttered away. If you enjoyed Shelter, feel free to check out my other poetry such as, “Spirit” and “Fudge.

Featured Image CC // Denise Rowlands

The Merriment of Summer

Written by Rob


Pebbles click and rattle as each restless wave retreats. The gentlest of sea breezes wafts the drying seaweed, over-salted spinach, on the groyne. Gulls wheel and squawk, searching the next titbit to squabble over. Only mid-morning, but the glare and heat-haze from the white sand is already intense. Almost low tide, the beach is vast; this town barely qualifies as “sea-side”. The awkward merriment of the fun-fair seems miles away. All is calm, azure, bright.

This place, this “here and now”, what can it mean? Decades and millions of holiday-makers passed this way. Two weeks escape from the daily grind, the blood and bullets of economic activity, the boss and his targets. Plump wives and sticky children, string vests and ingrowing toenails, shown to sun, sea and sand. Gritty butties and cherryade, ice creams and squeals of delight; the summer was made for these. Aspire for nothing more: these are the times of our lives.


Rob’s flash fiction was written as part of a previous Half Hour Challenge. Though it’s one of his older HHC works now, it’s a great way for us to kick off our content for August. We rarely think about what’s on the surface during the summer, usually we’re just hoping we don’t recognise anyone from back home when we go on vacation. Tan lines and bulgy bits are a constant worry but they rarely keep us from having fun in the summer. If you enjoyed Rob’s work, you can also view some of his recent published fiction such as “Heidi”, parts one and two

Featured Image CC // J Lippold

 

August Editorial – Brighten Up Life with a Little Bit of Sunshine

Hey Inkblotters!

Welcome to August’s editorial post, where it’s starting to heat up in Britain with a little bit of sunshine, though mostly rain! Aside from the July two-week heat wave, it seems our summer has notoriously left on vacation, or in the very least just moved location. More than ever, I’m desperately looking forward to my week-long holiday to Austria in September. And as we all need a little “R & R”, Inkblots will be taking a break from publication for one month. We’re back in October with our Hallowe’en Scarefest though, and we’ll still be taking in submissions throughout September.

Moving on to August’s content, we’ve got lots of beautifully written work to share with you from our pool of regular contributors. With sunshine as our overarching theme, HHC veteran writer Rob kicks off creativity on the 5th with his flash fiction, while we have some wonderful poetry from the lovely Arwa later on in the month. As part of my Nana’s passing ten years ago, I also have a short poem to share with our readers as a tribute to her life. As always, make sure to check back during the month for new and original work.

August’s Half Hour Challenge should get the inspiration cogs turning with the following quote: “Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos”. It’s a lovely summery theme, a little light-hearted, and it’s also delicious to eat, so why not? Our Fiction Frenzy is still running until August 31st, so if you are planning on sending an entry in under either of the themes, Sunlight and Moonlight, then please send an email to theinkwellwriting@gmail.com before the closing date.

For any members of the forum, we’ve currently reverted back to our original domain name creativewriting.freeforums.org. All your work is still there, so please don’t panic. But for now, please access the writing forum via that URL address. Our administration team is currently assessing the situation and we’re hoping to make an official announcement in a couple of months.

Right, I won’t waffle on any longer – have a wonderful August and September! I shall be back for another editorial in October.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Leo-setä

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