The Bells of Campden

Written by Miss Smiley

bells_lone

Living, breathing bells? That’s horror, for sure. Image // Vladimer Shioshvili

Campden was a small province. It was peaceful. It was a sweet place – a place you’d want to raise your children. It was practically crime-free. A place you’d want to retire to and live out your life in. It was alive. It felt alive. There was none of this dead metal people tend to surround themselves in. The land breathed and danced. And then there were the bells.

To say that they rang would be an understatement. These bells didn’t just ring – they lived, they sang, each note a clear, precise, and weirdly organic sound. Their range spanned further than a normal church bell’s, their notes singing out whole provinces, calling them into church and court in the morning, ringing out long after they’d been struck.

If you believed the myths, the bells were alive. In back streets and behind closed doors, they whispered about them.

If a man was tried in court, he was tried before the bells. Mostly it was formality, they said. But every now and then, a bell would ring by itself during a trial. And that man was guilty – guilty as sin. The lawyers knew better than to speak for their client then. Once, a lawyer had protested and no one liked to talk about his story. That wasn’t the kind of thing you wanted your children to accidentally overhear, and who knew when they were listening?

It was worse to whisper about what happened to the guilty man, though. It was a story that each child heard, just once, when they were old enough. No one ever wanted to be told twice. No one ever needed to be told twice.

You see, the bells were alive. And everything that lives needs to eat.

Miss Smiley’s short story was submitted as part of a past HHC entry, with a Horror theme. It’s possibly more suited to October’s upcoming theme “fear”, but we liked it too much to consider leaving for too long. Besides the performance from the bells is particularly enthralling. If you liked Miss Smiley’s piece, and are utterly terrified of those bells, make sure you check out some of her other tales of sneaky horror, such as “Fetish” and “Rosebed“. 

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Smile

Written by Rob

Bell’s Palsy: Something for us all to think about.
Image Courtesy of http://www.patient.co.uk, where more information about the disease can be found.

A smile or a grimace? Ted Jones isn’t renown for his happy disposition, yet he seems pleased to see us. “Who are you and what have you done with the real Ted?” I think, though I don’t dare say it. The last three times Claire and I came to the warehouse to deliver training, Ted had been conspicuous only by his growl and then his absence.
“Oh, it’s you pair of plonkers again, is it? Well, you’d better set up in the meeting room like last time and stay out of my way. Some of us have got work to do.” Ted’s disposition hasn’t changed to match his new-found demeanour.
“You’re supposed to be managing this warehouse Ted. I’d like to know what work you consider to be more important than improving it.”
“We’ve got spare orders to pick, pack and ship. I’m bloody certain our customers prefer my lads doing that than sitting in your training sessions.”
“Your lads sent three parcels to the wrong place last month. What do those customers think about your attitude to training, I wonder?”
“Yeah, well the only folk who don’t make mistakes are the ones who do nowt. I’ll bet you don’t make many.”
“So do you think we should carry on as we are or should we try to improve?”
“I haven’t time for this. Deliver your training!” and he spins on his heel and marches out the door.
Claire rolls her eyes at me, “same old Ted,” and unpacks the projector. Continue reading →

Welcome to 2013 Inkblotters!

2013: Here’s to a good one!

Well, I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and New Year, as have all of us here on Inkblots. We’re still pigging out on leftover chocolates, mince pies and counting down the days until the next time we can have a week off! But back to the grind we go.

Inkblots has so much planned for 2013, so here’s just a few things you can see over the first month:

  • The HHC (half hour challenge to our new followers) is still in swing and for this month we’ve plumped for the theme Bells. 
    Continue reading →