To Prove

Written by Terrestris Veritas


I wouldn’t call it anything other than what it was. Things happened and I just got on with life. The way people tell you to, shouldn’t have to dictate certain things, but because they’re “bigger” than you it does. Even still, you get to have your way occasionally; though it pales in comparison to how often they get they’re way.

The way to do things is in secret. That often works since to observe and criticise something you must first know about it. So if they never know about it, they cannot do a thing. The triads that were in The Hatch were actually quite nice despite whatever crimes they were accused of. One of them told me she could help me do what I wanted, help me get revenge for what they did to my friend. Even though it wasn’t them at fault this time. It was more like him.

Her name was Lipi. She was from the south and locked in the binding chains, the sort that inhibit the use of vintage powers. Even though I couldn’t break them, she still taught me a lot. She gave me elixir to awaken some powers, others she guided me towards. Pretty soon I had all the strength that someone my age was capable of wielding.

Vintage, however, was illegal for common people. It was only used by the elite hunters that they owned and by those in the south. Even though it was frowned upon for the latter, it was still tolerated up until a certain distance from the border. Since it was such an exclusive art as well, it could be identified pretty easily. Luckily for me, Lipi had been observing my crystal magic and taught me how to hide vintage within the crystal. “Since crystal is in your soul, you can do everything through your own soul.” That was what she told me.

She had been a good teacher, given that it was through the constraints of The Hatch – and I felt proud that a little girl such as myself had been such a good pupil. I owed it all to her. As I stood over his body, I felt my heart give a little skip and my crystal flare a little brighter. Maybe I was built for the killing business. At the very least, I had proved to myself that little girls just like me can have quality time with a boy; and make sure it’s his blood that’s spilt, rather than hers.


Inspired by our July HHC challenge themed under ‘Justice’, Terrestris Veritas’ short piece is a beautifully dark tale woven to keep us suitably intrigued. We feel there’s a glint of magic in the moonlight here; blood spilled from previous lovers, hearts beating and skipping. If you enjoyed Terra’s work as much as we did, why not view his previously published work such as “Spark of Hate” and “The Wisps on the Moor”. 

Featured Image CC // Macroscopic Solutions

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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

Diaries of the Gods

Written by Terrestris Veritas

angel_weeping

Is it so hard to just be at peace with each other? Image // Alisa Perne

You humans; all you ever do is fight. None of you can comprehend the destruction that you impose on that which is never at fault. You were a mistake…you were never meant to be.

A curse is a terrible thing. To be constricted to a single condition and never let free. The pain of that never lessens. But you’d know all about that. For you are but pieces of a shattered dream.

You were insignificant to us, we let you breed and run wild. Then we believed you had power over us. That was our mistake. You dragged us into your meaningless wars, made us watch as your hollow ambitions swallowed you all. And we thought we couldn’t escape you.

Time and time again you would annihilate yourselves only to rise once more from the debris. None of you could recognize your own faulty ways. All you ever did was build in order to destroy. Create to kill.

Money, land, politics and possessions. The four curses of your race. Each can easily be forsaken, only you didn’t know how to live without them. And that scared you, enough to turn on your friends and allies. But when you gazed over a burning land of death, you finally realized your foolishness. You did away with yourself, unable to live all alone with your four, foul curses.

Thus, the land burned. We thought you humans had learnt your lesson. But the years turned to centuries, which rolled into millennia, which eventually became eons. You were thought as a legend, as a fable as new people came to be. Then, they turned into the one we still call ‘you’.

A dozen times history repeated itself, the land suffering while only we could hear its screams. How deaf you all were, how obsessed you were with the frail “self”. Perhaps, this was your curse.

Regardless, you hurt us and the world. You even hurt yourselves but again you ignored it. You ignored the screams, the cries for mercy, the children that begged you to stop. And you killed part of us. Always using others, too afraid to look your enemy in the eye as you take their life. Instead, you are content to observe from afar, safe and warm, healthy in your golden frocks. While you slowly killed us.

You would never learn, but who could blame you? The eons were nought but dust, and soot and ash lend no lessons on life. You are the smallest pieces in this puzzle, this wretched puzzle, and you cost us our freedom.

Your part in the puzzle is done. So why do you still hurt us? Why do you still kill yourselves senselessly? You humans, not even content with just being alive. And the funny thing is; you’ve all but forgotten that you were never part of the bigger picture. Just a toy. Just a sad mistake.

Terrestris Veritas had labelled this piece as somewhat experimental, and he wasn’t sure where it would fit. We’re likely to call it a fantasy monologue featuring a livid God and his private thoughts. A reflection upon our society, ‘Diaries of the Gods’ lends itself to this month’s theme light – if only in a small sense. A light above the world, or below it, Gods and Goddesses will peer into the lives of men and women. Terra’s piece gazes upon such atrocities and documents them. If you enjoyed this short piece of fiction, you might like some of Terra’s other work, including but not limited to, ‘Race‘ and ‘The Servant‘. 

The Hosting of Thrwa

Written by Dice

elf_wooden_house

The lone elf watches. Is he waiting for war? Image // Deviantart user Fadly Romdhani

The Hosting of Thrwa
The host marches on Sliabhnarea,
Coming-to-the-lands of the young and fair,
The eyes of Thrwa a burning flare,
Elves running away, runaway,
Away, runaway.

Mortal men fear, their hope is gone,
From over the wall, comes the marching drum,
Men let out a cry, as they burn and bleed,
Where are the Maysa, in our time of need?

The host marches on Sliabhnarea,
Coming-to-the-lands of the young and fair,
The eyes of Thrwa a burning flare,
Elves running away, runaway,
Away, runaway.

He reaches our wall, the end will start,
When out of the gloom, flies an eagle so grand,
She comes between him and the bane of his heart,
She comes between him and the deed of his hand.

The host marches on Sliabhnarea,
Coming-to-the-lands of the young and fair,
The eyes of Thrwa a burning flare,
Madb calling ‘fray, to the fray,’
‘Fray, to the fray.’

Dice’s lyrical ensemble was written on behalf of his work-in-progress fantasy novel, telling the wonderful tale of how the Maysa came to be. While you won’t be familiar with the Maysa, you may know of the song this was inspired by: The Waterboys’s “Hosting of Shee” adapted from the Yeats poem The Hosting of the Sidhe, of which you catch the original song at the link, here. We thought this was a great way to conclude this month’s performance theme, so if you enjoyed reading (or, perhaps, singing) then feel free to leave a like or a comment. You can also check out Dice’s other work such as his Alexander shorts, “Summer 1943“‘ and “A Wonderful Thing“.  

Aldrick The Mad

Written by Dice

stone_table_narnia

Ready for a sacrifice? The Stone Table in Narnia is calling…
Image Courtesy of Concept Art from the Chronicles of Narnia

Here follows the final moments of Aldrick The Mad’s life written by his scribe, who had been ordered by Aldrick himself to watch from a hidden location and record all that he saw. The scribe was not entrusted with the knowledge of what Aldrick was attempting in the forest, gold was the penniless scribe’s only reason for being present.

“Yes, yes a sacrifice, poetic in your demand. I understand, I understand. Elven by birth, elven she is, eleven too, ha! That’s why I chose her, a little humour between us.

“No, no my lord, not a time for joke, time for joking is not now. Soon we will laugh though, soon in our victory… your victory, you will be the victorious one. Yes victory at last against your sister, our mother, the betrayer of our Lord.

“Betrayed you she did, like the mother of the sacrifice, she never bore a male of your line, honoured though she was with the strongest men your temples could find, she failed them all, but her daughter, she’s survived six years, more than most, but find her I did. She is found and will make a perfect key for your cell, won’t she hmm?”

Aldrick drags the young nameless girl in front of him and lifts the frightened child onto a large, yet cracked stone dais; the centrepiece to the clearing Aldrick now stands in. The clearing is a strange place with an unnerving feel to the air, even the trees surrounding the stone dais seem to grow and lean away from the clearing. As such, the ground is devoid of any life, the soil is dry and black with large cracks, as if the ground had been burnt. The four mercenaries Aldrick has hired to protect him ignore the situation, a couple even twiddle a coin to remind them it’s all about the money.

Tears stream down the gagged girl’s cheeks, and Aldrick ties her down. There are stone hands protruding from the edges of the stone dais as if  grasping for the ropes which tie down the sacrifice.

“Bring the knife, no, no, he disappeared, useless servant, never really useful, fun though, fun to order someone, others don’t listen. These do, these here. You, Mercenary, bring me a knife.” Continue reading →