an Inktober collection

Earlier this month I committed to Inktober: Writer’s Edition, which has me writing a 50-word story every day, following a list of prompts you can read here. You can read my previous week of stories by clicking here.

Here are my stories from this past week, interspersed with palette-cleansing photos for your viewing pleasure.

Day 10: pattern

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Her gaze traced the pattern of smoke stacks on the horizon, each one belching poison into the atmosphere. A factory planet, built for production, left to robots to run when the air became toxic. She tied a scarf over her mouth and nose and cursed her luck for crashing here.

Day 11: snow

photograph of happy children
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

Glowing green particulates fell like snow onto the streets overnight. Children scooped it up, packed it tight, and threw green snowballs of it at each other, giggling, innocent. The teachers bit back their warnings. They’d all be dead soon, after all, best let the children have one last good day.

Day 12: dragon

city near mountain during golden hour
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Pexels.com

Coils of smoke rose from the broken city like dragon’s breath, the sunset bright with flames of colour. She fixated on the hue of burgundy ribboning across the clouds, memorizing the colour of freedom. A far explosion brought a smile to her lips as she began to count the dead.

Day 13: ash

photograph of a burning fire
Photo by moein moradi on Pexels.com

She stared into the ashes long after the fire’s fuel ran out and cold crept inside her bones. A small collapse of ash startled her to stabbing at the cinders with the knife she’d used to kill him. His teeth grinned from the ashes, promising he’d never let her go.

Day 14: overgrown

person holding container with seaweed
Photo by Chokniti Khongchum on Pexels.com

Shattered petri dishes lay across the laboratory floor, their samples long overgrown the agar and spreading in fungal clumps. He sobbed with relief and flicked at the green until a cloud of particulates released. Snorting up the spores, his eyes rolled back as a deep sense of peace overcame him.

Day 15: legend

woman playing electric guitar on top of rock formation
Photo by Stephanie Souza on Pexels.com

He hit the chords power-hard, eyes shut, hips thrust forward, the song he played a legend. The final riff echoed off the Starcruiser above him and he rose his hand, horns up, to listen as they faded. He nodded, satisfied, and put away his axe. Another planet introduced to Zeppelin.

Day 16: wild

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Watch how he waits, deep in the wild recesses of his own mind, until the first flash of feral anger eases and the bright sludge of adrenaline fades. For a place safe to think, to consider, to plan, and bring the darkest ruin to his enemies. Run while you can.

Are you participating in Inktober or Writober as a writer or an artist? Feel free to drop your @’s below so I can follow along.

 

my Inktober adventures

I’ve signed myself up for the Inktober 2019 Writer’s Edition, which is rather new and diverges from solely drawing to writing a 50-word story based on the official Inktober’s prompts. The following are my entries for the past week, from day 2-9. You can see my day 1 entry and read the full list of the month’s prompt by clicking here.

Because these stories are meant to exist as unrelated snippets, I’m including a photo that suits the story’s mood before the story itself, as something of a palette cleanser. They run a wild gauntlet of un-relatedness, but here they are. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them and please drop your @’s in the comments if you are Inktobering yourself so I can follow your adventures.

Day 2: mindless

heart shaped red neon signage
Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

The fairy stroked the zombie’s face. “They’re mindless not heartless. That’s what everyone gets wrong.”

“What is it with you and the undead?” asked her father. “First that vampire, now him.”

“You did necromance me from the grave when she was five,” said Mother. “Children pick up on these things.”

 

Day 3: bait

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“Just a little dunk for the greater good,” said the fisherman. “Everyone knows they can’t resist the bait of a prince.”

Into the water splashed the Prince, cursing his birthright and this superstition. Mermaids weren’t emptying their nets, it was –

His thoughts scattered as a little mermaid grabbed his hand.

 

Day 4: breeze

love couple sunset sunrise
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

The wind picked up and he awkwardly put his arm around her so she wouldn’t freeze. He should say something. Something clever. “So… do you ever wonder if maybe meteor showers only exist because a black hole sneezed?”

She smiled, her eyes shining. “I think about that all the time.”

 

Day 5: build

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it me

Build a world from a thought, give it life, give it death. Keep it secret. Build it bigger, amplify its strangeness. Stranger still. Fold it inside out, right again, and somewhere in the creases watch its people unfold, half-formed, un-complete. Keep them secret. Amplify their strangeness, finish them with want.

 

Day 6: husky

photo of person standing on crashed plane
Photo by Frederik Sørensen on Pexels.com

Burly Jane and Husky Hester stroked their beards and contemplated the wreckage of Hester’s starcruiser, planets away from nowhere.

“Helluva first date,” said Jane. “Usually I just say I’m out of fuel and make my move, but you’ve straight up crashed. I admire your commitment to getting in my pants.”

 

Day 7: enchanted

sky lights space dark
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The planetoid mass was enchanted by the star, circling ‘round for a closer, better look. Non-committal, careful, until a solar flare burst forth and danced an aurora ‘round the mass’ atmosphere. Bewitched, the mass fell into orbit, clutched by the star’s gravitational embrace, and spun themselves into a solar system.

 

Day 8: frail

white bedspread beside glass sliding door
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

He peered down at his suddenly frail physique, his sculpted pecs sagging, nipples turned downwards, his hard-won abs a blob of gut hanging over his hips. His manhood – he couldn’t look. “Why?” he asked her.

The succubus struggled into her underwear and shrugged. “Maybe I like you better this way.”

 

Day 9: swing

metal chain in grayscale and closeup photo
Photo by Luděk Maděryč on Pexels.com

A porch swing rusted on the rain-battered decking. In next week’s storm its chain would break, sending the swing through the rotten boards and catching the attention of the building inspector who would condemn the house. For now it caught the sun and its old chain wheezed in the breeze.


Thank you for reading!

IWSG and Inktober for writers

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers are insecure the confident ones… eavesdrop. If you’d like to visit the other members participating in the meeting (and please do!), click here to see the full list of lovely, lovely, writerlings.

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A few of my writer friends have signed up for Inktober: Writer Edition and I have decided to join then and see how frazzled and creative I can get. I once wrote a microfiction per day for a year, resulting in some terrible stories, a handful of excellent ones, and a wild level of creativity, so I’m excited to see what comes from this.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Inktober: Writers Edition, here is what’s been circling and everything I know:

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I plan to compile my entries into a weekly post for this website, and post them daily on social media. Here’s my entry for Day 1: Ring

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Are you participating in Inktober, as either writer or artist? If so, feel welcome to drop your @’s in the comments so I can follow along with your Inktober adventures. Happy IWSG day everyone!

Submit Your Stories Sunday: arcane microfiction

Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to help inspire your submission and aid new writers in understanding how to best fulfill a call’s thematic elements.

This week we’re looking at the Arcanist‘s open call for microfiction, and reading the drabble Palm Reader by Gwendolyn Kiste as published on the Weretraveler.

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The Arcanist – Microfiction

Eligibility: science fiction or fantasy stories (horror inclusive) under 100 words. Stories must have a beginning, middle, end, and strong characterization.

Take Note: The Arcanist will be publishing a microfiction story every week on their website, as well as their twitter and instagram accounts.

Payment: $10 USD per accepted story

Submit by: no deadlines, everything open at time of writ. (please check their website in the link below if you’re visiting from the future, you tricky time traveler, you.)

Click here to go to the original call for details.

A Story to Inspire Your Submission:

To get you started, we’ll be reading the 100-word drabble Palm Reader by Gwendolyn Kiste published on The Weretraveler. Click here to go there now. Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back.

The reason I chose this drabble is because Palm Reader has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. As we begin the narrator is getting their palm read. We can picture the scene easily without description. We hit the middle as the palm reader squeezes the narrator’s hand, pulling us along in their relationship in a few, brief sentences. They are all we need to know our narrator loves her. The ending arrives and our narrator has been poisoned by their love, thus fulfilling the fortune told in the beginning and bringing the story full circle.

hands black and white fingers palm
Photo by Josie Stephens on Pexels.com

It’s tricky to make your reader care about the characters in such a short piece. This is what the Arcanist wants when they refer to ‘characterization’ – the character should evoke a feeling. It doesn’t have to be positive, but by making the reader feel something, the story will stick with them, no matter how small. We care about the Palm Reader‘s narrator because we know they love this fortune teller, and they still love her despite her murdering of them. That’s a strong, fatal, foolish love. What a loss and tragic end, but they will never awaken to chew on the aftermath, they died in love as ever. It sticks in my mind, frustrating me with its unfairness. Kiste painted this image of character as a function of the plot AND in twenty-five words. The words do double time. Don’t hesitate to use those words.

You know what to do. Good luck!

Happy writing.