RIP IndieInk

After six years, IndieInk has decided to cease operations. I regret that I didn’t find out about the awesome site and community until near the end, but when I was participating, I got some really challenging prompts and met some really fun writers. So while I only had a short run there, I’m glad I got to have one at all.

The one thing that does bother me is that the website has been taken down. I understand the editor’s not wanting to pay for hosting when they’re no longer running the site. However, it would have been nice to go leave a goodbye message on the message boards, or make sure I had up-to-date contact info for the friends I made on the site. The editor’s email went out yesterday morning, and ten minutes later, when I went to the forum, the site was already completely gone. I was bummed that I couldn’t say farewell. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Thanks, IndieInk, for helping me get some writing done, and for helping me meet some cool new writers. I wish we could have known each other longer.


Illegible Map [IndieInk Challenge]

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, littlewonder2 challenged me with “Write 42 words about a character lost in the dark.” and I challenged lisa with “Write a piece in which the entirety of the plot takes place in a fast food restaurant.”

Illegible Map
I know I’m doomed because the bright stars can’t provide me any guidance. Think of all the travelers who learned how to use them. If only I had taken time to understand the symbols, to decipher the messages, to decode the meanings.



To read more about the piece, click below the fold.

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On Second Thought, Call an Exorcist [IndieInk Challenge]

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Wendryn challenged me with “‘All our kids are screaming but the ghosts aren’t real’ U2, Get On your Boots” and I challenged Dara with “‘That’s what livin’ in the city does, man. Stick your song in your throat.’ — George Carlin”


On Second Thought, Call an Exorcist

We’ve called the specialists — psychics and hunters. They’ve brought crystals, Geiger  counters, incense, cameras. All they find is a dead zone. Normal electronic activity. Fine china still on display. Television working just fine.

What does a soul weigh? Is the total more or less than bones, muscle, lungs, skin? Can the tensile strength of tendons support two of them?

We’ve been hunting in all the wrong places. We’ve searched the cold rooms and rough corners, but perhaps ghosts seek warmer homes. Perhaps the heart can stretch to hold another life. Perhaps the brain could make an excellent backup facility.


To read more about the piece, click below the fold.

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First Blood [IndieInk Challenge]

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Sir challenged me with “‘When does the fun start?’, he asked, blood dripping slowly from the knife in his right hand.” and I challenged Cedar with “Write a narrative constructed out of a series of haiku.”

Note: You might have guessed from the prompt, but this post is going to have a bit of gore to it.

Nicholas tried to take a deep, calming breath, but choked on the stench of blood. It’s not that he was unfamiliar with the scent – it was his job to endure a whole host of unpleasant smells. But it was different this time. This was unlike any job he’d ever had to complete before.

“You – you said this was going to be fun,” Nicholas managed to choke out. Blood dripped from the knife he held in his right hand, forming a puddle on the top of his shoe.

Augustine shook his head. “Soon, my boy, you’ll learn to love the art of the kill. Don’t be discouraged by how much of a struggle this job was. I’m very proud of your first attempt.”

Nicholas swallowed against the convulsions of his stomach, grateful for once that he hadn’t been able to afford food that day.

“After your apprenticeship,” Augustine continued, “you won’t just be the best tanner in the country. You’ll be a superior slaughterer, too.”

“Just one question, Master. Cow and sheep hides are already a viable source for leather. What is the point in taking human skins?”

This time, it was Augustine’s laugh that made Nicholas’s stomach cramp.

“All in good time, my boy. There is still so much for you to learn.”


To read more about the piece, click below the fold.

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Come into the world like that [IndieInk Challenge]

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Bewildered Bug challenged me with “Write a piece based on the following quote from V.S. Naipaul: ‘As a child I knew almost nothing, nothing beyond what I had picked up in my grandmother’s house. All children, I suppose, come into the world like that, not knowing who they are.'” and I challenged SAM with “Write a piece in which a character has a conversation with god, using your personal concept of god to define the character — yes, even if you’re an atheist and you believe god is nonexistent.”

Come into the world like that

You can’t grow up spending summers
in suburbia reading about Narnia,
Redwall, Neverland, the Looking Glass,
Middle Earth, Terabithia,
Mount Olympus, Mars,
without wondering whether you
belong in reality.
(And it’s going to take
twenty years
—if you’re lucky—
to find out how
and where and why you do.)

Weekends on the lake
at your grandmother’s cottage
you imagine you’re really
at the ocean, because
you’ve never heard
of a freshwater mermaid
and you want to believe
one is coming for you.
You’re too young to notice
that adults pretend, too—
that family is easy,
that this is the life,
that roughing it is fun.
You’re too young to notice
that you can be forty
and still not know how
to take your place in this world.

One February, when home
feels as frayed as your last nerve,
the Texas sunset spends a week
reminding you that
you found something, that
you write poems making love
to the city, that even though
you’re still a little lost,
you have an anchor here
in the shine of the river,
in your favorite bookstore
in your tiny, overgrown yard,
in the company that keeps you.

You still haven’t tailored
life to the proportions
of your imagination, but
your supplies are scattered
around the house, waiting,
and your heart now waits
for desert mermaids.


If you want to read more about the poem, click before the fold

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Pending Investigation [IndieInk Challenge]

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Jester Queen challenged me with “I’m certain you’re an honest young man. Nonetheless, I need concrete proof before I can make an accusation of that nature” and I challenged Michael with “I’ve got half a mind to destroy the world that destroyed me.”

Pending Investigation

“I’m certain

(Though I keep the lies out of my voice;

            I speak in even tones, level out my

            words, because the illusion of belief

            is what matters here, and I’ll never get

            the truth if you’re uncertain about me)

you’re an honest

(Though I don’t know the truth, but

            I know it’s not coming from your

            tongue. I know that there’s a corpse,

            shells that fit your pistol, and that

            unlike the person you accuse,

            you still don’t have an alibi)

young man. Nonetheless

(Though solving these cases

            is in my blood, my breath;

            the scent of a rat is always

            on my nose, the sound of

            a lie is always in my ears.

Are you stupid? What are

            trying to pull? Do you know

            who you’re talking to?)

before I can make

(Before I could even begin

            to pretend that any word

            from your mouth could be

            believed, that the stench of

            crime doesn’t hang in a cloud

            above your head, that the person

            you accuse hasn’t already

            been cleared of all suspicion)

an accusation of that kind.”

(I can hardly wait to hear

            how you talk your way

            through this mess)


For more about this piece, click below the jump. Continue reading “Pending Investigation [IndieInk Challenge]”