The Demons’ Cry (Chapter 6) – Fantasy Series

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6

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She was there with him in the hazing flames. He watched her through blurred eyes, twirling in the smoke and colour, smiling through the glare. They reminded him of her. Not in the poetic fashion so alien to his heart, but in the heavy tug of sense memory. How often had they looked into fires together? They had faced down destruction and ruin. They had felt the heat and smelt the char, carried the burden of their own proficiency in death. It had hurt, it had weighed heavy, but they had borne it without fear because each had carried the weight of the other.

“It turns out, I’m really not that strong when I’m not standing on your shoulders.”

He drank again. He shook the ale down his shirt and coughed it in a mist on to the flames. He wondered how it would come for him this time. What would be first? The gavel of the favoured? The spitting torches of the mob? The tossing of what little he had from the only small corner of the world that was left to him? Yes, that seemed most likely. Homelessness would do for him first and the rest would come later, when he was forced to do what he must to survive. If you were here, it wouldn’t matter. We would laugh as we left and build again elsewhere, where we thought they couldn’t reach us. But they can reach us everywhere, sweetheart. And I’m tired of building.

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Fifteen Minute Fiction Challenge (Ending the Immortals) – Writing Challenge

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Welcome to another round of the dreaded Fifteen Minute Fiction Challenge. One random genre, one random title and fifteen minutes on the clock to plan, write and edit a piece of flash fiction. How did we do? Let us know… Had a go yourself? Tell us how you got on.

Random Genre: Superhero

Random Title: Ending the Immortals

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Ending the Immortals, by Chris Wright

Tucked away in the dust and cobwebs of a forgotten old basement, breathing low, perfectly still like a startled spider, it did not feel like a great plot. It did not feel like the beginning of something new. He shook his head and put such thoughts from his mind, focusing again on the street above him and the faraway sound that would signal his cue. Forever he waited, his huge hand pressed ready against the jagged rock of the basement wall. It was an unassuming thing – white paint on brick, but beyond it stood a cliff – one of the eternal cliffs, upon which sat a temple of the Immortals.

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The Bleak Streets of Carrada (Chapter 7) – Action/Thriller Series

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2  | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7

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The gaming room glowed with a golden hue that sang of wealth and dishonest virtue. It was a modern Eden of earthly sin, and it called to Joe like a snake in the grass. He shook his head to clear the dazzle; he was mixing metaphors and planning bets his grandkids would be paying off. Men were made and broken as he watched, built up and torn down by a magnificent, remorseless beast. Heavenly angels made of temptation circled the floor with free booze that cost the world, and winks and smiles that redeemed it. Cards were dealt and wheels were spun. Men prayed in their Sunday best and thanked the Lord for the bounty he had bestowed, while beneath their tables, shattered things wept and scrambled for chips.

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Fifteen Minute Fiction Challenge (The First Prophecy) – Writing Challenge

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It is time for another patented Sentient Ink Fifteen Minute Fiction Challenge. For those who haven’t seen our previous efforts, in Fifteen Minute Fiction, the Sentient Ink authors get fifteen minutes to write a piece of flash fiction. But that’s not all. The genre and title are randomly generated and we have to write a story around them. So read on, vote for your favourite, tell us what you think and, hey, why not give it a go yourself.

Random Genre: Urban Fantasy

Random Title: The First Prophecy

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The Vox – Fantasy Prose

The stone was cold to the touch. Even in such a hurry, with the sounds of Mrs Miles’ hurrying footsteps already fading, she stopped dead when she saw them. In the midst of these massive and strange caves, her eyes found a familiar sight. Everywhere she looked, there were shapes and pictures carved into the limestone walls, some childish and jolly, others works of art, but this one held her full attention. The hairs on her arms and neck stood on end. Her fingers brushed a dozen small indentations in the stone, birds with razor sharp beaks and talons, not a flock of gulls or a murder of ravens, but a swarm of vox, something she hadn’t seen for three years.

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The Augustine Bells – Fantasy Poem

Today on Sentient Ink, something a little different. Following on from D.C. Ward’s Tale of Armless Tom, here is a poem of my own from my fantasy universe. A well-known ditty, it tells the story of the Augustine Bells, which act as a call to arms for all who are loyal to the Aurelians and Aurelia, the militarised realm they rule, charged with defending the empire.

 The Augustine Bells:

By Ancus Novian

 Sound the bells, the Augustine bells,

That stir the heavens and stun the hells,

‘tis the musical backdrop to empires felled,
To pirates defeated, to uprisings quelled,

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The Yesterday Key – Fantasy Short Story

By D. C. Ward

She snatched it greedily from his bony fingers. A trifurcated key of white gold, encrusted with smooth black letters and a glass window on its bow. Within the window, gently flowing clouds of both white and grey rotated. Jagged cuts ran down each of the three shafts; so many sharp protrusions it may have made a fine weapon. It was a beautiful key.

All of her most joyful memories, and all of her most torturous nightmares, now lay flat in her palm. She felt a power in it, like that of an approaching storm; hairs she didn’t know existed on the back of her hands stiffened and shivered her skin. Ani stared at the key, and then up at the iron door. Should it not be guarded by more than those spiders?

“I do not understand?” she said.

“My lady,” began Ralk, gazing up and down Ani’s body with his usual look of amorous hunger, “the Thaumaturge have been restless, but have finally found a way for you to forget what happened that night. That is what you want, is it not? You will find on the other side the scene as you remember, of your father as you found him after his murder.”

“How do I use it?”

“It is a key, my lady. It works as all keys do.”

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1979* – Sci-fi Short Story

The spinning finally stopped and Jack was allowed to fall to the floor in peace. Marcus and Jenny kindly followed his lead, he assumed so he didn’t look quite so stupid. It was a kind gesture but when they also started moaning he started to feel like they were mocking him. Marcus leant to the side and threw up.

“Well,” Jack said, wobbling to his feet. “That went a lot better than expected.”

His friends both glared at him. “Better?” Jenny asked. “I suppose you were expecting our organs to actually spew from our mouths?”

“I was thinking it was more likely that we would be ripped to shreds and our atoms dispersed throughout the multiverse.”

“Seems like the type of thing you would mention before we agreed to come with you,” Marcus said.

“We were in a bit of a hurry.”

“Yet we had time to watch all three Back to the Future movies?” Jenny said.

“Crucial research. If you want to end up making out with your dad then so be it but if I’m going to travel back in time then I want to be prepared.”

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Wartorn: The Brink – Action Prose

By Chris Wright

Following on from Andy Wright’s The Walk of Shadows – Footsteps, today I am bringing you an excerpt from my own novel. More specifically, here is the first chapter of my wartime epic Wartorn. I’d love any feedback comments and reviews.

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He was lost again, drifting in the ether. It was becoming ever easier, he noted dully, to escape into the unfeeling bliss of nothingness and ever harder to return to the harsh realities of life and war. In a way it was good, he thought, a coping mechanism to release him from the torment and pain, from the endless exhaustion. But it disturbed him too, the thought that he was losing his grip on reality. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was irrevocably broken.

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The Demons’ Cry (Chapter 5) – Fantasy Series

By Chris Wright

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6

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Ryda had seen healthier looking mares dragged from the Dalsta River after the drunken celebrations of Horseman’s Day. They had the look of two butcher’s sacks – all bones with only the merest missed bits of meat and gristle. Patchwork fur of brown and grey stuck like weeds from the discoloured skin of the nearest, while its mate seemed to have been shaved entirely, or else grown bald through age or lack of effort. Ryda expressed these views frankly to the sheriff, who responded with a look and a thrown saddle to the gut.

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