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“You want a fairy tale?” she snarls through their locked bedroom door. “Here you go. Once upon a time, they lived happily ever after. Now, shut up and go to sleep – or else.”
Of course, we know much better than to ask our stepmother for anything, let alone for a bedtime story. We want our Papa, but he is safely out of earshot and she silences us in her usual spiteful way. “Or else” means we will get no breakfast and because we’ve had no lunch or dinner, either, the very mention of food sets our empty stomachs rumbling.
From our darkened bedroom, we can hear our stepmother cooing in Papa’s ear and the smell of the delicious supper they’re sharing drives us mad with longing. Afterwards they drink too much wine and as they laugh themselves silly, our resolve hardens. By the time their slack-jawed snores signal they are in bed, we are decided. We climb out of our bedroom window and in through theirs.
Every wicked stepmother deserves wicked stepchildren and it is a simple matter to smother one drunkard with her pillow while the other sleeps on beside her, undisturbed.
Papa will mourn our stepmother for a short time, but he is fickle and she will be quickly replaced. As we tuck in to our midnight feast, we wonder whether we will like the next one any better.
When the truck rolled into the drive, there was nowhere to go. I remained still and steadfast, as I had done for one hundred years. I had witnessed many things.
From the time I was a vigorous sapling, the world around me had provided entertainment. Lovers scaled my branches and sat entwined in the flat heart of me, their love so all-encompassing and fevered they did not feel the roughness of my bark.
Children hid behind the screen of my leaves and wrote in their diaries, or simply dreamt. I heard their thoughts tumble in circles, flurries of dust and particles of light. My presence soothed them. After a time they climbed down, their minds still.
A young man visited once, with a length of rope. I showed him the sunset and cocooned him with my essence. He did not jump.
The men encircled me, the roar of their chainsaws made my branches quiver. I held onto my memories as the first blade ricocheted then gouged my trunk. The sap bled and I stared at my last sunset, the mauve and coral streaks outlined with bright gold. The sun vanished beneath the horizon as I fell.
Last weekend was a big one for Visible Ink, with so many plans coming to fruition. There was our spoken word event – which was a big success and a well of inspiration – as well as the launch of Petrichor on eBook. There was one other big announcement that needs repeating, and that’s the launch of Visible Ink’s online flash fiction section!
Every Friday will now be #FlashFictionFriday in which a flash fiction submission that we’ve received will be posted up on our site for the whole world to see! It’s a great opportunity to add Visible Ink as somewhere that you’ve been published, for bragging rights or otherwise. Anyone can submit, free of charge, and there is no theme to be tied down to, so go crazy!
…actually, don’t go too crazy as we only accept submissions of 250 words or less.
Submit your flash fiction to firstname.lastname@example.org
We can’t wait to see what you have to share with us here at Visible Ink!
Treasurer, Editorial Manager
A Saturday afternoon seems like a strange time for poets to come out and speak, but the Visible Ink team’s fears were assuaged by the great turnout for our spoken word event, Visible Ink presents ‘The Spoken Word’—obviously we’re a very creative bunch when it comes to naming. Continue reading Pizza & Poets & Publications
Spoken word. Poetry slam. Open mic.
We’re throwing an event for the lovers of the ancient-cum-hip oral art. Words written for performing aloud, tantalising the ear and moving us in the moment.
We’ll have two featured poets, but for those keen to take the floor we have twelve slots for the open mic with registrations at the door.
3 – 6pm Saturday – May 28th
Compass Pizza – 319 Lygon St, Brunswick East
This is a great opportunity to get out in the community and meet likeminded folks and to listen to new and old performers alike.
All are welcome.
Please be aware that there is a $5 door charge for this event.
Our first Visible Ink event for 2016 was a raging success last Thursday at the Queensberry Hotel. Our intention was to launch the opening of submissions for this year’s Pushing Boundaries edition, to mingle with fellow writers and visual artists and, for the students amongst us, to get to know each other outside of the classroom. A highlight of the night was to hear from former PWE students whose careers in the industry could artfully guide us in the right direction. Continue reading VI Launch Recap