Sunday, 30 October 2011

Magpie Tales #89 Ink Blot

Image found here
Ink Blot stared, appalled, at the new-fangled machine on the table next to him. He had seen the man tapping on it and creating words on paper that curled magically as he worked so he knew the thing must have ink, but where? Ink Blot himself had been created from a bottle of ink that the man had dropped. He had cursed mightily but Ink Blot was happy. Being a permanent mark on the wall seemed more important and certainly more immediately noticeable than contributing to words on a page.

He looked again at the machine. Coronet – was the man expecting ennoblement? Ink Blot could read but he didn’t understand the context of the words unless they were read out. The man frequently read aloud what he had produced and sometimes he smiled. More often he swore and crumpled the paper and threw it across the room. The floor was littered with cast-off pages.

Ink Blot didn’t like the machine. He disliked the awkward tapping and displeasing lack of rhythm of the keys. The gentle sound of a pen nib scratching was soothing and the man didn’t have to use so much energy, either in the writing or the scrunching of the paper. The machine clung on to the pages so that they had to be wrenched forcefully from its grasp with a snatching sound.

Ink Blot noticed that the man had attached the machine to the wall with a lead. Was that because it would wander away if it wasn’t fastened? Might it be dangerous if it were allowed its freedom? Ink Blot didn’t know but he was glad that it had been made to stay in one place. He didn’t like the way it hummed, either. Still, he was content. He had made his mark. He felt he would be here long after the machine had had its day. He smiled.

The man had gone away. He had been gone for a long time and Ink Blot was relieved when he saw him return. He wondered what the man was carrying. What did it say?


 Ink Blot didn’t know what that meant. The machine whined maliciously. Ink Blot glared and then there was oblivion.

Clickhere to thank Tess Kincaid and to read more tales.


  1. poor inkblot! cute take on the prompt!

  2. Paint! Oh dear! Oblivion.
    Very ingeniously done, Janice.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Oh, dear. I guess none of us really know how much time we have, even if we're just an ink blot.

  4. Really ingenious! I like I.B.'s speculations about the machine being on a lead. Poor thing, so imaginative, and to be obliterated so one of those kids on the bus in a Hitchcock film. It takes nerve to kill a sympathetic character.

  5. Love this story. "He had made his mark." Oh, I felt bad when the man came in with paint!

  6. An amazing persona carries a sparkling poetic narrative! Beautiful!

  7. Hard not to share InkBlot's feelings. Smug machine. ooooooops!

    Fun response to the prompt, thanks Janice,

    Isabel x

    ps You have been busy!

  8. It seems Ink Blot was not as permanent as he believed. Poor fellow.

  9. Great idea . . to make the inkstain the viewpoint character. But the whiteout? Aww shucks!

  10. Was just beginning to like Ink Blot's position and it all had to end unceremoniously!! Didn't like the villians of the story the malicious machine, the Paint and the man!! :P They did Ink Blot in!! :(

  11. Very amusing! I thought that was an ink blot on the image but wasn't sure so ignored it! Cute tale indeed.

  12. ha there are def some really fun lines in this one...oh ink blot i knew him well...smiles.

  13. That's unfair for the poor Inkblot! But then, I guess life is like that. Even for Inkblots...

    Nice story :)

    Arnab Majumdar on

  14. Yes... I noticed the ink blot on the wall too and I thought it significant!
    This is an excellent take on the image!

  15. Well told. Life's hard on Inkblots!

  16. We all have our little ink blot moments! Wonderful take on the theme. I enjoyed it very much.

  17. I enjoyed this read very much - and I was quite glad when the man came in with the paint!


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