This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a snippet from my yet-to-be-completed NaNoWriMo story, Black Ink Plague, a fantasy about inkbloods, people who were left at the roots of a magic tree as babies, and can use charcoal from those trees to write and cast spells.

The main character, an inkblood called Liar, cast a spell to kill the gang leader called Cin, and accepted payment from the gang’s second in command.

I skipped over some bill paying and travel to a nicer part of town.


Stopping in front of a house with ruthlessly maintained greenery and monotone white flowers, Liar brushed at her clothes. Instead of the flounces of popular fashion, she wore a simple, straight split skirt over loose pants in the same steel blue fabric, which meant she didn’t quite fit in here, but it no longer mattered. A knock on the door was rewarded with it whisking open moments later, revealing a middle-aged butler with a blank, polite expression that somehow held the disdain of a sneer.

“Are they home to visitors today, Anson?” Liar asked.

Silently, he stepped back, letting her into the house, and led the way to the smaller of the two sitting rooms. Liar settled onto her favorite chair, one that was overstuffed instead of spindly and hard, and pulled a book from the shelf to pass the time. No telling how long, exactly, she’d have to wait.

*    *    *

Black Ink Plague is set in a world similar to ours, with the addition of the Rakau tree, which has magical properties–charcoal or ink from the tree can be used to cast spells. However, only inkbloods, babies who were left overnight at a Rakau tree’s roots on their first full moon, can harvest and use the tree. The price they pay for their magic is that the ink infects them, staining their skin and eventually forming words from the spells they cast on their skin. These words change their lives in unexpected ways.


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

30 responses »

  1. Kim Magennis says:

    What an awesome idea. I would love to read this. Your snippet drew me right in. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Sarah W says:

    So, Liar doesn’t belong there, but isn’t a stranger. Veeeery interesting, Caitlin!

  3. She’s home and not welcome. I love this snippet. From flowers to her clothes, you captured me.

  4. You’re use of descriptions in this scene is fantastic. I really feel like I’m there!

  5. Now that’s an interesting twist. She doesn’t fit in, but she’s comfortable enough to have a favorite chair and be all nonchalant with snobby butler.

  6. ralfast says:

    She moves in interesting circles. I really like the description of the house.

  7. I’m with Christina, it’e highly intriguing to not fit in but be so comfortable. I’m also curious about the butler’s response. Great 8!

  8. Alexis Duran says:

    Now I’m very curious to find out whose house this is and Liar’s relationship with them. I love “ruthlessly manicured”. Another great eight.

  9. I’ve come to expect anything an everything from Liar, which is a GOOD thing! Love this story, can’t wait to see what’s brought her to the house. Excellent excerpt!

  10. Gemma Parkes says:

    Great detail, I especially liked this line ‘blank, polite expression that somehow held the disdain of a sneer.’ wonderful!

  11. Kate Warren says:

    LOL at “ruthlessly maintained greenery.” I’ve seen a few places like that. Hope she picked a good book if they’re going to make her wait. Great eight, Caitlin!

  12. chellecordero says:

    I’m with Christina, Liar is out of place and in lace. Very interesting dynamic.

  13. chellecordero says:

    oops, that’s supposed to be in place

  14. Hmm, I’m liking this snippet. Liar is so unpredictable! I love her. Great dynamics.

  15. Carrie-Anne says:

    I always love how you describe things and bring these scenes so vividly alive.

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.