the curse: wishful inkers issue no. 3

Issue 3: Only Human

What do you think about when you hear the word human nature?
Six Inkers came together to bring you a  themed anthology all about their interpretations of what human nature means to them.

This issue is a compilation of short stories, flash fiction and poetry that will make you smile, cry and think.

Our featured writer, which we are calling the “Editor” for this issue is  Alexandre Allouch-Micati. Check out his Q & A at the back of this issue!

All proceeds from the sale of this issue will be going to the charity Papyrus, which focuses on shattering the stigma around suicide and equipping young people and their communities with the skills to recognize and respond to suicidal behaviour.

~ Wishful Inkers

Issue 3 is about Human Nature, here is a piece from my short story. You can read the rest by buying the issue on our eBook page. Proceeds go to a charity.

Juls sat by the window, rain dripped down the thick glass, while orange city lights were blurred against a grey sky. Sirens sounded below, while the bustle of people rushing to work and school filled the air with hum. She could smell toasted bread from the kitchen and hear the tea kettle, as her auntie was busy with breakfast. The sixteen year old girl looked from the dreary weather outside to her right arm, and touched the spot were her skin was gold. Like a birthmark blotch, smooth unmistakable gold was her flesh on her forearm below the wrist. It didn’t hurt. It didn’t feel like anything, but metal. She noticed a pulse still beat under her skin, this thing never made sense. Surely, if it continued to grow, the pulse would stop. Would she lose her hand?

She swallowed the pain, the cringe of fear, and pulled on a sweater. A new hole found its way into the elbow, she noticed as she looked into the mirror hanging next to her bed. No matter, the sleeves were long enough to cover her gold patches. She brushed her thick, black hair and checked for zits…or gold…on her face before rushing from her tiny, tiny room to the kitchen where toast and butter waited.

“After class, you coming home?” Aunt Tia asked. She smiled at Juls and handed over a cup of black tea. Juls took it, though the taste was bitter. There was no sense complaining, they couldn’t afford sugar, or even milk this week. Thank the gods, they still could buy butter. It was the cheap butter, but was still better than plain toast. Juls sipped the tea and chowed down the bread slice.

“Yeah, I’m gonna just stop by the caf’ to see Red and the others, see if there’s more work, then I’ll be back,” Juls said.

“You don’t need to work. I’ll take care of you,” Tia said.

“I know, I know. I just like milk in my coffee. Gotta make that dough.” Juls said. She smiled at Tia.

“You gonna buy the good stuff?”

“Soy, for real soy.”

Tia shook her, still smiling. “And where would you get the rations for this?”

“I’d figure something out,” Juls said. She grabbed her bag and headed to the door, tugging on her right arm sleeve again. Tia’s smile faded. Her dark eyes turned away.

“You know, I’m proud of you, right?” Tia said.

Juls looked out the tiny window in the door, just enough space to see the grey building across the way. Outside, a world the streets filled with people, most of which didn’t care about Juls. They didn’t care about anyone. There was the bright city above, where all the well-fed people in nice clothes lived. Where they talked about blueprints, salt-free water, and they drink real milk. Then there was the underside, the shadow city where she lived, where the workers turned the gears in the dirt and ate stale white bread. But in the this tiny apartment, this square space of old blankets and tea, she was loved by family. Something that not everyone gets to feel. Why couldn’t she just stay there, in this cozy nest where things made sense.

Sirens sounded below and she was brought back.

“Yeah, thanks,” Juls said. “I know.” She had to go out there, to take care of what was in here. She had to work hard too. Tia worked everyday, scrubbing bots and greasing the wheels. The great machine damned work if you wanted to live. She opened the door and the smell of smog and oil and smoke rolled in, the noise of life was louder.

“Love you,” Tia said.

“Love you too, auntie,” Juls said.


gilly the wizard: wishful inkers issue no. 2

Issue 2: Second Chances
Do you believe in second chances?

Six Inkers came together to bring you a themed anthology all about their interpretations of what second chances mean to them.
This issue is a compilation of short stories and flash fiction that will make you smile, cry and think. We are also happy to add a short story by our first ever guest author, Kristin Hargnett!

Our featured writer, which we are calling the “Editor” for this issue is Kay Apel. Check out her Q & A at the end of this issue!
All proceeds from the sale of this issue will be going to the charity, Children’s Miracle Network, which raise money to local hospitals that can be used for new equipment, education for staff, charitable care, and also towards special needs that patients may have.

~ Wishful Inkers

Here is an exert from Issue 2, buy the issue to read the whole story and learn more about us. Proceeds go to charity.


Gilly stared out the window, his stomach too sour to eat dinner, his notes covered with ink, and his thoughts too scattered to focus on study. The sun set over the cityscape, the golden light reflecting off the silver dome of the High Magic Academy of Wizards. He left out a slow breath. The fat cat was curled up on Sap’s bunk, one eye open and on Jasper’s owl, who was perched with one eye open, focused on the cat. Gilly grinned.

He looked to his cactus, his unusual familiar named Prince.

“Tomorrow is the day. I’ll be meeting the council of High Wizards to retake the Trials. If I pass, I’ll be admitted into the High Magic Academy! On my journey to learn the most powerful and ancient spells! If I fail…again…I cannot enter the trials ever again. It’s cast or die, Prince,” Gilly said.

“Last time I failed by accident of course, and then turned myself into a turtle. I had misspelled the words so the spell came out…wrong. They had to rescue me…,” Gilly said.

This time around is different, Prince said, Sap read all the spells books to you, you sang them…memorized them. I’ve got a new flower. I’ve decided that is a good omen.

“The world of Elel is s magical place, home to the greatest wizards in history. Almost everyone could do magic, common magic, but only the best were admitted into the High Magic Academy to the learn the most powerful and most secret spells. I want to be something special. I want to help people, change the world, and be a great wizard. I want to make my family proud. Tomorrow will be one the most important days of my life. I hope I don’t ruin it.” Gilly stared out the window, clutching the table. His hands were shaking.

“Help me be brave,” he said to the familiar.

I believe in you, Prince said.

The cactus flower fluttered open. Gilly smiled.


Yellow: wishful inkers issue 1

Issue 1: It’s a Kind of Magic
Do you believe in magic?
Six Inkers came together to bring you a magic themed anthology all about their interpretations of what magic is to them.
This issue is a compilation of short stories and flash fiction that will make you smile, cry and think.
Our featured writer, which we are calling the “Editor” for this issue is Audrey Ravine. Check out her Q & A at the back of this issue!
All proceeds from the sale of this issue will be going to the charity Titan Up, which provides scholarships for under-privileged high school graduates.

Wishful Inkers

Here is an exert from my Wishful Inkers Issue 1, based around the theme of magic. To read the full story, buy Issue 1 on our eBook page. Proceeds go to charity.


I remembered when my great-grandmother would gather a bundle of flowers from her garden and set them on the table then pull pudding cake out of the fridge on midsummer’s night. She’d tell the story of how she met great grandpa in the summer and how he was the Iceman, bringing blocks of ice in a truck before they had refrigerators. She’d make lemonade from scratch and put flowers in her hair. Everyone would be laughing, and Dad would actually have a beer while we sat in the lawn and named the stars. They would light a bonfire, my brother would play guitar. When they all settled into bed, great grandma would tuck Cali in…wrapping a yellow yarn around her wrist. “Invite the sun into your heart. Yellow attracts friends and repels foes. Like the bee to the marigold, aid while come to you,” she would say, before hugging her goodnight. “You are never alone.”
I looked at my wrist. Scars had faded from pink to white but were still there. I wore long sleeves in public, even in Texas heat, to avoid people asking questions. I went to my suitcase and pulled out a beaten up shoebox with the words “Private, Do Not Open or Else!” written in permanent marker on it. Under a handkerchief was a yellow yarn. I wrapped it around my wrist gingerly, covering the scars and rubbed the threads with my thumb, trying to recall the feeling of someone who loved you touching you. What did that feel like? I couldn’t remember. I fell on the bed and stared at the ceiling. The neighbors started screaming about the broken sink again. I rolled my eyes then rolled over to look at my favorite photo. It didn’t make me cry anymore, but tightness in my chest released a sigh. Would I ever be that happy again?
“I miss you,” I said. I wasn’t sure if I meant my brother or my dog or my grandma or my former self. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. The heat kept sweat on my brow and stifled any dreams that decided to visit. The room was solid darkness with an orange glow from the street outside the window. I rolled over for the millionth time, my pupils widened when I saw something shift in the shadows. I reached for my pocket knife.
I miss you too.
My ears started to ring, and my heart pounded against my ribs. I blinked, and the figure was gone. Slow, I stood up and stepped into the place where I swear to god I just saw the outline of a person. There was nothing. The clock on the floor said three o’clock in the morning. I had to sleep. I took deep breaths to calm down and put my knife down. I touched the yellow yarn again and wondered. I closed my eyes tight and tried to recall the days past, to feel that joy again.

Continued on ….