Darkness Among Us

This story has been written for the City of Bones Movella Competition.

In the dark days of Victorian London, 16 year old Kalin Fletcher meets new boy Alexander Finn in town.

A strong friendship blossoms between the two, but soon Kalin and Alexander begin to find out that there's more to the mysterious city of London that meets the eye.

There's something lurking beneath the shadows.

This is book 1 in my 'InkWorks' book series.

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3. The InkWorks

 

“Duh! Let’s go see what it is!” I say, getting up and smoothing down my lace pyjamas.

“I’ll just stay here,” Ale says, wrapping himself in a blanket.

“Alex! The whole world will explode in 20 seconds and you’re watching The Artist wrapped in a blanket and eating chicken sandwiches.”

“Fine,” he sighs, “I’m coming. Don’t wait up.”

I roll my eyes and go outside, where I see a large black smear hidden my shrubs at the back of Alex’s house. I lightly touch it, and my hand comes away black. Alex, who has brought a lantern out, shines it on my hand. It really is black.

“I think it’s ink,” I say.

“What, and the monsters want to write us letters? Good going, Kalin. You’ve discovered a new ghost species; The Letter-Writer!”

“Shut up, Alex, will you? Something’s not right about London. The atmosphere feels different. It feels…dark and mysterious.”

“Because it’s night! Weather is usually colder at night, and the atmosphere feels different because it’s dark as hell, anything can creep up on us!”

“It’s not that it’s night! Whatever, let’s just get back inside.”

Alex goes through the door first, and as I am about the step inside, I take a quick glance at the empty road surrounding us. The edge of a large black wing is clearly visible on the edge of my house, and I blink, and it’s gone. As if it tucked itself into the dark shadows under my house.

“Oh my god, I’m going insane.”

THE NEXT DAY

“Alex, check this out. ‘Packs of a special breed of wolf called an InkWork used to settle around busy places that had a forest nearby. The InkWorks had fur that was always coated in Ink; the fibres in the fur produced an ink darker than night or space. The paws produced ink too; the wolves would leave tracks on concrete, soil, grass, etc. and when someone or something would follow the tracks, the wolves would hide so when the trail ends, the wolves would eat the person or animal.’ And that’s how they would feed. They drink from forest lakes, and they haven’t been seen since the 1800’s. And I’ve also read about how nobody has ever killed one of these InkWorks, and how London used to be called Wolfsbridge until a great hunter called Sir Arthur Smith changed it to London. He didn’t want the Londoners to be afraid of ‘puny wolves’, so he changed the name. And he went hunting for the pack of InkWorks that terrorized the village.”

“What happened to him after that?”

“He was killed by the InkWorks.”

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