An Inktober adventure
In 2020 I took part in the Inktober challenge for the first time. These are some of the illustrations I created for the occasion. Half way thorough the challenge I felt like adding a story to every prompt, some autobiographical, most fiction. All texts are mine, except one extract from Ray Bradbury’s tale Rocket Summer, opening piece of The Martian Chronicles.
The wind had brought puffy, white, cotton-top clouds; mirrors of the flocks of sheep grazing in the rolling hills. That same wind swayed the grass in waves, and her hair, and her dress. She dreamed of synchrony.
They were high up in the mountains, where the snow got deeper, the air thinner, sharper and quieter. Also the forest was quiet, the trees imperturbable in their winter mood. The perfect blanket of fresh snow shining in the twilight was disturbed only by the line of footprints they had been tracking from the valley. The horse snorted, suddenly turning its head towards north.
The late autumn sky is a musical staff for the bird formations that cross it, leaving a farewell melody suspended in the air.
They had already been traveling for several hours, always fearing that at the next bend they would meet someone head-on. It seemed that no one had thought of that possibility when carving the rock to outline the road that now wound steeply at the edge of the precipice.
The sky and the water poured into each other, and the horizon dissolved into a liquid and glistening light.
“And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town. A flooding sea of hot air; it seemed as if someone had left a bakery door open.” – from “Rocket Summer”, by Ray Bradbury
And in that infinite dance with the tides, and the fish, and the innumerable creatures that made up that coral world, her thoughts dissolved into the vastness.
The atmosphere had begun to charge with electricity. Masses of clouds gathered in increasingly dense columns, thundering as they collided. Hamlets and villages were deserted, wild animals huddled in their lairs. The colossus engulfed the region.
When I was about 15 years old, I read a piece in a travel magazine about Jericoacoara, a small fishermen village in northern Brazil. It was so remote and tiny, that it didn’t even have electricity, no roads to get there either. I promised myself I would visit the place sometime in my life. Finally, the opportunity arose when I was 30, and although the village wasn’t that disconnected anymore, and there were many tourists, still there were no paved roads, only sand. I made this sketch from a photo I took on the beach, it shows the big dune of Jericoacoara, where people gather every day to see the majestic sunset.
After descending through a deep and narrow valley, the group prepared to spend the night at the entrance of a thick and vast forest. The faint smoke from the campfire was the only sign of civilization as far as the eye could see.
Crossing the lake on the ferry was the first obstacle in leaving the province behind in what would be a four hour drive. The autumnal splendor of the southern German countryside accompanied us for the rest of the trip, setting me and my friends in a cheerful mood. Nevertheless, I felt anxious and dizzy, something important and definitive was about to happen. When I finally made it to the voting booth after two and a half hours of queuing, I was tired and tremulous, feeling I wouldn’t be able to draw a straight line. But I did.
A distant, muffled growl rose from the invisible depths of the cavern, as if the bowels of the Earth were telling an ancient story, dormant since the beginning of time. After so many days of traversing the underground chambers, the journey to the abyss had only just begun.
Could it be possible that there were any survivors? It was clear that the shipwreck was recent, but the coastline didn’t offer much refuge; just a slim strip of sand and rock, with no bay at sight to anchor. The palm trees looked as if they would be ripped by the winds at any minute, and then, the cliffs, a gargantuan wall of rock disappearing into the clouds.
For more than two hundred years the machines have been digging into the dry inert soil. Humans left when automation made their work redundant, and now the mining village is home only to the mineral dust that incessantly falls from the sky. For some reason, the street lights still work at night, so once in a while a vehicle stops at the gas station on the edge of town, lured by the promise of life in the middle of the immense desert.
There once was a house, whose owners were long gone.
Now crawlers of all sorts had made it their home.
lizards and snakes, spiders and bugs,
and even a murder of crows: a family of nine,
all living together under the embrace of the creeper vine.
Downstairs, the lights were on. As he took another step, the thought of his shoes getting stained made him stop for a fraction of a second.