The Inkling

InklingDerek looked at the dead cat and sighed, picking up the book he read through the spell again carefully before speaking aloud. “Praecipio tibi videtur vitae scintillam!” he intoned while flourishing his free hand in the gesture shown in the diagram.

Nothing happened so he searched through the pages to find another spell, if he could bring Tibbles back to life, Gwennie, from the refectory would be overjoyed to see her pet restored. His hope was that she would be so grateful that she would walk out him, Derek Scuttle was currently studying thaumaturgic theory at Mackintosh University and necromancy was on next year’s course, of course he didn’t wish to consult the bloody thing just it showing some semblance of life would do.

Another incantation looked more likely. “Quod ego præcipio tibi, ut quae non vivunt!”

There was a noise, a sort of rattling, was it the cat? Nervously he approached it, no, the tabby was as bereft of life as ever but the rattling continued. Peering over the furry corpse he could see a small bottle of ink he’d forgotten to move from the table and it was wobbling about as if alive… no it was as if something alive was inside it! Gingerly he picked it up and it jumped in his fingers causing him to lose his grip and it fell to the laboratory floor, smashing into a hundred pieces, the spilt ink swirled around on the floor before forming into a small jet black figure six inches high with eyes that glowed like hot coals.

Derek waved meekly at the diminutive being and it waved back before flying at him. He fell back in surprise as it leapt onto his face to bite his nose with tiny but very sharp teeth, as he pulled it off it stretched like elastic before coming away with a piece of his skin in its mouth. He threw the creature across the room where it splattered inkily against the wall before forming back into the impish little figure. Picking up a large ladle from a nearby cauldron he pursued it around the lab swinging the ladle like a club, smashing test tubes and retorts with abandon, the creature for its part was chuckling and throwing whatever it could pick up at him while leaving inky footprints everywhere.

“What in the name of Paracelsus is going on in here?” demanded Professor Armstrong, head of Thaumaturgy.

“Sorry sir!” yelled Derek attempting to swat the imp from the low hanging candelabra. “I wanted to impress Gwennie, her cat fell off the roof and I wanted to reanimate it for her.”

“You used Torquel’s Primer?” asked Armstrong in disbelief, he had picked up the tome and was examining it. “This is totally unsuitable for the purpose and out of date to boot.”

“Sorry sir, what is this thing?” asked Derek swiping at the creature as it dropped down.

“It’s an inkling, you can catch it easily enough, all you have to do is hold its bottle towards it and it will be drawn back in.” the Professor replied.

“Oh dear” said Derek “I’m afraid, erm…”

“You’ve broken it haven’t you?” asked Armstrong sardonically, giving the inkling a flick with his hand as it leapt past him. Shaking his head he strode across the room to begin rummaging through a drawer. “Ah, I knew I had some,” he exclaimed with look of relief.

As the inkling ran across a table the Professor laid something down in front of it, the creature’s feet stuck fast and with a look of dismay it was slowly absorbed to leave only a dark stain on the beige sheet.

Professor Armstrong looked at Derek’s puzzled expression. “Blotting paper.” he explained. “Sweep all this broken glass up and tidy everything away, the cleaners can deal with the rest of the mess.” As Armstrong made to leave the room he looked at the crestfallen student and then at the tabby’s ink-stained little body. “Impressing a girl, eh?” He quite liked this student, who was ambitious if a little clumsy. Armstrong smiled and made a gesture with his hand intoning “Cattus somno surgere et vita aeterna ex pluribus simul.”

There was a rumble like distant thunder.

“Meow?” said Tibbles.