The Severest Inks Shorts are perfect for time-pressed readers seeking sharp, snapping narratives that deliver the impact of a novel in a fraction of the length. Each of our Shorts comes with a commentary, interview, or other non-fiction piece that delves deeper into the story.
“If one is forced into a hell, one shall act as a devil.”
Welcome to Riverstones City. A sprawling squalor. A grim tangle rife with violence, drug trafficking, larceny, prostitution, corruption. The rich reside in apathy above the poor. The police and the politicians make their fortunes by gazing the other way.
The most notorious district of this city is Forest Heights. Home to the hopeless. The neglected. The crazy. The divine and the demonic. But mostly the demonic… Twisted souls, making parasitical livings through theft, fear and threat. Here, crime is rife. Crime is customary. Crime is consuming. Here, crime is life.
A streetwise, book-smart 12-year-old girl they call Red is quietly traversing the urban guts of this city in a scorching summer evening. Nerves are high. Tensions simmering. And when a beastly, brutal rival of her incarcerated father hunts her down, Red must act fast to survive the night.
“That only in death would their lives be considered.”
A story about the destabilising nature of love. A scrutiny of society and life through the lens of death. An absorbing, unsettling portrait of a fractured psyche. A beautiful yet haunting subversion of the romance genre.
Dr Craine’s Body follows a gifted yet deeply unorthodox medical examiner as he battles with his unrequited feelings for a colleague, feelings that burn so fiercely they threaten to destroy his very being.
The Mesa is a land of punks, troublemakers and lowlifes. Windswept and quasi-lawless. A place with its own legends and history.
Ronnie and Marl are Mesa Boys. When Marl asks Ronnie to carry out a risky truck heist with him for some quick cash, Ronnie agrees, as long as everything is on the level.
Turns out, everything isn’t on the level…
Drop in Packard, a Harley-riding outlaw drifter who sees the whole score go down, and a long night of standoffs, fire and gunshots unravels on The Mesa.
A father tells his daughter of a bleaker past, one where crushing poverty defined lives and rural tradition formed the rhythm of the day. He tells her this so she can better understand the terrible actions he is to commit.
““She was in a fix alright and the only thing that would cure it was miles.”
Meet Melinda… a badass, .22-carrying college student battling a destructive meth addiction whilst on the run from her junkie boyfriend, campus drug dealer Sam Tuley. Melinda is no shining heroine, but she has little time to dwell on the sins of her past when miles of future lie ahead of her.
In Further South by Eryk Pruitt, find out just why Melinda has hit the highway in a stolen ride with nothing but a gun and limited options. Twists and turns lace this bullet-sharp short that deals you characters and a world you’ll be clawing for more of.
“I felt like I was trapped in a long hallway with only one exit that I knew of.”
June is a lonesome freelance writer spending his days on the tranquil beach of Annianna. One morning, he strikes up a conversation with an enigmatic Middle Easterner named Tahir. June learns that Tahir is a herder who was forced to flee across North Africa and stow on board a ship headed for America after his family came under attack in his homeland.
June and Tahir form an atypical but deep friendship. The forlorn American grows fascinated by the mysterious immigrant Muslim. June realizes he needs Tahir in his life, someone to disrupt the sludge of monotony and despair that has leaked into his existence. Yet their friendship carries grim repercussions for both when small-town bigotry simmers to the surface.
“We always want what we don’t have.”
A group of women from various cultural, social and racial backgrounds meet for a monthly book discussion club in South Africa. When the group learns that a bookstore owner has flirted with one of the married women, differing sentiments on relationships, sex and marriage surface.
The catalysts and implications of a seemingly innocent flirt are felt, from betrayals of friendships to the exposure of raw truths.