Ksenia Anske would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Ilka

By Ksenia Anske All Rights Reserved ©

Children / Adventure

Ilka

There. No, not there. Right there! See it? See the river? That’s where they lived, at the bend. By that brown spot. That moving one. See it moving? Cattails. Puffy bursts of white fluffy stuff on top. Like they’re wagging. Or nodding. Or maybe it’s the wind playing with them, because it’s bored.

See her walking, on the bank? See the cotton dress? Azuline. It has flowers printed on it, forget-me-nots. Her grandmother made it from her father’s old shirt, right after he died. She kept the buttons. The buttons were little pearls. Fake, of course, don’t think they were real. But she thought they were real, the girl, Ilka. She thought they were real, and she thought her dress was made from the sky, and she liked going to the river—a little stream, no more—to that rotting wooden bridge slung over from one side, sandy and flattened, to the other, grassy, and farther off, where the stinging nettles looked at her, nodding.

She knew not to touch them, she knew not to come near. She helped her grandmother snip them off, just right—she sensed their spite—right by the bottom of their thick hairy stalks, and then tear off the leaves in the kitchen, in the aluminum basin, and watch her grandmother make a soup, on the stove, and eat it later, with a bent spoon, puffing up her cheeks and hissing out air, cooling the greenish broth and watching half of the cooked egg float around, winking at her its yellow eye. Yellow like the water she looked into. The water of the stream. Golden. Like liquid sun or weak tea. Her grandmother liked weak tea with cubed sugar. She called it orphan’s piss and cackled and slurped it, her eyes smiling.

Ilka kneeled and flattened herself on the bridge and hung her head, close to water, the moving mirror, and watched pond skaters chase each other, stop, wait, as if for her signal, her weak whistle, then take off, their spindly legs moving so fast, they jerked from place to place. And Ilka thought how she would like to walk on water like that, smooth and cool to touch, like a melted sugar drop. It would hold her up, and she’d make friends, and they would run around and call to each other and escape the toad that croaked every morning—Ilka could hear it from the open vent of her window. Then down below, on the sandy bottom—no, over it—floated a shape. A long black line, shrinking, stretching. A leech. Ilka thrust her hand in the water and missed. She liked to roll them in hot sand with a stick and watch them squirm. The bloodsuckers. They didn’t disgust her like the other girls, and for that Andy next door let her ride his bike.

“Ilka!” Grandmother’s voice floated through the cattails. “Dinner!”

Ilka sighed, stood up, brushed off her hands and knees and skipped along the bank, in that azuline dress that played with the sky. Like it was saying, Look at me, we’re the same color. Aren’t we?

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Ksenia Anske
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Amber Walker: Good read, was confused some parts, but kept me hooked

Rain841 : Awesome!!!!! I so want to read more and author if you are on another app let me know so i can follow you. This book was amazing

Marcia: Damsel in distress + Exceedingly hot guy = Guaranteed good book!

Zoe Miner: From page one, I fell in love with this story. A strong badass female protagonist, a magical plot, danger, and so much more. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. I highly recommended this series! The one thing that threw me off when I started reading that the point of view changes betwe...

sweetromance2: A wonderful escape from the ordinary, it also gives a glimpse of why people should never be judged by their cover. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Jesse Mae: The story is overall a good story but towards the end the plot started skipping alot. If the story didn't have so many plot wholes but keep up the good work and with practice it will get better.

Nire51773: This a great story! I loved it, it is such a fun read.

Deleted User: i liked it a lot, it's very interesting and keeps you coming back for more

_Unconventional: There is never a dull moment in this book!The pace is just right, character development is on point and the plot is simply remarkable!This book held elements of all my favourite genres.. a truly good read.

More Recommendations

ofilichidi: Simply amazing. Your book brought to mind the difference between races and individuals from different continents. The characters kept me intrigued and on my toes. It's a blend of adventure and thriller. I kept thinking what next will Starlyn do. Thumps up.

🔥 ✨Cinder ✨🔥: This book was a FANTASTIC book I recommend this book to everyone! The plot and characters were perfection literally cannot think of a better book then this. A bit disappointing the author did not continue the book but it’s alright I support this author and hope they continue writing! ❤️ I love ho...

seamount26: great story but ending left alot of unanserd questions

2902297e: Amazing simply amazing.Ok so, I'm only 15, and I've been looking for stories like this. I originally started reading adult books at a young age, (without my parents knowledge) and this? Is the best I've read in years. Your story is basically everything I've been looking for. I've been trying to e...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.