Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Ksenia Anske would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Ilka

By Ksenia Anske All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Children

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

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

Christopher Chew: Been a while since reading was this fun. The plot was easy to follow and built at a gradual but good pace. The dynamics between each character were interesting and kept things fresh and exciting, very much so that you would forgive it for not going deeper into the back stories of each character. ...

ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...

mitchreed519: Truly fantastic, I would buy this book and any other prequels or sequels there after. An empowering and intriguing novel, and well written. Best literature I've read in a while, beats out published books as well.

themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...

Muhammed Arfin: really nice.I m reading novel after a long time.it is really fascinating.those people interested in espionage will like this tale.if one needs to advance his know how about espionage this book is your destination

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

William Po: Enjoyed the characters and story of the USAF during WWII. Author seems knowledgeable about planes and situations faced by bomber personnel. Also the suffering the air war caused on both sides to civilians.

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

More Recommendations

Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...

Charlie_8472: Recommended to me by a friend, I thought I'd give this a read. As a hobbyist blacksmith, the blurb certainly caught my attention. I found the sentence about them drinking, dancing and fighting a strange combination of activities, perhaps a reflection of the writer’s personality and humour. Howeve...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Sara Grover: Being that this is your first story and I assume first draft, a lot of little mistakes are common, we all have made them; little things like your instead of you're, missed capitalization, missing punctuation, etc. As for the plot, I have a lot of questions and I did leave comments on certain sect...

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

Alisha Banks: You have me hooked! I immediately upon finishing the first book had to start the second. It is a captivating story and I can't wait to finish the other two book! I will definitely be recommending this book to others to read!