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Short Story Review

It is Just a Dot

cover of unnatural creatures by Neil Gaiman


by Gahan Wilson

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He had barely done it when he heard Faulks give a small cry of despair. He turned to see the old fellow wringing his hands in abject misery. “I just blinked, sir!” he quavered. “Only blinked!” ― 

Gahan WilsonInksplot


GAHAN WILSON is a cartoonist. He draws things that scare me. Sometimes he writes stories too. In this story, with a somewhat unpronounceable title (you’ll see why), he combines writing and drawing with terrifying results, to show us a most unnatural creature indeed.

One morning, beside the eggs and toast, there’s a dark spot on the tablecloth, and where it came from, no one knows. The only certainty is that the moment one stops looking at it, it moves. And as it moves, it grows….


Inksplot, AKA Blot and *, is perhaps Gahan Wilson’s best known short story, appearing first in 1972 in Harlan Ellison’s Again, Dangerous Visions. The story is only 15 pages long with 1.5 of those pages as graphics. The story appeared again as the first story featured in Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman.

My Thoughts

Anything and everything is scary if you look hard enough. Even a ink spot on a blotter.

A seemingly innocent ink splotch, a smirch, a smear and a smudge. What if it moved from one space to another. Appearing on the wall, the floor, eventually on the dog? What does one do with an unnatural creature like a blot that keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Do you run?

Or do you stay to see what happens?

A spot. Nothing more. Black, as you see, somewhat lopsided, as you seean unprepossesing, unpretentious spot.―

Gahan WilsonInksplot

Read this very entertaining story and get a glimpse into what a very proper English gentlemen did.

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I read this as part of the Unatural Creatures collection by Neil Gaiman.

Bonus comics from Gahan Wilson – Most are featured in Playboy Magazine.

About the Author

Gahan Wilson is an author, cartoonist, and illustrator in the United States.

Beth Tabler

Elizabeth Tabler runs Beforewegoblog and is constantly immersed in fantasy stories. She was at one time an architect but divides her time now between her family in Portland, Oregon, and as many book worlds as she can get her hands on. She is also a huge fan of Self Published fantasy and is on Team Qwillery as a judge for SPFBO5. You will find her with a coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. Find her on: Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest  / Twitter

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