‘What now?’ screamed Aetius.

Another hail of arrows split open the sky, hurtling down on them. On command the surviving legionnaires raised their shields and fended off the onslaught. The screams and cries signalled more men lost. The wild gale battered them, the rain hammered them relentlessly.

General Manius stared through the bleak grey storm at the huddled remains of the Ninth legion, strewn along the unforgiving rocky hillside.

They were hopelessly lost in this barren land. There was no escape. Retreat was blocked behind them, and they had no idea which way would lead them to safety. The aquila had been lost.

On all sides they were surrounded by the hellish inhabitants. Why had they been sent to conquer this desolate place? There was nothing here worth Rome having.

‘General, what now?’ Aetius yelled again.

Through the storm Manius heard an evil animal howl. Emerging from the thick fog, fearsome warriors charged towards them.

‘We fight and we die,’ Manius commanded as he hauled himself to his feet. His men followed his example. They rushed to meet their death. Manius fell to one blow from a giant axe.

The Ninth legion was lost to history. The land called Caledonia remained wild and unbowed.


203 06 June 18th 2017
Copyright A Mixed Bag

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


The priest held the heavy wooden chest tightly as the carriage bumped along the path. The coachman whipped the horses, travelling at breakneck speed.

They emerged from the forest and the pace relaxed. Out from the cover of the trees, no-one would dare ambush them now. The wheels rattled as they ran over the cobbled stones onto the bridge that led into the fort.

Just as the priest began to relax there was a jolt, an anguished cry from the horses, and the coach slammed into the side of the bridge before coming to a halt. Still clinging to the chest, the priest looked up.

‘Good evening to you, Father.’ The man wearing a hood said. ‘I don’t think the congregation will be happy that their hard earned offerings are going straight into the Sheriff’s coffers, do you?’

The priest gulped. The man took the chest from him.

‘You can tell the Sheriff that it was his old friend, Locksley of the Hood.’

With that he was gone and there was only silence on the bridge.

© Joy Pixley

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story, in around 150 words based on the weekly photo prompt. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.