PRELUDE TO BATTLE

Titus Valerius looked out over the grey water of the Adriatic Sea. The view was as bleak as his prospects. It had been a year since he had seen Rome and his beloved Domitilla.

When he had joined the army he had dreamed of travelling the world, amassing victories and returning home triumphant. With the Roman Gods on his side he could have retired a well-rewarded legionnaire. With money rewarded he could afford to overlook Domitilla’s poor background and lack of a dowry.

Then Caesar had invaded Rome. Valerius’ misfortune was to have been stationed in the capital at that moment. Pompey fled to Greece, taking with him all the legions he could muster and leaving Rome to the invaders.

Months passed in Greece while the politicians argued and postured. Then Caesar crossed the sea to confront Pompey. The Roman Civil War had begun. Continue reading “PRELUDE TO BATTLE”

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JUSTIFIABLE

Had she done the right thing?

She had no idea. Others would judge her.

She only knew she had done what she thought best.

The water was icy cold on her feet. It reached the bottom of her dress, weighing the light linen down. The light gold sand swirled around her ankles.

The red on her dress dissolved into the water.

She stared at her hands then cleansed them, dipping them into the sea.

Behind her the sound of sirens faintly broke the morning still.

The cold water rose above her waist causing her to inhale sharply at the shock.

She only knew her children were no longer within his reach.

As the sun began to rise on the horizon she held up her thumb and covered the orange circle. Just like that she hid the brightest star in the Earth’s sky.

Would that what she had done could be so easily erased.

Buffeted by the lapping waves, tasting the salt on her lips, the water embraced her fully.


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Copyright Footy and Foodie

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

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

TIDAL WAVES

Hands in her pockets, Elizabeth looked down from the top of the cliffs. The tide had receded gradually over the afternoon, revealing the seaweed-covered rocks, sand and pebbles of the seabed.

The memory of the place was burned into her mind after ten years of constantly returning. The erosion of the waves hadn’t changed the topography. The steep edges fell like a sequence of giant steps. Pulling her collar up to protect her face from the chill winter breeze, she clambered down.

Sea mist drifted in, causing a hazy fog. Above her the ruins of the castle still stood, guarding the bay. Elizabeth remembered the bright floodlights and white forensic tents that had been erected when she had first arrived at this place. The body in the ruins had been the first.  Continue reading “TIDAL WAVES”

CASTAWAY

The sea was calm and a brilliant clear blue, mirrored by the cloudless sky above.

The storm had railed against the mysterious island for three weeks, the same surge that had capsized the cargo ship and driven them to the unknown land in the canoe life rafts.

‘You’re sure which direction?’ Gideon asked.

Cyrus shrugged. ‘We can’t stay here. Nothing but sand and rock and we haven’t seen another ship all the time we’ve been here.’

‘There must be a search party looking for the wreck and survivors. Why haven’t they picked up our emergency beacons?’

Cyrus shrugged again. He wanted to get away from the island. Something felt wrong. They had explored it all and found no sign of life but still he couldn’t shake the feeling they were not alone.

They shook hands before each solemnly getting into their meagre craft.

As they pulled away from the beach Cyrus looked back.

He saw the glint of sunlight reflected on glass. Standing on a rock he saw the man watching them leave through his telescope.


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My small tale was suggested by the classic novel ‘The Mysterious Island‘, by Jules Verne.

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. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

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

DEFIANCE

They sat by the sea watching children play on the beach.

‘Alright?’ he put his arm around her shoulder.

The tears slowly running down her face gave him his answer.

It had taken her twenty years to return. Years of pain and guilt. She had been their teacher. They had trusted in her. She was supposed to protect them.

A school outing before the summer holiday began. A visit to the local museum for a bit of history and then a trip to the beach. It wasn’t her fault the terrorists had come that day.

The images still haunted her. They would never leave her. The panic, the terror, the fear in those young faces. The blood. The dead.

Governments fought aimless wars and encouraged segregation and hate. Religions tried to absolve themselves of blame. Terrorists continued to kill with no purpose, never furthering their cause.

She was beyond all this. She had only her memories and sorrow. She wouldn’t let them count her as their victim. She was here. She had not let them win.

This was her defiance.


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Copyright The Storyteller’s Abode

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. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

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

Influenced by events in Manchester this week, my thoughts are with all involved, especially those children and parents affected by this devastating and abhorrent act.