Category Archives: Alternative history

Sue Vincent’s weekly #Writephoto #arch


Bare walls
where once pictures
gazed down and smiled
content in their task,
ransacked, the gospels
in the glass now gone
the sins of the world,
through the arch revealed
let in with the cold
of despair


Filed under Alternative history, faith, History, Self compositions

Sue Vincent’s #write photo.


Many people have admired the stone pillar at the side of the lane that leads to the medeival church of San Marco in Firsti but but it is only the locals who feel they know the true builders and the reason for it’s curious structure. I will tell you the story that I was told when I was just a boy.

Cardinal Cadenza smiled but it was a cold, humourless expression of his sadistic nature. Turning to the two black-robed, cringing priests he asked them to confirm that the nun Sister Dometia had really confessed to the heresy that appeared to afflict so many of the order known as the. “Poor Clares.” They showed him the scrap of parchment and pointed out the scrawl which was purported to be Sister Dometia’s mark. “That is all I need,” he thought. Pressing his fingers to his lips he thought for a moment and then the decision was made. He had been toying with a new punishment for heretics and this would be the ideal opportunity for him to show these heathen that the work of our Lord was just and transgressors could be shown mercy if they turned from their ways and repented their sins. He ordered the two priests to take the prisoner to the lower cell where the stonemason would be waiting for her. The priests left and descended to the lower dungeon where they found Sister Dometia kneeling in prayer in the corner of her cell. Clad only in a woollen blanket they led her down two flights of steps to the room where they saw the mason and his team waiting.  They stood around a wooden coffin  and stripping the nun naked they told her to lie down in the coffin.  All were impressed that even though she knew her probable fate Sister Dometia maintained her vow of silence and stoically lay on her back, arms folded across her breast, in the coffin. The masons then started to trowel cement into the coffin until only her face was showing. When the coffin was filled with the cold, hard, liquid stone the men all left her in this nightmare situation. In the morning when they returned the cement had set and there only remained a corpse in the coffin. They smashed the wood and stood the pillar upright with the nun’s dead face set in a rictus smile looking out. The pllar was then placed at the entrance to the church as a warning to all.


Filed under Alternative history, Flash fiction, Inspired by fable, Self compositions, Whimsical

MLMM Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 27 January 2018

Sit, stand, understand, grow, spend

I declined my host’s offer of a stool on which to squat,  instead choosing to eat while reclining on one of the sofas as was the custom in my home country. My slave, as he had been trained, remained within a few paces of me. I informed Valerian that it was time that he and his people should start their insurrection against the tyranny of our hated Emperor. He found it hard to comprehend that such a favoured nobleman as I could cultivate such revolutionary thoughts. I realised he was unaware that when I was a young tribune I had chosen to pay to the assembled nobles vast amounts of my father’s wealth, a form of insurance if anything should ever happen to him. Very timely as within one year he was condemned to exile in Sardinia, leaving my mother, brother and sisters at the mercy of our political foes. Now it was time for revenge or a honourable death in the attempt.

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Filed under Alternative history, Flash fiction, Self compositions

Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt


It was the third moonrise since the elation of the first arrival. The seas had remained calm, the large shoals of fish had moved back out of the bay to continue their journeys along the Eastern coast. The return of the first three boats had brought joy but this was replaced by sadness at the realisation there may not be a fourth. There was now only sadness mixed with hope for the watchers on the shore. Women, their heads covered with woollen scarves, shawls wrapped over their shoulders, their once gaily decorated smocks replaced by the black clothes of mourning. Sadly they turned away from the falling tide, retiring to their tiny whitewashed cottages to sit in front of of the open fire in sadness and contemplation. Two with babies slung at their sides felt a worse pain for the children who would never know their fathers. Already the families had known hunger, the times when the shoals of pilchards had bypassed their small cove and other boats had been able to reap the harvest leaving little for the inhabitants of this one remote village, where crops in the field were scarce and prices in the markets high.

One young woman, childless, stayed on the beach in hope, her eyes, though salty with tears, scanning the blue, darkening horizon for any sign of the boats’ return. With no husband or parents to care for she could only wait for her fiancée, the crewman on the smack Louisa. They were betrothed but had decided that marriage could wait until he was able to be master of his own vessel. Then they could hope to move from his parents home into their own property without the expense of paying rent to the Lord of the Manor who owned all of the houses which doubled as the fish-processing works. Gathering all the driftwood and rapidly drying seaweed at the top of the beach she started to make up the fire in preparation for her lonely vigil.


Filed under Alternative history, Flash fiction, Inspired emotion

MindloveMisery’sMenagerie #Photo Challenge #194


Gertrude looked down upon the plain below. Her mentor and familiar perched upon her shoulder as was befitting a Prince of Utgard in earthly form. His advice had previously been freely given but the time was approaching when he would require the service he had waited for since their first meeting. Had he not given her great beauty and power beyond her youthful dreams for the past decades. By his power and guidance and his alone, armies had been vanquished, alliances formed and the wealth of nations heaped upon his charge threefold. Now time was progressing and the old ones were stirring in their slumbers. Portents of future catastrophe had invaded his dreams. Long forgotten memories had commenced their slow return. When Krandeus whispered in Gertrude’s ear all but she could only hear a loud, rasping Kerrayk. To Gertrude it was the wisdom of the ages for she heard only the friendly advice that had served her so well in all aspects of her long, successful reign. Her furrowed brow and sidewise glances were uncharacteristic and alien to her proud measure, for he had sounded cautious to a high degree. For once Krandeus had advised her against impetuosity. Doubts of the soundness of his latest counsel immediately entered her mind. She did not argue but acquiesced to his suggestion of a meeting with the mysterious band of warriors the scouts had reported encamped in the Whispering woods on the Eastern shore of the White river. She rose and stamped back to the seven horsemen who stood guard, ensuring that no man could approach her in her lone meditation. “My horse,” she demanded and as they handed her the bridle, she announced, “I will go down tomorrow, there will be no feast for you tonight, you will all accompany me.” “We depart with the dawn.”

Being a brief extract from, “Tales of Emeralds and Queens.”

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Filed under Alternative history, Flash fiction, Self compositions, Uncategorized