Category Archives: Alternative history

Celtic knot #Tanka

In spiral circles

no leader, no followers

all remain equal,

tracing each line with  finger

connection of the senses

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Alternative history, As you read it, Factual, Old knowledge, Self compositions, Tanka

Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Span #writephoto

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It was a long walk but it was worth it. I had followed the old drover’s road from the beach at Porlock Weir. In times past the only way that the necessities of life could be carried to the outlying small settlements on the moor was either by pack-horse or pulled on sledges, called truckles. Their way had for centuries been blocked by a fast-flowing stream which had it’s birth on the high moor till it finally plunged into the sea at Becky falls. A total length of over forty miles as the crow flies but much further with all the twists and turns as it followed the contours of the land. This old bridge was the only crossing point. Still standing after probably hundreds of years but virtually disused; having outlasted it’s reason for being, now only serving as a mystery to any hiker who happened to come upon it in their travels.

Surrounded by dappled sunlight, I decided to rest, breathe in the cool air and enjoy the idyllic scene. I stretched out, my back propped against my rucksack on the large granite rock which formed a firm foundation for the little archway, like the roof support of some parish church nave. The only sound was of the rushing stream, each ripple and wavelet jostling it’s neighbour in the race to pass through the  narrow channel. In my drowsy state I imagined I heard the sound of whinnying, snorting and shouting. The use of the whip being unnecessary as the proud little Exmoor ponies would have known the direction they were heading and the path they needed to take. Back up to their homeland to discharge the sand for the farmers to mix in with with their cloying, damp, peaty soil from which to try and wrest a few reluctant crops.

The names of those who built this stout bridge are long forgotten but the moss-lined, grass-topped, faced stones remain as testimony to their skill as they helped others to carve a life from the inhospitable region they were proud to call their home.

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Filed under Alternative history, Flash fiction, History, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, On the lines of romance, Self compositions

MLMM’s First Line Friday: July 5th, 2019

“Take the gun.” the second’s voice barked. With trembling hands I grasped the grip and slid the pistol from the velvet and silk case. My opponent, the Right Honourable Sir James Leeson Esquire and I turned and then stood back to back, he with a condescending smile, myself a frown, not of determination but resignation at this farce. We walked fifteen paces, counted out by my friend Tom Skeene and turned to face each other. My pistol held out at arm’s length straight in front of me pointing at James Leeson’s chest. Two shots sounded. I felt no pain, he had missed. I looked at his astonished expression. His arm dropped to his side, I saw the red stain spreading over the upper arm of his frilled, white blouson. It was done, honour was settled, without the senseless waste of life that usually accompanied such events. There was no elation, only intense relief. We both returned our weapons to the seconds and while the doctor attended to Sir James I slowly walked away.

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Sammiscribbles Weekend Writing Prompt #111

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Brother Alphonso started to feel rather pleased with himself. Although it was considered a violation of the rules of the Order, a form of vanity. He found it very hard not to let a smile show on his face, just a slight upturn of the lips. He smoothed the parchment and prepared his writing tool ready to transcribe the last two lines. He had been working on the Ogham script for fourteen months. Now he was the first and only person able to read the legends as they were written. Sadly his excitement at the translation proved too much for his elderly body as he collapsed to the floor having suffered  a fatal heart attack.

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50 wordThursdays #23 #Homage to danger

896F8974-2E17-496F-A5B3-13980C53551FBefore me, my destiny. Ahead, the  colonnade, bestrewn with offerings of the lucky few. I stood, decorated crystal vase in hand. Within, a host of freesias and orchids, their delicate hues and subtle fragrance assailed my eyes and ears. To my left stood former suitors to the Demi-goddess within. Medusa.

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Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #16

leda.jpegStine86Engel@pixabay.com.

I awoke with a start. Disappointed I found myself in my cramped bed-chamber but I was intoxicated with joy for I had dreamed of an encounter with the Gods. Voices from on high had echoed in my head. Inviting me to join with them in their magnificent palace in the skies. Zeus himself had called my name. He had sent a magnificent swan to stand beside my bower. I climbed upon the beautiful bird’s broad, silk-soft back and was carried up into the heavens. Faster than the wind we flew till we reached a golden castle adorned with towers and minarets. Oh, so gently the swan landed in a magnificent garden where fountains played and I was greeted by a group of hand-maidens who, laughing at my shy confusion, ushered me into a scented room. Along one wall was a carved ebony bench on which a smiling cherub sat, in his hands a lyre from which he teased a tune of infinite harmony. In the centre of the floor was a steaming pool of water on which floated many brightly coloured lotus blossoms. I was invited to bathe and afterwards. emerging from the pool was anointed with sweet perfumes. They wrapped me in silken robes and I was gently ushered into a room with white marble walls. Each covered in damask tapestries of intricate design. Dazzled by the opulence of my surroundings I was urged to recline upon an amber couch furnished with cushions of infinite softness. My feathery steed stood sentinel and held his wings above me as a canopy. I laid my head upon the pillow and immediately fell into a deep slumber. That is all I, Leda, remember of my encounter with the Gods, be it fantasy or frolic.

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Filed under Alternative history, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, On the lines of romance, Self compositions, Short story

Weekend Writing Prompt #106 – Zodiac

wk-106-zodiac

The creatures of the earth  were offered to the maiden. A lion, bull, goat, ram, scorpion, crab, fish from the sea.  Chosen twins held the scales, as the water-bearer performed her ritual. The archer, bow in hand stood guard over the ancient ceremony.

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IWH Haiku/Senryu Challenge #19

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artist unattributed

Her arms held aloft

celebrating her breakthrough.

the glass ceiling smashed.

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Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt #Threshold (Dawn of disgrace) #Writephoto

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We stood up on the cliff looking down at the scene of destruction below. The gale force wind so strong that we could hardly stand. Waves crashed over the bow of the stricken vessel. We could not keep our  torches alight unless we lay upon the ground sheltering them from the driving rain with our curled bodies. The cries from below sounded English but there were also high-pitched screams in a language I couldn’t identify. Daniel beside me had toshout to make himself hard, “I s’pect tis them Frenchies they’ve been tellin about, poor buggers.” I only nodded in agreement. There was nothing we could do till the sea and wind settled. Then we would go down to the beach to see if anyone had got off to the shore. All we could was sit and wait.

At first  light the wind had lessened. There was no sound. Fearing the worst we climbed down the fisherman’s path to the shingle beach. The ship had completely broken up overnight. There were rough, broken planks of timber, chests and casks scattered among the rocks. Much more numerous were the bodies. Some lying face down, arms outstretched as if scrabbling at the sand. Some face up, their faces white, fixed in fear, eyes dull and lifeless. The worst sight were a group of  both men and women lying like rag dolls close to a cave entrance.

Going over to examine them we were stopped in our tracks at the sight. All were wearing leg-irons and neck-braces chained one to each other. It was obvious, they were slaves being transported to the colonies. The sailors hadn’t even freed them at the time of the wreck in order that they might have a chance of escape.

I believe it was that one act that turned us against our sea-faring brothers. Without a word being spoken the vow never again to help them was taken. Not only that, our loathing at their cowardice was so high that we were encouraged to start the act of  wrecking and thus gaining benefit from their distress. Much to my shame I can safely say that was how and why our terrible, callous and cowardly acts of piracy started.

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Filed under Alternative history, As you read it, Factual, Flash fiction, History, Inspired by fable, Self compositions

Flash Fiction 99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community

salt

It was only when we arrived in the basin that I read once more the ancient scroll that had been entrusted to my safekeeping. I realised that despite many years of poring over by student and fellow supposed expert alike we had based on our ideas on a mis-translation of the words. By carefully reordering the words finely etched on the copper plates I could see that our expedition was bound to end in failure. A disbelieving Lot had thought they could divert a river back to save his home but the ferocious heat had turned it to salt.

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Filed under Alternative history, As you read it, Flash fiction, History, Self compositions, Temperatures rising