Category Archives: Inspired by fable

COLLEEN’S 2018 #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 77: CHARM & TIME, #SYNONYMSONLY

The old woman said

that there is only one way

to remove a wart

bury a toad before dawn

it will be gone by sunset

 

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Filed under Factual, General competitions, Inspired by fable, Old knowledge, Self compositions, Whimsical

Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt #Writephoto-Newborn

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At four o’clock that morning the stags on the hillside had commenced their belling. The eerie bellowing echoing all around the valley. This morning however Abel was more interested in the loud gasps and cries from behind the skins hanging from the line, forming a curtain which divided the single room in his hovel. Pacing up and down the room he was anxious to know what progress, if any, was taking place with the birth of his second child. Continuously stroking his beard he strained to hear what was happening. At last there was a loud gasp from the assisting nurse followed by the sound of a slap and a loud shriek accompanied the sound of crying. Abel turned then stopped and watched as the nurse raised the skin and silently with sad eyes, looking at the floor, held up a white bundle. Abel knew what this meant and with tears in his eyes grabbed the bundle and turned to the doorway. Outside stood three elders, ready to perform the customary baptism. Taking the rudely wrapped child from Abel’s hands the three started the solemn procession up to the ceremonial site at the head of the Tor. Amidst the granite blocks there was one which formed a natural basin, it’s waters continually replenished by the frequent, heavy Exmoor rains. For long centuries this had been used as the villager’s font where all baptisms had taken place. Abel watched them depart then returning inside, retired to a stool in the corner, where he sat with his head in his hands, the grief he felt for the abomination he had witnessed so great that he had no heart to go in and try to comfort the mother of the newborn. Meanwhile on the hillside the elders arrived at the site and gathering around the stone they held the child up to the rising sun before placing the white mewing parcel into the water. This was to be no ordinary baptism for instead of a brief immersion in the icy waters the child was held under the water till there were seen to be no more bubbles rising. The body was then laid on a bed of grass on the large flat boulder adjacent to the basin stone. The child had been chosen to atone for the tribal perceived sins. The raven and the buzzard would help to consign the child’s spirit to the all-seeing God, where forgiveness may be obtained. Though the only sin this child had committed in it’s brief life was to have been born a girl. A crime worthy of death in the patriarchal society in which she had had the misfortune to enter this life.

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Filed under As you read it, faith, Inspired by fable, Self compositions

Kat Myrman’s #Twittering Tales. No. 72 Hopewell

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Many people have come to visit me in my aptly named home. Each one putting their misplaced faith in my cool, clear waters. To some I grant a pastiche of what they desire. Their folly feeds my desire in the end as their souls will belong to me. 244c

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Filed under As you read it, faith, Flash fiction, Inspired by fable, Self compositions

Sue Vincent’s #write photo.

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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.

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

Colleen’s Weekly # Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 69, “BOND & SEEK”

Hermaphroditus

while hunting in the forest

is beset by thirst

Salmacis looks for his love

in an eternal embrace

 

 

 

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Filed under History, Inspired by fable, Self compositions, Tanka

Sue Vincent’s regular Thursday photo prompt – Woodland #writephoto

passage

Lupinus stopped and raised his right arm. He glanced to right and left  sniffing the warming morning air. There was nothing to see on both sides but a mass of dense forest. “I smell woodsmoke,” he explained, “but it may be from an old fire or perhaps more recent. It is quite strong however.” I knew better than to question his judgment, after all that is why he had been chosen to accompany me on the journey. A native of this strange land he seemed to have almost magical senses, hearing, eyesight and smell. His tastes left a lot to be desired, he abhorred fish oil, perhaps he found the smell rather overpowering. He was not averse to the meat from the pheasants that we had introduced though, declaring them to be good, much better than his native avian choices and took every opportunity to attend a meal where he knew pheasant would be on the menu. For this journey though we had brought very little of either, relying on our wineskins and small packs of bread and cheese. After all we would shortly be arriving in Camulodonum. The prefect of the town would be happy to provide sustenance for his unexpected guests from Gaul. We had important news to deliver concerning a local woman. Apparently a strikingly good looking woman but still obviously barbarian in speech and habit. Lupinus had spent the previous day trying to convince me that the women of this island had rights equal to the menfolk, they could even lead armies and make all the decisions that we Romans would not think of entrusting to anyone but members of our Senate. “Nonsense, ” I had scoffed, “they are only good for two things, keeping you fed by day and warm at night, oh, and producing sons of course.” Although even I am inclined to believe that they have a devious nature and are probably secretly laughing at our mistakes, occasionally offering advice that we should be foolish to ignore. It was my turn to feel slightly uneasy, I could smell nothing, let alone see more than ten metres to either side, the trees and undergrowth were so deep. Anyone could be lurking in there, I could even be walking into a trap, after all Lupinus was originally one of these barbarians, he had been hostaged when he was but a young boy and as far as I knew, had never expressed any desire to return to the home of his parents or contact his remaining brothers and sisters. No. I was being unnecesarily wary, I would trust him with my life, but? Anyway only another couple of hours and we would arrive in the town. I was looking forward to a hot bath, a change of clothes and an evening banquet………..
    I put the book back into my rucksack. It was a pleasure reading the story of Paulinus. The book was recommended to me as my landlord knew that I would be walking down the same old track that those two unfortunates had taken some two thousand years before. Ironic that the manuscript on which the book was based was recovered from the old cellars. A part of the town that survived the storming by the Iceni. Reading between the lines it appears that they were on the way to warn the Provincial governor that there was a stirring in the North and with the legions away in the far West they should think about shaking the dust off the uniforms and weapons of the local militia. Pity poor Paulinus arrived at about the same time as the good-looking red-haired woman who he thought incapable of anything but cooking and cuddling. That’s the way it goes. Anyway that’s my rest over, time to get walking again before it gets dark, you never know what’s lurking in these woods.

 

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Filed under Flash fiction, History, Inspired by fable, Self compositions, Uncategorized

Twittering Tales #68 – “The Village” – 23 January 2018

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Grendel woke up with a start. There was that awful sound again. Voices, high-pitched, whining, grating voices. Not the calming, soothing voice of his mother which he still missed after all these years. He was glad for now she couldn’t stop him going down to silence the town again  280 characters

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Filed under Flash fiction, Inspired by fable, Self compositions