This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provided by Sonya O. Thank you Sonya! The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.
The Lady’s Flight
Isabella dashed up the spiral staircase with a desperation born of terror. She could hear them behind her, their loud voices echoing. She needed help – surely someone still fought! Each arrow slit she passed was empty of defenders; no familiar faces appeared to offer aid.
Sir Gilbert’s betrayal had surprised them all.
The attackers had streamed into the castle before dawn, bypassing their defences through treachery and deceit. She’d hidden, as Father commanded, huddling in the cubbyhole while the clamour of battle filled the air. But she couldn’t hide forever. Leering grins sent her fleeing – she knew her fate if captured.
Finally reaching the top of the tower, Isabella burst out into bright sunlight. Her heart sank. Strangers’ faces stared, wide-eyed.
“-and it’s said that sometimes you can see Lady Isabella’s ghost, repeating her final frantic flight.”
Isabella backed away, her heart racing as a hand rose to point.
“Is that her?”
Her back pressed against the battlement’s stone. She would not be taken! With no other options available, she turned.
Word Count: 174
This week’s photo prompt was perfectly timed for me (thank you, Sonya) as yesterday I was visiting Warwick Castle and clambering up and down towers very similar to the one in the picture – as my calf muscles keep reminding me today! This story was inspired by the trip and by the many stories of sieges and ghosts which you find linked to most of the castles in Britain. The second picture above is one taken yesterday. Hopefully I’ll be sharing a gallery of others over the weekend – if my internet decides to stay on!
Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.
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