FFfAW: Celebrations and Sorrows

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy.  The FFfAW challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. This week’s prompt was provided by me.

Photo Prompt: © The Storyteller’s Abode

Celebrations and Sorrows

For the third time in less than a week Lili climbed the steps in search of her brother. She knew he’d be there even before his voice carried to her ears.

“She always loved this view,” Raen said.

“We used to play here.” Lili’s voice caught in her throat. “Silveia and I would dream of adventure while you were busy being Father’s perfect prince.”

He jumped, spinning to face her, and Lili realised his words had not been for her. Raen gazed at the baby in his arms with eyes red from weeping. “I was just telling my son about his mother.”

The first time Lili had climbed in search of him her feet had been so light upon the steps. Her news had burbled free in an excited torrent as she hugged him: his son was born.

Two days later she’d sought him again, fear driving her as the midwife’s concerns grew: something was wrong.

This day grief weighed her down.

“The funeral cortege is ready,” she said. “It’s time to tell Silveia goodbye.”

Word Count: 175

To read the other entries, click the little blue frog!


I’ve had a vague story idea for this picture since I picked it out as a prompt for PJ. I knew I had a young woman looking for her brother. I knew it was a medievalesque setting and that they were royalty. I didn’t, however, know why she was seeking him out. The rest of this story was definitely inspired by my recent viewing of Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey!

The picture, for anyone who’s curious, was taken in Corfe Castle in Dorset, UK – a wonderful ruin with lots of fascinating nooks and crannies to explore. It was built in the 11th century on the orders of William the Conqueror. Whilst it would originally have been built mainly out of wood, it was actually one of the earliest castles in England to have used any stone in its construction, a sign of its high status and importance. As happened with the castle in my own hometown of Newark on Trent, it was destroyed in 1645, during the English Civil War, after the Royalist occupants were defeated by the Parliamentarians.

Here are few other pictures that I took around Corfe Castle:


25 thoughts on “FFfAW: Celebrations and Sorrows

  1. A beautiful, but heartbreaking story, Louise, and so well told. So sad that the baby had to lose his mother, Raen had to lose his wife and Lili had to lose her best friend. I’m very impressed about how your story came together. It seems like they were all puzzle pieces and you matched them together to get a perfect story! The pictures of the castle are interesting and beautiful! I really enjoyed reading this story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, PJ. It took me quite some time to fit everything into the word limit – it was originally over 250 words! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂


  2. Firstly Louise I loved your tale beautifully written and so sad…
    Secondly thanks for sharing the historical background.
    Thirdly you obviously have your mum’s love of things historical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. 🙂 I’m glad you liked it. I’ve always loved history – I grew up traipsing around historical sites with my mum and then studied medieval history at uni. Though I have to admit that my main interest was always in how it inspired stories!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the background on the picture. I always wonder where some pictures/images actually are because as a writer you just choose wherever you think the story would work. I liked your story, even though it was sad. The Prince/Lord has his new baby but as often happened in olden days (even up to the 19th century or longer) women died in childbirth. I am thinking you were thinking of the death of the youngest daughter on Downton Abbey. I haven’t seen the last 2 seasons but I can’t wait! It was a very sad time when Sybil died, I wasn’t expecting it.


  4. Beautifully sad story, and lovely accompanying photos.

    The “Call the Midwife” finale was a bit of a sad shock, wasn’t it?


    1. I’m glad you like it, Ali. 🙂 The ‘Call the Midwife’ finale was very sad, though I did guess who was going to die as soon as I heard that there was going to be a death. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Aletta. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it. I like to give a little background information on any prompts that I’ve provided – I know that I always wonder about those from other people!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a wonderfully told story. I like how it unfolded and can see how it could be a much longer story. The pictures are beautiful thanks for sharing and telling us the background.


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