Sunday Photo Fiction – Prisoner

This is Thor - one of the Ravens from the Tower of London. Taken in 2009 It is said that if the Ravens ever leave the Tower, then England will fall.

Copyright – Al Forbes

If you’d like to write your own flash fiction about the picture, or see other stories, click here. I think this story is darker than my usual work, which is saying something.

If I remember correctly, there was a special feeling when natural light touched your skin. It was like warm breath on your shoulders. Of course, I could be romanticizing the past. Anything but what I see now is a distant memory.

The stone floors and walls were originally an enemy, but we’ve grown to like each other over the period of my imprisonment. I whisper stories to them about childhood and adolescence, the time when unexpected things would happen every day and I might not even notice. Sometimes we are uninterrupted. Sometimes I’m taken to a little black room, but I never tell them what happens in there.

The door creaks and I hear my husband’s footsteps on the cellar stairs. I expect he’s bringing food, but when I stand I see his hands are empty. My heart sinks.

Today is another black room day.


The Killer Question – Part Thirteen

For the first post, click here.

He hasn’t aged well, but his apparent frailty only serves to make him more frightening. If you had sat me in this bleak interview room in front of some hulk-like man, it would have been less intimidating than being surveyed by this particular brand of piercing leer. I try to push the words “Unnatural” and “Evil” out of my head. Beneath the wrinkled skin is a mind that would take pleasure in my destruction, whether physical or emotional. Maybe he prefers the latter, and that’s why he saved me.

“You look less like a librarian than I thought you would, especially after the moth line. Tell me, is that how you deal with men normally? Keep the expectations low?”

I ignore his bait, as I ignored the sorry-looking flower head. I had questions lined up, but I’ve already decided to pull out of the study as soon as I’m home. I’ll make up any excuse, or maybe even tell my supervisors the truth. I’m in trouble already. I may as well say what I want to say.

“I don’t think I’m special.” The words fall from my mouth, but my lips are so numb I don’t feel them. They’re so quiet I can barely hear them. His eyebrows draw together. “You keep saying that I want to know why I’m so special. I don’t. Whatever reasons you had for saving me, they would have applied to any child who was in my position. I’m not different.” I speak more loudly, but in a flat tone.

He smiles and there’s a moment when our eyes connect that I think I know he’s going to break me. Whether it’s through looks, or words, or physical violence, it doesn’t matter. I know that when I leave the room, he’ll have left his mark, something that will never go away.

The Killer Question – Part Nine

The first letter can be found here.

Dear Mr Empwood,

I have no response to your last letter.

However, it would greatly aid the progress of this study if we had a face to face interview.

Either the study can continue as previously described, or you can take part in a face to face interview instead of completing two of the surveys.

How would you like to proceed?


Ms E. Atkinson.

Taking Back The Crown: Part Five

So, I’ve been recovering from my compulsory tour. It was pretty tiring, but certainly a very interesting place. It was quite inspiring and I hope to be able to do some flash fiction based on the things I saw in the near future.

Today’s post is a little longer, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

It had been three days since Sonya had accepted her invitation to stay, but now she was growing anxious. Where was Trin? She’d walked to the path every day and sat under the same tree. She did her exercises and waited. And waited. And waited. She knew that something was wrong. Sonya knew that Trin had told her not to go back to the Palace by herself, but she couldn’t just stay here forever. If she could get into the Palace without being seen and just find out what was going on, maybe she wouldn’t be taking that much of a risk.

In the corridor near the ballroom, there was a small cubbyhole in the wall that was hidden behind a dull, greying tapestry. Sonya transported herself to inside the hole; hopefully nobody would look behind the tapestry. She could hear a buzz of activity. Harsh Rutilus voices drew near.

“Has anyone heard from Vyant?” one voice rasped.

“No. He wait to tell anyone else where Trin hid the little girl before leaving. The little bitch probably killed him.” The second voice was human. Female.

“We need to find her. She might be a kid now, but she’ll cause problems in the future.”

“She can’t defeat us on her own, and Trin and Naria are gone. They’re never coming back to bother us.” The woman was triumphant.

“How can you be sure of that?”

“There’s an abyss in the Back Desert that’s so deep, by the time you stop falling, you’re in Hell. We threw them down there. The evil aura that pervades the desert? That abyss is the source. Litian Royalty has been vanquished there before. It’s well documented.”

Without realizing it, Sonya gave out a despairing moan. The voices stopped and the tapestry was ripped back. Sonya found herself looking into the black eyes of woman she’d never seen before. She had piercings and tattoos similar to traditional Rutilus ones. If she’d had the time, Sonya would have wondered if she’d spent time in the Back Desert. The Rutilus was only a metre behind this sorceress, his eyes full of glee at their find.

Before Sonya had time to think, the dark eyed magician tried to hit her with some plasma, but she rolled out of the cubbyhole just on time, straight between the woman’s legs and the attack missed. The woman tried to turn around but Sonya attacked the back of her head, sending a spray of blood into the tapestry. As Sonya watched the magician slump forward, a searing pain whipped across her shoulder and back. She turned to see the Rutilus raising a ball of energy in his hand. He threw it and she reflected it back at him, sending him flying back against the wall.

By the time her enemies were unconscious, more Rutilus and magicians were running towards her from all directions. She warped back to Natetern before they could grab her.