In Marble Halls

Interior, Museum Of The Marble Palace, Marble Hall

Image by eleus500 from Pixabay


An eerie silence had fallen over the splendid galleries and staterooms, where only the night before laughter and courtly conversation was intertwined with the tone of the kingdom’s most talented musicians.

But what was amiss?

The sound of iron shod boots echoed through the marble halls of the palace. Three armoured men strode towards the throne room, and the central figure, a tall man of about forty entered in without ceremony while his companions stopped and stood at either side of the door.

A weary looking man, in a blood stained silk suit sat heavily on the throne. At his feet was a bloodied sabre and in his right hand was a partially filled goblet of wine.

The general took six more measured steps before bowing his head and taking to one knee.

“Fyngaul, what is the news?” the injured monarch inquired as a surgeon attended to the wound on his left bicep.

“The raiders have been repulsed, Sire,” the general reported, once again taking to his feet.

“And our losses?” the king asked.

“Seventy guests in the ballroom, Majesty, five more with in the palace grounds and one hundred thirty of the guard.”

“And of the Barbarians?” the ruler inquired.

“Two hundred slain, and a dozen taken, Sire.”

“Their treachery will be dealt with!” the king demanded.

“Of course, Majesty. The messengers have already been sent to our garrisons. We will strike back swiftly.”

The king winced as the surgeon’s needle closed the wound.

Two soldiers entered from a door to the right of the throne. They positioned themselves at the entrance as the queen and the two royal children entered.

“Harold, I knew we should have never trusted those savages!” the queen spat.

“And right you were, My Dear. But they will now feel our anger,” King Harold said in an attempt to calm her.

The evening before, a ball had been held to celebrate the new treaty with the Spaldik. Their ambassador had been all smiles and graces at the banquet in the Great Marble Hall. Even as they ate members of his retinue had drifted from the hall to secure the South Gatehouse. Then just after eleven, the gate was opened and the raiders poured in.

It was the ambassador himself that slew the Lord Chamberlain with a concealed dagger, and then turned on the king. Harold, however, was swift with his ceremonial blade and dispatched the man, before sending his wife to the nursery chamber along with a dozen guards.

The king then abandoned his rapier and seized a cavalry sabre from one of his fallen men. He had then fought to clear the palace at the side of Fyngaul.

The palace secure and the bleeding not yet stemmed, the king was taken to the throne room, while the general led the counterattack.

Such is the nature of diplomacy in the Green Realms.



Of Staff and Wand

People, Man, Adult, Naked, Athlete, Sculpture, Art

Image by Russell Clark from Pixabay 

The veteran stood blocking the labyrinth’s exit.  He was a skilled killer, and had absolute confidence in his superiority over the approaching black-clad youth.

“So Boy,” he sneered, “looks like you’re out of options.”

“I have a magic staff,” Karrel warned.

“Bring it on Boy,” the warrior scoffed, glancing down at his tattoo which made him impervious to magic.

Karrel dropped the staff, and lunged forward with unbelievable agility and speed.  He then with a lightening stroke drew a wand from his sleeve and ran it home through the astonished man’s throat.

The ninja returned the wand to his sleeve.




Flash Fiction Challenge #5: Magic



imageedit_1_8887796990 (1).jpg

Mosque Marrakesh

Place of faith –

Plain for all to see –

Briefly obscured –

By passing the trees.


Heard by all –

The “call to prayer” –

Even from the alleys –

You know it’s there.


While peek-a-boo –

May be too trite –

It was grand to see it –

Come back into sight.




#2019picoftheweek:  Peek-a-boo




Bread, Communion, Eucharist, Church

image: Pixabay

Give us this day, our daily bread

A portion of the Bread of Life

Feed our souls with your great love

And fill us with your everlasting Light.


Five thousand feed by loaves but five

By grace the bounty multiplied

Expand your bread in us as well

To become your worthy bride.


Give us this day our daily bread

To share with all mankind

Let its life giving power

Our souls as one combine.









Padre Basket

Padre’s Ramblings

“Isn’t this place wonderful?” Barbara asked almost rhetorically as she savoured her linguine.  The subtlety of the sauce and the freshness of the shellfish were in perfect balance.

“Yes it is,” Carl agreed as he cleansed his palate with a sip of vino before diving back into the six cheeses of his ravioli dish.

“I really think it was worth the trip, just for this meal,” Barb said, again closing her eyes as she allowed the rich flavours to dance upon her tongue.

“Well if you want authentic, you need to seek it out.  And, Georgio is the real deal,” Carl said with the confidence of a connoisseur.

“Well I wish we could come to Florence more often,” she said. “Maybe, next year’s birthday again?” she hinted hopefully.

“Maybe, but Alabama is a long drive from Nashville,” he reminded her.



Sunday Photo Fiction


The Linguist

Mount Horeb Lunch, Cafe, Lunch

image: Pixabay

Henry sat at the diner counter enjoying his morning coffee and Elsie’s famous short stack pancakes.   The door opened bringing in a cool breeze, and two young men wearing hoodies and ball caps seated themselves in a booth behind him.

A few minutes later, a third young man came in and after bumping fists with the two already seated, he joined them.

“Hey Brah, Did you see the game last night? It were sick,” the newcomer asked.

“Yeah-yeah, that Andre is bad,” one of the others commented. “Like he scored three times in like the first half.”

Henry’s mastery of seven languages and five years at the United Nations had not prepared him for this.

(115 Words)


When “sick” means it’s something you enjoy

And “bad” is a phrase of adulation

Something’s up in the English tongue

When it needs its own translation.


Sammi Cox Prompt

“It Will Do For Now”

Andy was a good looking boy and everything seemed to come naturally to him.  At two he was scouted by a local modeling agency to be in the spring catalog of a national retailer.

At four he won his first trophy in a swimming competition.  He was so proud of his accomplishment as he stood there with the shiny new trophy.  Mum of course was all smiles and hugs, but Dad merely shook his hand and said, “It will do for now.”

Throughout his school days the trophies continued to amass.  Swimming,  track, wrestling, and tennis all proffered their rewards.  Rave reviews of his musical and theatrical talent featured in the local press as well.  Yet, his father’s response always remained the same – “It will do for now.”

When he was elected Class President, and then Homecoming King, his father responded with the same familiar five words.

The same was true when at only twenty he was named valedictorian of his top tier university.

At twenty-seven his debut novel went to number one.  “It will do for now,” Dad remarked at the literary prize ceremony.

“Dad, why is it never good enough?” Andrew now for the first time asked.

“Firstly Son, you take too much satisfaction in the praise of others.  You seem to actively seek and promote it.  One should never blow one’s own trumpet, yet you do.  Secondly, you can be more than this.”

Andy didn’t know how to respond.  In fact, despite all his intellect, talents, and accomplishments, he didn’t quite get his father’s meaning.

When he was thirty he was jogging along the canal toe-path when he heard the frenzied screams of a little girl who had fallen into the water.  She obviously was unable to swim, and would surely drown.

Andy jumped into the freezing water and rescued her.  A couple of onlookers applauded as he pulled her onto the path.  The national media featured a photo of the hero standing with the girl and her grateful parents.

Andy was somewhat surprised when his own father spoke only three words – “It will do.”

“Damn it Dad,” he snapped. “‘It will do.’  Don’t you have anything else to say?”

“Andrew, should you have done anything less than what you did for the girl?”

“No – but,” Andy began.

“And did you relish the photo op with the parents, and the public acclaim?” Dad asked.

“Yes, but . . . . ”

“Then, it will do,” his father said, and turned and left.

No one knew exactly how it happened, but the mudslide was disastrous to the small community.  Dozens of people died or were seriously injured.  Andrew Nolen had been driving past the settlement when he saw the hill side collapse.  He immediately turned off the main road and headed towards the danger.

He arrived and began to dig through the still settling debris.  As he struggled to lift a collapsed section of roofing, he uncovered a woman and an infant child.  He pulled them from the wreckage and dragged them to safety.  He then saw a young man waving from the upper window of the house opposite which seemed to be on the brink of collapse as well.  Andrew scrambled up the rubble and then assisted the man, who had suffered a leg injury, from the window.

He ran to his car and bringing it as near to the three as possible, and then aided them into it.  He then searched for the location of the nearest hospital on his GPS and sped away.

Escorting the trio to the Emergency room he left them with the nurse and then rushed back to the landslide.  He had never said a word.

His return to the village was blocked by the emergency services, so reluctantly he continued home.

The disaster was all over the news networks.  Some unknown hero was being mentioned in several reports.

“It will do,” Andrew said to himself.





Mad About Metaphor

The metaphor this week is: – Blow one’s own trumpet.

The Promise of the Falling Snow



The most peculiar thing happened on the eleventh of November, just as the snow had begun to drift down.  As this very tangible sign of the coming of winter became manifest, news arrived of a coming spring.  The dark winter of war was over, and new hope – a chance of life could now bloom.

From the trench lines of France, and in the mountains of northern Italy; in the sands of Egypt and on the borders of Africa – peace had come.

How softly the snow fell that day.  In some places it merely created mud, among the torn and scarred land.  In others it was a new sheet of whiteness, a blank slate of purity on which to write a story new.

Yet, as this word of hope and promise spread around the world, an Austrian Corporal recovered from his wounds.  Perhaps the real winter was yet to come.




First Line Friday: June 21st, 2019


The Gaul

There lies a Dying Gaul –

Still strong despite his fall –

Bravely he’d made his stand –

Only to expire at a Roman hand


Man of the forests and wood –

In defence of which he had stood –

A torque about his neck –

No other garb his form to bedeck


And now his fate assured –

In pain uttering not a word –

His life slowly does ebb –

His land now in a Latin web



dVerse: Quatrain

Coffee Cake

Coffee, Break, Coffee Break, Cup, Notebook, Write Down


While I considered making a fictional take on this prompt, fact is in this case better than fiction.  The theme of cooking is a wonderful prompt, and in this case is a story of love offered and love returned.

When my little sister was of pre-school age, she got it into her head that she was going to “bake” for my father.  She was determined to make coffee cake without any assistance.  She secretly gathered the ingredients and found a quiet time to make her culinary masterpiece.  The Great British Bake-off had nothing on her.

When she had finished she bought the plate to my dad.  The coffee cake was two slices of white bread with the crusts removed sprinkled with sugar and a generous portion of  dry instant coffee granules.  This was all mashed together into a roughly  cake shaped mass.

She beamed with pride at her achievement.  It was a gift of love and it was accepted as such.

This love was returned in kind when he ate the whole thing.  All  was smiles and compliments.  Love indeed!

Her chicken noodle cookies are a story for another day.




Tale Weaver #228 – Cooking