Winter Woes

Neanderthal, Stone Age, Caveman, Museum, Figure
sgrunden at Pixabay

Unn awoke and scratched at his beard.  It was cold, and the embers of the fire near the cavemouth were barely glowing.  He added some dry moss and attempted to blow them back into life, but his efforts were futile.  He dreaded the thought of having to trudge through the snow to his brother’s dwelling to ask for fire yet again. But need prompted him to go see Urn anyway.  Unn and clan’s three women that lived with Urn, watched in admiration as Urn struck stones together and sparks emerged. Urn was one bright troglodyte.


Weekend Writing Prompt #189 – Troglodyte in 95 words

The Call

House, Home, Mansion, Spooky, Eerie

Douglas Ambrose had been gatekeeper at the estate for nearly a decade. In all that time, he had not once been summoned to the Great House. Today, however, the call had come. It’s purpose was mystifying, both literally and figuratively as he trudged through a thick mist that obscured the residence from view.

As he walked, worries and self doubts began to fill his head. Had the Squire heard of his dice playing at the tavern, or of the dispute with the green grocer where he overturned the apple cart on his exit from the merchant’s shop.

As the shadowy form of the Great House began to emerge from the cold December mist, Douglas set his path to the servants’ entrance. On arrival he was met by Will Youngblood, one of the footmen who informed him that the Squire expected him at the stable block.

Ambrose thanked him, and headed across the gravelled court to the block, where Hilton, the butler, nodded to an open stall door.

On entering, Douglas was faced by the Squire and his eldest son, Richard. Quickly doffing his cap, he mumbled “Good morning, Sirs.”

“Good morning, Ambrose. How are things at the Gatehouse?” the Squire enquired.

“Well Sir, Thank you, Sir.”

“Good – good. Now I have heard some disturbing news Ambrose,” the Squire began.

Oh my Lord, please no, Ambrose thought beginning to sweat at the brow.

“It has come to my attention that your son, Arnie is it? Has joined the Yeomanry as a trooper.”

“Yes, yes Sir. That is so.” Ambrose stumbled.

“It seems that he is taking that nine year old Mare of yours to serve the Crown with.”

“Yes, that’s the truth as well.” Ambrose stuttered.

“That will never do, Man. Here take this gelding. It’s strong, and should well serve the reputation of this house.”

“Take, Sir?”

“Yes – yes, take. It’s a gift. And Ambrose, Happy Christmas.”


Tale Weaver – Gift

FOWC with Fandango — Great

Warm Winter Refuge

Cabin, Woods, Fall, Historic, Nature, Forest, Landscape

Ali chopped a bit of salt pork and tossed it into the bubbling pot of black eyes. It would be a meagre dish but warming all the same, just as their little cabin at the edge of the forest was. As cold winter rain pelted the cedar shingles of the roof, she took a glance at the old coach clock on the mantlepiece and wondered when Jess and the boys would return. They really shouldn’t be out in weather like this, but the chores still needed doing. Just as she as pondering this, the door opened and Junior and Cole stomped mud off of their boots on the porch before entering. Jess wasn’t far behind, and soon the entire family were safe in their warm winter refuge.


Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Write a piece of prose or poetry that uses the words black eyes and cold winter rain.

Alligator Fears

USS Alligator 0844401.jpg
USS Alligator – Public Domain

“So we are going to climb into that thing and do what exactly?” Petty Officer Brown asked.

“Well, it seems we are to supposed to go destroy a bridge, and remove some obstacles the Rebs have put in the channel.”


“Yes, the Alligator is perfect for it.” the engineer said.

“Yes Sir, if you say so Sir,” the sailor responded.

“You sound doubtful,” the engineer observed.

“Well Sir, it seems to me that keeping afloat is what the Navy is about, and this sinking on purpose seems a little daft.”

“Well, times are changing Petty Officer, you will see.”

“I hope I will be able to when this mission’s done,” the sailor replied crossing himself. “I just of this gator’s not a crock.”


Tale Weaver – #298 – Underwater – 22nd October



Angus’ mum sent him to the shops to pick up a loaf of bread.  It was much like any other Saturday morning until he turned the corner onto High Street.  Little did Angus know, that he had inadvertently become the star of a Hovis advertisement.

(45 words)


Friday Fictioneers

First Flight

image: Padre’s Ramblings


He was nervous, but the amount he had been offered was more than a mere street urchin could hope to acquire in a month.  Now, standing on the rooftop, and the distance to the piazza seemed impossible. 

Angelo felt the harnesses being tightened around his emaciated frame, and the canvas and weight of the wooden frame made him wonder if the experiment could ever work. 

“Now,” Mr. Leonardo called from the ground, and Angelo felt a shove from behind.  He immediately crashed onto the cobbles.

“Not bad for a first flight,” Da Vinci said, looking down on the boy.




August 13: Flash Fiction Challenge

Highway Robbery

Girl, Sword, Sports, Nature, Portrait, Weapons

Victoria_Borodinova at Pixabay


Highway robbery isn’t what it used to be

When your Highwayman –  is a she

She has some style – and she has some grace

And she rides like a fury – our horses outpaced


The mail and some bullion –

From the driver she received

And then of my purse and my watch

I was next relieved


She was courteous and civil all the while

But it doesn’t diminish that her crimes are vile

What has happened to the women of today

When your very own daughter could treat you this way?



The Test

Dragon'S Head, Viking, Ship, Boat, Vicky, Flake


Brother Eardwine rushed down the aisle pausing only long enough to genuflect before the altar.  He had to hurry, for three sleek, high-prowed vessels had been spied just as dawn began to break.  It had only been the isle’s contrary tides and the prayers of the brothers that had bought him any time at all.

Father Winfrith joined him only a moment later and the two men quick deposited the silver chalice and crucifix into an old sack.  Reaching under the altar the priest retrieved a small golden casket and placed it reverently into the bag.

Leaving the chapel, the pair made their way to the scriptorium where Winfrith selected a single volume and added it to the sack.  A large number of clay inkwells and similar worthless vessels were then thrust into a second sack.

“I’ll take the pottery,” Winfrith said. “You take the relics to the cave and don’t return until someone comes for you.”

“Yes Father,” the young brother replied.

Eardwine then covered his tonsure with his cowl, and headed down a narrow passageway.  Meanwhile,  Father Winfrith threw his sack over his shoulder and set off to draw the attention of the raiders.

By late afternoon, Eardwine could smell smoke on the breeze. He sat cowering in his little refuge for two days, but no messenger ever arrived to beckon his return.  It was only hunger that in the end drew him into the open, and thus, he returned to the ruins of his monastic home.

With devotion in his heart, and Saint Matthew’s tax ledger and pen at his side, Eardwine vowed to rebuild his community.  But being a pragmatic youth, he decided to take his sacred treasures inland, abandoning the island forever.

No one can alter God’s will, and the Lord had surely preserved Eardwine and the relics on this occasion.  But when it came to rebuilding – well – as Saint Matthew himself wrote: “‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.”




Saturday Mix – Double Take

Our homophone sets this week are:

aisle – walkway
I’ll – contraction of “I will”
isle – island

alter – to change
altar – raised centre of worship

An Immigrant Tale

Cabin, Rustic, Historic, Log, Wood, Rural, Home, House


For five long years they said I’d serve

It ended being ten

For I could not read the indentures

When they handed me the pen

America it did then seem

A prime opportunity

I served my time in Carolina hot

Then it was Pennsylvania then for me

I scratched out a little living there

Got a wife and children – three

Then plucked up the courage to try my luck

Over the hills in Kentucky

Among the Shawnee – I did live

A farm of all my own

Far from old Ulster that had been

My father’s lifetime home





Deepest Cut of All

What Was It Like to Be an Executioner in the Middle Ages? | Live ...

Image: Shutterstock

It was perjury plain and simple, but no one was going to seriously question the crown’s witness.  The entire affair, and that term is chosen advisedly,  was orchestrated by the king.  The queen had grown to be a liability, and there were fresher flowers to be picked at court.  So the queen’s own bodyguard gave testimony, and as the lies and half truths were uttered – his words cut deeper than a knife.  Deeper than a knife indeed, for soon the young queen would have a date with the Headsman.




Metaphor this week is: – His words cut deeper than a knife.