Besieged – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Flash Fiction for for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It asks us to write a piece of fiction from the photo prompt provided in around 100-150 words – give or take 25 words. It encourages us to comment, constructively, on other entries, so supporting each other’s writing. If you’d like to join in with this challenge, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Wednesday to Wednesday every week.

Here is this week’s prompt, a beautiful picture, kindly provided by Sonya:


. . . and this is my story:

Sir Robert de Baux peered over the battlements, wary of revealing himself to the archers below. Fires of the enemy encampment encircled the castle – as they had done every night for the past six months.

Today, a determined assault on the castle had begun. Mangonels had hurled rocks at his outer walls and rams pounded the eastern and western gateways. None had met with success – but the trebuchets were almost constructed and the assault could go on for weeks. And food supplies were already dangerously low.

In the welcomed silence of the nightfall, he headed for the Eagle Tower, where his young wife would be waiting for news of earlier negotiations.

‘What says Sir Hugh, my lord?’ Alys asked eagerly as he entered their quarters.

‘My elder brother still claims the castle is rightfully his and that Father unlawfully disinherited him for siding with King John. The assault will continue until we surrender.’

Alys gave a wan smile. ‘The pigeon I sent out returned today. My father’s forces should be here within the week.’

Word Count: 174


My ‘extra information’ was too long on this occasion to attach to this post, so I’ve made it into a post of its own. For anyone interested, it can be found here.


If you’d like to view other entries, click the little blue frog below:


41 thoughts on “Besieged – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

  1. This is excellent Millie! I love how the pigeons “save the castle and occupants” at the end. Amazing word smithing! You hit it out of the park again! Thank you so much for participating in FFfAW challenge. I appreciate you!

    1. Thank you, PJ. We had a day out to Warwick Castle on Wednesday and siege weapons were on my mind! The trebuchet there is quite inpressive. I’m late with my story this week because we were invaded by family as soon as we got home – hence the day out for us all. Thank you for your kind words – I appreciate you, too.

      1. That’s wonderful that you were invaded by family. That’s the best kind of invasion! I’m thrilled you were still able to write a story! I was expecting not to get a story from you this week, so I was delightfully surprised.

      2. Thanks, PJ. Yes, I have family here until Sunday, then I may get some peace! We’ve been out again today – up to York this time. I couldn’t resist doing a story when i saw the prompt. As you know, I’ve done lots os historical posts about castles – and I love the things! I’m just starting to read some other entries, I haven’t even read Lou’s yet, and she’ passionate about castles, although she does love her fantasy, too.

      3. I hope you enjoy your family while they are there and then tomorrow, I hope you will get some rest and some peace. Thank you for submitting a story for the challenge. It was great!

  2. You have created a perfect scene. I can imagine Sir Robert de Baux peering over the battlements. I love the smooth flow of story and I wish that forces would reach before a weeks’s time!
    I love reading it 🙂

    1. I know … I can’t keep away from historical posts! Thanks Scrapydo. (I’ll do some catching up next week on people’s posts I’ve missed while I’ve been away. I intended to read some while in the hotel, but the only place with internet connection was in the lobby – and so many other guests took the seats there, so I gave up!) 🙂

      1. When I’ve been away, I get worried about all the posts I’ve missed. I did intend to keep up with people’s posts until we got to the hotel. We were informed that all rooms had internet access – but very few (if any) of them did. The lobby was the only place I could connect, and so many other guests filled the place every night, so I gave up. But I know exactly what you mean about blogging becoming overwhelming at times. It certainly does.

    1. Thank you for that! 🙂 I didn’t want Alys to seem timid and mindless, as many medieval women are portrayed. Making it her idea to send out the pigeon gave her a little spark. 😀

      1. of course women even if they are not that famous in history but surely some of them had the power and enough will to change its course.

    1. A siege was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this prompt – probably because we’d just been to Warwick Castle and taken photos of the trebuchet an ballista there! I love your phrase ‘pigeon postman’! Thank you for that. 🙂

  3. Reading story like this brought me back to the old historian time it seems! 😉 If there was castle close to where I lived, I would have thought I was living in the history lol 😛 Good job Millie! ❤

    1. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw your prompt, Sonya. I’ve been away a while and have family with me now, but I had to write something for that prompt! Thank you, 🙂

  4. Welcome back! Loved it. Beautifully written. You passion for writing historical fiction shines bright 🙂

  5. After I read this, I read through the information provided, so once again, I have learnt many a new thing! Very interesting indeed. This Island sure has a rich history.

    1. I always think how lucky we are to live in a country with such a rich history, dating back such a long way. Of course, I’m speaking as a history lover, and I realise there are many people who see history as needless and totally boring. I’m glad you aren’t amongst them, Francesca. Thank you for the nice, positive comment.

  6. I had seen this post last week and had bookmarked it to be read afterwards. I’m so glad that I have finally read it. I loved the imagery Millie. 🙂

  7. My favorite thing about this story was in the end, she came through for her husband 🙂 . Love the ancient language in this story, it gives way to a better visual imagery of the scene

    1. Thank you, Ammena. I really liked this prompt and as we’d just visited Warwick Castle and looked at the siege weapons there, I knew immediately what I could write about. I don’t like to make my heroines seem too weak and feeble, beacause I’m sure many women at that time were not. 🙂

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