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 Tuesday to Tuesday every week.
Here is this week’s prompt, kindly provided by Louise:
And this is my story – which is very late this week:
A low mist hung over the lake, the small craft moored along the bank materialising only as she crept closer. In the pre-dawn gloom the lakeside village still slept. By the time her people rose, Brietta would have long since gone.
She feared her trembling legs would betray her, that she’d collapse before she reached the boat. Yet she must reach the man she loved…
But Cynric was Prince of the hated Bernicians, and her unforgiving father, King Urien of Rheged, would kill them both if he knew.
A dark shape suddenly loomed and panic struck.
‘It’s only me,’ Owain whispered, hugging her tight. ‘Don’t worry, sister. I’ll make up some story about where you’ve gone to delay anyone searching for you.’
Brietta choked back a sob of gratitude. ‘I’ll come back to see you once –’
‘Once Father is dead and can’t make you marry the loathsome Hueil. I know. Go! Cynric’s waiting.’
Cynric rowed out into the mist-shrouded lake, the pain of Brietta’s loss diminished by being with the man she loved.
Word Count: 174
If you’d like to view other entries, click the little blue frog below:
Just a note:
Rheged was one of the ancient Celtic kingdoms of Britain, located in the area of present day Cumbria (Lake District area, where Louise took the prompt photo) and spreading out quite extensively to both north and south. It survived until the beginning of the 8th century when it was assimilated into the Angle kingdom of Northumbria.
Bernicia – where I have Cynric coming from – was one of two earlier, independent Angle kingdoms (the other being Deira) which became part of Northumbria in the 7th century, well before Rheged was was also ‘consumed’.
I have set my story during the reign of King Urien (c 530-590) when Bernicia and Deira were still kingdoms in their own right. Needless to say, the Celtic kingdoms fought hard against the invading Angles, Saxons and Jutes, as the stories about King Arthur well illustrate. King Urien and his son, Owain, are included in some of those tales.
Information about this Celtic kingdom can be found at The Rheged Discovery Centre at Penrith. We went when it first opened in 2000, and were quite disappointed with what was on offer, but I believe it’s quite different today. However, reviews are still very mixed.
For anyone interested, I have written a post about The Lake District to accompany this one. It can can be found here.