Wednesday 11 January 2023

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 277

This week's prompt photo is an unknown. I had saved it from twitter, but the account it came from is no longer there. Usually Google image search, or Tin Eye give me a lead, but this time there were zero matches. I could choose to use a different photo of the same thing, but something about the shadows and the blue light inspires me more than any others of the same location I've looked at, because this is a famous location. It's a stone colonnade in Park Güell, a stunning park in Barcelona that was designed by Antoni Gaudí. Should you see this and say, this is my photo - give me a shout and I will give it full credit. I look forward to the day that all digital pictures can carry the name of their creator. 

This week a clandestine conversation. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

A view under and between ancient stone columns. The columns on the left are vertical, and the roof arches over tothose on the right that lean out at a 30 degree angle. Sunlight is coming through the stone columns on the right, the shadows falling across the ground in a striped fashion. The location is the  in Park Güell, a stunning park in Barcelona that was designed by Antoni Gaudí.


“We can’t hide here forever.”

“What other option do we have?”

Daphne strolled with Darien through the ancient colonnades of the partially ruined castle on the Duke’s grounds. Her eyes were full of fear and her jaw tense, as he glanced at her striking profile.

“We have to get you away from here before Earl Harrowith returns.”

“But I am not sure I can desert this land and my people–”

“They are no longer your people, they have made that clear.”

“They’ve had their minds twisted by Lord Cannon. He provides endless false claims and manipulates others into deluded thinking for his own ends.”

“He wants our riches alright, but pretends to others that he is liberating them from us as though we have some special power over them – when the reverse is true. But we can not fight him, not here, not now.”

“Tell me where and how?”

Darien laughed. “That day has not yet come, my beloved, first we must depart and let the world die down. We need to find a safe location where you won’t be found or recognised and where we will live a very different life.”

“And is there such a place?”

“Yes, I believe I have found it.”


“I have entrusted no one with that information, and I don’t dare tell even you. I have made plans though, for each stage of our journey, so no single person can work it out.”

“But we will be followed, surely? We haven’t been able to take a single step out of here, since we were ousted from our home.”

Daphne stopped walking and stood wringing her hands as her eyes searched the gardens between the columns for the glint of sun on lens glass.

“That will change tonight. I have arranged disguises and papers for our trip.”

“Disguises? Do you think they will work?”

Darien was pleased to see a glimmer of hope spark in her eyes.

“Yes. I do.”

Later that evening, after the Duke of Redmaine hosted the annual dinner for over a hundred clerics and nuns from more than fifty parishes, no one noticed two additions leaving with the rest of the attendees. The car they left in was a slightly different model and not chauffeured, but no eyebrow was raised as the Queen and her consort drove out of their public lives into oblivion.


  1. Professor Mangan hurried along the corridor, his feet pursuing his thoughts of his next meal. Should he opt for a simple pleasure or select a more substantial offering? He’d noted several fast food outlets trading in the market, each promising to satisfy his baser needs, but it was the nationalised British delicacy of battered fish and potatoes which was most likely to be his preferred selection. Should he buy whichever snack he encountered first or resign himself to being patient? The fish and chip shop was one of the last he'd reach from his current position.

    The corridor arced away to his left, its right side pierced by archways. Long shadows zebra-striped his way ahead, slices of light and dark alternating beneath his feet as he hurried. If nobody intercepted him before he was clear of the college campus, he stood a good chance of getting served before the queues began.

    “Professor Mangan?” Its voice was almost a monotone, its only inflexion a minor lifting of pitch toward the end of his name. Its speech was also artificially generated, as though created by a text-to-speech application, such as sometimes used by terrorists and kidnappers on some of the shows he never watched.

    “Professor Mangan. You will follow. There is no time to delay.”

    Mangan stopped when he saw the obstacle blocking his way. It was squat in a way that belied its height, the width of its base sufficient to prevent him from squeezing past.

    It was the obstacle addressing him, its singular eye attached to the end of a stalk, its iris dilating and contracting as it followed him.

    “Professor Mangan,” it said again, its tone noticeably harsher and more urgent. “You will come with me now or I will begin to use force. We only need to keep your head intact.”

    1. Ooo, what an opening!! Intriguing stuff! Thanks for joining.