This blog is for all who desire to create with words and images.
You are encouraged to participate in any way that is meaningful to you.

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All prompts beneath the photos are only suggestions.
You are free to use the photo to be inspired to write any way you desire.
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you may offer your writing to any prompt anytime.
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Write and you are a writer.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ancient Stones

Photo by Reno
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Suggested prompt...
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Tell an ancient tale inspired by the Colosseum.



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Gordianus blinked rapidly in a futile attempt to rid his eyes of sand. Full summer in Rome and the white-hot disc of the sun was just past the zenith. The buzzing of flies was thunderous in his ears, almost drowning out the roar of the cheering crowd. Gordianus could feel the flies crawling over his chest and belly. Their feet were like feathers on his blood-streaked skin, and he thought it would have tickled if he hadn’t been in such agony.

Gordianus corrected himself: part of him was in agony, the part where a huge tiger had mauled him, shredding the belly flesh. He could not feel his legs. He realized he could not move his legs. Judging from the unnatural twist to his abdomen, Gordianus thought “I must have broken my back when the tiger pushed me backward over the rock that had been behind me”. His throat spasmed as he sucked in a wheezy lungful of air, grit scouring his raw windpipe. Gordianus coughed weakly and spat into the sand under his right cheek. It felt warm and wet. He could see four fat drops of blood beading up on the sand, hard and bright in the unforgiving sun, like the eyes of a tarantula.

Gordianus felt a wave of dizziness was over him. He was beginning to feel cold as the blood leaked out of his ruined abdomen. He became aware that his left arm was pinned, held under something large and furred. Swiveling his head, he turned to find his face mere inches away from the enormous fangs of a dead tiger. The mouth was gaping open slightly, a thin foam of bloody spittle trailing out onto the sand. Gordianus could smell the remains of its breath, a steamy combination of wet iron and rotting meat. A huge paw rested on the sand between them. He resisted the urge to reach out and shake it. The eyes of the tiger were half closed as if awakening from a pleasant nap. Just beyond the thickly muscled shoulder the blade of a heavy sword jutted out from between two ribs, its hilt against the sky like the mast of a macabre ship. Gordianus realized his last blow had been lucky. He must have hit the lungs even as the tiger was ripping into Gordianus’ belly. “My friend”, he thought, “If only we had been sleeping, lying on the plains of my homeland. I am sorry you and I have come to such an end.”

The gladiator’s eyes began to dim, and he knew he was dying. He lolled his head back, seeking one more glimpse of the Colosseum that had been his second home. He waved his right hand feebly in goodbye; the approaching slaves thought Gordianus was trying to send them away. They hesitated, in awe of the fighter. Gordianus’ mouth twitched up in a small smile, shuddering as the final breaths left his lungs. As his vision went black, he mouthed a prayer, beseeching the gods to allow his soul to rest with all the others trapped among the stones of this arena.

The tiger said nothing, mute and unseeing, Gordianus’ hand resting on its massive paw.

~
Irish Gumbo

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5 comments:

Inkpot said...

The lions were starving. They hadn't been fed for over a week. They roared to be let out of their cage, almost as loud as the roar of the crowd who were hungry for blood. Lucy tried not to hate them - the crowd or the lions. The first she would pray for and the second she knew were only doing what was in their nature. She clung to her sister and raised her song in praise of God. She knew she would be in His presence soon. Was it wrong for her to ask that the lions claws and teeth would't hurt too much? The drummer above the gates to the cages banged on the big hide drum. The metal gates creaked open and the great tawny beasts bolted out, straight for Lucy and her family. She closed her eyes. Please God may it be quick, she prayed.

Cynthia said...

Ah, to be Roman is to be Godly. We are at the center of the World. All other cultures wish they were Roman. All roads lead to our busy streets. A Republic ruled by Senators that speak for the people, an army that is mostly undefeated, and a populace filled with every culture imaginable. In Rome, you are one of three classes: a Soldier, a Politician, or a Slave. The Soldiers bring peace to the world - the Pax Romana - by taking land and making everyone realize the Dream that is Rome. The Politicians keep that dream going by passing laws and building cities. The slaves are the working class and take up the majority of the Country. Slaves make clothes, harvest food, treat the sickly, serve at bars, take care of finances, offer advice, and fight in the games at the Colosseum. We have brought art and technologies into this world that no other country has done!! The day Rome falls, will be a sad day indeed, but that will never happen!

America is the best country in the world. All other countries wish they could be us. Their people risk their lives to live here. A Democracy ruled by Senate and Congress that speak for the people, an army that is mostly undefeated, and a populace filled with every culture imaginable. In America, you are one of three people: Veteran, Upper-Class, or Working-Class. The Veterans and current soldiers bring peace to the world by showing other countries Democracy. The Upper-Class rules the big Businesses and makes the big decisions. The Working-Class takes up the majority of the America. They make clothes, harvest food, treat the sickly, serve at bars, take care of finances, offer advice, and play in the Sports Stadiums. We have brought art and technologies into this world that no other country has done!! The day America falls, will be a sad day indeed, but that will never happen!

Irish Gumbo said...

Gordianus blinked rapidly in a futile attempt to rid his eyes of sand. Full summer in Rome and the white-hot disc of the sun was just past the zenith. The buzzing of flies was thunderous in his ears, almost drowning out the roar of the cheering crowd. Gordianus could feel the flies crawling over his chest and belly. Their feet were like feathers on his blood-streaked skin, and he thought it would have tickled if he hadn’t been in such agony.

Gordianus corrected himself: part of him was in agony, the part where a huge tiger had mauled him, shredding the belly flesh. He could not feel his legs. He realized he could not move his legs. Judging from the unnatural twist to his abdomen, Gordianus thought “I must have broken my back when the tiger pushed me backward over the rock that had been behind me”. His throat spasmed as he sucked in a wheezy lungful of air, grit scouring his raw windpipe. Gordianus coughed weakly and spat into the sand under his right cheek. It felt warm and wet. He could see four fat drops of blood beading up on the sand, hard and bright in the unforgiving sun, like the eyes of a tarantula.

Gordianus felt a wave of dizziness was over him. He was beginning to feel cold as the blood leaked out of his ruined abdomen. He became aware that his left arm was pinned, held under something large and furred. Swiveling his head, he turned to find his face mere inches away from the enormous fangs of a dead tiger. The mouth was gaping open slightly, a thin foam of bloody spittle trailing out onto the sand. Gordianus could smell the remains of its breath, a steamy combination of wet iron and rotting meat. A huge paw rested on the sand between them. He resisted the urge to reach out and shake it. The eyes of the tiger were half closed as if awakening from a pleasant nap. Just beyond the thickly muscled shoulder the blade of a heavy sword jutted out from between two ribs, its hilt against the sky like the mast of a macabre ship. Gordianus realized his last blow had been lucky. He must have hit the lungs even as the tiger was ripping into Gordianus’ belly. “My friend”, he thought, “If only we had been sleeping, lying on the plains of my homeland. I am sorry you and I have come to such an end.”

The gladiator’s eyes began to dim, and he knew he was dying. He lolled his head back, seeking one more glimpse of the Colosseum that had been his second home. He waved his right hand feebly in goodbye; the approaching slaves thought Gordianus was trying to send them away. They hesitated, in awe of the fighter. Gordianus’ mouth twitched up in a small smile, shuddering as the final breaths left his lungs. As his vision went black, he mouthed a prayer, beseeching the gods to allow his soul to rest with all the others trapped among the stones of this arena.

The tiger said nothing, mute and unseeing, Gordianus’ hand resting on its massive paw.

Anonymous said...

Cynthis has hit the rusty nail on the head. What glow will reflect in the crumbling architecture of what was once the mightiest power on earth? Where will the lions roar be heard next, and where are the proud gladiators now?

Hedgie said...

That reminds me, dear; you need to clean your dentures.


(mea culpa-- I find temptation irresistible.)