Birds of a Feather – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in his picture (below).
Once again Al’s photo raises, in my mind at least, bleak images of war, and its ultimate futility.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read this story:

Birds of a Feather

The swallow swoops, startled, from her nest.
The roar of battle begins abruptly, the castle walls quivering under the first onslaught.
Her home, high under the eaves of the tower, shudders and crumbles slightly.
Rocks, hurled from trebuchets, thunder against the ramparts.
Huge battering rams on giant wheels are trundled forward, crash against the mighty gates.
Arrows pour across the sky in both directions, men screaming in anguish as many find a mark.
Ladders are raised, hooks on ropes flung high, seeking enough purchase to support a man’s weight.
Axes are wielded, climbing attackers plummet to the rocks far below.
As growing numbers of assailants near the top, boiling oil is poured from great vats.
The howls of the grotesquely scalded shatter the afternoon air.
At last evening falls, the aggressors withdraw.
The battle is over till the morrow.
Out of the gloom a twig is borne through the sky.
The swallow swoops, happily, to her nest.

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10 Responses to Birds of a Feather – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    I love this piece CE. The comparison of the battle for the swallows best like that of Medeival castle. Great imagery and I was happy at the end, there was peace for the swallow. Hope you have a wonderful week

    Hugs 😀


  2. Great writing, C.E. You had a vivid battle going on there. What a scene! I loved the comparison of the peaceful bird to the battle. You’ve done your research into medieval wars. Brutal. —- Suzanne


  3. Sally says:

    Great writing, atmospheric. I love the use of the bird in it.


  4. Tales From The Trunk says:

    The more I read your work the more I discover that you are a master of imagery. This story is devastating and beautiful all at once and that is an amazing thing.


  5. I like this poem. Nice juxtaposition.


  6. It certainly holds a lot of images that can be played with within the mind. Nicely done.


  7. Graham Lawrence says:

    Lovely, well rounded, and nicely sandwiched in ‘real life’


  8. Lynn Love says:

    It is a blea, darkly descriptive piece – full of action and death and violence. But the motif of that swallow gives a ray of hope – despite what awful things humans do to one another, the world still turns. Nice story, C


  9. The full circle of this is cool. I like it the descriptiveness and the bleakness.


  10. Dear CE,

    This is almost more verse than story. My mind is swimming with the images. The way you started with and brought it back around to the swallow is masterful.




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