Pagan Times

Photo copyright: Douglas M. MacIlroy:

Photo copyright: Douglas M. MacIlroy:

With only her, her mother and the children at home, Vesper was a dangerous time. So Donella had shut the entrance. Yet the Viking attack on the Broch was furious. Their fire had damaged the stout timber entrance, now their axes rained down upon it. So Donella and the children constructed a defensive barrier against the hatch.
She was also worried for her men. They had gone to the hills hunting. If they returned, their anger would boil over. But three against eighteen was bad.
She, her mother, the children, would sooner kill themselves rather than becoming chattels for pagans.

Footnote: The object with chains in the picture, reminded me of slavery and death. Whilst today I have walked in the footsteps of Vikings and Christians around Burnsall.

Mike attempting to  write.

Mike attempting to write.

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    Those Vikngs get such a bad press. I liked the detall, especially the description of the broch

  2. Moon

    Such a terrible plight.
    Very well written.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It seems that in many lifes terror will find a way to be an intruder. So pleased to receive your comments, thank you.

  3. Sandra

    It’s looking kind of hopeless, I think.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Their Broch is very well constructed. So I have hope that the hunting party will return in time with another hunting party they came across whilst hunting. Then the single Viking boat crew will leave, although Vikings often returned in greater numbers

  4. athling2001

    Another great historical piece. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you athling, I do enjoy considering historical times when writing

  5. Susan A Eames

    This was such an interesting take on the photo prompt – I really enjoyed reading it.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Susan, I was so pleased to read your comment

  6. yarnspinnerr

    Well done MH.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much yarnspinnerr,

  7. Iain Kelly

    They didn’t hold back in those days, I hope she manages to hold out.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The hunting party is returning with some companions, she and they will see the Vikings off this time!

  8. granonine

    Desperate times, for sure. The tension is very real.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you granonine, I enjoy using history and architecture in fiction.

  9. pennygadd51

    You give us a graphic description of the peril the women are in. I hope they manage to fight off the Vikings.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Penny, this time the Vikings will fail, as the hunting party returns with company. But the future my be bleak, as the Vikings often returned.

  10. lisarey1990

    An excellent piece filled with history.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Lisarey, I do enjoy using history when writing flash fiction.

  11. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Those Vikings were a fiercesome mob. Great detail.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Irene. History certainly gives them a fierce image, yet they also had a lot of culture and art

  12. michaelwynnauthor

    Great description and atmosphere taking us back to those times, nice one Michael

    1. Michael Humphris

      Good to hear from you Michael. I must balance the Vikings image at some piont, for they also had a well defined culture and art.

  13. Alicia Jamtaas

    Tough times, those. You portrayed fear and defiance in your tale. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It was pleased to read your feedback, thank you, Alicia.

  14. Christine Goodnough

    You’ve led us down a really interesting path with your story. Sometimes, reading history, I wonder how people ever bore the life of suffering, captured by a war party and later living as captives in a foreign land.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The human will to survive can be strong. I think that there must have been two sides to the Vikings, for they also had culture and art.

  15. Sarah Ann

    A vivid picture into what what it is to be attacked in your own home. The determination to survive under their own terms comes across well.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Sarah, history and the present day is sadly littered with such events.

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