Friday Fictioneers – Capitol

Photo Prompt © Roger Bultot

The first remarkable thing about the space was its spaciousness. Hall after colonnaded hall receded into the far distance.  Clouds obscured the vaulted ceiling. Even Marcus, safe big Marcus holding my hand, was diminished.

The second remarkable thing–the Capitol refracted identity. Mirrors on every wall reflected mirrors, and I saw myself seeing.

The third thing, well, everyone knows that –the mortality of gods. They killed the Emperor that day, right in front of me. And the mirrors multiplied his dying into a massacre of thousands, one death for each of his crimes.

Now we must learn to worship ourselves.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

82 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Capitol

  1. I liked the idea of the mirrors multiplying a single death into an illusion of a massacre.
    I hope to find time this week to take part – time is so fleeting.
    I enjoyed reading your piece.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I found your story fascinating for two reasons. The first is that it’s uniquely personal to you; I can’t imagine anybody else writing it. The second is that there are little quirks in the writing where you depart from the norm in a way that you wouldn’t normally (e.g. ‘safe big Marcus’ rather than ‘big safe Marcus’). You’ve written a very attractive story. I think my favourite phrase was ‘and I saw myself seeing’.
    Kudos, Neil!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well done, Neil. That last Line: Now we must learn to worship ourselves. is food for thought. My immediate thought was that this would be great for the selfie generation. However, I’m not sure whether the selfie is a sign of self-worship or more aligned with crippling self-doubt.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Neil, I also loved the flow – and your first three or four sentences had a stately vibe with a formaility and strength that fit the image so well –
    and liked the word choices:

    “thing about the space was its spaciousness”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And the mirrors multiplied his dying into a massacre of thousands, one death for each of his crimes.
    As if this could ever make up for all his crimes ~ whatever they might have been.
    Even Marcus, safe big Marcus holding my hand, was diminished. This line makes me feel as if the story is being told by a child. Probably not so.


  6. Wow, I really loved this one, Neil! Great use of a child’s voice to give an intriguing perspective. The structure and pacing really worked for me and I was hooked by the “well, everybody knows that” line. Nice effect with the mirrors too, both visually and symbolically. One of your best that I’ve read, I’d say.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked this story, and the hope that goes with it. You can only make a god die once no matter how many crimes he’s committed, so let’s imagine it in metaphor. Anything is better than a god emperor, even rule by ados with smart phones.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such wonderful descriptions, the size and grandeur of the hall humbling all who enter, and the mirrors enabling all to see everything. A great read.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have to agree with others here – that idea of the mirrors, of seeing a massacre in one death, a reflection of all the deaths the Emperor has taken … Just so good. Terrific take on the prompt and some wonderful imagery

    Liked by 1 person

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