Descent #Writephoto

image by Sue Vincent

Thank you to Sue Vincent for the lovely #writephoto prompt. I couldn’t resist cheating on this one and only slightly modified a scene from The Sorcerer’s Garden. I hope you enjoy!

***

Dustin waited at the base of the sweeping stairs, the heaviness of his mail hauberk welcome beneath his light leather armor. He carried his recurve bow and quiver, his sword sheathed, knives tucked in his belt and boot.

The palace lay in darkness, candles snuffed and lamps doused. Only a shimmer of powdery moonlight glided through the stair-hall’s tall windows and polished the curved marble treads. He’d ordered the King’s Guard to double patrols on the walls, leaving the palace eerily vacant.

Soft shuffling feet accompanied whispered voices above. A black hood drawn over his white hair, Tristan drifted down the stairs, no more visible than the shadow of a cloud across a night sky. Behind him, the short, square form of the queen descended, her face hidden by her cowl, a pale hand gripping the banister. She turned briefly to gaze upward at the solitary king who peered over the rail above, a ghostly specter if not for the forlorn eyes glinting in the moonlight. She raised a hand, reached briefly with her fingers in a final farewell.

The princess trailed behind the queen, her cloak open, cowl thrown back. The onyx beads encircling the hem of her black dress swept the steps with a soft hiss. Stately, defiant, she refused to acknowledge her rescuers, and Dustin wondered if she believed the dreamer’s prophesy, if her starched back signified valor or fear. He couldn’t help staring at the woman, the lines of her cheekbones, her dark eyes, and the wisps of raven hair framing her face.

Before she reached the bottom of the staircase, she too paused to look back at her father. Dustin glanced up as well, only to see the king touch his hand to his heart at the gallery rail. The woman’s gasp was little more than a whisper as her fingers returned the final gesture. The doomed king retreated, and her step faltered on the stair. Dustin reached for her arm to steady her, and for a heartbeat, their eyes crossed paths. Then hers, moist with tears, disappeared as she drew her cowl over her head, and whispered, “We must go.”

116 thoughts on “Descent #Writephoto

  1. Antonia says:

    You are a born writer, Diana! I really enjoyed reading this and it was perfect for the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s nothing quite like a big old house full of winding staircases and descending corridors to inspire the imagination! I grew up in the city, in an apartment building, and always dreamed of living in a Gothic mansion straight out of an old movie! That said, my friends and I spent most of our youth exploring the basements and tunnels beneath New York City, which are no less elaborate and foreboding than the stuff of fantasy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always wanted to live in an old mansion too. Not a new one, but an OLD one. 🙂 That’s cool that you explored beneath the city! I did the underground tour of Seattle (a tour – not a bunch of kids exploring). It’s amazing what’s below ground… and I can just imagine the fodder for the imagination!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ocean Bream says:

    Reading this excerpt makes me hunger for more! From the comments I can see this is part of a longer book – I must get my hands on it! Lovely piece, Diana. Even for such a short extract you capture emotions and visuals so wonderfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. devereaux frazier says:

    Reblogged this on Creative Writing Reblogged.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Teri Polen says:

    Perfect for the photo, Diana, I could easily see those characters as the scene played out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Teri. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It fit perfectly with the scene, so I jumped on it even though I usually try to do something original for the prompts. Have a great day and thanks for the visit!

      Like

  6. […] post in the series was kindly hosted by author  D.Wallace Peach  and you can find out more about her books at the end of the […]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, Sue’s photo goes perfect with this scene. And I remember it well from The Sorcerer’s Garden – a GREAT book!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you didn’t resist adding a snippet from The Sorcerer’s Garden to go with this photo. I enjoyed reading the scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sue Vincent says:

    Oh that’s a great teaser for the book too! x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Perfect snippet…left me wanting a lot more!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jina Bazzar says:

    now i’m curious, both about the book and the photo that prompt this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You have such a gift for creating atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done, Diana! Vivid atmosphere and great descriptions. Have a great week!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Tina Frisco says:

    Oh yes, I did indeed enjoy this! Your writing is impeccable, Diana. I was there, every step of the way ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment, Tina. Happy Dance Time! I’m immersed in serious editing of my WIP and this photo was perfect for that scene so I jumped on it. Have a lovely week, my friend, and Happy Writing. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Diana, you broke my heart in a single scene. Bravo! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dgkaye says:

    And I remember that passage. I loved that book. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mae Clair says:

    I loved the vividly drawn images. Well done, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautifully written, Diana! Thanks for sharing with us. Laughing at Jessica’s comment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Solitaire says:

    What can I say? Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Perfect picture for such a beautiful section of your poetry. Like reading this very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. A very exciting extract, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jennie says:

    Wow! Terrific, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, this excerpt is just made for the photo prompt and just as I imagined it!l I remember this section from your book, wonderfully atmospheric, and has that black/white feel to it! Hmm…I see I have to reread this after noticing on one of the comments that this is the closest you’ve come to putting yourself in a book! I’m intrigued! 😀😀 Happy Sunday!! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Annika. Madlyn is a little snarky and I admit to a bit of her sense of humor. And the two brothers are sort of my brothers. Other than that, it’s all fantasy! Lol. Have a wonderful week,my friend, and thanks so much for reading! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  24. rijanjks says:

    Wow!! I want and need to know more. I loved this.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Applesauce! Diana you never fail to impress. What a beautifully, evocatively described scene — and so moving. It makes my mouth water — wanting to read the entire story right now in one big bite.
    Happy new week hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. So that’s how you describe a stair scene? So well done, Diane. I’m sad that my current WIP has no stairs in it. Hmmm, maybe a stair-stepped hill or cliff?

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Steven Baird says:

    Terrific writing, Diana. As always. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Bernadette says:

    Your words are completely perfect for that moody picture.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Where’s the rest of it 😣

    Liked by 2 people

  30. arlene says:

    Wow, love it Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. davidprosser says:

    Beautifully written Diana as well as any scene where the Royal Family must be spirited away before the invaders breech the castle walls. The only thing was, I wondered who the heck Tristan was until I realised one of the party was using a ‘soodonym’.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Tristan is the family’s faithful guard. This is from a book and it fit so nicely with the photo, so I cheated and used it. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed! And they are definitely fleeing! Massive Hugs, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  32. What moods you’ve captured with this scene, Diana! As others have written, I felt like I was there. When you described the princess with ‘cloak open, cowl thrown back’ I felt her defiance and her ‘starched back.’ Wonderful use of the prompt, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Picturing the scene a if I were in it… Well done! Sharing. ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Wonderful descriptions. I felt as if I were there.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. balroop2013 says:

    How well this excerpt fits the prompt Diana! Given the number of your books, how do you remember the scene so well to reproduce here?
    I must say that the castle, the queen and the fight has been superbly handled by you! 🙂 Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. C. J. Jessop says:

    Great use of the prompt!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. “her black dress swept the steps with a soft hiss”…love this so much, perfection Diane. x

    Liked by 1 person

  38. You and she made a nice entrance!

    Liked by 1 person

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