A Wall? #writephoto

The weekly #writephoto prompt is

Twas a dark and stormy night…

Harold Pinstripe lifted his sword. ‘Quo Vadis?’ He’d developed quite a nice boom, which counterpointed his natural Dorset burr and made him sound more bull than buffoon.

‘Yer what?’ The cloaked figure stopped in his approach, evidentially surprised.

‘You heard me, Seth Turnup. Quo Vadis?’

‘Course I heard you, Harry lad. I may eat too many swedes but I ain’t deaf. What you on about?’

Harold sighed. ‘It’s the new Garrison chappie. Trying to perk things up. He’s brought in these new commands.’

‘Quo Vadis… though…’

‘…it means Who Goes There?’

‘I know it does, Harry.’

‘And even though I’d know your smell anywhere, I have to ask…’

‘I know you do…’

‘And you have to answer Seth Turnup and I let you pass…’

‘All as per…’


‘So why use sodding Latin? How does going back a century and some perk things up?’

Neither man spoke. The wind picked up and ruffled their capes. It was a clear night and they could feel a storm coming…

And the roads were dry and clean…

‘You going to say it?’

‘In Latin?’

‘Do you know your name in Latin?’

‘Sethus Turnupus?’

‘Did you make that up?’

‘I suppose. Can I pass?’

The rain began in earnest. The two figures pulled close to the parapet and crouched down. Peering over the top, Harold said, ‘How’d you get here?’

‘Same as ever.’

‘Roads any better?’

‘Not since the Romans left.’

‘You miss the old days?’

‘The slavery, the permanent humiliation, the beatings…?’

‘The roads, the central heating, the wine…?’

‘Bit of a toss up, I suppose.’

‘If you had a wish would you go back?’

And I was walking backwards to the place where I had been…

‘Nah. Things are looking up.’

‘Seriously? You seeing rose-tinted blandishments?’

‘Maybe. I was born an optometrist.’

‘You should listen to what you see. You’d be surprised.’

And suddenly I saw a noise…

‘If I look, what will I hear?’

The deluge formed puddles around the two men’s feet. A flash of lightening lit up the battlements. Harold pointed at the puddle. ‘A mirror to your future.’

In the puddle another Seth Turnup stood on the self-same battlement, though this Seth wore a yellow hard hat, Hi-viz waistcoat and held one end of a digital theodolite. The figure looked at the two frozen soldiers, waved and disappeared. In the mirror the battlement crumbled.-

Seth, so stunned, faceplanted on the rough surface. Harold shook him until he sat up.

‘What was that, Harry?’

‘Looked like you, Seth.’

‘What was he doing?’

Stood on my face and looked

‘Measuring the walls with a magic wand thingy, I’d say.’

‘In the mirror?’

‘In the future.’

‘What for?’

‘They looked like they need fixing.’

And there is was, it came again

‘Looks like they need the Romans, as much as we do.’

‘Every castle needs its Roman.’

‘Deep, Harry, very deep.’

I did the splits, had fifteen fits

‘Do you think they’ll know about us in the future?’

‘Probably not. Unless we’re ghosts.’

‘Hope not. Always think they look lonely.’

‘We come in alone and we leave alone…’

And left myself with me

‘Deep. Tea, Harry?’

‘Tea, Seth.’

The nonsense between the nonsense was my father’s favourite nonsense. Does it mean anything? Probably, but not in this universe

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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26 Responses to A Wall? #writephoto

  1. Your Latin seems as limited as mine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joylennick says:

    Sometimes, Geoff…Your nonsense is very graphic AND funny, as in NOW. I loved it, which probably says a lot about me too… Tee hee.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam Lazos says:

    Perhaps they were already in the future and didn’t realize they were looking at the past although if time is not linear and it’s happening all at once then perhaps they were simply eavesdropping on their own parallel reality. Or perhaps …🥴

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved all the nonsense, and it made perfect sense to me. I’m pretty sure that the nonsense within the nonsense will scan perfectly with “Ten Green Bottles.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel says:

    I’m reminded of Hamlet – on the watch tower.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Brilliant as ever excuse me rushing through life is keeping me in the here and now but there’s always time for a Geoff ramble!! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Another fun story, Geoff. Love your imagination. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. V.M.Sang says:

    I enjoyed it. Nonsense, but we need about if nonsense in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. KL Caley says:

    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. 🙂 I loved it Geoff, particularly had a soft spot for the theodolite scene (having a husband who’s a land surveyor it tickled me). Thank you for another fabulous #writephoto entry. KL ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Ah, a man and his theodolite are such lifelong companions… I’ve always thought that we ought to have an ‘adopt a trigpoint’ campaign to save them from being lost to future generations…

      Liked by 1 person

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