Royal Ruins

I was recently challenged to dash off a piece of flash fiction in response to a visual prompt – this photo of the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers:

Castle Ruins

And so, after a few minutes’ creative consideration, the following piece was born.


There was beauty in ruin, he thought.

In the breath of winter, cold as death, encasing all it touched in diamonds and lace.

In the masterful chiaroscuro of smoke and soot against the palest plaster.

He’d always thought his childhood residence too neat, too clean, too plain in its strain to be perfect.

For “pretty” things, “respectable” things, he had neither use nor desire.

But now… upon his return, all these long years later… the castle matched its prince.

Broken, darkened, forsaken by all.

More than a match.

It was home.


I hope you enjoyed the read! And if you’d like to enjoy more gorgeous photos – plus a video – of a burned-out French castle, this link is for you. (Edit: Or this link to the photographer’s album. So many great shots!)

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