Photo prompt round-up: Vista #writephoto

There were fires in the valley below as the procession arrived. Such a long journey, so many turnings of the sun in the walking. She had learned to read the flames, she who was marked for the sacred enclosure, serving her clan and their gods.

There had been fires on the hilltops, dotted across the landscape in a line that followed the contours of earth. The fires had faded now, banked against the night. There were none here as she waited for the sunrise, no flames to help her find vision…

Her hand crept to the feather at her throat. Her gift from the gods, the colour of flame. She had strayed from the path, seeking silence… preparing her Self for what was to come.

The great bird had wheeled overhead, soaring above the trees in the morning. She had looked down and seen the rainbows caught in the feather, bright against the grass and smiled. Cutting a thin strip of leather from her girdle she had bound the feather at her throat, hearing the keening cry of the bird on the wind.

Touching its softness, she found confidence. What would come would be as the gods willed. Life or death, success or failure… They saw clearer than their fledgling seer. She was theirs to take…

She pulled the furs close around her, the ground wet with the dew as the dawn came closer. The time of her testing on the hill of vision.

In the half-light, the valleys were shrouded in low mist, making the land unreal and seeming to shift… islands in an unseen sea.

She had been prepared by those who waited with her, high on the hill. She had been bathed in the sacred spring that ran from the chalk below this place, winding as a clear stream into the valley. There was a shallow pool beneath the trees. She could not see it in the half-light, but she knew its course and felt for it in her mind and body.

She had not eaten, only drunk of herbs steeped in its water for three days. She was marked with ochre and dressed in a clean robe. She heard them stand to greet the sun, but did not turn to the east with them.

She watched them through other senses, familiar with the rite, seeking to feel herself within the land and sky. She saw her shadow on the grass as the sun rose, gilding the mists. It was time.

Below the summit, where the flat plateau echoed the one so far away, a fire bird wheeled and keened to the sun. She wondered if it was her bird, the one whose feather she wore…

No matter. They were kin and she would ask its help.

Sending thought into the air, she sought the bird in her mind, feeling herself meld with its grace, letting the sensation of flight take her skimming the wind, feeling the swoop and rise in her stomach…

Excerpt from The Initiate ~ Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The photo for this week’s prompt was taken halfway up the earthwork known as  Cymbeline’s Castle, or sometimes Belinus’ Castle, just outside Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. The lower part of the hill is officially classed as a motte and bailey, with several other associated earthworks, the remains of a Roman villa, a medieval nunnery and a sacred spring close by.

Behind it, the higher part of the hill is a Beacon Hill, crowned by a round barrow, and hiding the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers. This area is rich in archaeology, going back to the most ancient times, and the five-thousand-year old Ridgeway runs through the site.

For us, though, it is a strange place, where, on our first ascent, we seemed to be ‘carried’, for want of a better word, to the top of a hill that should have left us breathless and panting. We watched the red kites wheel below us and named it the Hill of Vision, for that seems to be its function.


Thank you to everyone who took part, visited or reblogged the posts or left comments for their authors. A new prompt will be published later today. As always, I will reblog as many contributions as space and time allows as they come in… and all of them will be featured in the round-up next Thursday.

All the posts are listed below, so please click on the links below to read them and leave a comment for the author!

Pingbacks do not always come through… if you have written a post for this challenge and it does not appear in the round-up, please leave a link to your post in the comments and I will add it to the list.

An invitation to writephoto writers…

As there are usually too many contributions to reblog all of them every week, and so that we can get to know their writers, I would like to invite all writephoto writers to come and introduce themselves on the blog as my guest! Click here for details.

Come and join in!

Thank you to all Contributors!

Kerfe Roig at K-Lines that Aim to Be

The Indishe

Lady Lee Manila

Jemima Pett

Shweta Suresh at My Random Ramblings

Cheryl at The Bag Lady

Craig Towsley at A Bunch of Dumb Words in a Row

Jude at Tales Told Different

Christine Bolton at Poetry for Healing

Fandango at This, That and the Other

Helen Jones

Jaye from Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Michelle Navajas at michnavs

Aashi D Parekh at Falling Upwards

Jules at Jules Pens Some Gems

Tessa Dean

Richa Modha at Richa’s Blogs

Annette Kalandros at Hearing The Mermaids Sing

Frank Hubeny at Poetry, Short Prose and Walking

Happysoul at Live Love Laugh Learn

Neel Anil Panicker

Haroon Mirza at Haroon’s Blog

Jane Dougherty Writes

Daisybala at freshdaisiesdotme

Anisha at Crazy Nerds

Christine Bialczak at Stine Writing

Dr. Crystal Grimes at Mystical Strings

S. S. at Mindfills

Na’ama Yehuda

Balroop Singh at Emotional Shadows

Brian F. Kirkham at The Inkwell

Lee Ann at Unfocused

Goff James at Art, Photography and Poetry

Aseem Rastogi at Transition of Thoughts

Di at pensitivity101

Joelle LeGendre at Two on a Rant

Trent P. McDonald at Trent’s World

Willow Willers at willowdot21

Kim Blades

Iain Kelly

Jez Farmer at About the Jez of It

Kitty’s Verses

Honoré Dupuis at Of Glass and Paper

Reena Saxena

Sadje at Keep it Alive

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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24 Responses to Photo prompt round-up: Vista #writephoto

  1. willowdot21 says:

    This is a beautiful piece Sue thank you for sharing 💜


  2. Patty says:

    Reblogged this on Campbells World.


  3. Patty says:

    Reblogged this on Campbells World.


  4. memadtwo says:

    That story could almost be a mirror to my poem. Magic. (K)


  5. anaelleamaya says:

    Very lovely story ✨ ✨ ✨


  6. Thanks Sue.
    Lovely story


  7. Thank you to all the contributors, and for another great challenge. As allways it was agreat pleasure to read. Have a beautiful weekend. Michael


  8. Jules says:

    I sometimes watch a show about the ancient sites in your area. There are so many energy spots that some are attuned to more than others. I enjoyed your story – and I could place myself in the wonder.


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