Posts Tagged ‘castle’


Castle walls cast long shadows. Stones seeped in history stretched in long battlements upon the coast. You could almost see the soldiers watching over the channel for white sails over dark seas.

Sometimes the locals swore it was more than almost.

A baker saw a gaunt face in her misted window. He pressed his finger to his lips and was gone.

A party of five laughing men walked into the pub. They took a table and ordered drinks, telling stories over pints of ale. When the young bartender asked them to pay the tab, they gave her coins marked with strange faces. The coins vanished in the morning, leaving only grains of strange white sand.

There was a legend they told, of another castle, built in the same place to watch the same waters, but in another world, a world of mist and shadows. Sometimes soldiers from one castle passed over to the other, recruited to keep the watch, lured by the promise of faerie gold.

And if you looked at the walls when twilight fell, when the mists hung low and golden light danced on the waters… Maybe you could see that castle, just for a moment.

Word Count: 198

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.



Each night, as the red sun dipped over the horizon, Lorena stood by the castle gates, looking out upon the moonlit moorland. Her sword was in her hand, the rings of her mail shone gold-bright, and her dark eyes glinted beneath her polished helm.

The wind blew cold against her cheek and carried the whispers of far-off voices: her mother lost to plague, her father slain by steel, and her bold love Badogund who had ridden over the hills into battle never to return.

They begged her to come to them, to kneel before the darkness that lurked upon the moor, the shadows that spread through the skies, and the black-eyed emperor in his rough-hewn throne.

Lorena stood firm.

They tested her each night for a hundred years and still she did not yield.

Word Count: 135

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and The Magesticgoldenrose for providing the prompt photo!


The fate of dozens of bubble shows was revealed yesterday as the major networks announced their renewals and cancellations. Here’s a list of them all and my reactions.


It was an absolute slaughter at ABC headquarters with its new president assuming control and clearing house.

510tylzqlbl-_sx500___111209022226Castle is the biggest name on the entire list and the one that saddens me the most personally. It was a rather undignified exit for the venerable procedural, as its current and final season feels like an unnecessary dark sequel (the main story arc of the show was wrapped last year). And I’m glad that we won’t have to suffer through the horror that would’ve been a season of Castle without Stana Katic, as was rumored for a season 9. You can’t do that. So RIP Castle, the last good procedural.


The Muppets revival is no more. Fans of the Jim Henson creation will have to settle for the next cameo-laden movie.

Nashville ends a respectable four season run, going down in what was not a good season for fans of musical television shows. (All hail Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, you’re our only hope.)

The Marvel universe (finally) shrinks a little, as Agent Carter gets the boot. I haven’t seen Agent Carter and it seemed to be well liked but I have to say I have a massive case of Marvel overload and it’s nice to know they will be ever so slightly less omnipresent next year.

galavant-2Galavant, the hilarious, strange, wonderful, heartfelt, and gloriously anti-fourth wall musical-fairy tale-comedy was, alas, too strange to survive on network TV. But fear not, its season 2 finale wrapped everything up, its soundtrack is on Spotify, and I wouldn’t doubt a Broadway revival in the future. If you missed out on this one, please do everything you can to watch it. I promise you, it’s awesome.

The Family  was also cancelled. Though I’ve never heard of it so I guess it’s no surprise. If you are the show’s fan, my condolences.


CSI: Cyber has been cancelled, thus ending the legendary CSI franchise. However, it’s s 2016 and it hasn’t really been anything other than a punchline for at least a decade now. If your grandma asks you when that show with that woman from Boyhood is coming on, just tell her it got its name changed to NCIS. Same difference.


The Grinder and Grandfathered, two critical hits, meet the Firefly fate and wrap after one season. I would not be surprised, however, if The Grinder finds second life on Hulu or Netflix. The Rob Lowe comedy was already a level above most other network comedies in its freshman season and seems something right up the alley of streaming sites. I have less hope for Grandfathered but at least we will always have the Drake and Josh reunion.I’m not gonna cry I’m not gonna cry I’m not gonna cry…

Bordertown and Cooper Barrett  were also cancelled. If anyone cares. No? Didn’t think so.

And that does it. Any other shows that are ending were either planned to end this year or cancelled early. Which cancellations hurt you the most? Let me know!


Covered in dirt and blood, Grimhilt stood at the base of the stone stairs. The door had been closed behind her, held fast by an iron beam. Soldiers flung themselves against it, trying to break through. The hinges strained and the wood buckled, but the door stood strong.

Grimhilt looked up the stairs to see him standing there, clad in simple robes of black. He wasn’t running. He knew there was nowhere left to run.

“Duke Stevrin,” Grimhilt said. “I have come for you.”

“I know.”Stevrin kept staring out, looking at the green fields in the distance.

“You killed my family. My husband. My sons.”

“I know.”

“I’m here to kill you.”

Stevrin turned to face her and she saw the black sword in his hand.

“I know.”

She rushed up the stairs towards him, knives in her hands. They collided like waves and shore, their blows roaring like thunder.

Word Count: 150

This is my entry for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thank you to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode for providing the photo!


If you’ve been living under a network TV rock, or perhaps have ventured into a futuristic world of streaming-and-premium channels only, perhaps you haven’t seen or heard of Castle. In such an unlikely event, here’s all you need to know: Castle is a procedural drama about a detective and a crime author teaming up to track down murderers. It’s one part odd couple, one part buddy cop, and two parts Murder She Wrote.

Now, onto the point of the post.


She’s armed, he’s dangerous

At its inception, Castle was an above-average cop show, carried almost entirely by the insanely likable leads- Nerd King Nathan Fillion as author Richard Castle and newcomer (to being in a starring role) Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett. It didn’t stray too far from other cop shows, feeling like a slightly better version of Acronym:City. (Wait. What do you mean they’re all different shows?) Over time, Castle was able to set itself apart from its competition as the insanely likable leads got even more insanely But the show itself stayed pretty much the same. Every now and then, they’d throw in an X-Files style episode, but none of them ever actually ended up being supernatural. Kate would be right, there’s no man behind the curtain. A trick of the light, a madman playing a prank.

And then came “Disciple.”

Coming in season six, “Disciple” is past Castle’s heyday. In fact, most Castle fans will tell you the show’s run its course, and is now overstaying its welcome. But the show was able to provide its fans one hell of an episode before its creative mojo went kaput.

What “Disciple” does that aspiring writers could learn from is simple: It ups the ante. Their X-files episodes always ended up being much ado but nothing. The show isn’t actually a Sci-Fi, after all. There’s real world rules to follow. This time, it throws the rules out the window. But it knows how to do so. It doesn’t throw in dragons and magic sorcerers attacking New York, (though now that I think about it that would’ve been awesome) but instead it provides us an only-barely Sci-Fi concept. One that requires a little bit of suspension of disbelief, but not enough to completely jar a viewer.

The concept of the episode is this: A serial killer is using the handiwork of a prolific plastic surgeon to turn his victims into doppelgangers of the main cast. The result is spooky and dark in a way the show had never been before. And as the two-parter unfolds, it only gets spookier and darker. And, in contrast to every other X-files style episode they do, the science fiction aspect is proved, not dismissed. The plastic surgeon really can create any face she wants, as long as her cadaver has the proper facial structure. And by the end of the episode, she’s about to operate on Kate.

After six years, Castle only really convinced me of a main character being in lethal danger twice. Once in the season 3 finale “Knockout” (where two characters actually get shot) and then again in season 6’s “Disciple.” By upping the ante by making an episode that was darker, scarier, and bending the rules a little bit, they managed to create real tension again. For a moment, Castle became not just a better version of Acronym:City but showed us that there’s all the talent involved the show to make it a classic, had they gone this route earlier.


Or maybe not. You see, part of the reason why this episode works so well is it plays on six years of built up expectations from Castle fans. After six years, we all expected the sci-fi element to be a red herring. There’d be some explanation that settles everything in a nice little bow and the doppelganger corpses will be fake outs. So as the episode went on, the viewer is on edge waiting for the rug to be pulled out- for the metaphorical Scooby Doo moment. But it never comes. And when the episode embraces its uniqueness fully, you realize how special it is. And you get hope that maybe its a sign of changes to come.

But Alas, as the show went on, things went back to normal. And as good as they are at the procedural formula, it’s a formula that runs stale rather easily. “Disciple” may well be the last great episode of the series, depending on how Season 8 unfolds. And it stands as a lesson to writers everywhere: Don’t be afraid to change things up in your work, as long as you do it tactfully. Throw us a curveball every now and then. Let us think a story will go one way, or that a plotline is a red herring, and take advantage of our presumptions to fool us.

But don’t spend six years building up to it, please.

Here’s my entry for this week’s Mondays Finish the Story. I slipped back into the genre I’m most comfortable with- fantasy- and I think that it turned out fairly well. Here’s the link to the original prompt.

Word Count: 148

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island. It had been built long ago, as a refuge from the world beyond. As wild hordes ran across the west with blazing torches and iron blades, the fair folk had taken to the sea, anxious to outrun the furious persecution.

“They must never find us,” Lasius, the elf king declared, wearing robes of white silk that shimmered like morning mist and a crown of golden laurels. “We must be secret and vigilant.”

He and his fellow refugees had set to work, building a castle within the stone of the island. They built it brick-by-brick, carving out battlements and archways.

When at last it was done, they cast an enchantment upon the waters: a perpetual fog, dark as night, that hid their sanctuary from view. Then they sat in their halls, lost in the monotony of eternal hiding.

Lasius stood on the shore like a ghost, keeping watch forever.

Poem- Black Tower

Posted: September 23, 2015 by J.A. Prentice in Poem
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This is a poem I wrote using some fantasy imagery. There’s a bit of a story to it, but it’s more of a scene.

Black Tower

Black stone tower stands over desolate wasteland

Surrounded by death- lifeless rocks, leafless trees, fields of dirt

Once there were great fields of dandelions,

Vineyards of fertile vines, bearing grapes the size of apples,

Forests full of arching branches and bright green leaves

Running brooks, crystal clear

Long grasses and shade-granting trees

Now- nothing but death and desolation

The black tower stands

And within the arched hall

There sits a man upon on a broken throne

His fingers grasp it like an infant grasping its mother

Robes of power drape greying bones

Lifeless eyes sit beneath golden crown

Once there was life here, but no more

No more