‘What now?’ screamed Aetius.

Another hail of arrows split open the sky, hurtling down on them. On command the surviving legionnaires raised their shields and fended off the onslaught. The screams and cries signalled more men lost. The wild gale battered them, the rain hammered them relentlessly.

General Manius stared through the bleak grey storm at the huddled remains of the Ninth legion, strewn along the unforgiving rocky hillside.

They were hopelessly lost in this barren land. There was no escape. Retreat was blocked behind them, and they had no idea which way would lead them to safety. The aquila had been lost.

On all sides they were surrounded by the hellish inhabitants. Why had they been sent to conquer this desolate place? There was nothing here worth Rome having.

‘General, what now?’ Aetius yelled again.

Through the storm Manius heard an evil animal howl. Emerging from the thick fog, fearsome warriors charged towards them.

‘We fight and we die,’ Manius commanded as he hauled himself to his feet. His men followed his example. They rushed to meet their death. Manius fell to one blow from a giant axe.

The Ninth legion was lost to history. The land called Caledonia remained wild and unbowed.


203 06 June 18th 2017
Copyright A Mixed Bag

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visitย HERE.

To read more stories based on this weekโ€™s prompt, visitย HERE.

38 responses to “THE LOST LEGION”

  1. Hey Iain! I’m not going to pretend I know anything about ‘Caledonia’, but as you put that in at them end I figure it’s significant, I just don’t know what it is ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway….you’ve got this great way of creating imagery. Through the whole story I pictured perfectly the scenes in each sentence, also the emotions of the characters. I’m gutted I’m not familiar with the city/country (?) at the end because if I did, I know that what I was picturing would have come together with a bang. My loss, sadly, but it’s fab writing so I could enjoy that ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Thanks Victoria. Caledonia is the Roman name for Scotland, the country at the north of Britain, which the Romans failed to conquer – something that we Scots are still quite proud of! Legend has it the 9th legion was lost here and no trace was ever found of them. Glad you enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Iain, nice work here, and an interesting prompt to consider for weekend writing.
    I’m wondering if you did any research or just invented the names of the people. I often have a hard time coming up with period-and-place-appropriate names, and yours read as entirely natural. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I did a small amount just to get roughly correct Roman names and I knew the myth of the 9th Legion already. I have no idea of the actual names from history. If I was writing something longer or for publication I would do more thorough research!


  3. Love this, Iain.
    Already familiar with the legend of the Lost Legion, of course, but you did a great job.
    I had to laugh at your comment that we are proud of something that happened 2,000 years ago, because it is true!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is how much I’ve been gone — I didn’t even notice you were gone. Even so, welcome back! Everyone else has already commented on the interesting history of the piece, so let me call out the great emotional writing. I really got into the perspective of these brave, doomed warriors.


  5. It’s wonderful to see history written in such a fantastic way. Even though they may not necessarily be happy times.
    Good to see you back, Iain ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a wonderful story. Sad again lol. They can’t return to Rome as they will executed and tortured for returning, this land I conquered. There only honourable things as Roman’s is to fight to their last breath. Still, needless death.

    Liked by 1 person

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