Welcome to another Fantasy Art Wednesday!
When I lived in Germany I got to see a lot of beautiful castles–some set up like museums, some still serving as homes, yet others completely abandoned. One of the most intriguing places I ever went wasn’t on a tourist map, but at the end of a walking trail on top of a big hill. There remained the shell of what had once been a castle; parts of the foundation, half-walls and free standing arches. A single staircase led down to some small, bare rooms underground. What they had once been used for, I had no idea.
But something about that quiet, ancient place really spoke to me. With no one else there to explore, it felt so eerily lonely, and utterly forgotten. I wondered if the wind might carry the whispers of its past residents if I listened closely enough. History felt more real there than it had at all the other fancy castles we’d paid to enter, with printed tourist guides in hand and slip covers wrapped over our shoes. Maybe it was the sense of mystery that drew me…the longing to know what that castle had once looked like, who had lived there, and what had ultimately brought its walls crashing down. Had there been a battle? Was I standing where men had died in its defense? Had it simply been left to rot, its stones carried off to become part of other building projects elsewhere? Or had time claimed it all? There was no way to know, and so that place haunted my imagination like no other. Almost 30 years later, I’m still wondering about it when so many of the whole and beautiful castles have all blurred together into faded memory.
The picture below spoke to me much like that ruined castle I stumbled upon long ago. It looks like it might have been a glorious place once. What secrets does it have to tell? What happened to it and those who once lived there? Or is there still someone living silently among the crumbling arches, shifting walls, and rushing waterfalls? Use this as a writing prompt to find out. And as always, if you come up with something good, please share. 🙂