Galleon was crying out to be part two of last week’s Fresco story. Well, you seemed to want a part two, anyway. Fortunately the #writephoto prompt from KL Caley at New2writing.com fell right into my lap, and we pick up where we left our couple, lounging on the Romanesque dining chaises. It’s 760 words.
At first, the serving boys came to them and offered specific dishes, explaining what they were. This was helpful, because while the sheeps’ eyes were obviously eyes, it might help to know they were sheep and not human sacrifices. Once the dishes started to recur, the boys merely checked with them again, and moved on if not wanted.
Then the procession of dishes on boats began. They floated round the dining guests on the streams, which had gradually filled to a higher level once the guests had taken their places. Some dishes pretty much balanced on rafts, others were on more delicate craft.
Since other people helped themselves to the dishes that took their fancy, she reached out for a sort of pate, one of four small dishes on a miniature barge which had obviously been overloaded at the start of its journey.
“Mmm,” she sniffed, “mainly olive with sesame and some other things, maybe it’s the equivalent of hummus.”
“Get one for me, too then,” he replied, leaning a little further out to rescue some flatbreads neatly resembling sails on a tiny felucca.
“How long do you think this will go on?”
He shook his head and took a bit of pate on flatbread. “Maybe I’ll ask the wine boy next time he comes round.”
Dishes of marinated green beans swept up on the current, to be unloaded onto their dining lounges.
“These are delicious! Do you think I can ask for the recipe?”
Cubes of yellow food which might be cheese, bean curd or some sort of squash, turned out to be omelette. They weren’t sure whether to be pleased or disappointed with them, since the dainty swan-boat had promised something more interesting.
She passed on the strips of fish and meat but he sampled most of it and pronounced them excellent, especially the calimari.
The afternoon wore on, the dishes kept coming, and they kept nibbling. Just having small tastes of the dishes fed the stomach, but not the eye, and they were always ready to take on something else new and interesting.
Then the boats got grander. A working trireme, the oars driven by a waterwheel, carried a superb display of vegetables and fruit, piled up in a delicate display which seemed to maintain its shape wherever the diner picked from. A Viking longboat carried a whole sheep’s head—roasted to perfection, but they both decided to pass on it.
“Did they have Vikings in Rome?”
“They had Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas stealing a bell in one, didn’t they?”
“That might have been Hollywood.”
“It was based on a novel…”
“By a man named Lear?” They collapsed against each other, continuing the badinage as the wine relaxed them to the point of hilarity. She tensed and pushed herself up. “Oh, my….”
A galleon, at least four times the size of the other boats, was making its stately progress towards them. “It smells like roast pork.”
It was… a whole roast pig. The tore off strips with some nifty pincers provided on the galleon’s railings, and added the crackling to their plates, now mostly left with scraps and salad leaves.
“Do we get a chance at seconds?” he asked, allowing the tender flesh to melt in his mouth for a few moments before chewing to extract more flavour.
“I wonder how that is moving along… the sails aren’t up.”
“Mmm…” he studied it for while, then closed his eyes to savour the meat as he swallowed it.
“Uh, how can that be?”
“What,” he said, eyes still closed.
“Tiny people, inside, rowing it along, look!”
He peered in: “and stoking the fire to keep the pig hot, too…. How amazing. They are calling to us, too, waving, look.”
“That’s not calling, that’s screaming.” She was suddenly fully alert. “We have to leave, now. Now!”
She rolled onto her side, struggled to her feet, and leant her hand back to help him.
“Are you sure, it looks fine to me?”
He grabbed her hand and got to his feet, then staggered after her as she started to run, jumping over several streams with other galleons on them. Now they could see that many of the couches were empty, although there had been diners there before. Remains of meals lay scattered among the cushions.
“Where?” David panted.
“The fresco, I think it’s over there.”
The red devil seated in the picture rose to greet them. “Going so soon? But maybe it’s for the best. I hope you enjoyed the experience.”
They left. Fast.
© J M Pett 2023
5 thoughts on “Galleon | #writephoto Flash Fiction”
Oh! Have they escaped, that was just pure genius Jemima absolutely great. …. Are you going to finish the story this week or are leaving it to our imagination.
I really enjoyed this second part …
Oh, I think they’ve escaped. Unless of course, they run straight into Morgana’s Anomaly!
Tremendous Jemima. What a fertile imagination. Huge Hugs
Brilliant! I never saw that coming.