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Viktoria stood gazing out the window, her heart heavy with the burden of protecting her people. This is a different type of blog. It is one inspired by visiting a special place, feeling the vibrations of people and events that occurred in that place. It is a story that comes from my imagination, woven through with some authenticity derived from historical research. I hope you feel it.

Viktoria stood gazing out the window, her heart heavy with the burden of protecting her people. Named for victory, the weighty responsibility pressed upon her as the surrounding mountains pressed down upon the valley below.

Despite the fortress towers’ hopeful reach heaven-wards, dark times loomed. Invading forces drew near, and the people looked towards Viktoria’s fortress home for protection and sanctuary. The afternoon sun dimmed, as if shrouded by an approaching storm. Viktoria felt the enemy close, ready to unleash chaos and destruction upon her homeland.

Determined to save the fortress, Viktoria needed to inspire the villagers to repel the the invaders. After her parent’s sacrifice, the fate of her people rested on her shoulders, and she vowed not to let them down. Dressed regally in red, Viktoria approached the western stairs. Her blonde hair fell down her back, providing a beacon of light and hope in the dark times that surrounded her. As she reached the top of the west stairway, she knew the time had come.

Viktoria stood before the servants and villagers gathered below, her voice resonating with strength and hope. “My people, our ancestors fought bravely to build this fortress, and we shall defend it with every fibre of our being! We will stand strong, united as one!” The villagers listened; their faces filled with determination but also fear. Viktoria knew that it was not enough to inspire them with mere words. She needed a symbolic act to ignite their spirits.

Amid the thickening darkness, Viktoria raised her arms towards the heavens. The villagers watched in awe as she began an ancient dance full of esoteric signs and gestures, channelling the power of her ancestors and the wise ones. With every movement, she invoked the strength and courage of those who came before her. Time stood still as Viktoria completed the ceremony. Her heart pounded in her chest as she reached the final stone step.

A surge of energy coursed through her, and the air crackled with power and promise. Suddenly, the entire fortress was enveloped in a warm golden light. The darkness receded, and the sun emerged from its temporary eclipse. The people, gasping in amazement and hope, rallied behind their princess. Arming themselves they took their positions along the fortress walls, ready to repel the approaching enemy. Viktoria’s display had ignited a flame within their hearts, and now they were determined to protect their home. As the invaders approached, the villagers fought with courage, inspired by their princess’s unwavering resolve. The enemy, caught off guard by the unusually fierce defence, faltered and retreated.

Victory was theirs. Viktoria, the princess named for victory, had brought light to the darkness, becoming a symbol of hope and strength for generations to come. Today the west staircase still crackles with energy. Some who climb its steps can feel the power enmeshed in the cold hard stone; the power of strength in unity and unwavering determination in the face of adversity.

Postscript: This story was written after a visit to the Klis Fortress, just outside of Split, Croatia. It was a place full of memories etched in the stones. Afterwards I responded to a challenge to write a 500 word story. This is the result. I also made a piece of photographic art to illustrate my story. All elements in the art are photos taken by me, no AI was used. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this.

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Vestiges of Victory embedded in Stone