Three line tales: Fionn

This three line story is for Sonya’s weekly challenge to write a story in three lines inspired by the photo below.


Fionn stepped onto the strange bridge over the dry stone river, hanging his harp over the parapet as a sign.

The bard traced an arrow on the misted pane and set off in his tracks.

With luck the Fianna would follow and help bring the lost hero home.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Three line tales: Fionn”

    1. Thanks! I image a sort of Doctor Who scenario with ancient heroes getting lost in an urban jungle and a druid/seer having to steer them all back into their own time.

      1. I’d love to read that!!! The first question that popped into my mind though was, about the druid having to lead them back to their time period, ‘ah, no fun! What if you didn’t want to go back to your own time and preferred the never ending adventure?’ LOL! I have a feeling that some of the fianna and perhaps many others from the second century, maybe even the druid!, would fall in love with our modern era, the seeming awesomeness of cell phones and computers and cars, for one thing. Others would undoubtedly decide the experience would be disillusioning, I am sure. And it’s really hard to get wild boar here. But medicine and hot water and learning new things and working out a totally different social structure, I think that would be hard for anyone to pass up. Living indoors all year round and couches are pretty cool, too. Of course, it’s hard to see the stars… and most job opportunities require wearing fancy clothes, concrete and the lack of trees; … really strange belief systems about body image, the often unhealthy lengths people go to to obsess over the human condition as is evident in the way we do self help and human psychology, contemporary ways of raising children, our sometimes offensive and often baffling gender norms, unfamiliar measures of success, and the modern myths and expectations around falling in love… some definite drawbacks. Can you tell I’m excited about this idea? I can’t wait to see what you do with it! 🙂

      2. I tell you what, Éilis, why don’t YOU do it? The permutations are so complicated! You’d make a much better job of it than I would. You actually know about psychology. I just make it up. You’re dead right though, I bet many of them would love our epoch, if they managed to stay out of prison long enough!

      3. I doubt that’s true, Jane, you write about psychology all the time! I could definitely not write distopian novels, or the wonderful short fictional stories you come up with that capture so quickly entire truths about humans and what we desire and need and feel and think. I can’t world build to save my life. Good thing that’s never been necessary. 🙂 What I can do is look around this world and try to stumble around and make sense of it. Fiction is something I love to read, but don’t know enough about character building and the psychology and complexities that go into it to remotely do a good job writing it. I have my personal experience and that’s all. That personal experience just happens to include what five or six people who lived in the second century think about modern life–now that is, given who they are now. Our world has evolved since then and so have they. I can only guess what anyone would think straight out of one era and into another one. Maybe they’d think the same things they think about it now, almost 2000 years later, maybe not. But you could weave that story, what could happen if, and build the world. I am better with writing about present experiences. I was thinking, this has kind of happened to me, and got overly enthusiastic. I was not trying to take over your idea, so I apologize if it came out like that. I could relate in an interesting way, that’s all.

        LOL, you’re probably right about some people falling into prison. Especially if they didn’t learn quickly enough. The ones who thought ahead would learn what they needed to quickly because living as a free person is more important than almost anything else.

        Jane Dougherty commented: “I tell you what, Éilis, why don’t YOU do it? The permutations are so complicated! You’d make a much better job of it than I would. You actually know about psychology. I just make it up. You’re dead right though, I bet many of them would love our epoch, i”

      4. I wasn’t suggesting you were hijacking my idea, I was hoping you’d be able to take it and run with it 🙂 I love researching ancient societies and writing about them but I there is something so out of kilter in mingling different mindsets from different periods of history. People 2000 years ago saw the world so differently. I mean, we look at a star and we see a great luminous body fiery and uninhabitable like our sun. Ancient people saw all sorts of wonderful things. They didn’t know about orbits, gravity, evolution. Dammit they hadn’t even heard of JESUS! Trying to imagine how they would understand our scientifically advanced but spiritually stunted society does my head in.

    1. Sounds pretty shitty what you’ve got. It’s going to be shitty here next time around, and the US doesn’t bear thinking about. The Fianna’s going to have its work cut out.

      1. Absolutely. Actually, I think they just threw up their hands in despair and said let them sort out their own mess, and who can blame them? I hope they’re having a huge party round their fullachta fiadh eating lots of venison and wild boar and drinking lots of mead!

      2. Mind you, each one of them is worth many of us. I’d say they’ve pretty much got super powers!

      3. Ali, Ailbhe really enjoyed what you said about wild boar and mead, she says sometimes they have a night like that but actually eating food is its own physical experience which is never quite the same over there. At least I’ve been able to help remedy that situation several times for her in particular. 🙂

      4. Oh yes, I forgot about that. Gosh, imagine that! Well, we’ll all be a lot thinner, I guess. 😁 And I’m sure not having a physical self has its compensations…

      5. Absolutely! Like you don’t get sick, you don’t have to sleep, ever, which is great for people who always want to be doing something. Also you can go anywhere you want in time or space. Anywhere. Caoilte told me that after he crossed over, he decided to see what it would be like to hang out at the bottom of the ocean. Then he tried moving through the earth: and didn’t bother doing that again. 🙂

        You can be present with physical people in ways that would have been impossible or kind of odd if you were also a physical person, and because of that, you can help people grow in profound ways.

        You can leap down as many steps at a time as you want, walk through walls, stand in the middle of coffee tables, run on top of moving cars, dive through doorways with varying numbers of spiral flips on the way down, and get someone’s attention by jumping over them. (Just as examples, you know?) 🙂 🙂

        And some people who get to a point where they are ready to learn it (I’m not sure how that’s decided) learn how (or more like transform into being able) to be in multiple places at once. Fionn and Oisín can do that. It sounds cool but has its drawbacks, interestingly. It’s much harder to appear like a solid person. It’s possible to be with a physical person who used to be able to see you and they’ll never realize you’re there, or else get worried (like I’ve sometimes done) because someone’s there but not in the way they used to be. I think it’s an adjustment for everyone, regardless if they have a body or not. It’s definitely not a choice that many people take, in part for that reason. The awesome bit about having that ability, though, is that you can help heal the whole world in a single moment.

      6. Well that would be nice. I’d like to do that. But I think it’s gonna take a LOT of healing to do that, sadly.

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