Microfiction Three Line Tales: Chapel

These three lines are for Sonya’s challenge.

photo by Ales Krivec via Unsplash


The curé had the key to the fortified chapel, the tour guide said, and he was indisposed unfortunately, so they wouldn’t be able to visit it after all.

The group murmured its disappointment, each one with his or her own vision of the round, windowless place of worship beset by hordes of heathen barbarians from the dark depths of history.

The guide gave a silent sigh of relief as he herded them back to the safety of the village, thankful that they would never find out that the windowless walls had not been built to stop invaders getting in, but to stop the nameless, undead occupants getting out.


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.

25 thoughts on “Microfiction Three Line Tales: Chapel”

  1. how awful for this guide always having to worry about saying the wrong thing about the windowless walls and hurrying them on so he doesn’t get accidentally walled in. nice one Jane – so imaginative.

    1. Thank you! That’s an interpretation I hadn’t thought of 🙂 I meant to imply that the walls were to stop something that was already walled up in there getting out, but tourists could be just as awful 🙂

      1. oh please not because of me and my silly brain. i tend to imagine what the writer says and not just read the words. but tweak if you must only if it makes you feel you have said what you really wanted to.

      2. It’s thanks to a fresh pair of eyes on a text that we tweak out the nits 🙂 I hadn’t seen what was obvious, so thanks for pointing it out. I’ve made a precision. Hope it reads better now 🙂

  2. I think there are many, many churches that could tell some awful tales, if only the walls could speak. Haunting and atmospheric, as your writing so often is, Jane
    It is a funny building from this angle, isn’t it? Quite blank and faceless. A cheerless place to worship God

    1. I can see that the ‘them’ is ambiguous and could mean the tourists. I’ll tweak.
      We have huge fortress churches in the north of France with only arrow slits for windows. They look like warships, totally out of proportion with the villages they’re attached to.

      1. It was usually Germans 🙂 They weren’t really Germans then, but it was a very rich part of the country and also happened to be in the path of any army from the Carolingians onwards. The church was the only stone (or stone and brick) building so everyone holed up inside when the trouble started.

      2. Hence they became settings for some awful tragedies. Some parts of the world are hot spots, historically, aren’t they? Just at the crossing points between countries and continents or strategically useful. Poor France has had a lot of blood spilled on its soil for that very reason

      3. The north of France is awash in blood. Britain is lucky in not having been invaded since the Normans. The royals have been German for centuries, but that doesn’t really count.

      4. Yes, we were invaded a few times early on, but have had not just German but also Dutch monarchy with William of Orange of course. I think we also had a small group of French soldiers invade in the 18th century – but they soon surrendered. The Second World War came pretty close, I’m sure. Only the 20 miles of the Channel between us and Nazi occupied France.

  3. Ooh, great twist at the end. I actually preferred the “them” at the end — with the italics, I thought it was clear that there was some unknown “them” locked inside, and I liked the mystery of that better than naming the monsters. But if some readers are confused, you don’t want that, I can see. Either way, very interesting and spooky!

  4. I started reading the story without looking at the photo, and I was confused and thought there were walls around a building. (Perhaps hearing too much about a particular wall DT is planning to build.) It’s an odd building though, isn’t it?

    1. There are a lot of medieval churches built like this, as a refuge from attack. In Ireland the early churches had round towers where the monks could get away from the Vikings. In the north of France there are massive churches built like dreadnoughts with arrow slits instead of rose windows, so the idea isn’t an alien one.

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