Spent Coinage, by Barney MacFarlane

“So, there I lingered,” recalled a chastened Athelstane of his disembarkation at Constantinople’s Golden Horn … “Cutpurses to the left, cutpurses to the right. Yet mostly to the rear.”

“Effendi,” his interrogator scoffed ironically, eyelids withering upon Athelstane’s tight drawstring breeches, “perhaps it was your rear that enthused them.”

Athelstane smiled, recalling the means by which he had been lightened of the bulk of the ducats brought with him from Brindisi. Yet such pair as he was to be relieved of now, on his grand tour of self-discovery, were more spherical than merely circular.


​He crossed himself. And his legs.

From: Friday Flash Fiction


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