A Close Shave

The terrorists hadn’t quite realized that Shakespeare’s Macbeth is more fiction than fact and so made a detailed study of Macduff’s successful strategy for the final battle against the confident tyrant.

Calling themselves the Act V Battalion, they failed to locate a local wood named Birnam, and had to settle for whatever scraps of tree and plant they could get their hands on.

They were, of course, spotted well before they reached the Pentagon’s inner security fence, but the temporary collapse of the highly trained and armed-to-the teeth security forces into paroxysms of helpless laughter almost gave them the success they yearned for.



Written for Rochelle Wishoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers  100 word challenge.

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36 Responses to A Close Shave

  1. Catherine says:

    Perhaps it is my undying love of Shakespeare and in particular MacBeth but I think this is genius! Wonderful take on the photo.

    • Thanks for reading. I also think MacBeth is a great play. Have read it many (say six) times. Saw Kenneth Branagh directing and in the lead role recently. Stunning. Lots of mud and blood. Don’t sit in the front row if you’re seeing it live.

  2. mike olley says:

    The ‘Act V battalion’ wins it for me. Great stuff!

  3. rgayer55 says:

    Very entertaining and amusing, Patrick. I enjoyed this one very much.

  4. Dear Patrick,

    Fiction just doesn’t always mirror real life, does it? Highly entertaining.



  5. Unique take on the prompt. Well done!

  6. Ha,, loved it.. Scum MacBeth indeed..

  7. atrm61 says:

    lol!This was fun-that last two lines were exceptionally funny:-)

  8. julespaige says:

    A tad confused at first, but methinks with help I might understand now.
    Though forsooth I have not read or witnessed the play, which of course is the thing!
    I have yet to tackle this prompt and may have to do two – since Al did a vampire piece.

    Thanks for your visit.

  9. Lots of fun, Patrick. I’ll keep a lookout for the 2014 tour!


  10. Ha ha , very clever! “As I did stand my watch upon the hill, I looked toward Birnam, and anon methought The wood began to move.”

  11. “We few … we happy few … we band of idiots.” Well, at least they knew Shakespeare even if they were lousy terrorists.

  12. Entertaining, amusing and the ‘Scottish Play’ all in 100 words.
    ATartanElephant is enchanted!

  13. draliman says:

    I must admit I haven’t read the play, but I enjoyed your story nonetheless!

  14. Hilarious and literate — darling, this is wonderful!

  15. kz says:

    hilarious, Act V Battalion–i like that 🙂 lol

  16. Jan Brown says:

    Wonderful story! Wouldn’t it be great if all evildoers were so ineffective 🙂

  17. Sandra says:

    Great take on the prompt Patrick, couldn’t help but smile.

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