What Pegman Saw : Ghost Smiles


‘… here we go round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning …’

Francis watched his cousins: Ivy’s primrose hair tumbled from its ribbon; Johnny’s  socks were wrinkled, scuffed white from the gravel path. As the oldest, Francis would be in trouble for the grass stains, for the smudges of dirt on rosy cheeks.

‘It’s a box hedge,’ he muttered. ‘And it’s June. No frost in June.’ They didn’t hear, just kept on laughing and skipping.

He could write his name in perfect copperplate scrolls by the time he was four; had known his times tables by six. At each fresh achievement his parents had shown ghost smiles, eyes soon drawn back to the morning paper. No ghost smiles for the twins. Everyone adored them.

Almost everyone.

‘Let’s go into the maze,’ called Francis.

His pocket felt heavy and he smiled.


Written for What Pegman Saw, a writing prompt using Google Street View. This week, we visit the Palace of Versailles. Pop along here to join in and to read the other stories.

27 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw : Ghost Smiles

  1. Impeccably written and charmingly menacing! Describing Ivy’s hair as ‘primrose’ is brilliant. You’re very clever hinting that the twins are over-privileged while making it clear that the real driver of Francis’s rage is actually the neglect of his parents.


  2. I had to read the comments to hopefully find out more – but you are leaving us guessing- and righfully so- but something is up….
    and the ominous ending fit the photo vibe

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohh very atmospheric and sinister, Lynn. Feels French. I hope that doesn’t offend too many French. I love the detail you put in the narrative and it is all linked when you get to the end. nothing wasted. As it shouldn’t be. A masterclass in tight prose. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Lynn,

    This takes sibling rivalry to a new level. I felt for Francis, at the same time he terrifies me. As always, your brilliant descriptions have me in the moment. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

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