What Pegman Saw : Where did you sleep last night?

 

‘Tell me again why you were here, Stephen,’ said Walker.

The kid’s preppy clothes were grubby, shirt cuff button missing. His knuckles were scuffed bloody, one cheek purpled by a bruise the size of an egg.

‘I said.’ Stephen sniffed, wiped his nose on his sleeve. ‘Everyone comes to Cedar Pond in the summer. We hang out.’

‘Yeah.’ Walker crossed his arms, leaned against the squad car. ‘I came here when I was your age. Swam. Smoked some blow. Were you guys smoking , Stephen?’

The kid’s head dipped, eyes on the ground.

‘Man, we used to get up to some stuff.’ Walker crouched beside the boy who winced as he took his hand. ‘Never ended up with knuckles like that though.’ He stared into the terrified eyes, then past him, across the wide glassy black of the lake. ‘My girlfriend never went missing either. Where is she? Where’s Jennifer?’

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Streetview as its jumping off point. Do join in, share, read and comment on the other stories. See here to do just that.

I know the trees in the picture aren’t pines, but something about the area – and the dark tales surrounding Clinton Road – reminded me of ‘In the pines’ also called ‘Where did you sleep last night?’ I was familiar with the Nirvana Unplugged version and Kurt Cobain’s screaming last chorus (always makes my hair stand on end – in a good way) but I only today listened to an early Lead Belly recording. Equally magical.

 

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41 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw : Where did you sleep last night?

  1. Wow! That sets a few hares running! Is Jennifer OK? Is she at risk, or is it too late? Is Stephen a perpetrator or a victim? How can Officer Walker give Jennifer the best chance of survival, assuming she’s still alive? Great story, Lynn! It pulled me in immediately. It’s cinematic in its vitality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you Penny. I do hope Walker can save Jennifer too – and that Stephen isn’t covering up something truly sinister. Thank you so much for your kind comments ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. I thought the dialog in this flowed very naturally. Now I’m full of questions. Who did he fight with? Did Jennifer give him that bruise on his cheek, or was it ‘something else.’ Enjoyed the suspense of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, I wonder at the answers to all those question s too. Something has gone badly wrong and Stephen isn’t telling the whole truth, but whether he’s a killer … Thanks very much for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Oh, the patience of the officer! The questions he has and the ones you leave us with! Perfect.
    (Kurt Cobain practiced in the garage behind my husband’s parent’s house in Aberdeen, WA before he became famous.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much Lish. Glad you liked it. I liked the idea of Walker trying not to spook the kid too quickly, of him working up to the big questions. And were you parents in law Grunge fans? Probably not after a while … ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Another brilliant flash, Lynn. And thanks for sharing the Lead Belly clip. I wonder how many kids today (ugh, I’m calling them ‘kids’ now) are drawing inspiration from someone like Lead Belly in the way Cobain did.

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    1. Thank you Walt. I’d like to think young musicians would still hark back to brilliant artists, however old. Though bands like the Stones were heavily influenced by Lead Belly and other blues musicians from the generation above them – does that mean current musicians are looking back to the eighties for inspiration? Thank you for reading

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      1. Yes, and there was Mickey by Toni Basil, and Starshipโ€™s โ€œWe Built This City,โ€ which all but brought me to my knees. But Ratt and their ilk, plus the Violent Femmes, The Cure, and also fantasy metal like Flotsam & Jetsam…. where else could any of that have come from but the 80s!!!!!

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      2. We Built This City – Urgh! Hard to believe they were largely the same band that recorded White Rabbit years earlier. I am an eighties Indie girl really – The Cure, The Banshees, Fields of the Nephilim, Sisters of Mercy, New Model Army, the sounds of my youth. But as with all decades it was a mixed bag and half is best forgotten.

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  5. Really like your story, you capture this moment between Stephen and the officer so perfectly – the kid’s bruise the size of an egg, his snotty nose, his hurt knuckles, create an implied sense of some awful event that’s just happened. The officer cares, and where is Jennifer ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Francine. I’m glad you liked the details, the implied trouble that has gone before. Where is Jennifer? I know where the officer thinks she is as he gazes acorss that big old lake … Thanks for reading

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    1. Thank you Rochelle. Some thing bad has happened, though apart from Jennifer vanishing, I’m not sure what it is yet. Thank you for reading and the kind words

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