What Pegman Saw : They come

‘They come at night.’

It is the last clear thing Hutter says. Afterwards there is only the hint of words amid the sweats and anguished mumbles.

As Frau Weber gives over her second best bed sheet for the binding, the party is solemn but nothing more – death is an unwelcome but assumed companion on such an arduous journey.

Then Oma Jansen passes, slumped over her washing stone like a bundle of her own laundry. I sense true fear after Uwe dies. A big man – strong as a bull – falling like a rotten larch. No one speaks of it but later prayers echo loud in the darkness.

It is only after my Margarethe goes that I remember Hutter’s words … at night.

The sun sinks behind the mountain for the last time. Something shifts through the fir trees, sending crows laughing skyward. Cold metal presses against my throat.

Margarethe, I come.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Streetview. This week we are in Yellowstone National Park and what a place. See here to join in, to read and comment.

 

 

 

 

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38 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw : They come

  1. There are some wonderful details in your story – “second best bed sheet”; “death is an unwelcome but assumed companion”; “slumped over her washing stone like a bundle of her own laundry.” They are so exactly right!
    Lovely story, as always Lynn!

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    1. Thank you Penny for the kind comments. I love it when people cite particular lines too – let’s me know where I’m going right (and wrong!) I could write more on this setting – I like the idea of a ghosts story in the wilderness, wondering what creatures might be out there, waiting. Thank you again

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  2. Oh you wondrous, descriptive writer, you. I was going to remark on the same lines as Penny and Rochelle did. So, won’t now. But know I loved them as well.
    Night brings most sinister things in your land…

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  3. Wonderfully sinister suspense – and I, too, loved the little details, like the second-best sheet. But I was thrown off at the end by the metal against his throat. I had been guessing this was some sort of paranormal or magical plague, that perhaps they were bitten by something terrifying, so where does being knifed fit in?

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    1. Ah, I see what you mean. The metal at his throat is supposed to be either a knife, or perhaps the muzzle of a gun as he’s about to finish things before ‘they’ get to him. He’s watched the others die and wants to join Margarethe by his own hand. Though thinking about it, if he was a religious man he’d think suicides go to Hell, which would separate him and his Margarethe forever. Hmm. Good spot Joy. If I expand this tale I’ll have to bear that in mind. Thank you for reading and glad you liked the details.

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    1. Thanks very much Jane. Glad you felt that tension, I wanted it to feel as if something was coming, though that’s a bit ambitious for such a few words. Thanks again

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    1. Ah, thanks so much Kelvin. Really glad you thought it worked. I loved the idea of something sinister in the wilderness, people fighting the landscape and the wild and also something ‘other’. I have thought about writing something longer around this. I’ll give it more thought. Thanks again

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  4. This won’t be the last time I say it, but your vignettes always give an inkling of a greater but invisible context, like passing by a lighted window at night and seeing a brief household scene before passing on, wondering how it might fit into the lives of those seen and unseen. You make those fleeting moments so vivid and believably authentic, somehow. Magical.

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    1. Ah, I wanted to write something to capture how beautiful your writing is, but Calmgrove did it for me (and far more eloquently that I would have managed). Just beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you Chris. And I love that analogy about windows, the idea that the stories and characters have existed before we see them and will exist afterwards too, snapshots of lives. Thank you for the kind comment

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