What Pegman Saw : Last night I dreamt …

Image : Google Street View

I saw them often, the housekeeper and the new wife.

The housekeeper always pinned and pressed, neat and stiff as a mannequin. The new wife trotting along behind, stockings runkled, collar tucked in. Far too young for that suave husband, don’t you think? Young enough to be his daughter.

So different from the first wife. All fur stoles and satin gowns and diamonds. Flinty, though, a cruel twist to her mouth. What happened to her? Drowned? She didn’t look the boating type.

Well, this evening as I was putting Dotty to bed, I smelled burning, sharp and bitter – very close. I pulled back the curtain and there it was – Manderley burning, flames licking the window frames, the roof a blaze of red, tiles shattering to the ground.

I do hope … Do you think anyone was inside?

***

Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Street View as its starting point. This week we are in Portmeirion, Wales. See here to join in.

I saw this view and it looked as if the white house was watching the grand one in the foreground, spying almost. Then for some reason I thought of the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, of a neighbour watching the comings and goings at Manderley, Maxim and the second Mrs de Winter and Mrs Danvers …

The title is taken from the opening line of the novel – Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

21 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw : Last night I dreamt …

    1. Thanks you Crispina. I have a confession, I made it through the first few chapters of Rebecca … and then stopped reading! Not sure if it was how slightly dated and stilted it reads, how unremittingly horrible Maxim is, how the second Mrs de Winter is a bit of a simpering ninny … Is it worth me returning to? I had two goes at Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and was glad I did (not tried the Goldfinch though – sounds too much like hard work for me!)

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      1. As with any of the ‘classics’, I beleive it needs to read while holding in mind the mores of the time. In fact, it sets us a good example of what isn’t acceptable today. 🙂

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    1. Haha! Maybe. Rebecca has drawn comparisons with Jane Eyre – very moody, mysterious with family secrets, threats and a seriously unpleasant/dangerous housekeeper. And Rebecca is the name of the first wife, which strikes as weird until you read it. Thanks so much for reading Karen, glad you enjoyed the story

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      1. Ha! But some people adore it and read it over and over. It’s dated I think – I found Maxim just awful, patronising and insufferable and I couldn’t understand why the second Mrs de W was drawn to him. But I might try again sometime. It took two attempts for me ot read Donna Tartt’s A Secret History and that was worth persevering with.

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      2. Funny how that happens. Proof that not all styles are for all sorts.
        I confess to having started Mrs. Dalloway twice and still I’ve not gotten through it. Might have been a frame of mind thing, though.

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      3. I have a confession to make – I never finished The Book Thief! One of the most lauded books of its time and I just got bored. As you say, not all books suit everyone

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