What Pegman Saw : The drowned man of Ram’s Island

Image: Google Streetview

The thing that upset Ma most was not having Uncle Niall’s body.

When family die, there’s a way things go, you know? The women wash and dress the dead fella, lay him in his box on a table in the parlour. There’ll be the uncles with their greased down hair and card collars, gripping pints of plain. There’ll be the aunties with their washed-out faces, fingers crimped round tea not drunk, wake cake not eaten.

But from the day Niall was found floating face down near the hide, the questions started. A poacher with no traps or snares. A smoker with no tobacco pouch, no matches. A married man with his ring finger cut clean off at the knuckle.

Time’s passed and more folk have vanished. Now Ram’s Island’s left to the heron’s and the coots, the mute mouthed salmon.

But as Ma says, ‘Some bastard knows, don’t they?’

***

Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt that uses Google Street View at it’s jumping off point. This week ,we are at Ram’s Island, Northern Island.

Why did that nature lover’s hide prompt me to write a murder mystery? It looks pretty isolated, pretty lonely out in the water, the perfect place for bad things to happen. It could also be the overhanging Brexit negotiations that threaten the peace in Ireland, the recent parcel bombs that have been claimed by the IRA. Whatever inspired this tale, it seems trouble is never far away.

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17 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw : The drowned man of Ram’s Island

    1. Thanks Crispina. You’re sadly right – trouble is just below the surface in such a divided country. Though sadly, I feel England has a touch of this now too. Whichever way Brexit goes, almost 50% of the country will not be happy. Thanks for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Powerful story – full of mood and the bleak life of these people. Great details about when the questions started – ring finger cut clean off – a story unto itself. Love the conciseness of it, and the brilliant last line.

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    1. Ah, thank you so much! What a lovely comment. So glad you enjoyed it and so tempted to take the story further. Another one consigned to the ‘potential longer story’ pile 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much Lish. I enjoyed the feel of it in my head, if you know what I mean, the atmosphere of it. Might look at it some more. Thanks so much for reading

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  2. Great voice on this one. Love the details like the pint of plain and the card collars and the tea not drunk. And I agree — it looks like a great location for a series of mysterious murders! .

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    1. Anywhere that’s isolated, desolate, wide open, lacking in people and buildings, all good places for mysterious murders! Thank you, Joy. I’m sure I’ll try to take this further – if I can work out what happened ot that ring finger 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, so it does. So different on the surface to what’s happening below – perhaps that’s it. It works as an analogy for towns and for people – all is not as it seems. Thanks Jane

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  3. Someone knows for sure. You’ve cast a spell on me yet again–I want to read more of this story! Especially enjoyed the characterization of the people at the funeral.

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