What Pegman Saw: Say no to yes.

The wind was blowing hard now, peppering Naga’s face with grit. He took a last drag of his cigarette, dropped it, screwed the stub into the dirt with his sneaker.

The sun was low behind the trees, sky burnt orange at the horizon. Where was Maja?

Robbing the convenience store had been her idea. Said she’d seen the clerk bundle notes into a battered tobacco tin, hide it under the counter. The guy was ashy with age, walked with a frame. One look at Maja’s hunting knife and he’d hand the tin over. Sweet and simple, she said. Reluctantly, Naga had agreed.

He blinked, cuffed his eyes.

But the old man had screamed – a weird, trapped rodent noise. He’d stumbled forward, lashed at Maja with his walker. The knife flashed. Naga ran.

Something his mom used to say pinballed through his head.

Say no to yes, beta.

***

Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Street view. This week we are in Cape Disappointment, Washington. See here to join in.

And if you want to know where I found the title, just look at that scabby wall …

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19 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: Say no to yes.

    1. Thanks, Josh. It does look like a fascinating place to visit – beautiful and yet laden with fog for much of the year, it must have a unique atmosphere. Great choice for this week’s prompt! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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      1. This is in my neck of the woods, the PNW. I moved here from hot and dry Colorado to do archaeology in 1977 and fell in love immediately. The rain, the fog, the call of thrushes and croaking frogs. Couldn’t help but stay.

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      2. It does sound more appealing than hot and dry – I guess here in the UK we get plenty of cloudy and damp and a lot less hot and dry. But we like the mix up and moan if the weather stays the same for too long!

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  1. As always, I am amazed at how you can pack in so many specific details that paint the scene so well and yet still squeeze a whole plot in there. How do you do it?!? I mean, I am looking right at the words and still can’t figure it out – you make it look so obvious, somehow. Ah well, I will keep reading your stories and maybe learn by osmosis. πŸ™‚

    My favorite is the “weird trapped rodent noise” of a scream.

    I’m glad you pointed out the words in the photo — I never would have noticed them otherwise.

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    1. Aw, you’ve nothing to learn from me, Joy. Your stories are so vivid and alive. Thanks for the kind words – glad you liked the trapped rodent sound. People do make some odd noises when under stress – I remember walking into the delivery ward when I was having my son, hearing the women giving birth. Definitely animalistic! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my yes, I can imagine how many interesting descriptions you’d come up with for the sounds in a maternity ward! I can never seem to think of a good metaphor or comparison when it’s time to put the words on the page — and “weird animal sounds” just isn’t quite as evocative. πŸ™‚

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      2. When someone is in real pain or peril, they make noises that are instinctive, pure animal rather than those we’re used to, filtered through our ideas of society and cultural acceptability. They’re disturbing noises to hear, that’s for sure

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  2. Great take on the prompt – what a spot, those words on the wall! I love the way you tell the story by implication. Every word of description is crafted to drive the plot forwards as dynamically as possible. Very skilful writing, Lynn!

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    1. Aw, thank you so much. I’m glad you felt nothing was wasted – that’s the aim with the flashes, isn’t it, to get as much story in there as possibly without overloading, obviously. Thank you for the kind comment – it means a lot

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    1. Thank you, Karen. So glad you felt it worked and I appreciate the verb choice comment – it pays to sit and take time to think of the right word, doesn’t it? Especially when the word count is low. Thank you for reading

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