What Pegman Saw: There are no windows here

Image: Google Streetview

There are no windows here, no interruption in the walls other than the pock marks in the plaster, the parts where the surface is powdery, or damp, or scabbed with old paint. No interruption other than the cell door.

There is a gap under the door a fingers’ width deep. If I lie on my side, nose pressed to the gap I can see the corridor – floor tiles (black, beige, rust red diamonds) specks of rat shit, balls of hair, once a scrap of torn boot lace.

But beyond them is the gate. Cast iron acanthus leaves, palm fronds, stamens grown too big for their flowers.

And it reminds me.

Of walks in Song Festival Park. Of how the trees cut the sunlight into shadows, how that light took fire in your hair but turned your eyes to ice.

It reminds me I was once someone more, something more than this.

***

Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Streetview as its starting point. This week we are in Riga, Latvia.

I found this image in the old KGB building where tours are run by the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. The country was occupied – brutally – by the Soviet Union in 1940-41, then by the Nazis, then by the Soviet Union again from 1944 to 1991. The museum’s slogan is Remember, Commemorate, Remind.

20 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: There are no windows here

  1. Chilling story, Lynn. Clever idea to set the action on the far side of the cell door, with the prisoner looking out in the direction of the reader. And having the prisoner lie down to be able to see a rather ordinary gate in their attempt to stay human. Brrrrr!
    Excellent piece of writing!

    Like

  2. those three R’s are good to remember – and I like how we were looking through that sliver of a view with your character – and remembering something as simple. yet potent – as light in the hair

    Like

  3. Fantastically bleak scene you set here. You turn what is already a depressing image into a rich tapestry of despair. But with hope at the end: they can take away everything else, but not this person’s memories of who they were.

    Like

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