What Pegman Saw: A million watching eyes

Image: Sukhbaatar Google Street View

Khunbish stared through the grubby window, out across the spine of the steppe. She smelt the clouds gathering, sensed the droplets of water shiver as they pinged together, eager to fall. Soon the brown grass would shimmer like a million watching eyes.

She’d played her role well. Allowed her father and brothers to bind her, bundle her in the little shed among the unwanted things. Grew still as they padlocked the door. It calmed the men to believe they retained control.

But she couldn’t rest forever.

As the first bullet of rain hit the tin roof she twitched her wrists, shook off the nylon twine. She reached out with her mind until it pinged against steel, felt for the gaps between the molecules in the padlock and encouraged them to grow. Metal fell to the ground with a bony thunk.

The time had come.

***

Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that takes you all across the world via Google Street View. This week we visit Mongolia. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

When researching Mongolian names, I found Khunbish, a gender neutral name which, according to Mom Junction means ‘not a human being’.

I suspect that describes my character pretty accurately.

20 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: A million watching eyes

  1. The title alone is enough to excite, and the story more than fulfills that promise. Your word choice is impeccable – ‘bullet of rain’ and ‘bony thunk’ both lead us to anticipate violence. Super writing, Lynn, leaving me wanting more!

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    1. Thank you Penny. Glad all of that came through. The word choices were intentional, so glad they added to the feel and that anticipation of violence. Thanks so much for reading and for the helpful feedback

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    1. Thank you Crispina. Glad you felt those words choices helped. Not quite sure what happens next but I’m sure it’s going to get messy! Not quite sure what she is – a demon on a mission perhaps? I feel pity for those around her though. Thanks for reading

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  2. I’m ready for her. Dying to know what she does next! Lots of tension and mystery building in this little slice. Great word choices, as Penny pointed out!

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      1. Um … well … if ’tis very violent then perhaps the 150 words were long enough … πŸ˜‰ and the rest can be left to the ‘magination’ … πŸ˜‰

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  3. Your deliberate word choices were excellent choices indeed. They added up to a mysterious tension, an anticipation of something powerful and violent: the title phrase, the water shivering, the bullet of rain, her mind pinging against the steel, the bony thunk… On my first read, I interpreted it as the narrator being a young woman being accused of witchcraft by the men in her family and village, except that she really can do magic and this is the final straw before she fights back. But reading the note and comments I can see how she might be something more than that, too. Either way, as you say, it’s about to get messy!

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    1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment, Joy. Yes, I think her family have locked her up because they think she’s a witch. They’re frightened of her, basically. I also think she might be something more than ‘just’ a witch. That she might be something special, something even more powerful who’s been biding her time until the situation is right for her to take the lead. Not sure of the details, though! Thank you for the great comment

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      1. One of the great things about these micro-stories is that you can leave them open to multiple interpretations, and you never have to get so far that you need to decide & explain!

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