What Pegman Saw: Underneath the bridge

Image: Google Street View

‘Meet by the Green Wood,’ we’d say and share a smile.

A smile cos there was nothing green or wooded about that spot under the bridge on Greenwood.

The concrete was pitted, iron bars showing like bones through broken skin. We’d joke about bodies in the pillars, old gangsters and drug dealers who’d been holding up the road since the bridge was built in the sixties.

‘Putting something back into the community,’ Manny would say.

Con always laughed too hard at that, spluttering into his can of beer, making a show of wiping the spray from his face, his stone washed jeans.

But Con would always meet up with someone else on his way to the Green Wood, say he was passing Gerry’s anyway, running errands in Hop’s neighbourhood. Never would be there alone.

The place was always filled with voices, even when no one was speaking.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View as a starting point. See here to join in.


I confess, I clicked straight on the prompt image and wrote this story before reading Josh’s guidance about the horrifying events of 1921. I shall try to write another, more fitting, post.


26 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: Underneath the bridge

  1. This is a story that nudges our thoughts towards the voice of conscience. You make it sound very much as though Con is haunted by the voices of people in whose murder he has been complicit.
    BTW I don’t think it matters at all that you didn’t follow the prompt. You’ve given us a good story in 150 words, and that’s all that’s important.


  2. Dear Lynn,

    As always your descriptions such as the beer spray put me in the moment. The last line is pitch perfect. As for Josh’s suggestion, I didn’t take it as a hard and fast rule that couldn’t be broken.




  3. Loved your take on the prompt! Ominous and haunting. I gave Josh a hard time about being too specific & I’m especially glad you went this way–even if it was only because you hadn’t seen the note about 1921.


    1. Well, I went both ways in the end, as you saw. But I did like this one too. There’s something in seeing those groups of kids, hanging out n the nastiest of places, wondering what’s so appealing. Wondering what they get up to. Thanks so much for the kind feedback, Karen


  4. Maybe because I’m not as familiar with your work I have a different take on it. It pulled me in because there is a bridge near where I grew up and your description put me there. When you stand in a certain spot under the bridge there is a keystone effect. It echos forever when you make any type of sound and it’s always damp. There were all types of urban legends about it as well. That’s why I liked your piece and would like to read more.

    Can you do a writing prompt wrong? I don’t think there are rules, are there?


    1. Thank you so much, Cynthia. Yes, it’s interesting to read what people bring to a prompt picture or a story. That’s the other part of the equation when writing, isn’t it, what the reader brings? Josh doesn’t usually direct us so narrowly, it’s usually a much looser affair 🙂 Thank you so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am glad you didn’t follow Josh’s suggestion. I didn’t participate because I just didn’t feel like going there. Plus I felt it was too limiting. This, however, is a cracker of a short story. I love it, the atmosphere you created, the whole shebang!


    1. Aw, thank you, Dale. Yes, I found the guidance tricky to be honest. And though I did write a second story more specifically inspired by the race riot, it was only in an oblique way. I think there were a couple of people who weren’t happy to go there either. Thank you so much for the kind comment, dear Dale

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The 1921 thing went over my head, I’m afraid. A writing prompt is a prompt, in this case a photo of the underneath of a bridge. I enjoyed your story. They are unprepossessing places, ugly and unsettling. Which is the impression your story left.


    1. Haha! No indeed. There’s a side street near us – narrow, grotty, unassuming, on the edge of a small industrial estate. It’s called Little Paradise and has been since the Victorian era, when it was a slum. Who says the Victorians didn’t have a sense of humour? Thanks Iain

      Liked by 1 person

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