What Pegman Saw: An Unmade Thing

Image: Google Street View

The stillness of the afternoon sits, heavy as a sand bag, on his head and outstretched limbs.

He’s lain under the bridge for hours. His back is still damp from the morning dew, trapped by his mass, while the grass around him has turned brittle in the heat.

This is his favourite place, the best time. Crickets rasp at his ear then flick over him, ants worry his hair. Better than town, the children’s sniggers, the adult’s guarded looks.

Troll, they call him and worse. Beast, Foetus … Abortion. He didn’t know that last one, so he asked Gem at the store who laughed spittle in his face. Gem’s words buzz like flies. Unwanted … Terminated.

A fleshy burn rises inside him, filling his chest and throat. The day fuzzes with tears.

Footsteps on the bridge make him jump. The touch is light, a skip-skip-hop.

Troll licks his lips.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View as its starting point. This week, we visit Saskatchewan, Canada.


21 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: An Unmade Thing

  1. Great story, I can see him enjoying his meal… Like all good fairytales, it has that element of paralleling real life and the way we as society treat those that are different from us – and it never ends well.


  2. Interesting idea! I never thought of a troll going into town and being looked down upon as a misshapen human, but then I also never thought of a human child with birth defects being the basis for a troll myth. I’m not sure which is true here, but the ambiguity works and helps give it that fairy tale feel. Loved the visceral details about communing with nature, and the slow reveal.


    1. Thank you, Joy. I know it’s a vile suggestion, that people would demonise a person with birth defects but then people can be vile. Really glad you felt it worked. And I live that you felt the fairy tale vibe. Thanks so much

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Lynn,

    I can always count on a healthy serving of magic on your site. It sounds perhaps he’s the product of a botched abortion. It made me think of Elephant Man. Wonderfully written.




    1. Thank you, Rochelle. People certainly can behave badly to those who look different from them, who are different in any way. The sad evidence of that surrounds us every day. Thanks so much for reading


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