What Pegman Saw: Six Days

What we’d thought would be three days walking turned to five then six.

The smaller children suffered worst, those too young to understand the cold, the heat and pain it brings. The small ones added to the sound of those days – the crunch of ice underfoot, the soughing wind, children’s sobs collapsing into whimpers.

The land was a series of low hills and promontories, leading to great expanses of shale, glacial cliffs.

Those that fell – infants, the elderly, the sick – were left unburied, wrapped only in the clothes they wore. The earth too hard to dig. No spare blankets to act as winding sheets.

I think of them sometimes, pared by the ice, weathered to the colour of rock, another low hill eroded by the wind.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View. This week we visit Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. See here to join in.


22 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: Six Days

  1. Dear Lynn,

    This puts me in mind of the 1400 mile trek of the Nez Pierce under Chief Joseph. Sadly they never reached Canada. As always, your descriptions touch each of the five senses. Well done. Well done.




    1. Thank you Rochelle. Such horrifying real examples through history. The human suffering. I try to imagine it, but really, it unimaginable. Thank you for your kind feedback


  2. Yeah, happy Monday with that one, right Lynn! Ha, just when I thought things were lookin up. The ground, too hard to dig. Good one! I need my coffee now….


    1. Haha! Yeah, as I posted it, I thought ‘good grief, woman, what it won’t with you?’ but, you know, that’s where my brain goes. Where it always did go – I wrote compulsively as a kid and every story was a horror or a mystery. Sorry 🙄. Hope you’re all well there

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The tale is so tragic, put into even starker relief by the spare emotion, as if the person can’t even feel anymore, just observe and move on. I’m picturing a whole clan or village on the move, trying to escape something even worse than the prospect of dying on this journey, and how awful that other fate must have been. I especially like the use of sound in this one to convey atmosphere.


    1. Thank you so much for your insightful comment, Joy – really great feedback. I’m not sure what they’re running from, but you’re right, it must be awful to drag a whole community away from home. Thanks so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A very intense and somber piece. You capture an incredible moment in very few words.
    ~Cie from Naughty Netherworld Press~


  5. You’ve written a starkly beautiful story, Lynn. Like Joy, I like the use of sound in the story; it feels exactly right, and somehow much more vivid than any of the other senses would be. I read the piece out loud. It would be outstanding as a short item on radio!


    1. Thank you Penny! Such a wonderful comment. Oh, I’d love to have something read on radio – radio stories and plays can be the most engrossing, can’t they? When you’re just focusing on the human voice. I’m so glad you felt it worked and thank you for the feedback on the sounds particularly. I sometimes wonder if I overdo the senses in my writing, but it’s good to know this worked. Thank you so much


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