What Pegman Saw : What remained

 

‘Ever feel you’re being watched?’ said Rudy.

The path ahead was quiet except for the papery rustle of leaves, the creak and batter of crows in the dark canopy.

Dom leaned his rifle on a mossy wall, reached for his tobacco pouch. ‘Who’d you think’s watching?’ A spark, a pop of gas, a pool of light cupped in his palms.

Rudy shrugged, staring at the ground.

The kid had been quiet since illness struck the town, since the night of the pyre and the burying of what remained. Little wonder – the stink had caught in their clothes, formed a greasy coating on their skin. He’d feared it might never wash off.

‘There’s no one watching,’ he flicked the spent butt over the wall into the lake, ‘cos there ain’t no one left ‘cept you and me.’

Dom took up his rifle, cradling it close on the trudge home.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the cracking writing prompt using Google Street View as its jumping off point. Today we are at Coniston Water in the Lake District. See here to join in, to read and comment.

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers : City of a Thousand Scandals

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria


 

‘Always something to see,’ sighed Signora Bianchi, sweeping open the muslin drapes. Her pillowy bust pressed against my arm. She smelled of garlic and bread dough and crushed lavender. ‘City of a Thousand Scandals,’ she said with a sly wink and sashayed from the room, slingbacks slapping her heels.

She was right, of course.

That summer the city unfurled beneath my window – the bargemen rising with the sun, setting with the midday heat, the thieves and shysters and gigolos slinking out with the midges as the sun wallowed.

And then there was you, the biggest scandal of all.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Indubitably the best prompt on Word Press. See here to join in, to read and comment on others.

This week’s entry reads more like an opening to a 1940s/50s novel, a young man caught in a foreign city, alone, naive … in danger?

Who do you suppose he’s taking to and why is this person so scandalous?

Friday Fictioneers : If I could cast a magic spell

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


 

If I could cast a magic spell I would not wish for doubloons nor gems large as apples, heavy as the ice that seals our well these bitter mornings past.

Ermine and mink, rivers of silk and satin hold no glamour in my heart. I seek no fortune or renown or any home outside our shuttered cottage, its mossy thatch, the scent of tallow and our lowing beasts.

The only spell I crave is to be made as stone, a sculpted woman with no flesh heart beating in its bony cage.

Perhaps then I should miss you less.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale. See here to share and read the other stories.

I struggled a bit with this one. Then I saw the back of that impressive sculpture in the foreground and thought of being turned to stone.

Apologies in advance. Due to work commitments I’m very late to the party and doubt I’ll Be able to read many other posts before FF comes round again. Sorry if I miss reading your story and many thanks if you take the time to read mine.

 

 

 

What Pegman Saw : Take me with you

 

‘What do you remember, Casey?’ asked Donaldson.

A bluebottle tapped at the blanked-out window, tangling in the curtain. Decorating the facility like a home had been Donaldson’s idea – better for the children, she thought – but the recycled air still smelt like plastic and singed hair.

Casey smoothed her doll’s skirt, straightened the plaits of golden wool. ‘A stone path,’ she said, ‘the colour of dirty sand. It’s bendy.’ She made a shape in the air with her hand. ‘The trees are black with branches like fingers.’

Zeb’s description had been identical. And Sunny Lo’s.

‘And it smells funny,’ said the little girl frowning. ‘Of the Big River after the flood. And of the day my bunny died.’

Donaldson crouched down, took the doll from Casey’s unwilling hands. ‘Can you go back?’ she said, eyes flicking to the surveillance camera.

The girl nodded.

‘Next time, take me with you.’

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View. This week, we visit Texas, I’ve used a photo sphere of Wildcat Bluff Nature Centre. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

 

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers : A demon in Pa’s seat

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Connie Gayer


 

A demon sits in Pa’s seat by the fire.

Head to toe brown, bulbous feet slick and shining, bear-like paws flaking crust. The demon smells dark, of fields after muck spreading and woods just before the first snow falls. The demon stares dumbly into the flames, wide bleached marble eyes, pinprick pupils black as his soul.

I shift, my bare feet cold on the flags. The beast looks up and I’m about to run –

‘Esther?’ The demon stole Pa’s voice.

This is the  night the river bank breaks, turning our farm to mud.

The night Pa’s mind is lost.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Join in and share and don’t forget to read and comment. See here.

 

Friday Fictioneers : The goose girl’s freedom

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


 

The geese paddled into the stream, Gander and Poll exploring stones with their shovel beaks, Tops and Trip waggling stubby tails as the water parted around their scaly salmon legs.

Dodie’s skirts were tucked in her drawers, revealing legs pale as curd. The day was so hot sweat prickled round her bonnet, painted dark circles under her arms. She should get the geese back to the farm but the water was too delicious to leave.

And besides, what waited for her but crusts and bacon scraps, hard eyes, harder palms.

The cool kiss of water felt like freedom.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and be inspired but don’t forget to read and comment on the other tales. See here to join in.

Now, I know there’s a bit of a stretch between a plant in a crystal bowl and a goose girl by a stream, but bear with me.

The bowl is shimmery like trapped water and I wonder of our gracious leader Rochelle thought the same, judging by her own tale.

Rochelle’s plant – as any florist worth their salt will know – is a syngonium, commonly known (in the UK at least) as the Goosefoot Plant.

So now, do you too glimpse those geese paddling in a glistening stream?

 

Friday Fictioneers: A soft edge to Hetty’s world

PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.


 

There was a dent in the hedgerow, a patch where the hawthorn had died. Enough space for Hetty to sit, knees drawn up against the wind, patched boots out of the wet.

Such a day for wind. Sharp as a knife, cold as the stolen glances she’d had from the Goodwives in the last village – worn to the bone baggages the lot, pinched tight as the buns on their heads. Pity the husbands.

A first snowflake fell. Soon a layer of downy white drifted in the trackways, softening the hard edges of wall and gatepost.

Sleep. Just for a while …

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale and don’t forget to read and comment on the other stories. See here to find out how.