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 : Afterwards, on rainy days

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


 

Afterwards, on rainy days Claire would wrap a blanket around her shoulders and dash to the arbour bench by the pond. Feet tucked up. Fat plops of rain falling from the roof, balding the lawn.

She would stare at the buttermilk pods of waterlilies, at the green discs of their leaves, at droplets gathering and rolling like mercury.

Watching the ripples form and grow, she would think of Mark, how he dropped into her life, how the ripples of his actions reached further than she could ever have imagined.

How they continued to spread, even though he was gone.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a story. Don’t forget to share, read and comment on other tales too – here.

What can I tell you – I saw the art work in the picture and thought of ripples on the surface of a pond.

 

Friday Fictioneers : A world too perfect to endure

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg


 

‘Where did it happen?’

‘Perhaps it’s best if you don’t hear all the details -‘

‘I need to know.’

‘Further along. Past the sign.’

‘I want to see the exact spot.’

‘I don’t know why -‘

A sigh so deep, it cracked in his throat. ‘There was a point she could have stopped. Saved herself. I have to know why she didn’t.’

The ground was marked with police tape, scuffed by dozens of heavy boots. But there, beyond the yellow line, two small footprints.

Jerry gazed across the wooded valley, smelt the almond blossom on the warm breeze. And he knew.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join in, read and comment.

 

 

Terrifying photograph and author interview : The People’s Friend

 

This is week sees the final instalment of my serial The Mermaid of Mortling Hall in The People’s Friend magazine and what a lovely experience it’s been, from the writing and drafting of the story under Alan Spink’s steady tutelage, to kind comments of support from family, colleagues and blogging friends.

As a finale, Alan emailed me and asked if I’d like to give an author interview on the magazine’s blog, so if you’d like to learn a little more about the story, about my writing habits – and see a terrifying extreme close-up of my toothy mug – then pop along here.

Many thanks go especially to all bloggers who left encouraging comments and to all those who bought the magazine – your support has been amazing.

 

What Pegman Saw : No longer watching

 

Meo had told me where to find the place, to look for a fresco of the Virgin in a window by the Via Sant’Alò. He’d shot me a lopsided smile. ‘You’ll see her eyes are closed, amico. The lady no longer watches over us.’

At the sight of that battered little door under the steps, my heart lurched. Too small for an adult to pass through without bending double, it would have been perfect for my Ciccio. I could imagine his excitement – a door his height when all the world was built for grown ups.

I saw his smile, sparkling ebony eyes, felt a small hand slipping into mine. Then the hospital, the smell of cleanser masking body fluids, the hiss of the ventilator.

I wanted to run, find a bar, anywhere, just away …

There was a grind of rusted metal and the door swung open. ‘Lost something?’ said a voice.

Trembling, I stepped inside.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a writing prompt that uses Google Streetview. See here to join in and to read and comment on the other stories.

 

 

 

What Pegman Saw : Becoming

This week, Pegman takes us to the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in Cambodia.


 

Thursday 4th April 1901

The sun is setting. Naive European as I was – not now, after everything that’s happened – I imagined the evenings would bring some relief, some respite in which energies could be restored. Now, when I lie under my roof of sagging canvas – mosquito nets hung around me like a cocoon – I feel the nights are as hot as the days, hotter even. No respite. Never that here.

It is at night that the forest yearns to overtake the temple, snaking back over the leafy ground and that circle of bare earth cleared by Chanda and the other men. I imagine her – the Forest – sending out her lieutenants – gibbons, snakes, that velvet pawed assassin the tiger – to reclaim what I have stolen.

The men are gone. Have I written that before? I am losing track.

It occurs to me – if the nets are my cocoon, what am I becoming?

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a lovely prompt using Google Streetview as its source. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

 

What Pegman Saw : The king of meaningless expressions

 

The sun slumped low in the sky as we pulled into the drive-in. Kids clustered at the entrance, the girls whispering and giggling behind cupped hands, a boy tossing a ball on baked concrete.

Mansell turned off the engine, cuffing his top lip. His shirt collar was dark with sweat, his tie hanging limp. ‘Damn this weather, eh? Hot as asses out here.’

My partner was king of the meaningless expression.

Pulling on his suit jacket, he nodded towards the drive-in shelter, its corrugated iron roof, its strings of dusty bunting. ‘The boy’s parents run this place, you say?’

I checked the manila file on my lap. ‘For the last five years. Mother and stepfather.’

He opened the door to the SUV, pulling his jacket collar straight. ‘I’ll lead.’ He nodded to the open file. ‘Keep those photographs hidden. We need answers – the sight of blood only ever brings more questions.’

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a photo prompt using Google Streetview. See here to join in and to join in.