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 : Mr Quail’s misplaced beak

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays


 

Mr Quail would strut down the local alleyways, along the garden paths, peacock feathers nodding from his pork pie hat, an early warning to those who valued their privacy.

His lapel badge read ‘Neighbourhood Watch’, the letters written in blue marker pen on a circle of grubby card, a safety pin taped to the back.

‘Always sticking his beak in,’ Gramma would say, sucking her bubble gum pink chops.

One day, the pork pie hat vanished along with its oil slick feathers and its owner.

‘Reckon he stuck that beak in the wrong place,’ said Gramma, smile shining pinkly.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the grandest prompt around. See here to join in and to read other stories.

More apologies necessary as I’m late again. Work is crazy with no respite on the horizon, so apologies if I don’t get around to reading your story.

  • NB For those unacquainted with UK English –

Badge – this is a pin in US English.

Beak – a slang word for nose, so the phrase to ‘stick your beak in’ just means to be nosy.

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.

 

 

 

 

What Pegman Saw : When the wind speaks

‘Mountains and mist, that’s all Father left. Mountains and mist.’ Mathys slashed out with his sword, a rope of prayer flags fluttering to the ground like wounded birds. His bitter tone crossed the valley, sending a quarrel of flycatchers into the grey.

Gaétan watched the little birds dart away, waited for the hush to resettle. Mathys had always been a restless soul, quick to anger, first to a fight where Gaétan had been happy to watch the trees grow, hear what the wind had to say.

True, their Father had bequeathed them nothing but crags and snow and fog thick as fallen cloud. But Gaétan had listened as the voices grew until every stalking wildcat, every vole shivering in its fusty burrow, every pin-eyed windhover – even the rocks themselves – spoke with one tongue.

She comes.

Over Blackheart Mountain a thunderhead gathered.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street view as it jumping off point. This week we visit Kangra Valley, India. See here to join in, share, read and comment.

 

 

 

 

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.