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.





#tuesdayuseitinasentence : If only

Bed sheets, linen

Image : Pixabay

His gaze fell upon the flower still clinging behind her ear. Its petals were flushed coral, curled back like lips parted in surprise. Her hair tumbled from its clip, curls lapping her neck. A tangle of sheets pillowed her head, exposed a shoulder, an arm thrown behind her, fingers still gripping the fabric even now.

If only she had said yes.


Well, that went creepier than I expected!

Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Today the word is GAZE. Pop along here and join the fun.

Friday Fictioneers : Alone in the place de la ville.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook


They arranged to meet outside the mairie, where the brightly flowering baskets hung frothy with bumble bees.

She watched the council officials come and go, the men in their shiny suits, the women with their coiffed, brittle hair and stiff, painted smiles.

As the town hall clock chimed twelve she sat outside a cafe in the square, fingers tapping between the checked tablecloth and her cafe creme.

When she heard the sing-song siren she just smiled, standing ready for the gendarme to handcuff her.

They’d almost made it too.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, the grandest flash prompt flying round the ether. See here to join in and to read the other, glorious tales.


What pegman saw : Out on a dogleg road


That old place was isolated even when Mr and Mrs Murphy lived there – on the edge of town on a dogleg road that led to nothing but a dried up stream bed filled with dumped refrigerators and tyres.

The couple kept themselves apart. They didn’t use the local store. They didn’t go to church on Sunday. Never even borrowed a cup of sugar. In fact afterwards, no one could remember more than twenty words that passed between the Murphys and their neighbours.

There were rumours, but that’s one thing that breeds well in small towns. When people are starved of the truth, they like to invent their own.

But there was no denying what was found when the men came to unblock the sewer. No denying the smell, the bodybags lined up in the makeshift mortuary.

No denying how well the place burned after the news got out …


Written for What pegman saw, a prompt using Google Streetview. This week we have a picture of St Louis. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

What pegman saw : The calm between two storms


The rain stopped on the seventh day, the black veil of cloud that hung snare-like over the village giving way to blue skies and feathery cirrus.

Vitor sat on the balcony staring across the river, cigarillo clamped between yellowed teeth, smoke caressing his face. Behind him, the door banged open then shut.

‘It’s time.’ Enzo’s voice was tight, higher than usual.

Vitor raised his hand, waved the cigarillo.

Sighing, Enzo snatched it from his fingers, dragged over a crate to sit beside him. ‘I want to get it over.’

‘You need to be sharp, but calm or you’ll make mistakes.’ He could feel the boy stiffen, offended by the slur.

‘I won’t -‘

Vitor shrugged. ‘We all do.’

They gazed across the spiralling water, watched a harpy eagle soar and dip over the walking palms.

Finally, Vitor stirred. ‘Go fetch him. And make sure he’s blindfolded.’


Written for What pegman saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Street View. See here to join in and to read the other stories.