What Pegman Saw : Beyond the Pale

 

Indri was already running, sandals slapping flagstones. ‘I know where they’ll come out!’

His legs were longer than Pina’s and he’d soon rounded the corner of the alley, dodged a pomegranate seller, vaulted the legs of Zaru the beggar, careening into the opposite wall before stumbling on. Complaints rang around her.

‘That boy!’

‘Pina, tell your brother -‘

She yelled her apologies, tucked her head down and ran after him. ‘Indri! Where are we going?’

But soon the city gate was looming overhead and she knew – outside the wall.

‘The Pale?’ she yelled. ‘You think they’ll come out at the Pale?’

Outside the protection of the city walls, where traitors were executed, where outcasts cried and screamed for home.

Indri had stopped under the golden halo of the gate.

She came panting to his side. ‘What …?’

He pointed towards the baked earth of the Pale as it cracked open.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Stretview. See here to share, read and comment. Today, we visit Mdina in Malta.

So, what do you think is coming out of the earth? I have my own ideas, but I’d like to hear yours.

Notes

The Pale – a term borrowed from County Down, Ireland when governed by the English.

Beyond the pale – There were many ‘Pales’ (a term that signified home ground, being within paling, meaning fencing) and to be beyond it means going outside the confines of what is acceptable.

 

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers : The weirdest thing

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

‘How long’s it been derelict?’ said Abbott.

Daniels referred to his notebook. ‘About four years.’

‘Is that all?’

The plaster had sloughed off the walls to show wooden laths, the ribs of the house exposed. He smelled Tom cat. Blankets in one corner, a stub of candle, a twist of tin foil – someone had been there, maybe not for a while.

‘Where is it?’

Daniels nodded towards a doorway. Light spilled through cracks onto warped floorboards.

‘It flows like liquid,’ whispered Abbott. ‘And the colours … Like oil on water.’

‘That’s not the weirdest thing,’ said Daniels, opening the door.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Come share, read and comment here.

 

 

 

What Pegman Saw : What me and Tolly heard at the top of the stairs

Nights, me and Tolly would creep out of bed to sit on the top step. Toes curled against the chill, we’d listen to the grown-ups sing songs from the old country.

Sometimes they’d start with a jig, a tune slapped out on the catcall piano, pedals squeaking, drowning out hammered strings. Some nights, the mood was heavy, the air thick with tobacco and gin. Those nights were for sad songs of missed, misty mountains, lost love and lost virtue. After the doors were bolted, the singing would zigzag to silence along the street below.

One night Tolly was dozing, head knocking my shoulder, when the voices turned sour as the air. The piano lid crashed shut. A scuff of boots. A sound like a sack of flour dropped to the floor.

The next night there was one less voice at the piano.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Streetview as its kick off point. This week we are at the Billinidgel Hotel in New South Wales, Australia. See here to join in, share and read others.

 

 

Three Line Tales : What remains when she’s gone

 

three line tales week 114: a blur of a girl

photo by Charles Etoroma via Unsplash


 

She becomes a blur as she passes, rushing from store to store, caught in a whirlwind of purchases, money falling from her hands into every register like leaves spun on the breeze.

She feels herself blurring, her once hard edges bleeding outwards, flaking away like layers of over boiled potato. She thought once that things would shore her up, that the weight of her belongings would halt the crumbling. But instead, they’ve hastened it, eroded her until there is nothing but the chase, the purchase, the empty feeling when she reaches home.

One day there will be nothing left to prove she was here but plastic bags and a pile of unpaid credit card bills.


Written for Three Line Tales. See, write, share, read. Here.

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.

 

What Pegman Saw : In the arms of Crooked Woman

We left Papa under the tree the old people call Crooked Woman – wrapped in palm leaves, bound with strips of knotted cloth.

The night before I’d shifted rocks from beneath the tree, made space enough for his slight form to lie. I sang as I hefted boulders, old songs Papa taught me when we set nets in the river, as we climbed fig trees, gripping bark with knotted toes, stowing plump fruit in our bags.

I set a basket of best black figs and a comb of honey at his feet. The honey dripped into the dull water as the river rose, as waves licked the rocks and kissed the sands. His body held tight to Crooked Woman for a while, a child reluctant to take his first step.

The river took him at sunset, as the water turned gold as honey, as we sang a last goodbye.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Streetview. See here to share, to read and comment.

 

Three Line Tales : His bloody mission

three line tales week 113: a close up of a road in Rome

photo by Vek Labs via Unsplash


 

‘Never stay anywhere more than one night. Never speak your real name, your real home town, your real destination. Lies are your only protection …’

Papa was long gone but his voice still circled Gordy’s brain. Each time someone was kind to him, each time he found more than a cold doorway to sleep in. Surely, the world was in too much disarray to notice one, lone man …

Still, Papa’s words stung him back to the cold road, to dew on his shoulders, to the familiar sting of blistered feet. His bloody mission.

 


Written for Three Line Tales. See here to join in.

I see a lone and lonely man, sore and wounded by his travels, yearning for another life, goaded by his father’s teachings. But what’s his bloody mission?

Suggestions please.