What Pegman Saw: Ox blood red

The bar’s corrugated iron walls were ox blood red, the roof patched with the hood of an old army truck and an oil drum beaten flat. It smelt of the Mekong – weed and runoff from the sugar factory a mile upstream.

Sunny nodded. “I’ll take it.”

The For Sale sign came down, tables and chairs brought in. Some nights a local band would play on the river bank – the bar was too small, too weak to hold them – the reedy voice of the khene reaching across the water to Thailand.

He imagined the music – the thread of his longing carried on the wind – drifting over her as she lay in bed, curled and dozing. Would she smile as she slept? Dream of her old love?

The bar would empty, the band clear a table to play cards. Sunny would sit alone on the river bank, his thoughts following the music and the wind.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View. This week we visit Laos.


The Mekong River acts as a natural border between Laos and Thailand.

A stretch of the Mekong River was turned black earlier this year by the runoff from a sugar factory.

The Khene is a wind instrument local to Laos and Cambodia made from bamboo and used in traditional – often bawdy or satirical – folk music.


“I’m covered in bees!” ― Eddie Izzard


Thanks to Jane at Making it Write for nominating me for this challenge.

Papery temptation has been falling through my letterbox of late, flashing its bright colours at me like a roadside trollop’s knickers, luring me with its heady promise of soft, blousy afternoons.

No- it’s not a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, but literature of a muddier nature. I’m talking plants and seeds.

Problem is, I can’t stop myself. I have a postage stamp front garden, a patch of cat litter tray gravel at the back, but I just have to have more plants. These stamen-packed mags are all designed to manipulate the weak – so vibrant and dazzling, each perfect petal soft as velvet, warm as skin, sweetly scented as Palma Violets. The names are there to entice: Dizzy Heights, For Your Eyes Only, Awakening, Atomic Blonde… And they’re only the roses.

Experience should have taught me better- every chubby little root ball that enters the house becomes a leggy, slug-nibbled skeleton of its former self within weeks, my lack of horticultural skill in limp chloroplastic form.

I do it for them, you see. Those furry-arsed, nectar guzzling, pollen junkies… the bees. They need an oasis of floral voluptuousness in this urban sprawl, right? A haven where they can buzz and bumble and waggle-dance their stingers off.

That’s what I tell myself, as I hunch over those shiny pages, my back aching, squinting through the small print. And as I reach for my credit card I cry, ‘It’s for the bees, man. All for the bees.’

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. I have chosen to use photographs from Pixabay as I’m terrible at taking them myself! It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge.

Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. Today, I’m inviting Samantha from fictionwriterwithablog to join the challenge.