Posted: October 15, 2017 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , , ,

Since last week’s Pegman prompt was in a devastated part of West Virginia, our host decided we deserved a vacation on the lovely island of Mauritius. I looked at countrysides and ocean fronts and finally stumbled upon this drawing. When adding the picture to my post, I accidentally pasted it twice, side-by-side. The scene reminded me of an old stereoscope picture. So, I turned the offer of a fun light-hearted vacation into a bleak 150-word story. Sorry, Pegman.


Jacques-Henri peered through the stereoscope’s two prismatic lenses. After a long moment, the pictures morphed into a single, three-dimensional scene.
“You say this is Father’s land in Mauritius?”
“Indeed, sir. Acquired the property October 21st, 1810 along with the one-hundred-twenty slaves working the cane fields. Quite lucrative.”
“So all this is mine now, including the slaves?”
“Not exactly.”
“Not exactly?”
“You see, the slaves were freed in 1835. The freedmen and women remain on the land, but you don’t own them.”
Jacques-Henri peered closely at the figures on the road. “They still work the fields?”
“That’s what . . . ”
“Oh, get on with it, man! What are you trying to say?”
“They reside in the houses, till and harvest but . . . ”
“But?” Jacques-Henri roared.
“. . . keep the money from the cane sales for themselves.”
Jacques-Henri lowered the stereoscope. “Not any longer. Burn them out. Kill the men, sell the children. Bring the women to me.”

  1. Excellent! I love how you take us there without exposition. I also have a stereopticon with several books of photo cards from all over the world. They were really the first window most people had to different cultures. I recently got Looking Backward, Michael Lesy’s latest photography book. It features an astonishing set of vintage stereo photos from the tuen of the century.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you! I’ve always been fascinated by stereo photos. Once I almost purchased a stand-up stereograph filled with over three-hundred pictures taken during the Civil War. Then I realized it would be a piece of furniture not needed in my house. Sometimes I wish I’d just gone wild and bought it. I’ll check the link you shared. Many thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

      • prior.. says:

        Had to chime in here – I almost bought an old TV – one of the first ever made – and for same reason as u I passed – not wanting another piece of furniture- even if highly collectible and artsy piece of history – but it churns a little still – the not getting it

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for chiming in! Ah the regrets. BUT when it comes time to move, we’ll be happy campers.


  2. k rawson says:

    Dang, I love this. Marvelous writing, tense and vivid.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Lish,

    Bleak story indeed. Charming man, Henri. Hope someone burned him out. Well written.



    Liked by 1 person

  4. pennygadd51 says:

    I find it very difficult to understand how people could justify such actions, even though I know they happened. You’ve written a strong story, Alicia.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. draliman says:

    I hope the ex-slaves are well-armed and halt Jacques-Henri’s awful plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. prior.. says:

    Ouch! So much for an upbeat feel after West Virginia- ha! But very well done – this character who inherited the land was tragically realistic

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fluid Phrase says:

    Hi Alicia! I have nominated you for “Mystery Blogger Award”. Please check it. Although participation is voluntary, I do hope you participate!

    Liked by 2 people

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