Archive for the ‘What Pegman Saw’ Category

Thanks, J Hardy Carroll, for a thought-provoking picture and thanks, Rochelle, for posting it in order to inspire the Friday Fictioneer group to hop to our computers on a Wednesday morning. After chop, chop, chopping my story weighs in at 99-words.

Anna collected fractured glass of all sizes, and shapes. Cerulean blue: perfume bottles. Crimson red: Christmas bobbles. Brown: shattered beer growlers from drunken nights. She scoured gutters beaches dumpsters to find perfect shades.

In her kitchen, Anna fit the glass corner-to-corner, side-by-side creating stained-glass pictures of forests, animals, people, so intricate they looked alive. She sold her artwork at the farmer’s market for pennies and was pleased. Her do-nothing husband was not.

After the fire, her remaining art sold at auction for hundreds. But the one her husband knew would bring the most money had gone missing.

Thanks to Pegman I now know there is a border town, Portal, N.D., much like Blaine, WA, which is very close to our little burg, Bellingham, WA. It was easy to imagine a border scene like this.

Alfred feels all raggedy. The way he always does when Wilma’s with him at the border crossing.
Wilma, who never knows what’s in the trunk – ever.
But somehow the way she moves, the way she smiles suggests there just might be a little something to see.
Dumb as a post, almost cute as a button with Betty Boop lips and Marilyn Monroe hair
Alfred loves Wilma. Can’t help it.

“Ah, Mister, ain’t nothin in there. Me and him got a date. See? Reservations at the Electric Club. And we’re already late.”
Wilma winks.
Alfred cringes.
Border-Patrol-Man sighs. “Open the trunk.”

Alfred taps the button that pops the lid.
Border-Patrol-Man slowly lowers his mirrored glasses. “You crazy son-of-a …”
“Officer!” Wilma coos. “There’s a lady present.”
“Toss em out!”

At the Electric Club, Alfred thanks his lucky stars that the odor of five cartons of rotting bananas overpowered the stench of blood.

Today, What Pegman Saw takes us to Cirque re Navacelles, suggested by JS Brand. A big thank you to K Rawson for posting Pegman each week. Choosing one’s own picture for a 150-word story is such a treat.

Sophie tilted the box. The tiny houses rattled, wood against tile. Mama said, “Gentle.Those were my mother’s and her mother’s. They make wishes . . .”
Hoping Mama would be quiet and leave, for she was allowed to play with the magical set only when Mama was gone, Sophie shouted, “You’ve told me before!”
“Six-year-olds don’t speak that way to their mothers.” Mama raised an eyebrow; shut the door.
Oh, the excitement of watching Mama, enfolded in her lavender cape, disappear into the woods. Sophie had hours to play with the wooden houses while eating all the bauernbrot bread with milk. No one knew these two were tucked deep inside the forest so no one would disturb her play or glutinous behavior. Looking through the tiny isinglass window of the church she whispered,”Wouldn’t it be grand if Mama never came home?”
Four days later, Sophie, hungry and cold, still listened for Mama’s footsteps.


Posted: April 29, 2017 in What Pegman Saw

I’ve never fit in. Never will.
I’m stupid. And ugly. Doubt I’ll ever have a girlfriend.
I feel like I’m just watching the world whizz by. Whizz. Whizz Whizzzzzz.
Everything’s a blur.
Mom says I’m just feeling sorry for myself. Should get out more.
What the hell does she know? She doesn’t fit in anywhere either! She never goes out,
says she’s too fat.
And she dresses all in white. Looks like a gigantic ghost floating around the house. Wish she was a ghost and would disappear.
Dumber than a box of rocks, too.
Look what she done to the twins. Didn’t give them names, just numbers. 19 and 88.
How my supposed to bring someone to the house and introduce them to my whacked-out family?
Plus she made me join the boy scouts and won’t let me wear anything but this creepy brown uniform.
God! Just shoot me now!

(150 words)

Pegman took us to Chicago today where I found this very depressed young man who told me his story. When he was done I thought Puberty is tough. (And no, I didn’t shoot him.)

This week, Pegman transported us to Peleliu, a WW II battlefield. Thanks for an inspiring place to write! I’ve never heard of this island or its history. Ah, so much to learn, so little time. (P.S. “Urasai” means “Shut Up”)

“I don’t know who these kids think they are! Trash on the altar!”
“Kozue, they mean no harm.”
“Hush! You know nothing! They come, laugh at the statues, fornicate on the steps, play loud music and dance! They show no respect for those who died here.”
Realizing his wife will drone on for a very long time, Hideshi allows her words to fade to the far recesses of his mind even as unwelcome memories float before his eyes: Blood Tears Broken limbs Missing limbs. And into his ears: Screams Threats Commands Gunfire Gunfire Gunfire rat-a-tat-tat. Over and over and over. And the smell of death: Festering wounds Urine Excrement Blood.
Ah, to have memories of this ungodly battlefield replaced by thoughts of beautiful young girls making love with curious boys, the smell of perfume, the scent of too much aftershave, the glorious sound of laughter, music, and sighs . . .
“Kozue! Urusai!”

This is my 150-word submission to What Pegman Saw on Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The memories you have of that boathouse
When you were

Angelic, some said
A demon, a vixen, a harlot
A saint
A savior
The Madonna herself
Names did not concern you

You expected
You waited
and hoped

Time was not on your side
You had all the time in the world
Shadows were your friends
and counted among your enemies
Darkness hindered
Darkness helped – when candles were involved

They came to you in droves
One at a time
or as couples with children
and without
Some cried when they saw you
A few laughed in panic
and surprise

They mouthed
Help us!
Save us!
Thank you!
Here! Take this!

You did not accept money
or hugs
Merely shoved them into
drift boats

Not now
Be silent
Go! Go! Go!

How many did you save?
Ask them
You never counted


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This 150 word piece is for What Pegman Saw – in Dubrovnik.

Let’s say Tanya and Stewart had an affair.
Met at the bottom of the stairs
to grope one another in the dark.
Her whispering, “But my husband!” like a mantra
even as her clothes dropped on the cobblestones.

Scratch that. Stewart was a painter, Tanya his student.
They despised one another.
Still, they shared ideas about color and texture and the effects of wine.
And, after too much wine, they…?
You decide.

Or perhaps they were siblings –
they certainly looked alike –
with a deliriously dark secret
about what their father did at night.
Tanya’s room? Stewart’s? Both?
And that twisted them until they had no one but each other?
Alas, there are no definite answers to these questions, either.

What do we know?
At 5 a.m. both were found dead beneath the paintings.
Clothes flung across the cobblestones –
wine sloshed between them –
holding hands and smiling.
No signs of a struggle.