Archive for the ‘What Pegman Saw’ Category

Since one cannot kill or disappoint a character every week, today I’m submitting a wee bit of humor. When I first looked at the picture with sleepy eyes, the name of the building read Bloomingobles. Thanks, Rochelle, for posting a fun picture and to Marie Gail for submitting it.

“Momma?”
“Yes, Ezra?”
“What is Bloomingobles?”
Oh, Lord, what is he on about now? “Bloomingobles?” And why do I have such an odd child?
Ezra pointed toward a building halfway down the block. “There! That store!”
“Bloomingdales, lovie, not gobles.”
“Well, when I have my store it won’t be named something no one can pronounce.”
Such big dreams. Pie in the sky. Why can’t my Ezra want to hunt and fish like the other little boys?”
Twenty years later David Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch opened the doors of their first hunting goods store.

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Lottery

Posted: October 28, 2017 in What Pegman Saw
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Today Pegman took us to Norfolk Island. An interesting place full of intriguing history.

Just last eve Aengus, Mich, Enda and me drew lottery straws. Mich drew the shortest. Me and Enda the long. That left Aengus the murdering lad. Mich the lad to die. We other two will witness all and be more than glad to tell.

If you’re nay here on Norfolk Island where Satan rules with a floggin whip and the fields be strewn with blood, you’ll think we friends have turned our backs against the lads we love.

But if you knew we four and the place we are from
you’d recognize the bond we share
through Father Maguire who preaches suicide as sin

But now we’re left to fixin things the very best we can

Mich’ll be freed by Aengus’s blade. Aengus freed by the rope. With any luck Enda and me will escape this wretched island of death with truths to tell back home.

The ‘Lottery’ explained by an entry in an Irishman’s Diary
The extent of the horror experienced on Norfolk Island between 1824 to 1847 led to what was known as “the Norfolk lottery.” Irish convicts feared that suicide, being an unforgivable sin, would send them to eternal hell.To get around the dilemma they devised a plan where four convicts drew straws: one would be murdered, one would be the murderer and two would act as witnesses at the trial to ensure a conviction.The victim would escape life without fear of going to hell, the murderer would be executed, escape a miserable life and the fear of going to hell, and the witnesses would testify at a trial in either Sydney or Hobart. Just getting off the island was a holiday for them and would possibly present an opportunity to escape.

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.”

 

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Until We Are No More

Posted: September 23, 2017 in What Pegman Saw
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Pegman took us to Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia today. What an amazing place. I wandered around the grounds until I found this amazing picture. My 119-word story follows.

 

Oh, we are a pair are we not?
Wound around one another’s lives
One of us limber and forgiving
The other solid and stern

We laugh over the details
of our failures
We cry over the unforgivable losses
Children
Parents
Homes
Jobs
Joy
Not because either of us is to blame
but because there is no one to blame

We cling and claw our way
through days
And languish in our nights
Making love
or fighting
It doesn’t matter which

Because each brilliant dawn
we awaken with the hope
that one of us will
Let go
Cling tighter
Love harder
Turn away

Or we will both
remain the same
and get on with it
Until we are no more

The Thief

Posted: September 16, 2017 in What Pegman Saw
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Today What Pegman Saw took us to St. Petersburg, Russia. After strolling the streets I found the church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood – per our fearless leader’s suggestion. The exterior reminded me of a woman dressed in her finest clothes. Here is her story in 150-words.

 

The mirror reflects:
1) dress made of midnight blue silk
2) six gold chains; three turquoise rings
3) shoes made of the softest leather
4) elaborate curls the color of an autumn sunset
5) peach-pink cheeks; garnet-colored eyes
Oksana is ready

Oksana sees:
1) a liar – not her
2) a cheat – not her either
3) a thief – this almost applies

What Evgeny reads in the Sovetsky Sakhalin newspaper dated October 23rd, 1925:
Oksana Petrov found floating in Grboyedov Canal at 3:00 am this morning, had this note along with five heavy stones in the pocket of her ermine cape.

None can live inside the shadow of a man who serves words meant to cover the truth. Neither can they live wondering who has been cheated so that same man may be surrounded by wealth beyond all imagining. To this man, I say, “I am taking my life back.” You will consider it stealing. On the contrary – you never owned me.

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Sad History

Posted: September 1, 2017 in What Pegman Saw
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Today Pegman took us to Poisson-Blanc, Quebec. I scrolled around and found a man holding a half-fish! This is what happened next.
Sad History

Long ago our sons,
tangles of muscle, brain
laughter and kindness
used two-foot long arrows
to fell stags with antlers
large enough to support
every wall of our homes

Our daughters
slim, strong
and
more beautiful than a
single
crimson
rose
hooked fish as long as their arms

Then you came
with armies and inventions
and words that meant
everything
everything
everything
before they simply meant nothing at all

You gave us
automobiles, planes
and power plants powered by poison
while we shared our bounty
and welcomed you into our homes

Look what happened
Look!
Now!
and, finally, look again

With every landslide
earthquake and change of tide
we
the original people
pay the consequences while
you
the intruder
move on
with a bag full of a thousand empty promises

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Today Pegman took us to Wroclaw, Poland. I found this jolly Christmas village in the Magnolia Park Mall. In my mind, this tale started fairly fun before taking a dark turn. Sign of the times? Perhaps.

 

Let’s say that just this once Mikolaj loves Christmas. We’ll pretend Cecylia hasn’t left him and he has one last chance to buy gifts for their children. One boy. One girl.
Maybe not. Maybe Cecylia never had children and she spends all her time in the bedroom wondering why and her tears cause Mikolaj to run to Magnolia Park, the horrible mall at the center of Wroclaw, and he fights the crowds to buy his wife teddy bears, slippers, and her favorite perfume. Anything to slide under the tree to stop the crying.
Or perhaps our Mikolaj isn’t married. Maybe his parents fought all the time and he never wanted a life like that. Or they loved so deeply he knew, absolutely, he couldn’t have a life like theirs so didn’t even try.
In the end, let’s say his parents died in Auschwitz on Christmas day and Mikolaj was never born.

(150-words)

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