Archive for the ‘What Pegman Saw’ Category

Game?

Posted: March 2, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
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Today Pegman and k. rawson took us to a beautiful place, Portmeirion Village, Wales. Another place for the bucket list.

Note: Meet at the blue bench in front of Mary’s statue.
I look from the paper to the benches, there are three.
Note: Sit on the correct one or your daughter will vanish forever.
How does one choose?
Note: Be there by 4 p.m.

3:45: Mary seems to be laughing, mocking, as my heels click-clack across the cement.
My husband is playing our game which has morphed from
Hide-the-Lipstick to today’s installment – Find-Your-Daughter.
Each time he presents the game the reward or punishment runs the gamut from
diamonds or pearls to a night in a cellar filled with spiders.

Before today, the anticipation thrilled me,
never knowing when he would offer a new riddle or what the outcome would be.
Not now. The stakes are too high.
Bench #1 – gum stuck to the seat
Bench #2 – too cold
Bench #3 – last choice
I wait, shivering, while wind rattles oak branches like bones.

(147-words)

 

 

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Today Pegman took us to Harare, Zimbabwe. Another fascinating place. Thanks, Karen and Josh, for providing prompts to stimulate our minds.

Sitting as silent as Praying Mantis, Oupa waits for me to speak.
At first, I can’t find words.
Then think, Go slowly, be steady, like Snail. No losing your temper.
“Oupa, I do not want to marry.”
“Ah, you wish to be like Anteater.”
My heart soars. “Yes! That is right. Like you, who digs deep for truth . . .”
“And prefers to be alone. Anodiwa, you have no choice. You must marry.”
“Oupa, please …” He shows me his palm. I swallow the rest of my sentence.
“Anodiwa, you do have another choice. Be Lizard who is weak or become Crocodile who has great strength.”
My copper and brass Idzila rings jangle like discordant music when I thrust my arms toward Oupa. I need say nothing,  he can read the pleading in my eyes.
“Go!”
Slowly I back out the door, feeling like Turtle, carrying her own coffin.

(Idzila are copper and brass rings worn by the bride around her arms, legs, and neck. These rings were believed to have strong powers and the wife would wear them to symbolize her bond and faithfulness to her husband once her home was built. The husband will provide this rings to the wife to show a sign of wealth. I took the liberty of placing them on Anodiwa’s arms the day of her wedding.)

 

I’ve been reading the November issue of The Smithsonian which is filled with stories of the Holocaust. So, dear friends, this is what I came up with for Pegman’s trip to Krakow.

March 28, 1939
To provide a friend who will keep my secrets I started a diary.
Present: Mother left for France. Father joined the army.
A memory: Ten-year-old Lev playing violin.

January 10, 1940
We’ve moved into a school with boys! Sixteen-year-old girls shouldn’t be subjected to such horrors!

March 6, 1942
Horrid night. Clanking wheels. Jangling keys.
Nazis, moving people to unknown places.
Lev kissed me last week! We shared sweet caresses while spring flowers scented the air.
We shall marry when this horror is over.

June 16, 1942
The pogrom has begun. Mother! Where are you?

July 17, 1942
Except for barbed wire and guards, the ghetto is quite ordinary, filled with beloved neighbors.
But not Lev. My love, my protection disappeared on last night’s transport.
Writing squelches the pain.

August 17,1942
At dawn, soldiers marched five families toward a shallow trench.
One shot, two, twenty, on and on …
The sound of boots and laughter. Oh, God, they’re coming back.

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Pegman took us to New Orleans today. Oh! What could be better to write about near Halloween than an old graveyard? Thanks, Pegman!

Fabiola read them bones better en anybody. Yes, sirree, she surely did.
Chucked em in a rusted coffee tin, rattled em up, throwed em right on the ground.
Mind you, the ground had to be soft sand or ruffled-up garden dirt.
No concrete nor asphalt.

She told us them bones were from coyotes or pigs.
But soon we notices dat graves being tampered with.
Not zactly dug up. No.
But holes appeared, like somebody done been using a clam gun.
Or something like dat.

Den one-by-one peoples whose ancestors been dug up started gettin sick. Fluenza. Rat-bite fever.
Well, by rights, we mens needed to protect our families
so we took old Fabiola and throwed her in Bayou Teche.
Felt good about it, too.

Funny thing? Since Fabiola been gone, bones been appearing in trees long the trail to the Teche.
Thems that see um rot from the inside out.

 

Pegman took us to Hyderabad, India today. While wandering around, I found this archway over the entrance to an Opera Garden. Wow! thought I, a great story can come out of this. Sorry, my muse took me to the dark side again and on such a sunny morning!

The day has been too long, too full of screamed accusations, loud music played to cover the sound of thrown objects shattering on walls and floors or breaking windows. And the hatred! That is the worst of it. And for no reason Siya can think of. The feeling permeates the air, tainting it with something she can almost smell. Like burnt chalk or a jar of desiccating rubberbands.

They love one another. She has proof. Some tangible, some not. Hugs. Small gifts of teddy bears and cotton candy. Snuggling on the couch when they are alone and the house is quiet. Walking hand-in-hand to the Erragadda Market. Tickling. Taking baths.

Shouted words rumble up the stairs into her bedroom. “Touch her again I will rip you apart with my bare hands!”
“Oh, Baba.” Siya presses her hands over her tiny ears and finally begins to cry.

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Today Pegman took us to Duoro Valley, Portugal. Thanks, Josh and Karen, for using my suggestion. A friend of mine is traveling in Portugal and I fell in love with her pictures. Now Portugal is on my bucket list. In researching what people do for a living in this region, I discovered the history of Port wine and this delightful picture. That’s how our Beatriz was born. But, like the person listening to the story, I’m skeptical that Bea came up with the idea. On the other hand …
I’ve added a link to the end of my story if you are interested in the history of Port.

Beatriz came up with the idea.
What? You say a woman could never think of such a thing. Pffft, you know nothing!
Now, let me tell my tale. The sale of wine was failing.
Why? You may ask. Because the wine spoiled before it arrived down river.
No one likes to open a keg of vinegar when they expect fine wine.
The village was slowly dying. Young people left. No one remained to pick the grapes.
What? No. Seventy-year-old people are meant to rest. Not harvest under the blazing sun. Quiet!
So, our Bea came up with the idea of adding brandy . . .
What now? How did she think if it? I should know this?
Anyway, merchants began to call our wine Vinho do Porto.
Yes, yes. Today it is called Port but it should be called Vinho do Beatriz for it was that clever girl who saved our village.

http://www.fonseca.pt/en/vineyards/douro-valley/history/

150-words

 

Legitimate Secrets

Posted: September 22, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , ,

This week Pegman took us to Goizueta, Navarre in Spain. Thanks, Karen. Now I want to visit this gorgeous country.

A delicate balance, our relationship. You down beside the road, me up on the hill. My husband leaves. Your wife returns. My husband returns. Your wife goes into town.
A mere half-hour passes in between. When no one watches we exchange winks and nods. Touch hands in our kitchen or your hallway.
Our children play together. Sadly we use their playtime to exchange notes; tuck papers inside their tiny socks. It’s not our fault. We do what we can.
I don’t believe either of us remembers how this started. Church? The market? Whispers in the alley?
But we must keep up our relationship. We must, for if we don’t, one or all of us will surely die. Times have come to that.
We no longer know which side we’re on, but we do know our secret exchanges will keep our families from dying in our country’s ugly war.