Come to  باغ وحش تهران.”
The map didn’t help. Joshua couldn’t find one point reading باغ وحش تهران.

3 p.m. Don’t be late
He turned to a passer-by. “Time?”
The man made no eye-contact.

The bleat of horns, santour music, giggling women in hijabs,
and the sickly sweet smell of liver kabobs muddled his brain.
He couldn’t think, didn’t want to.
Action was needed. Now.

Or she will be sold to another.

Joshua spun in a circle.
A small boy stepped out of the crowd. “Need help, Mister?”
Joshua jabbed a finger on باغ وحش تهران.
“Oh!” The child pointed a finger toward a compound across the street.
“My favorite place.”

Joshua dodged through traffic, between the gates, down a concrete pathway.
When handed the money, Garshasp grinned.
“Almost too late. Almost.”

Tomorrow Eram Park Zoo’s elephant compound would be minus one baby.
Still, Joshua’s work had just begun.

 

When I saw the Google map of Tehran, I thought, “Heck, why not just use the map itself for today’s What Pegman Saw?” My eyes focused on the Eram Park Zoo and an idea spun out from there. While visiting their website, I felt really sad about the animal’s environments and wished I could free every one of them. I’m sure the caretakers are kind and do the best they can, but the animals don’t look very happy.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js
<!– end InLinkz script –>

Advertisements

Today’s picture prompt was provided by our Fairy Blog Mother, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I imagine this room is in her home and people gather ’round on couches and chairs, wine in hand, to listen to music and laugh.

Gracie nestled across his chest.
The little-girl-heat on a swampy night was stifling.
Thompson didn’t mind. He loved the child from her black curls down to her shell-pink toenails.

A breeze lifted the smell of fish spawn and hyacinths.
Home.
The music of wind chimes, bullfrogs and coyotes vied with piano music from Gator’s Bar all lit up across the Teche.
Glasses clinked.
A woman laughed.
That was the troublesome part.

Sighing, Thompson stepped into the bateau, baby in one arm, suitcase in the other, and
the vision of a tight red dress and stiletto heels dancing around in his head.

 

Today Pegman took us to Coniston Water, Lake District, England. I took a stroll around and found this picture. Thanks, Karen and Josh, for providing another great idea for a 150-word challenge.

As children, my sisters and I danced among these stones, singing the praises of gods we did not know while wondering why anyone should be guided by spirits they could not see.

Rayana, the eldest. A beauty with a voice filled with the music of one-hundred crystalline bells.
And a mind that held world-knowledge that surpassed each of our elders.
Oh, her many qualities swayed armies.

Clarene, the brave. Villagers compared her strength to that of our most powerful axman. Her gentleness to the heart of a dove.
When war broke out, she was our fiercest defender and most compassionate healer.

What were my qualities? Selfishness. Anger. Revenge. All wrapped up in ocean-blue eyes and golden hair. As were we all.

So, I warn you, the next time you sit, mead in hand, do not ask our elders how the village survived for lies will drip from their tongues.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js
<!– end InLinkz script –>

The Threat

Posted: June 20, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , ,

My Dearest Sonya,
I leave tonight. Father drinks too much. Mother constantly cries. My brothers fight in a war that makes no sense. But you know all this. I can’t say where I’m going and haven’t much money but join me, I beg you. Since it is impossible for us to be seen together, I’ll come to the market at noon. Wear a yellow dress if the answer is yes, blue if the answer is no.
Your Raul

Sonya reads a second letter, feels the threat. Slowly she slips into her black dress to signal Raul’s father that his son intends to flee.

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js

Ghosts

Posted: June 16, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , ,

Today Pegman took us to Taşlıçay, Ağrı, Turkey. I scrolled around pictures for a while before finding this wonderful picture of blowing snow.

The old people say there are no ghosts left
that they disappeared after the great famine
took more than half the population of the village.
They are wrong.

On the edge of fields
I see ghosts
dancing in clothes so bright
they put the sun to shame.

Or, I hear them in the barn
telling jokes and laughing
until I think their sides might split.
If only they still had sides.
If only.

Sometimes these fragile ghosts
sit at my kitchen table.
I drink tea while listening to their stories.
Often I reach out to touch them.
Futile, I know.
I need no reminder.

They leave notes
We love you
Kindness is the root of happiness
Go to bed early
Feed the dog

I no longer have a dog.
But my children don’t know that.
Their memories are
from the times before
the soldiers came,
starving and mean.

 

Today’s thought-provoking photo was provided by Jean L Hays. Thanks, Rochelle, for posting it for the Friday Fictioneers to mull over and create a 100-word story.

Time was Angie felt like a pretty bird.
Time was Lester was kind. Gentle.
He’d give her small gifts. River rocks. A sand dollar.
One morning he brought home a clutch of robin eggs
bluer than his eyes.
She made him put them back.

Now Angie feels as if she’s
cooped up with a tiger.
Lester’s gone all crazy. Mean.
He steals things or rips them apart.
Hair combs. Stockings. Earrings.
Anything that makes her feel feminine and soft.

Angie knows it’s her fault
and doesn’t complain.
She let Lester’s daddy hit the boy
too many times.

 

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js

Susana stands stiffly, watching people run to the water’s edge, and return.
Each picks up a stone or bottle fragments polished by wave-driven sand.
Some discover Japanese glass floats in blue or green.
Others find pearls tucked inside broken half-shells. And squeal.
They have no idea they are stealing when they slip her treasures inside their backpacks.
Still, their ignorance makes her angry.
She conjures wind that whips sand, and rocks and driftwood into an angry funnel
that dances down the beach and swallows them whole.
Susana smiles in the silence and slowly bends to collect what is left behind.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js
<!– end InLinkz script –>