What Pegman Saw – Worth the Climb

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the 360 degree view of the location provided, you must write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code.

WPS - Bulgaria - Worth the Climb 171021Worth the climb

Afternoon sunshine gleamed through the dirty glass of the window. The smell of boiled cabbage was strong. Ivan wrinkled his nose.

“Lyudmila – beautiful Lyudmila! There is something on the roof you must see.”

Grumbling, Lyudmila followed him to the lift. It was broken.

“That’s it. I can’t manage the stairs.”

“Please, Lyudmila?”

She scowled, and set off up the staircase, gripping the rail tightly with one hand, and supporting her weight on her stick with the other.

At the top of the third flight, Ana popped out with a chair.

“Sit down, Lyudmila! Here, I’ve brought you a drink.”

“I suppose you know what’s going on?”

“Going on?”

Lyudmila snorted. She climbed the last flight, then, breathing stertorously, she left the stairwell and went onto the roof.

It was decked with bunting, and there were tables loaded with food and drink.

“Happy 100th birthday!” chorused the residents of the tower block.

33 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Worth the Climb

    • Thank you, Josh! The photo of the dilapidated tower block made me think that the shared hardships of the occupants probably bonded them into something like a village, where everybody knows everybody else’s business. Lyudmila would be a very special person in such a community, I think.


    • Dear Anie
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Lyudmila is a one-off character for this story (although ladies her age have plenty of stories to tell – that one about the Commissar…but no; to tell you would be to break a confidence…)
      With best wishes


  1. awe- thanks for the smile = such a cheery piece – and I know that I am mispronouncing the name Lyudmila – and it fits so well.
    Also, starting with the smell of cabbage really added to the mood….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I knew one centenarian who used to travel locally by bus, even though he could easily have afforded taxis. He just liked getting out and about, I think!


  2. Very sweet tale, Penny and you don’t get to be 100 without being a tough, tough cookie, so I’m sure Lyudmilla survived her climb well enough. I’d like to think your sentiments about the tower block residents being a community is true, though in our local block it seems some just lob litter from the windows and dump old fridges in the car park. Perhaps there is both though – community amid the neglect. Good write as always

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lynn
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you thought it was a sweet tale. I expect tower blocks vary in their make-up. Grenfell tower residents seemed to be very much a community when they were interviewed after the awful fire.
      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

      • It did bring them together, you’re right, though whether they felt so unified before, who’s to say. They were there to support each other after such a dreadful event, that’s the main thing – only someone else who has been through something so awful could know what the other has been through. I won’t get into ranting how neglected those people were, how that whole disaster might not have happened if the residents were rich and powerful people and not the low waged and voiceless …

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well, anything we guess about the strength of community before the fire is just that – a guess. I’m with you all the way about the neglect of the community and how unjust it is. One thing that the media haven’t mentioned at all is the statutory obligation on local authorities to have a plan for dealing with major incidents, and to rehearse their responses. Some LAs are good – I’ve taken part in some exercises and they’re very helpful; you learn where your weaknesses are, and you put them right. From what we hear, the LA responsible for Grenfell was not well prepared. I suspect they didn’t have a plan, and certainly didn’t do training using such a plan. Which means that people died as a result of the neglect of a statutory duty, which surely must amount to manslaughter?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t know this, Penny – very interesting. It was the penny pinching attitude to the cladding, the way they used a flammable one when they could have used a safer alternative for a few pounds more. In one of the richest boroughs of London, such behaviour is truly despicable.


  3. What a fantastic surprise. Well worth the climb. I like the way the broken lift is worked in and the characters’ responses / lack of them implying no change there. The sighs and sounds and smells solidified my sense of place. Grand writing, Penny. A joy to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Kelvin
      Thank you for reading so carefully, and commenting in detail. The feedback is much appreciated. You are exactly right about the characters’ lack of response to the broken lift – as you say, no change there.
      With best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

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