What Pegman Saw – A Long Journey

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using 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. This week’s prompt is Clinton Road, New Jersey, which has a reputation for being haunted…

WPS - A long journey - Clinton Road NJ 180303

The long journey

“Are we really going to use Clinton Road?”

Jake laughed.

“You don’t believe it’s haunted, do you, Linnie?”

“No, of course not. It’s just – well, the date.”

“So you think it matters that it’s Halloween? It’s our quickest route, you know.”

“Oh it’s fine, Jake.”

Linnie fidgeted nervously with her rosary.

The trees were dark on both sides of the road. A black truck blasted towards them, lights glaring, klaxon roaring. Linnie gasped.

“Dip your lights, idiot,” growled Jake.

“Is it much further, darling?”

“Nearly there. We’ve done fifty miles. Ten to go.”

Linnie tried to open Google Maps on her cell-phone. There was no signal.

“It’s thirty minutes since you said ten miles to go. You haven’t lost us, have you?”

Jake’s laughter was brittle.

“Of course not.”

“I’m sure we passed that sign before,” muttered Linnie.

Three hours later, still between the shadowy trees, their fuel ran out.

37 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – A Long Journey

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting. It’s odd how some places feel creepy, isn’t it? I’ve travelled through Picardy a few times, and hated it, because it left me with such a feeling of grief and hopelessness, which I associate with WW1.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like the sense of dread here, the gradual realisation that something is very, very wrong, though of course by thne it’s way too late. And that last line – you don’t need to tell us anymore, we can guess the rest! Really well constructed tale Penny

    Liked by 1 person

      • what was so scary? For example, I know the fear of going alone into a forest at night. As a child, I have often tried to test how far I dare to the edge of the forest. But in the end, it’s different when you’re two, right? Linnie might just have needed to be distracted a bit better.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dear anie
        The miles that they covered were real. The hours that passed were real. The fuel they burned was real. Their journey was supposed to be 60 miles; they covered over 200. So where were they? I think that would be pretty scary myself! Even if it turned out that we were just lost!
        With best wishes
        Penny

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ohhh, o.k. If it was clear before how much miles it would be and it turns out like this I understand that she was scared…even if it is not Scaring it is always disquieting if something takes much more time than expected!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear EagleAye
      You couldn’t say anything nicer! I’m delighted my story gave you goosebumps. Yes, the tension of watching the fuel gauge falling as you drive along a deserted road….brrrrrrr!
      Thank you for reading, and for your lovely comment.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alicia
      Thank you for reading so carefully and commenting perceptively. It’s good feedback to know that different elements of my story worked well for a reader.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I cherish your remark about the rosary; that’s high praise coming from a professional like yourself – thank you so much!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  2. The fuel running out forebode an incoming tragedy. This loose ending leaves a lot of space for many potential developments. Great job on the writing! I like how you kept the suspense until the final sentence drops. The foreshadowing at the start made the end predictable but you dragged it out long enough for readers to start doubting their own instincts. Good job! Keep writing, you seem quite talented my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Issa
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Thank you particularly for pointing out that the foreshadowing at the start made the end predictable. That sort of feedback is very valuable for helping me to improve as a writer.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not negative. I thought that you mixed it up very well in fact. I am French and trying to write so I am far from your level. You are levels better. If you want you can look at my work to help me improve as well. Constructive criticism is a necessity to better oneself as you say. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Issa
      Thank you for the clarification. I’m grateful to you for pointing out the predictable ending because I hadn’t considered that particular point. If I had, I might have written the story differently – or I might not – but I would have made a conscious decision as to how best to achieve what I wanted! So what you’ve told me is valuable!
      Thank you, too, for following my blog. I do Friday Fictioneers and What Pegman Saw, and often publish a longer short story on a Monday. If you do either FF or WPS, I shall almost certainly read your story and comment on it. In the meantime, I shall pop over to your blog and see how much I can read of it before dinner!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Righteousbruin
    Thank you for reading and commenting. Your comment interests me, because it prompts the idea that exactly the same events could be framed as a psychological thriller.
    With best wishes
    Penny

    Like

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