What Pegman Saw – A good brother

“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 Botswana.

WPS - A good brother 180421

© Google Maps

A good brother

“Hold Akashinga’s hand, Maffy. He will look after you until you get to mummy in South Africa.”

Mafirakureva took her thumb out of her mouth and, slipping her sticky fingers into her brother’s hand, she smiled up at her grandma.

Ten-year-old Akashinga stood as tall as he could. He had a backpack containing water and a few sandwiches but his responsibility felt heavier than the pack.

“Climb in,” said the driver to Akashinga. “Put her on your lap.” Akashinga squeezed in beside a plump girl.

They drove for hours across Zimbabwe to the Botswana border. Akashinga watched their driver joking with the border guards as they checked documents.

They’d only travelled a little further when they were stopped at a police checkpoint. The driver swore.

“Everybody sit tight. I’ll talk us through.”

Akashinga put his arms around Maffy.

“Don’t be afraid. I will keep you safe,” he promised.

29 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – A good brother

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      The police will send the kids back to Zimbabwe, of course, as soon as they learn the name and address of the grandmother. And the people smugglers will be fined, which is not much of a deterrent I don’t suppose.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ivor
      Thank you for reading and for your warm-hearted comment. The children are almost certainly safer with the police than with the people smuggler who was taking them illegally to South Africa. They should finish up in a place of safety from which they will – in due course – be returned to Grandma in Zimbabwe.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  1. I can imagine how the responsibility felt so much heavier than the pack. A great descriptive detail. In some places police checkpoints truly are a place of fear. You got me concerned for the welfare of the characters, and that’s a sign of very good writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Fluid Phrase
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      People smuggling is always a bad thing – sometimes, when it’s for modern day slavery it’s a profoundly wicked thing. However, in this case the police are good guys and Akashinga and Mafirakureva will be taken to a safe place before being returned to relatives in Zimbabwe. Of course, when the police stop the vehicle Akashinga takes his cue from the driver, the people smuggler, and is afraid of the police…but all ends well, eventually!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali
      Thank you for reading and commenting. The Botswana police are (in my very limited understanding) reasonably free of corruption, and at present they’re quite alert to people smuggling from Zimbabwe to South Africa via Botswana. I leave it to you to guess the outcome!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m delighted you thought the story was well crafted. These flash fiction prompts are so useful for developing technique, aren’t they?
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  2. Dear Penny,
    That was beautifully done. The heavy responsibility of the elder brother to the younger sister must have weighed more than heavily…
    One wonders if they would have been headed for a better or worse life…
    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      In fact, I can pretty much tell you the answer, because this is typical of cases reported recently in various African newspapers. There are people who have moved (illegally) from Zimbabwe to South Africa for work. Once they’re settled, they want their children to join them but they can’t get the papers because they’re illegal immigrants. So they pay people smugglers (often people they already know) to bring the children to them. A favourite route is via Botswana.
      If the people smugglers are caught, they are fined. Children are taken to a safe place and relatives contacted to return the children to Zimbabwe.
      So Akashinga and Mafirakureva will be fine – but of course they don’t know that! They take their cue from the people smuggler who is scared of the police.
      Of course, there are also darker journeys where it is people trafficking for the purpose of slavery as James highlights in his story.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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