What Pegman Saw – The Great Fish

“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 Tulum, Mexico.

WPS - The Great Fish 180505

Playa Maya, © Tulum, Mexico

Notes

The name Itzamatul is used by indigenous people of Mayan descent. It means ‘one who has the grace of the sky’.

A ‘bacha’ is a marijuana cigarette, a joint.

The great fish

Mingling smells of diesel and fish reassured Itzamatul as he manhandled his small boat into the sea. This was his place. He lit a bacha and inhaled deeply. Waves slapped the sides of the boat as it puttered along the silver path laid by the moon.

Itzamatul threw baited lines over the stern. Whenever he felt a struggling fish, he pulled it in and tossed it into a bucket. The spirits of his forefathers were with him.

Storm-clouds were massing on the horizon – but wait! What was this?

One line was so taut it was tilting the boat. Itzamatul hauled on it and rejoiced to see a great silver fish.

“Set brother fish free,” said his forefathers.

“It will sell for a fine price!” he protested, but they were implacable.

Sighing, he severed the line and the fish swam free. The storm-driven waters rose and bore Itzamatul safe to shore.

25 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – The Great Fish

    • Dear Haunted Wordsmith
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Thank you for introducing me to the tale of the magic haddock (ain’t Google wonderful!). I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting. It wasn’t intended to invoke thoughts of the Old Man and the Sea – I wouldn’t be unwise enough to invite the comparison! It’s much more to do with Mayan myths, although it’s far from a direct retelling of any that I know.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Karen
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m delighted you read the mythical element into it. James’s comment is quite right – the story intentionally invokes intoxication as one explanation for what happened. There are at least two other explanations, one of which you pinpoint; Itzamatul was saved from the storm by the spirits of his ancestors. It is the third (which I will leave hidden so as not to provide a spoiler!) that I personally find most persuasive.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joy
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re dead right about listening to the spirits of your forefathers. I’m so glad you loved the atmosphere; I worked very hard on the descriptions.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Alicia
      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly; it’s sweet of you to mention the descriptions. Your thought about a plan would chime with myth; it wouldn’t be the first time that brothers had fought against lightning.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the happy ending on this “moby” like tale. Have seen storms at Tulum, and the waves are vicious and frightening. Easy so see him either destroyed or brought to shore. Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jelli
      Thank you for reading and commenting. It was only just a happy ending! If he’d delayed by insisting on landing the fish it might have been very different. Thank you for your eye-witness account of storms at Tulum; I can well believe that the waves are vicious.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • They were vicious, but oh, so very beautiful! The sheer power of them left me in complete, speechless awe (which is hard to do). If I close my eyes, I can still hear their roar.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Francine
    Thank you for reading and commenting.
    What a delightful idea to have the story told to a family group sat around a fire on the beach! I might try that!
    With very best wishes
    Penny

    Like

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