What Pegman Saw – The final hymn

“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 Gwynedd, Wales, UK.

WPS - The final hymn 180512

Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, © Wales Wane Law, Google Maps

The final hymn

“’Jesu, lover of my soul’,” thought Dafydd, as he creaked up the steep hill on his old bicycle, “a fine hymn and Aberystwyth is a glorious tune. Now, shall I end the last verse in E major, or E minor?”

A thin drizzle engulfed the hillside, forming tiny droplets on Dafydd’s spectacles and obscuring his view of the Ebenezer Chapel where he was to play the organ.

“You alright, Dai?” enquired the Minister as he arrived.

Dafydd shrugged. “I’m not getting any younger.”

Despite feeling weak he played with crisp precision and the congregation sang lustily. Dafydd was relieved when the final hymn came. “Aberystwyth truly is a marvellous tune,” he thought. “Now, E major or E minor?”

The cloud outside cleared, and a beam of sunshine illuminated Dafydd’s hymnbook. He smiled.

“E major.”

He played the last chord. His eyes closed.

Peacefully, with no fuss, his heart stopped.

36 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – The final hymn

    • Dear Kelvin
      Thank you so much for reading, and for your lovely comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the attention to detail. Thank you particularly for commenting on the ending. If we look at the natural world with open hearts we can see the Divine, I think.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

  1. forming tiny droplets on Dafydd’s spectacles What a delightful detail. I remember this being very annoying back when I wore glasses. All your details are spot on and the last line, although a wee bit tragic, is very peaceful. Beautifully done, Penny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Yes, if he’d had time to reflect he’d have realised that as he finished the small task of leading the hymns for the service, he had also finished the big task of living a life of witness to God.
      Shalom
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine
      Thank you very much for reading and for your thoughtful comments. You’re very kind to mention the story’s construction, as that was the aspect to which I paid most attention. And I’m so glad you found the story joyful as well as touching.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  2. That felt so real, I wondered if you’d based Dafydd on a real life organist/composer. Had a genuine, small town, chapel feel to it. That moment of inspiration striking just at Dafydd’s end was perfect – the man could die happy. And I agree with you about Welsh names – but then I’m married to a half-Welshman called Gareth and one of my son’s names is Rhys! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn
      Thank you for reading and commenting so fully. I’m so glad the story felt real.
      I know of one instance where a famous organist died as he was performing in a recital, but nothing quite like my fictional tale of Dafydd. It’s possible that the story felt real because I was writing about things I know very well. I play the organ – not regularly any more, but for many years I used to turn out twice every Sunday. I love Wales – I’ve been to Gwynedd many times, and so often I’ve seen it shrouded in that thin drizzle. I’ve even cycled around Wales, so that’s from experience too! Perhaps there’s something in the advice “Write what you know” after all! I just hope I’m as lucky as Dafydd in how I die…
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • It feels like a different life, doesn’t it? That focus around church and your own community and the regularity of small routines. Now there’s just too much – too much food, too much noise, too much information. Excuse me for sounding painfully middle aged, but none of it seems to be making us any happier. Your tone was just right here Penny. Excellent story

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right, Lynn. More food, more noise, more consumption does not equate to more happiness – in fact, it can lead to less. But when you work, of course, and when you have children at home, it’s hard to escape the frenetic pace. It takes a big effort of will to deliberately opt for simpler, quieter choices.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very true and we all still need to make a living which often involves consorting with these things. I must say though, I often try to avoid the news, social networks and have unsubscribed from lots of email lists just to aim for a little less to think about!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I feel bad avoiding it sometimes, turning a blind eye to the troubles of the world. But I have friends who are very well informed and very stressed by the world and all the wrongs they can’t right. I selfishly try to preserve my sanity

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  3. What a beautifully written story, Penny. The details and I kept thinking… E major! When the sun came out I was expecting that choice… not so much his dying on such a beautiful high note…

    Liked by 1 person

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