What Pegman Saw – Ritual Offering

“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 San Ignacio de Velasco, Bolivia

WPS - Ritual Offering 180520

San Ignacio de Velasco, © Google Maps

Ritual Offering

Nervous, I clasp my mother’s hand, for I am the youngest son who will offer the gift.

Our bonfire by the lake makes a circle of light in the blackness. Fat from the lamb roasting on its spit drips onto the embers, hissing and crackling in spurts of yellow flame.

“Viracocha sat in darkness, much darker than tonight.” My grandfather’s voice is quiet but strong.

“Viracocha wanted light, so he made the sun, the moon, and the stars.

He made giants, but they spent their days fighting and their nights in debauchery.

Viracocha was angry and caused a great flood to drown the giants.”

I glance apprehensively at the indigo waters of the lake.

“Viracocha made men. He teaches us to help each other and share our blessings.”

It’s time!

I hold out a plate. Grandfather carves lamb, and I offer it to our neighbours.

Viracocha’s blessings are for us all.

18 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Ritual Offering

    • Dear Dale
      Thank you for reading and commenting. As you say, sharing is the way of the wise. When I was researching for the story, I discovered that the Aymara indigenous people had a very close, co-operative social structure. Unlike the descendants of the conquistadores, woman had an equal role with men in all sorts of ways. And if your neighbour asked for help for example to build a new house, then you went and helped him, on the understanding that he would do the same for you one day.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Karen
      Thank you for reading and for your lovely comments. When I was reading up about the area, I was very impressed to read about the empire that preceded the Incas. It seemed to be much less bloody, but very clever in the way it held an empire together for hundreds of years. The present-day Aymara people have some links with that old empire, and their culture is co-operative, with men and women having equal rights in all sorts of areas, including business dealings and inheritance.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A wonderfully told story Penny, I like the language of it very much. You blend the folk-story dimension with the real so well ..roasting lamb, and the little girl’s anxious glance at the dark water when the story is about a great flood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, it does sound like that. I don’t know enough about primitive creation myths to be sure, but I think this story pre-dates any likely European (i.e. Christian) influence on the native culture.
      The Chinese also have a flood myth, which again is ancient. I suppose this is not so surprising; devastating floods happen three or four generations apart just about anywhere in the world. On the other hand, maybe there was a flood on an altogether greater scale – for example, when the glaciers melted. Then the myths would be a verbally transmitted account of what it was like, which is rather a wonderful thought, isn’t it?
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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