What Pegman Saw – Dirty Business

“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 Armenia.

WOS - armenia 180526

Tsaghkunyats Ridge, Armenia  © Roland Yeghiazaryan, Google Maps

Dirty Business

“There’s been another leak from the copper mine into the River Artsvanik.”

Grigor, local leader of the Armenian Environmental Front, rested his hand gently on his friend Ari’s shoulder and looked at the laptop. The video from the drone-mounted camera was shaky, but clearly showed filthy water from the waste tailings pond pouring into the river.

The two men looked at each other. Downstream, the river provided water for agriculture and the waste gushing into it was full of toxic metals.

“No point telling the authorities,” said Grigor. Ari nodded. Money had changed hands.

“Should we tell the farmers?” suggested Ari.

Grigor shook his head.

“They’d lose business.”

He rubbed his side where he’d had two ribs broken. The police had shown no interest in finding his attackers.

“Send the video to Friends of the Earth?”

Ari shrugged.

“We could try. They’re international – and the mine is owned by Germans.”

24 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Dirty Business

    • Dear Alicia,
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      I found it hard to squeeze in all the details, which didn’t leave many words for defining the characters!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m afraid this story is based on fact. There is such a mine where activists report many more releases than the company admits.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Karen,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I had been hoping to write an upbeat piece about a country becoming more open and prosperous. Unfortunately this is what I found in my research. It’s based on reported recent events.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Grigor and Ari are good guys checking pollution incidents at considerable personal risk. Unfortunately, the system is stacked against them.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  1. It has such a feeling of sadness about this tale. That well meaning people have been ground into helpless inaction by being ignored and marginalised so long, They see the environmental disasters happening every day but know that there is no one willing to stand up to the corruption of big business and government and do something about it. An all too real tragedy of our times, Penny

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hearing such stories makes me realize how lucky we are to have the environmental protections that we do here in the States, even if they are far from perfect. What a horrible way to live, when the authorities are so corrupt that they don’t care if the people are being poisoned. Thank goodness for outside groups who are willing to take action!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joy,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, we’re lucky to live in places where the environment is protected. I worked in regulating industry for ten years. There are some corporations who constantly attack environmental protection. We can never relax our efforts. The most stupid thing is that ‘green’ is often more profitable – and companies still object!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Man’s ability to overlook the consequences of his actions as long as he profits saddens me deeply.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

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