What Pegman Saw – Dutiful Sons

“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 the Douro valley in Portugal.

WPS - Dutiful Sons 180929

Dutiful sons

The Douro river lapped darkly at the feet of the two brothers and the priest as they built Gangajal’s funeral pyre. The wood smelled sweet in the night air and left sticky patches of resin on their clothes; it would burn fiercely. As they laid the withered corpse on the wood, Abhanja, the elder, wept silent tears.

Prambratra, the younger, glanced around apprehensively. He jumped at every noise, and when a police car roared past, sirens blaring, he nearly bolted.

“Don’t be afraid,” the priest told him. “What you are doing is dharma*”

The scent of marigolds on the pyre permeated the air. The eastern sky was lightening.

“It’s time,” said the priest, softly, and lit the kindling. Flames, pale in the rising sun, charred and consumed the corpse, and the smoke rose like prayer to heaven.

Gangajal had a proper Hindu funeral, just as her sons had promised her.

* dharma = virtuous

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Friday Fictioneers – How can I say no?

Bjorn contributed an excellent story to Friday Fictioneers this week. When I commented that it was the woman’s silence that made the story special, Bjorn replied “… I wonder how someone would write her story from her point of view.”

So – here’s my attempt in 100 words!

FF - Collateral 180926

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

How can I say no?

“Another coffee?”, smiled the waitress. Richard, perhaps embarrassed, accepted, but I shook my head. The jewellers’ box sat between us like a small grenade.

“Why?” I wanted to scream. “Why spoil our friendship with romance?”

It was my fault. I must have sent him the wrong message. I tried to say so, but the words wouldn’t come out, so I looked through the window at the rain instead.

We’d had great times, cheering on Manchester City, moshing at rock concerts, and – huge adrenaline blast! – rallying in his souped-up Mini.

But romance. I didn’t want that. My heart was still Deborah’s.

Friday Fictioneers – Collateral

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Collateral 180926

PHOTO PROMPT © Priorhouse

Collateral

Furious, Lane seized his wife’s wineglass and hurled it out of the window of the lobby on level thirty-five.

A little wine spilled and fell, making a constellation of crimson droplets orbiting the glass. A girl walked towards the hotel entrance below.

The glass sang as it fell, the sound modulating as it tumbled in the breeze, constantly accelerating towards its rendezvous. The sunlight sparkled mesmerizingly from it. A trickle of wine dribbled around the bowl like blood.

The glass struck, shattered her skull, made a thousand scintillating diamonds in her hair even as the light faded from her eyes.

What Pegman Saw – My enemy’s enemy

“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 Goizueta, Navarre, Spain.

WPS - My enemy's enemy 180922

Goizueta, Navarre | © Google Maps

My enemy’s enemy

Abarran had watched as the legions tramped towards the mountain pass, the thud of their feet filling the valley. He had seen their armour, their broad-bladed swords, their spear-tips more numerous than the stars. They would massacre any army he could raise. He had moved swiftly to order his people to co-operate; to give willingly what was asked rather than fight and have everything taken with only death as their reward.

And now the legions were at the gates of his city.

His chieftains were muttering. This morning, one had gone so far as to draw blade against him. He had left his own weapons sheathed and stared the man down, but he could no longer count on unquestioning loyalty.

The gates of the city creaked open and Abarran walked out.

It was time to see whether he could persuade these foreigners to make alliance with him against the Celtiberians.

Taken for a Ride

This is a piece of flash fiction, a little over 100 words long. The idea for story came to me over breakfast, and amused me enough to make me sit down straightaway and write it. I fear the photograph has been pinched from a used car advertisement with scant regard for copyright. In the extremely unlikely event that the copyright holder reads this story, please forgive me for borrowing your excellent photograph!

Taken for a ride 180921

Taken for a ride

“Nice car, Hector.”

Denis walked around his boss’s car, appraising its aggressive stance, its racing alloy wheels, its flawless paintwork with a shine so deep and a gloss so high that the vehicle seemed to have been chiselled out of ruby.

Hector crooked his finger as he opened the rear door (silently; oh, so silently) and pointed at the VDU in the rear of the chauffeur’s seat.

“Ultimate productivity. I can work as I’m driven to meetings.”

Denis whistled his admiration.

Hector slipped into the car, slipped a DVD into his computer.

As the chauffeur pulled out of the car park, Hector smiled broadly as, for the fifth time that week, “Frozen” started to play.

Friday Fictioneers – Le Café des Parapluies

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Les Parapluies 180919

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Le Café des Parapluies

I sat on the terrace of the Café des Parapluies, fiddling with my phone and staring out into the night. Should I ring my daughter, let her know the good news? I’d pushed her away during my illness; I’d thought it might spare her pain.

I glanced at the man at the next table. He was tall, and although his hair was silver he looked fit. And kind. I needed kindness.

He smiled.

“Bonsoir, Madame.”

He paused, then suggested “Make the call”.

I raised my eyebrows – then nodded. He was right; the cancer was gone.

I had a future again.

What Pegman Saw – The Poacher

“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 Bamboi, Northern Region, Ghana.

WPS - The poacher elephant 180915

The Poacher

Yes. It is he. The one who used his distant-death against Kmmbwla-Mera. He is alone, sitting by a fire in front of his canvas house. He’s drinking that-which-maddens from a metal flask.

I remember the day Kmmbwla-Mera fell. It was bright and the leaves on the burkea trees tasted moist and refreshing. We grazed and paid little heed to the jeep and its passengers.

Kmmbwla-Mera noticed first. A man was standing, pointing his distant-death in our direction. Kmmbwla-Mera was a great bull, a brave bull. He trumpeted an alarm and ran full-tilt at the man.

The man’s distant-death shouted. Kmmbwla-Mera stumbled. I heard his dying gasp; I felt him die.

We ran.

Later, I went back.

Kmmbwla-Mera’s corpse; they had mutilated it; they had cut out his tusks. There are no words bad enough to describe such desecration.

Tonight, your murderer will face justice my love, my husband, my Kmmbwla-Mera.