What Pegman Saw – Uprising

“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 Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar.

WPS - Uprising 191116

Image by ct tran from Pixabay

Uprising

The soldiers’ guns were loaded, and they had orders to shoot to kill. They patrolled the streets; we slipped through the night from shadow to shadow, through gardens and parks, behind hedges and shrubs, taking turns to carry our old, frail leader pick-a-back.

From the People’s Park we could see the stupa shimmering spectral gold.

“Quickly,” said our guide, ushering us into the tunnel that took us into the pagoda, “It will soon be dawn.”

As the sun’s fire rose blazing above the horizon, our leader struck the Tharrawaddy Min bell.

“My people – all my people – shall be free!”

The great bell sang, awakening resonances from the Maha Gandha bell. Across the city, thousands of bells were rung, spreading the word of resistance. A flame of sound raced over the countryside from end to end.

Aung San Suu Kyi slumped, her work at last complete.

16 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Uprising

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting. As you say, it’s hard to find true information about who controls Myanmar. I would be astonished if Aung San Suu Kyi actually condones genocide, although it’s certainly taking place with the Rohingya. On the other hand, I guess enough psychological pressure eventually breaks the will of even the best and strongest among us.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Karen
      Thank you for reading and for your kind comments. I’m glad you felt the story was powerful. For the sake of complete clarity, the event I describe is purely fictional and set anywhere from five to twenty years in the future.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and for your kind comments. For the sake of complete clarity, the event I describe is purely fictional and set anywhere from five to twenty years in the future.
      Shalom
      Penny

      Like

  1. Dear Lynn
    Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment.
    Josh makes the point in his comment that it’s hard to find true information about who controls Myanmar. I would be astonished if Aung San Suu Kyi actually condones ‘ethnic cleansing’, although it’s certainly taking place with the Rohingya. On the other hand, I guess enough psychological pressure eventually breaks the will of even the best and strongest among us.
    With very best wishes
    Penny

    Like

    • Dear Andi
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I almost gave the story the title “Liberty Bell” but realised in time how confusing that might be!
      In one way my story is a metaphor for the way in which Aung San Suu Kyi galvanised opposition to the military junta in 1988, when tens of thousands would assemble to hear her speak. In subsequent elections she gained over 3 million votes – a huge number given the population of Myanmar.
      But the story itself is set in the near future, and I’ve imagined the ringing of the bells at dawn to be the signal that begins the uprising.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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