What Pegman Saw – Greenwood Avenue, 1921

“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 Greenwood Avenue, Tulsa, and we are encouraged to write about the Tulsa riots.

WPS - Greenwood Avenue, 1921 191130

Image from Mike Goad from Pixabay

Greenwood Avenue, 1921

“Those are pretty, Mommy.”

Hannah smiled at her little daughter, Jacqueline.

“They’re all the way from France, honey. They’ve come thousands of miles across the ocean.”

She looked complacently at the crystal goblets. They’d arrived that morning, nestled in straw, in a sturdy wooden case.

“The sunshine makes colour sparkles in them,” observed six-year-old Montague, Jacqui’s brother.

The front door banged. Footsteps pounded along the passage.

“Sam? Sam!”

A trickle of blood ran down her husband’s cheek.

“Get the bag. It’s happening. The surrey’s at the door.”

Hannah paled. She rushed upstairs and grabbed the carpet bag, packed with essentials and cash. As she climbed onto the surrey, Sam handed her the reins.

“Drive north. Don’t stop.”

“Sam! Aren’t you coming?”

“Some hotheads want to kill whitey. I’m going to talk sense into them.”

As the surrey trundled around the corner, he had one last glimpse of Monty, waving.


13 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Greenwood Avenue, 1921

    • Dear Iain
      Thank you for reading and for your helpful comment. I’m delighted that you were left wondering about whether the family were reunited because that was what I designed the last line to achieve. Having confirmation that it worked is really helpful!
      With very best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly. When I read the Wikipedia article, it was the increasing tension between the two communities that really struck me. It had become a bloodbath waiting to happen. So I tried to convey that, together with the human cost. I fear Sam will never see his family again.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. AS others have said, beautifully done, Penny. Such a sense of tension and threat conveyed very clearly in the brief, choppy sentences and barked commands. You describe that scene of domesticity shattered very well. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn
      Thank you for reading and for your kind comments. I tried hard to achieve the change of pace at the entrance of Sam with his dreadful news, so it’s helpful to know that it worked.
      I must say that initially I didn’t like the idea of writing about the race riots – I wanted to write something cheerful! But I found it was an excellent exercise, and very challenging, so for me, Josh made the right call. And it is, after all, an important piece of history from which we should learn. It makes me even more concerned about the tendency of immigrants to congregate in areas where there are others of the same ethnic origin. It’s understandable, but Tulsa shows that it’s dangerous.
      With very best wishes


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