What Pegman Saw – Redemption

“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 Tasmania, Australia.

WPS - Redemption 191216

Image from PixbayBlade by Pixabay

Redemption

Reverend Luke spoke sternly to Matt. “You should not have seized Lowanna from her home and family. That is against God’s law.”

Matt went white, his finger twitched and the gun roared, deafening in the confined space of the cabin. Disappointment stained the face of the priest as he slumped.

“I forgive you,” he gasped. “Now put right the evil you have done.”

His eyes closed, he shuddered and his chest stopped heaving.

Matt Cox stared aghast. The gun rattled against the table as he laid it down.

He buried the body in his kitchen garden. He could feel Lowanna watching from the room in which he’d locked her.

Reverend Luke’s face haunted him, day and night. Suddenly, Matt realised that the sadness in the priest’s eyes was for him and nobody else. On Sunday morning, as the church bell rang through the clear air, Matt restored Lowanna to her family.

Note

During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, British settlers – where men vastly outnumbered women – used to seize aboriginal women as ‘wives’. Occasionally the aboriginals would strike back, killing a few settlers, whereupon they faced massive reprisals and many deaths. This conflict was known as the ‘Black War’.

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Redemption

    • Dear Crispina
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m sure you’re right that men seized wives throughout history. In some cases they have even bragged about it in their history books – I’m thinking of the Romans and the rape of the Sabine women. As you say, a sad story to tell.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I echo Crispina– this is a tragic tale that’s played out all across history: if you send large numbers of men to unfamiliar territory, it puts the local women at risk of becoming their “brides,” whether they’re willing or not. You paint a terribly tragic and tense scene. Poor Reverend Luke, trying to rein in his wayward flock. If Matt’s willing to shoot a priest, I’d say he’s too far gone to be convinced by God’s Law! Lucky for Lowanna that guilt finally made him do the right thing by her, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joy
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      I was struggling with word count this week. I wanted to convey the almost accidental nature of the murder. Yes, Matt was pointing a loaded gun at Rev Luke but he didn’t intend to pull the trigger. Hence he was aghast, and the gun clattered (in his shaking hand) as he laid it on the table.
      It’s almost the same with the “Black War”. I doubt whether the settlers consciously meant to wipe out the aborigines, but once the violence started there was only ever going to be one outcome.
      It doesn’t make Matt, or the settlers, any less culpable, but it would be nice if people would reflect that gun ownership (or a standing army) raises the chance of lethal violence many-fold
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes indeed. While it’s true, as they say, that “guns don’t kill people” it’s also true that people *with* guns kill a lot more people than those without. And as soon as you bring one into a fight, you are greatly changing the odds of everyone getting out alive.

        Liked by 1 person

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