What Pegman Saw – Extinction level event

“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 Happy Jack, Arizona.

I found that while Happy Jack itself has few people and less history, the Lowell observatory is only twenty miles away and is one of the premier observatories in North America.

WPS - Extinction level event 200404

Extinction level event

Abe fiddled with his calendar. He flipped three prints of a starfield onto his desk.

“What do you make of these, Slim?” He pointed to each in turn. “29th. 30th. Last night.” The images showed the stars being obscured over a progressively larger area.

Slim looked, frowned, checked that the codes on the prints tallied with Abe’s account, and paled.

“You found this on the main instrument?” His voice was husky with apprehension. “But that’s an area of sky that I surveyed with the 0.6 metre Schmidt last week. There was nothing there then. This means…”

“That’s what I thought too. The centre of the obscured area doesn’t change.”

“It’s heading straight for us,” whispered Slim.

He straightened. “I’ll have to tell the Director.”

“How about checking on the Schmidt again? Just to be thorough.”

“Good idea.”

As Slim bustled out, Abe chuckled at his calendar.

“April Fool,” he murmured.

20 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Extinction level event

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Lucky you, living so near to the Lowell, and visiting a couple times. If I’d been in your position I’d have wanted to get a vacation job there! Looking at their visitors’ guide, they’re a really dynamic organisation, with kit to die for, and a wonderful tie-in with the Discovery Channel.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  1. Ooh, Abe is quite the trickster! I’ll admit that I’m terrible with these pranks — if I were Slim, I would have bought it, hook, line, and sinker — and been terrified! Hopefully he’d be too relieved when he found it wasn’t true to be angry though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joy
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I imagined Abe as an older man, perhaps in his fifties, with a wicked sense of humour. But there is a purpose behind his prank. Young researcher, Slim, needs to learn two very important things; firstly, to examine the evidence more closely – there are all sorts of things wrong with Abe’s photo-shopped images; and secondly, to make his first response to significant data that of checking.
      I was once a chemist, and lab manager, and if ever I had an odd result, I checked it, and did it again!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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