What Pegman Saw – Finisterre

“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 Roscanvel, Brittany.

Roscanvel is a rocky peninsular in Finisterre. The literal translation of Finisterre is ‘The end of the world’…

WPS - Finisterre 200418

Finisterre

How the wind shrieks in the rigging! The frigate tacks desperately, seeking sea-room. Surely the storm can’t get any worse?

The cannon are silent, lashed to stanchions. God help us if one of them breaks free. The portholes are tight shut, but water spurts through cracks as the vessel heels and the opening is submerged in the swell.

The gunners, too, are silent, apart from gasps of exhaustion. They pump like demons to clear the bilges. Wilkinson lies, spent. The others glance at him with contempt, even as they dread that they, too, will succumb.

It is worse on deck.

A handful of seamen struggle desperately to reduce sail.

Crack!

The main mast splinters.

The vessel yaws helplessly. She smashes into the rocks with a shock that throws many into the breakers.

A few of us cling to the rigging, from where, one by one, the raging ocean plucks us.

 

12 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – Finisterre

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. It was great fun to write, as it’s way out of my usual genre, and stylistically different too. Nothing like a change for stimulating the muse!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Such a wonderfully dramatic and tense scene you have painted here, Penny! The image of the ship is gorgeous: what a magnificent vessel. And all those delicate parts of wood and cloth fitting together just so: it’s easy to imagine how horribly it would be mangled by a violent storm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Joy
      Thank you for reading and for such appreciative comments. I agree that it’s astonishing how those wooden vessels survived extreme weather. In this instance, I imagined the frigate was part of a fleet blockading the port of Brest. Bad weather came from the west, and the admiral was too slow signalling that the fleet should seek sea-room. The frigate nearest the port was caught on a lee shore in 90 mph wind and had no chance despite all the captain’s skill.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

      • That makes sense, thanks! I also like to have the broader context in mind when conceiving the story, even if those details don’t figure in the text itself. You seem to really know your nautical terms and strategies, I’m impressed! I’d never heard the term “sea room” but the implication was clear from your story.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad the nautical details carried conviction. I read all the Hornblower novels as a teenager…I’m among the world’s worst sailors. My children still tease me about the fishing trip where the boatman told me I was putting down ground bait for the fish!

      Like

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