What Pegman Saw – Follower

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code. Many thanks to Karen and Josh for organising this most stimulating prompt!

WPS - Follower 190601

Balbulol Dive Resort, Indonesia | Lera 76, Google Maps

Follower

He’s here again, not doing anything, just sitting and watching me.

At first he hid. He’s bolder now, in plain view.

I chant invocations as I shovel ash from a bonfire into a sack and put it into my outrigger. Nine and ninety days it has sat in sun and rain, and now it’s ready to bless the land and the sea.

I paddle hard for hours, and as I approach the atoll the sun is at its zenith. Has my pursuer had the stamina to keep up with me? I can’t see him. Perhaps the heat has overcome him? I shrug. If it has, he will not do.

I have been quick. The sun must be three-quarters through her journey before I scatter the ash. I eat and drink, and, behold, my hunter paddles slowly to the beach. His head droops.

He’ll do. I shall make him my apprentice.

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What Pegman Saw -Without an Ark

“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 Manitoba, Canada.

WPS - Without an Ark 190810

Without an ark

“Ninety degrees,” expostulated Marion, mopping her forehead. “Darn climate change!”

“Deep low-pressure area coming our way from Saskatchewan; twister weather. Stay careful and safe, folks!” announced the local radio station.

Marion’s husband, Hank, was back early that afternoon; he’d closed his business, sent the staff home when the severe weather warning had been broadcast.

Clouds were piling up, and there was a blur of rain on the horizon. The sun shone briefly below the clouds.

The rain began to fall, heavy drops, falling faster and faster, a stream of water, a cataract.

Their two children rushed in, bedraggled and sodden.

“Just look at you! Didn’t you see the rain coming?”

Water was pouring across the yard, already inches deep.

“Why, that’s the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen,” exclaimed Marion, suddenly, then, as abruptly as if a switch had been thrown, the rainbow was gone.

There was a voice.

“Covenant – cancelled.”

 

 

Friday Fictioneers – No Wonder

I’m still on holiday in Greece, but I can’t resist sneaking some writing time when I should be having a siesta!

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - No wonder 190807

Photoprompt © Randy Mazie

No Wonder

When Alan and Judith had moved in, shortly after their wedding, they thought it was the most beautiful house they’d ever seen.

They would often eat breakfast on the terrace, exclaiming with delight at the perfume from the roses in their garden. They would comment in wonder that the distant view was always changing.

But Alan neglected the roses, and Judith was too busy with her friends to be house-proud. Alan spent an increasing number of nights away ‘on business’, while Judith consoled herself with gin.

Now the house is boarded up and empty.

No beauty, no delight.

No wonder.

Blue froggy – join the fun!

Friday Fictioneers – Flying Boat

First of all, my apologies. I’m on holiday in Greece. I hadn’t been intending to write a story today, but when I saw the prompt it fitted so exactly with how I had spent this morning (see below the story) that I couldn’t resist…apologies are due, though, because I probably won’t read many stories by other people.

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Flying Boat 190801

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Flying Boat

It had been many years since he had demonstrated his displacement principle to the tyrant of Syracuse, years filled with achievement, honour and, above all, the satisfaction of his curiosity about the world.

Fire burned, a valve tripped, water flashed into steam in turbines, turning the sails from a windmill. The vessel surged heavily across the water, faster and faster, rising as the air rushed beneath its wings.

Crack!

The sails tattered, the laths from which they were constructed beating the blue water to milky froth.

Archimedes frowned. Materials. The principle was sound. All he needed was better materials.

Author’s note

I visited the Archimedes Museum in Olympia today. It’s devoted to the technology of ancient Greece, and it’s astonishing. If political conditions had been different, the Industrial Revolution would have happened two millennia ago. The story above is (probably) not true, but all the technology was available for Archimedes to make the experiment.

Blue Frog – join the Inlinkz party

Friday Fictioneers – Terminus

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Terminus 190724

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Terminus

As the express raced through the night, Cameron sized up the other passenger in the first-class compartment. Strong, fit, and, it would seem, armed. Like many before him, he seemed oblivious of the scrutiny of the self-effacing Scotsman sitting opposite. His mistake, thought Cameron.

The train roared as it entered the tunnel. Acrid steam blew into the carriage.

“I’ll shut the window, shall I?” enquired Cameron.

He stood, and operated the emergency brake. The train bucked, the brakes squealed, and Cameron turned, gun in hand.

“You’re past it, old man,” he heard, as the other man’s bullet felled him.

Blue Froggie!

 

 

Friday Fictioneers – In Plain Sight

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (Join the Party!) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - In plain sight 190718

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

In plain sight

Jackson slouched against the crush barriers as he always did. Later, he would buy a chili dog, smother it with mustard and slurp a quart of soda, but for now there was work to be done.

Without doing more than glance casually at the shoppers, he checked them. “Harmless. Harmless. Armed…” He mumbled a few nonsense syllables and rolled his eyes. A nearby shopper speeded up.

“Thanks, Jacko,” came the voice in his concealed earpiece. “Male, Caucasian, heading towards the tower?”

“Yo!” He clicked his fingers, shuffled a dance step; faded into the background as he helped keep NYC safe.

Join the Party!

 

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers – Murder in the Cathedral

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

I have to confess that I’m not quite sure where today’s story came from. It’s an emotional response to the prompt.

FF - Murder in the Cathedral 190710

Murder in the cathedral

On to the dead go all estates,

Panting, I crouch, hidden behind the High Altar.

Princes, prelates, and potentates,

The Dean manages to wrest a sword from the grasp of one of the murderers; blades clash. A jet of blood, bubbling with his mortal scream, sprays over the altar, while the assassins’ ring-leader bays in triumph. They skewer the Archbishop as he babbles prayers, shrinking into his Cathedra.

Both rich and poor of all degree;

Will they butcher me too? I’m only a monk. I have no part in great events. I tell my rosary, shuddering.

Timor mortis conturbat me.

 

Notes

The story is written interleaved with a stanza of “Lament for the Makers” by William Dunbar. I first wrote the story using the original words, but that looked a little daunting, so I turned them into present day English. The final line of the stanza is Latin, and means “The fear of death troubles me”.

Murder in the cathedral

On to the ded gois all estatis,

Panting, I crouch, hidden behind the High Altar.

Princis, prelotis, and potestatis,

The Dean manages to wrest a sword from the grasp of one of the murderers; blades clash. A jet of blood, bubbling with his mortal scream, sprays over the altar, while the assassins’ ring-leader bays in triumph. They skewer the Archbishop as he babbles prayers, shrinking into his Cathedra.

Baith riche and pur of al degre;

Will they butcher me too? I’m only a monk. I have no part in great events. I tell my rosary, shuddering.

Timor mortis conturbat me.

Join the party!

Friday Fictioneers – Temptation

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (Join the Party) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Temptation 190703

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Temptation

“You alright, Martha?”

I nod, make an effort to smile. Yesterday, the hospital gave me the Bad Diagnosis. Nothing they can do. Weeks, not months.

I sit at the check-out; might as well be at work as anyplace else.

My heart sinks. Mister Asshole is in line. Why does he always pick me? Today, he’s worse than usual. “The ‘Best Before’ date is today; give me a discount.” “The prices on the shelves are wrong; I should only pay the marked price, come look at the shelf.”

I sigh, remain polite – and leave the loaded pistol in my handbag unused.

Join the Party