What Pegman Saw – Payback time

“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 New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana | Save Our Cemeteris Jean Mensa Google Maps

Payback time

She was skinny, dirty, and bruised and obstructed his passage through the cemetery. Clark tried to walk past her but, without seeming to move, she still blocked his path. Clark swiped, casually, to knock her out of the way but his blow hit nothing.

He looked more closely; she seemed familiar.

“I was the first,” she murmured, so quietly that he could scarcely hear.

Another girl, perhaps fourteen years old, stepped out bringing the stench of decay. Clark gasped. He’d left this one in a garbage dumpster.

“You sold my body for sex and then you murdered me.” She whispered the words.

Fire crackled ahead of him, fierce and orange.

He bolted from it, but the flames were faster. All around him children stared, accusing; judging.

When his screams eventually stopped, his corpse lay between the tombs, contorted but unburned. The children sighed in unison – and gently turned to mist.

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Friday Fictioneers – Flight

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!

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PHOTO PROMPT © Jilly Funell

Flight

I pass beyond the bland retail complex to the harbour, where the sea has been tamed. The light shimmers. An old buccaneer of a gull, cross-billed and cross-eyed, squints at my burger. We look at each other.

“Not for you, mate,” I tell him.

The Spinnaker Tower surges skywards in clean curves. Rather than a sail straining in the wind, creaking with the effort, it looks like a sign on a garage forecourt whirling with the futile energy of consumerism.

My seagull friend soars, gliding serenely beyond the breakwater to sparkling waves. How I wish I could do the same.

What Pegman Saw – Dangerous Mission

“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 Roswell, New Mexico.

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Roswell, New Mexico | © Google Maps

Dangerous mission

The two Hirluin stood quietly to honour their murdered colleague.

“Paava paid a high price, but her life was honourable,” said Taavu, placing his hand on Nim’s shoulder. Tears coursed down Nim’s face.

“I don’t mourn her life, but the pointlessness of her death. We are no threat. Why do these creatures take every chance to kill us?”

Taavu found nothing to say. He felt sick when he tried to imagine the hatred and fear these beings must experience to be able to kill so casually. He shuddered to think they would soon have interstellar travel.

Nim knelt and kissed his dead wife on the forehead. He activated the portal to return her body to Hirdl, and Paava was gone.

It was time to grieve. Tomorrow’s attempt to communicate with the lifeform of Sol III would be more urgent.

The patience of the Galactic Council was great but not infinite.

Friday Fictioneers – Unwelcome News

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!

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Edited 09:52 BST 11 October 2018

Unwelcome news

Edward pulled his shoulders back and stood tall as he walked through the farm entrance. The barn looked even more ramshackle, and the yard was dirty. Dad was still struggling to cope then.

“Hullo, Dad.”

“What are you doing here? I thought you were at un-i-ver-si-tee”

“Well…”

A low flying Spitfire drowned out his reply.

“Bloody planes!”

“Dad, they’re heroes. They’re stopping the Germans.”

“They’re frightening the bloody cattle, that’s what. Ever since they opened that damn airfield down the road.”

“Dad. I’ve er…I’ve something to tell you.”

“Curdling the bloody milk they are.”

“Dad. I’ve had my call-up papers.”

What Pegman Saw – Where the power is

“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 Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, India.

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Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, India | © Google Maps

Where the power is

It had always been there, like a mountain on the skyline. Blank windows in massive granite walls stared like dead eyes over Hyderabad. The fort was immensely strong and yet was now powerless.

Dushyant’s shirt stuck to his back in the heat. The battered leather briefcase holding his accounts weighed him down. Everything depended on the forthcoming interview. His business, his longed-for marriage to Aarushi – everything.

He glanced at the fort. If the bank didn’t back his business he’d have to go back to being a guide there, telling foreigners of the Qutb Shahis who’d ruled with the power of life and death.

The bank’s silvered windows reflected the bustle of the street.

Dushyant, heart in mouth, presented his accounts.

“They’re on paper?” sneered the Manager. “I can’t waste time on that. I need a spreadsheet. Good day.”

‘This is where the power is now,’ thought Dushyant, and slunk away.

Friday Fictioneers – Lots to Learn

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!

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Lots to learn

In his mind Arnold labelled her “Girlfriend”.

They’d met occasionally in cafes. He’d taken her to the Natural History museum, where she had admired his knowledge of palaeontology. ‘That was a date,’ thought Arnold. ‘Perhaps I could invite her to my flat.’

He vacuumed and dusted. Used an air freshener.

He showered, anointed himself with deodorant.

The doorbell rang. She smiled and gave him a peck on the cheek. ‘First kiss,’ he thought.

Entering, she looked around.

“Everything’s covered with labels!” she exclaimed.

“I’m learning Mandarin.”

She drank a cup of coffee and left. She needed to wash her hair.

What Pegman Saw – Dutiful Sons

“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 the Douro valley in Portugal.

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Dutiful sons

The Douro river lapped darkly at the feet of the two brothers and the priest as they built Gangajal’s funeral pyre. The wood smelled sweet in the night air and left sticky patches of resin on their clothes; it would burn fiercely. As they laid the withered corpse on the wood, Abhanja, the elder, wept silent tears.

Prambratra, the younger, glanced around apprehensively. He jumped at every noise, and when a police car roared past, sirens blaring, he nearly bolted.

“Don’t be afraid,” the priest told him. “What you are doing is dharma*”

The scent of marigolds on the pyre permeated the air. The eastern sky was lightening.

“It’s time,” said the priest, softly, and lit the kindling. Flames, pale in the rising sun, charred and consumed the corpse, and the smoke rose like prayer to heaven.

Gangajal had a proper Hindu funeral, just as her sons had promised her.

* dharma = virtuous