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.

I saw the earth move

When I look out of my dining room window on a misty, drizzly day, I see in the foreground a half dozen houses that are part of the estate on which I live. Beyond them, an old viaduct looms magnificently among the even older trees of Long Timber Wood. Tiny cloudlets form and dissolve above the valley of the River Erme, which brawls down from ancient Dartmoor into the village of Ivybridge. It is a sight of sombre beauty even on a grey winter’s day.
Saturday, by contrast, was clear and bright. I sat at breakfast enjoying a soft-boiled egg and a cup of freshly ground coffee, and I gazed at the frost on the roof of one of the houses. My attention was caught by the hard-edged shadow that the building next to mine cast in the light of the new-risen sun. The shadow contrasted sharply with the bright white of the frost and made an acute angle across the roof.
And then I realised that I could see the shadow move. Its edge was travelling just fast enough for the motion to be perceptible. It was moving because the sun was rising. The sun was rising because the earth was rotating. I was – literally – watching the spinning of the earth about its axis!

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