“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.
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