“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 Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Béatrice Hotel, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo | © Noé Diakubama, Google Maps
Silence is golden
We lunched in the Beatrice Hotel. The tablecloth was heavy and gleaming white. Cream curtains with a delicate carmine print covered the window and made the dazzling midday glare bearable.
Priscilla, of the International Women’s Media Foundations African Great Lakes Reporting Fellowship, scowled at the gold rim of her plate.
“I hope you realise this is paid for by wealth from conflict minerals?” she said.
“So, tell me about it,” I responded.
“Where do I start? Miners dying of lung cancer? Their children with birth defects? And all so you can have a cheap smartphone.”
She furtively passed across some photographs. “Come and see,” she urged.
As she left, she said “I’ll pick you up from here tomorrow, six a.m.?”
As soon as she left, I was on my phone.
I didn’t hear her scream as the car hit her, reversed over her, and roared away.