What Pegman Saw – Gay Terror

“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. This week’s location is Chechnya.

WPS - Gay Terror 200607

Gay Terror

I can’t tell anybody. They would kill me.

Adam was a pupil from my school, older than me.

He was lovely. Sometimes I used to follow him.

He used to meet a friend in the forest, another boy. I saw them kiss each other. I was jealous. I wanted him to kiss me.

They had a special place. I would hide in a nearby bush, right out of sight, and watch them.

One day his friend came with a gang. They had pick handles and baseball bats. Adam screamed as they beat him. I stuffed my hand in my mouth so as not to cry out.

When they had finished, they dug a grave and threw him in. They hit his friend then, several times, until he sobbed.

“If you ever kiss another man we’ll kill you, too,” said one of them.

Letter received by the Guardian newspaper March 2017

Author’s note

This is entirely fiction. Unfortunately, the actual situation in Chechnya is far worse.

What Pegman Saw – New Blue Jeans

“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 Minsk, Belarus.

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Image by A Matskevich from Pixabay

Note

In Belarus, there are significant import duties on products from the EU, and this makes the goods expensive and you can’t always find them in the shops. A draft bilateral trade agreement has been negotiated but the EU refuses to implement it until the right to organise in trade unions is allowed.

New Blue Jeans

“Did you get anywhere with Sergei today?” Maryja took hold of Andrei’s arm and held it to her cheek. “Mmm, you feel nice,” she said.

Andrei stroked her hair and sighed, “Not really. He said privately that if it was up to him, he’d recognise the union straightaway, but HQ…” He sighed again.

“I wish they’d accept we have a right to organize. I want to buy French jeans. The ones we buy from Russia are so ugly!”

Andrei grinned, “Only you would see the advantage of a trade union in terms of fashionable denim!” He slapped her backside, hard.

Maryja pouted. “I don’t see anything wrong in wanting pretty clothes.”

“There’s nothing wrong with it, but a trade union will protect our jobs and our pay.”

His face darkened. “Sergei told me not to take part in Saturday’s demonstration. The police have my address.”

What Pegman Saw – The Big Man

“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 Talnakh, Krasonoyarsk Krai, Russia.

WPS - The Big Man 171230

The Big Man

Gregor was a big man, but he was puce and breathless after climbing the badly lit iron stairs of the dusty nickel factory. He sat at his battered metal desk scanning the production log and downed a vodka. Normal.

He coughed. Ten years ago he’d been the first to crack the Arctic ice. He’d swum for ten minutes, the ferocious cold burning him, his workmates applauding. He’d walked tall as he strode back up the beach. Nobody would have challenged him then.

The maintenance log. Another vodka.

Damn! The left reactor was running well over temperature. It would have to close for repair. Management wouldn’t like it, but they’d ignored that warning sign once before. The poor sod caught in the blast had screamed for ten minutes as he died.

This whole damn place was a death trap. He coughed. Nickel cough. He knew within a year he’d be dead.

What Pegman Saw – A resourceful rogue

A Resourceful Rogue

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the 360 degree view of 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, St Petersburg, Russia, on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code.

WPS - St Petersburg 170916

“So many tourists, and not an ounce of piety among them,” thought the babushka, as she pushed her way into the gorgeously decorated interior of the church. Sergei, the beggar, didn’t bother to call to her. He knew she would give him nothing; she was probably nearly as poor as he was.

Ah! Americans! Sergei checked the police weren’t watching. He noticed a young woman’s eyes flick over him. “I’ll try the ‘Sick child’,” he thought.

“Please! My child is sick.”

“Oh, how awful!”

Stella pressed a ten-dollar bill into Sergei’s hands, smiled at him, and entered the church.

“Which icon is Jesus?” she asked. The babushka sniffed at the woman’s ignorance.

Jesus gazed down compassionately on them, the old woman remembering hunger from the long-distant past and the young one hungry for culture and the future. He grinned as he looked at Sergei. He’d always loved a resourceful rogue!

For those who are interested in Jesus’ love for a resourceful rogue, the biblical reference is Luke 16 vv 1 – 13