What Pegman Saw – Homeless

“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.

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Photo courtesy Mark Knight by Pixabay

Homeless in Shepherd’s Bush, 1972

Damn, it’s cold tonight! My bloodless fingers fumble the string as I tie my dog to the railing. “Stay, Sam!” I say.

Traffic’s heavy, but the bright shop window lures me across the road. Get a few minutes in the warm, and a bottle of something to stop me feeling the chill. The traffic lights glare frosty green; a car horn blares as I stumble.

The shopkeeper looks about seventeen, with pimples and sparse curly hair. He keeps watching me.

It takes me a few minutes to find the cheapest vodka, a few more to count out coins from my battered purse and then I’m out of excuses to stay in the precious warmth.

Vehicle headlights swerve past me, too bright, too fast. I trip as I mount the kerb, skinning both knees. Sam barks. I shuffle cardboard sheets into a crude shelter, cuddle Sam, and open the bottle.

Cheers.

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.

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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.