What Pegman Saw – Hunted

“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 Polanczyk, Poland

WPS - Hunted - 200411

Hunted

It has been cold since sunrise, the morning hoar never melting. Now, as the short day draws to a close, I watch sulphur yellow clouds rolling in from the west. Oh, to be snug at home with Edyth! Alas, the message to the Voevoda will not wait.

Although the blade of my knife is dull it suffices to cut larch branches, and I interweave them to make a shelter. I gather logs, picking only the driest, and search out brittle twigs as kindling.

As the sun sets, the trees catch the first snowflakes, which are delicate like the sparks from my flint. I strike harder; my life depends on fire.

At last a serpent of flame creeps across the kindling. I nurture it, as carefully as I will nurture the child Edyth carries in her belly.

Howling!

Wolves!

I draw my sword and lay the naked blade across my lap.

What Pegman saw – Top predator

“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 Pripyat, Ukraine.

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Pripyat, Ukraine | Nickolay Omelchenko, Google Maps

Top predator

The babushka held out her glass and I filled it with vodka.

“I knew it was bad,” she said, “when I heard the sirens, and I feared the worst when I saw the soldiers herding people onto buses.”

She was dressed all in shabby black and smelled stale.

“I don’t like soldiers. And I’m old. If my time has come, so be it. You won’t catch me on any buses. I walked away and kept walking.”

She chuckled. “I soon learned the places to avoid.”

“How?” I interrupted.

She shrugged. “Where there were no birds, I got sick.”

“What did you eat?” I asked.

She looked at me in astonishment.

“I was in a forest! The forest is full of things to eat. Berries, roots, birds, even wolf.”

She tapped her glass. I shrugged and handed her the bottle. She poured and slurred, “It’s a pity people are coming back.”

What Pegman Saw – Winter Took Him

This is my second story for this week’s “What Pegman Saw”. I’m sorry if that’s greedy, but this story kept recurring in my thoughts until I was forced to go and write it!

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Winter took him

Fall was ending and there were few leaves on the trees, barely an echo of their fiery September glory. Robert entered the park on foot, his life on his back – camping gear, food, and a precious plastic container.

He bivouacked overnight. His nostrils prickled with the pungent smoke of the fire he lit for warmth, for company and for protection. He heard wolves howl as they welcomed the winter. Memories gnawed him.

Next day he walked one last time between the forest and the plain. He felt Jenny very close to him as he visited their special places. Then, as the day fled, he went to the foot of the cliff where she’d fallen. He took out the plastic container holding her ashes, scattered them and lay down. Beautiful flakes of snow began to fall, more and more heavily, a pure white blanket to comfort his grief.

Winter took him.