What Pegman Saw in Mumbai

This week’s edition of “What Pegman Saw” takes place in Mumbai, India.  The challenge is to write a story of up to 150 words based on the photo.

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Vihaan smiled as he walked through the former park.  He had succeeded—again—in winning a lucrative contract on his terms, leaving his competitors reeling.  Even after all these years, Vihaan still felt a thrill whenever he closed a deal.

Vihaan remembered bringing his son Avi to this park when he was little.  The landscape had been a lush green back then.  Now, it was a desolate patch of parched earth with decaying carcasses of the old rides littering the grounds.

They been poor back then, but those days are gone.  His wife Tanvi loved their luxurious home. She chose not to ask how he was able to do so well when everyone else was struggling.

Avi was more inquisitive, unfortunately.   After discovering the source of Vihaan’s wealth, Avi left home and never spoke to him again.

It was just a phase, Vihaan thought.  He’ll come back.  Surely, he’ll return.

(150 words)

What Pegman Saw on St. Helena Island

“What Pegman Saw” is a weekly writing challenge based on the photo(s) of a specific location.  The story needs to contain no more than 150 words.  This week’s location is St. Helena Island.

 

Sixty-nine, seventy.  Madison counted the steps of this interminable volcano staircase.  She had been on St. Helena Island for seven days, and she was bored to tears.

Eighty-five. The island’s website boasted that there were many activities for visitors: walking, hiking, and rambling.  Did those idiots not realize these are all synonyms?

It was Nick’s fault.   “Come with me to this island paradise,” he had said.  “You can relax while I work.”

They had just started dating when he received the funding for his research on St. Helena.  Madison did not understand Nick’s work—something about biodiversity–but she liked the idea of sunning herself on pristine, white beaches. Instead, she was stuck on a pile of black rocks that looked like hand-me-downs from Mars.

One hundred twenty-four.  She reached the top.  She was breathless, but she could see clearly.  It was over with Nick.

*****

Word count: 146

Into the Amazon

the-amazon

Jacqueline leaned on the rail and stared at the wake left by the riverboat as it snaked down the Amazon towards Tabatinga. She slapped the mosquito feasting on her forearm. It secreted blood.  Her blood.

This cruise was Daniel’s idea.  He thought it would bring them closer.  The beads of sweat dripped down her back.  So hot.  She had trouble breathing.  Daniel had barely left her side since they’d boarded the boat.  He still didn’t trust her even though it had been a year. At night, as they lay in their hammocks, he clasped her hand and would not let go.  She rarely slept.

She noticed that the muddy froth of the wake was shaped like a V: like a flock of geese, flying to freedom.  She climbed over the rail.  She stood still and breathed.  Then she dove into the river.  She let the Amazon swallow her up.

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148 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click the blue button.

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I am here for you

st-basils

This is my entry for this week’s What pegman saw, a writing prompt based on Google Streetview. Stories have to be 150 words or fewer.  This week’s location is the Red Square in Moscow. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

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You did not think I would come here to find you, all the way to Moscow.  You thought you were safe.

Your sweet looks deceived me at first.  Like St. Basil’s Cathedral, your face was a swirl of colors: blue, yellow, red.  Like the cathedral with its swirls of frosting and candy cane stripes, you looked so cheerful, so playful, so harmless.

Ivan the Terrible commissioned St. Basil’s.  After its completion, Ivan had the architect blinded. That way, he could not replicate the design for anyone else.   I suppose that is a compliment of sorts.  Did you know that Ivan killed his own son in a fit of rage?

After the first time, you swore it would never happen again.  It was just because you were jealous.  Because you loved me so much.  Of course it happened again.

I am no longer blind.  I am here now. I am ready.

 

 

 

After the Integratron

integratron

Google Street View of Landers, California.

 

I met this guy named Tassel back in 1960 at a party.  I was young back then.  Trying to make it in Hollywood.   Tassel yammered on about geomagnetic this and ferromagnetic that.  I had no idea what he meant, but he was cute.

So I got in the car with him. We drove to the Mohave.  We climbed inside this building he called an “Integratron.”  He sat me down on this contraption and strapped me in.  I saw myself reflected in the opposite mirror. Kinky, I thought.   But all he did was press a few buttons and we were done. He drove me home. That was that.

As the years passed, my friends all changed: gray hair, flab, wrinkles.   But I remained the same.  I am 80.  But when I look in the mirror, I see the same reflection I saw in the Integratron in 1960.  I do not age.

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This is the January 14 edition of  What Pegman Saw,  a flash fiction challenge based on a scene from Google Earth.  The story is limited to 150 words.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

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A Walk in the Ruins

This is my 150 word response to the Google prompt provided by What Pegman Saw.  The photo is of Shahi Qila, a ruined palace, in Burhanpur, India.

Google Street View of Burhhanpur

They say that Shah Jahan built the hamam (the royal bath) at Shahi Qila for his wife, Mumtaz, so that she could enjoy a luxurious, scented bath.  They say he decorated the hamam with paintings on honey comb work to match his wife’s beauty.  They say he was crazy in love with her.  They say my husband built a mid-century modern house for me.  They say I enjoyed the heated flooring, the steam shower and the French bidet of the bathroom.  I did.  Enjoy them.  They say that he was crazy in love with me.  They say that now he lives in a French Country with his new wife.  They say that he added a rose garden to match the beauty of his wife.  They say he is crazy in life with his wife.  They say the Shahi Qila is mostly in ruins now.  They say I am, too.

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To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Friday Fictioneers: Into the Night

 

She stopped to take a breath.  Where was she?  It was dark.  The rectangles of light leered at her.  She smelled urine.  A shadow started moving towards her, and she bolted. After running for six more blocks, she stopped again.  Her heart was pounding.  What should she do now?  Did anybody see her leave?  She had not meant to kill him.  She just wanted him to leave her alone.  How could she get out of it this time?  She started walking again and breathed.  She knew what she had to do.  She pulled out her phone and began to dial.

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This 100-word story is my contribution to this week’s  Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge,  hosted by Rochelle at Addicted to Purple.  The story must be 100 words or fewer and it should be inspired by the photo provided.  This week’s photo was taken by Shaktiki Sharma

night-prompt

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At the Patriots’ Diner

 

This is my entry in Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction Challenge.  The story has to be 100 words or fewer, based on this photo prompt by Roger Bultot.  Give it a try yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pancakes are soggy.  The eggs are cold.  There is something on this fork!  Get me another cup of coffee, would you, sweetheart?  What?  You don’t have avocado to go with the hamburger?  We have been waiting here for hours!  Is everyone here incompetent?  Give us a smile, honey.  You’d be pretty if you smiled.  This burger is overcooked.  Nice ass on that one.  I asked you for coffee an hour ago. Come on, honey.  Smile.  I meant it as a compliment.  Look, Kath!  That man just fell flat on his face.  How did that happen?

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Gullfoss Falls

gulfoss

Google Streetview of Gullfoss Falls.

“Wow, look at that view!”  Katrina said to her sister, Meg.  They were standing on the observation deck overlooking the Hvita River cascading down the two tiers of Gulfoss Falls.

“Beautiful!” Meg agreed.  After a pause, she added, “I am surprised, though, that so many people are walking down that path, so close to the edge of the cliff.”

Katrina sighed but did not say anything.   She was used to her sister’s fear of heights, of water, of nature.  She peered through her binoculars to get a closer look.   Dozens of people strolled along the path, entranced by the view.  Some of them were lovers, holding hands.

Then, Katrina noticed something and gasped.

“”What is it?” Meg asked.

“Oh, nothing,” Katrina replied, putting away her binoculars. “I’m just ready to get going.”

Katrina had spotted Meg’s husband, Brian, walking along the path, holding hands with Meg’s best friend Colleen.


149 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw, a Google Maps inspired flash fiction prompt.

Give it a try yourself!

 

Bonaparte, Iowa

bonaparte

This is my response to this week’s What Pegman Saw flash fiction challenge. K. Rawson posts a weekly challenge based on a Google Image.  The above photo is this week’s challenge: Bonaparte, Iowa.  The story has to have 150 or fewer words.

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6979534,-91.8023562,3a,75y,331.

Good Parting

This was supposed to be our romantic getaway.  He said I would love Bonaparte, Iowa.  He said we would escape the stress of the city.  We would go antiquing.   We would buy pottery from local artists, eat wholesome food.  I believed him.

Just as I had believed him when we first met at Burke’s Used Bookstore.  He looked so handsome then, hunched over a paperback copy of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.  He campaigned hard to win me.  Who could withstand such a siege of charm?

I believed him when he said he would really leave his wife this time.  But that was before he took me to Bonaparte, Iowa.  Before we stayed in the hotel room with the green paisley wallpaper and the stained roller shade in the window.   I realized in Iowa it would be good to part.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own flash fiction, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.