Tea for One

Hotel Eden, Cordoba, Argentina © Google Maps – Juan Urtubey

“Such a sad man,” I said. I eyed Señor Líder as I tidied his room. He waited on the veranda as he did each day; woolen blanket folded on his lap, his mouth curved down in a glum arch as he stared at the foothills of the Andes. “I feel sorry for him.”

Milena snorted. “Not me.”

“Why not?”

“If you knew what I knew.” She kept one eye aimed at the balcony as she said it, as if the old man might swoop in like a demon to silence us.

But demon he was, I found out days later, talking to Rocia in the kitchen. When she told me all that man had done, I shuddered. How could we let him live here all these years?

It was I who decided to bring him the tea. Black nightshade brought a sleep, then death. So I brewed the manchineel instead.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more or to submit your own, click here.

With all the history buffs who participate on Pegman and some recent headlines, I’m not going to say anything more. Although manchineel tea would be agonizing… However it might not be all that safe to prepare! So yeah, definitely fiction all the way around.



  1. Amazingly topical piece. I remember there was a gag on Laugh-In where somebody asked he’s going to how he was doing. “I am alife und vell und living in Argentina,” he’d say.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There would have been some justice in your scenario, Karen. But real life is often more grubby and ordinary than any flights of fancy conspiracy theorists would like to conjur. A well written tale

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know about recent headlines as those rumors have been circulating for decades, but I too took a similar route in crafting my tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You tell the story well, Karen. I like the way you delay confirming what a wicked man he is until the conversation with Rocia in the kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If he’s a former Nazi as I believe you allude to, she’s done the world a service. Too many of them escaped retribution. Still, I like how you left it all up to interpretation. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Karen,

    It seems our muses took us in similar direcciones this week. 😉 I recognized the photo from my own research. I’d be tempted to serve him nightshade tea myself. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  7. as if the old man might swoop in like a demon to silence us – Lovely line!
    We have a rental house in town where deadly nightshade grows at will. I’ve tried everything to eradicate it, still, it spreads and I need to tell every tenant where it grows. A gorgeous plant, lovely flowers, with inviting berries. And I agree with Penny about confirmation coming later in the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. oh make that tea and serve it nice and warm…..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I looked up manchineel – sounds well nasty. I haven’t heard any news but I’m assuming maybe he’s a Nazi as a lot of them fled to South America. If so, brew that tea! But wear gloves 🙂


  10. This story saddens me, Karen. And reading the comments saddens me further. Sorry. The sadness eating up Mr Lider is well portrayed.

    Liked by 1 person

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