What Pegman Saw: Lost and Found

Clinton Road, New Jersey © Google Maps


Clinton Road, New Jersey © Google Maps

Bella stroked the phone screen, zooming in on the satellite view of the reservoir.

To me, the lake had always looked like a giant’s hand giving the thumbs up. Once I’d seen it on a map, it was hard to shake.

“Do you see it?” she asked. Her finger hovered over the smeary place on the screen.

I saw the lake. I saw the voluptuous curve of road that traced its shore. “What am I supposed to see? You mean the car driving north?”

“Not that car,” she said. “I mean that car. In the lake. Her car.”


I grabbed the phone from her and squinted.

There it was, in the lake—whatever it was. A rectangle, fifty yards from shore, several shades lighter than the moss-green water.

“Well?” she asked, taking her phone back.

I shrugged and cleared my throat. “I suppose it could be.”

147 Words

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



  1. Spooky stuff, and deeply compelling. Sounds like the beginning of a great novel :-}

    1. Haha, kind of. I started reading about Lost Boy Bridge and when I searched for it, I wound up in my story universe instead.

  2. That’s a subtle exploration of one of the spooky tricks the mind plays on us. You describe it very well in the context of a gripping story.

    1. You are most kind, Penny. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. There are enough legends about this piece of road to give Stephen King wet dreams.

    1. I agree! I’m amazed he hasn’t written a book on it. Seems like his kind of place.

      1. King tends to set his stories in the weird places in his native Maine. I suppose a bit of Googling would turn up a lot of books written about Clinton Road. It’s sort of the Bermuda Triangle of New Jersey.

      2. It’s true he favors Maine, but he ventured out for Children of the Corn and The Shining and many more. With New Jersey so relatively close to his favorite haunt, I’m just surprised he hasn’t written about it.

      3. Might be on his writer’s roadmap. Who knows?

  4. Ooh, that twist gives chills! Just lookng at a lake from above and then … ‘her’ car. I want to know who does the car belong to, what happened to her – is it a car at all? You’ve spun a creepy tale here alright. Lovely build and pay off Karen. And thanks for introducing me to Clinton Road – there’s an interesting place if ever there were one

    1. Thanks Lynn–yes this place looks like the start of a hundred mysteries! The only trouble is the on-site research is killer 😉

      1. Such a great start for a thriller though – very sinister 🙂 My pleasure as always

  5. Ooh, this one has me interested. Sounds like the beginning of an excellent thriller. That’s a some seriously compelling writing there.

    1. How very kind of you to say! It’s a one-off from the novel I’m writing, so that’s an encouraging thing to hear.

  6. the voluptuous curve of road ~ I’ve never thought of a curve of road this way, but it so fits this story (and I probably will think of curves that way from now on ~ when it fits.) Interesting where you took the prompt, using a google air view to possibly see a car in the water. Great idea. Nicely done.

    1. Aw thanks so much. Glad you like it! This road sure looked voluptuous to me. Thanks for reading!

  7. Nice use of personification with a giant’s hand and voluptuous curve.

    1. Thanks so much. Thanks for reading.

  8. Gripping story, felt drawn in straightaway. Like the ‘smeary place on the phone’, the squinting at possible care shapes very much. That’s how ghosts haunt us, I think – half glimpsed, shadowy shapes, uneasiness.

    1. Oooh, I like the way you put that. Really captures the haunting sense of ghosts. I hope you’ll consider submitting a 150-word story for Pegman this week!

  9. […] thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this challenge that gives me 50 more words to play with. […]

  10. Dear Karen,

    As others have said, this one left me in the grips of wanting to know more. You set the bar high this week. Tense and tight cliffhanger. Well done.



  11. Great cliffhanger. Well done! A very impressive and concise response to the challenge of the week.

    1. Very kind of you to read and comment on my story! I hope you consider joining us this week 🙂

      1. It seems very interesting and a nice exercise so I just might 🙂

  12. Dale

    Ooooohhh…. who’s car? What happened?
    Love that we find ourselves asking that question. Great descriptions.. I agree… voluptuous road indeed.

    1. I guess I needed another 50 words to say whose car 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, Dale!

      1. Dale

        Nah… it’s great we have questions. Opens up the conversation!

  13. Creepy, I wonder who she is and how she ended up in the lake…
    Nice one!

  14. […] this up to Karen and Josh who are hosting this Flash Fiction challenge of 150 words and […]

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