The Lost Island

Faroe Islands, Kingdom of Denmark © Titouan Pellerin Google Maps

Once MARGA seized Edinburgh, it was hard to hide. With one security camera for every ten people, he’d taken to going out at night. He’d slip down the dodgy alley between his flat and the Tesco, waiting for a lull before sneaking in.

He’d kept quiet when they cleared the city of immigrants. And when they passed the Decency Laws he’d only gone to a handful of resistance meetings before getting nervous. But now, with Enforcers cracking down on Conformance Laws, he had to get out. Thanks to FaceRead, his political leanings were as clear as the tilt of his jaw.

Tomorrow he was heading to the harbor and cutting ties on the most seaworthy skiff he could find.

He’d heard of a place—a lost island, free of MARGA—with more sheep than people. The North Atlantic in January was dangerous. But it was safer than staying here.

149 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.

I’m a little late to the party this week. Yesterday was one of those days where it was just plain hard to get motivated!

Anyway, to anyone who was interested in Ladane’s take on What Pegman Saw in Tehran, you can read her own story and thanks to the contributors.

My story this week was inspired by the rugged, remote beauty of the Faroe Islands and this little article in the Guardian which got my wheels spinning:

‘I was shocked it was so easy’: ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you’re gay

Thanks for reading!


  1. very nicely done here, reminded me a little of Big Brother – but modern and all that…
    eerie too but felt the action.
    Going to now check out Ladane’s post

    Have a nice week, K

    1. Thanks for reading prior!

  2. You made me look up MARGA! I’ve done other simulations, but hadn’t heard of this one.
    I’d want to get away too. I don’t like the world he lives in.
    Great tension and action.

    1. Thanks Dale. I made up MARGA–is there such a thing?? Uh oh, maybe I should change it.

  3. Nicely written. Great atmosphere.

  4. Great stuff, dystopian society etc, probably not too far into the future, I may be joining him. PLUS, I live the word Skiff, very Tom Sawyer!

    1. So grateful for the time you took to read and comment. I will be joining him too! Glad to have you on Pegman, your work is a great addition!

  5. peterkirsch

    I’ve got to know, is MARGA an acronym then? If so, for what?
    I’m confident your crafty noggin’ came up with something exceptional.

    Nicely done.

    1. I dunno, it might mean something. But if I say, then I’ll have to leave the country and sail to the Faroe Islands!

  6. Love the way you create the sinister sci-fi version of Edinburgh, so that the man’s escape is a relief – wild seas feel like freedom. Good story Karen.

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Francine!

  7. Scary because it’s so true.

    1. Terrifying to me!

  8. FaceRead called to mind a recent face recognition software incident they had in Orlando, where a police force was disciplined for having used it without alerting the public to its use. This future is very near, indeed. Chilling.

    1. Woah, that is scary.

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