What Pegman Saw: What Love is Like

Hanoi, Vietnam | © Wonov.com, Google Maps

“Hey,” he said.

He. Said. Hey.

Then—and again just now. A husky-voiced hey as warm as a caress. Like he’d been waiting for me to turn around—his lush lips curved on the word. And it felt like a fast turn on the back of a motorcycle. My skin was buzzing and my heart was cartwheeling and every single cell of my being went to riot or revolution.

It’s true I got the flu later. My mom likes to point that out. “That wasn’t love,” she laughs. “That was the flu.”

But it happened back then and it was happening now, and it happened every single time I looked at him: that feeling of a fast ride on a steep curve. And I never got the flu again—it was just that one time. That was not the flu. It was love.

140 words

Totally cheated this week. This is not related to the location but rather what the photo made me think of.  When I thought about this picture, all I could think about was what it feels like to ride on the back of a motorcycle–a subject I once wrote about–and so I lifted this excerpt from a finished work I did.

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. Love this. The rhythm and repetition of phrases and words tumbling in a rush really capture the emotion. Well done.


    1. Thanks so much 🙂


  2. A husky-voiced hey as warm as a caress. Oh, I know that feeling. In college, I took a ride on the back of a Harley with a man I was totally infatuated with. More lust than love. I still remember that day. Up in the Rocky Mountains, no bra, flimsy shirt, shorts. If we had fallen over I would have been severely scraped up or dead. But still very happy. You captured that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! Wow, exactly. You made my day with this comment.


      1. My pleasure. If you hadn’t written your story so well, the comment wouldn’t have come so easily.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you cheated, Karen – your story is great! I love this phrase particularly – “every single cell of my being went to riot or revolution”


    1. Thanks Penny, so glad you liked it.


  4. Love the mom’s comment! Nice capture of the “buzz” of desire, the ways that attraction and being attractive to someone stirs us, biologically. Glad it proved to be more than just the flu.


    1. Hehe, it’s more than the flu, but I’m still not convinced it’s love. Maybe it’s one intoxicating flavor of it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Abhijit Ray

    Love and flu are somewhat alike. Both raise temperature and make the heart go fast. Flu is tempered by Tylenol, love meets life. Temperature comes down, heart becomes rhythmic. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Abhijit! Yes I think love and the flu have some similarities! Thanks for reading and for the great comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] of a rerun.  Not enough brain cells this morning to come up with something new. 😉 Thanks to Karen and Josh for keeping Pegman […]


  7. Dear Karen,

    I enjoyed the ride and the read. Isn’t the prompt meant to take our minds where it will? Cheating? Feh on cheating. Besides you’re captain of this ship. 😉



    PS I ‘cheat’ as often as I need to.


    1. PSS Or should I have said “Pho” on cheating. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PPS Pho-ey! Now I’m hungry!


    2. Yeah, I agree–it’s not cheating. So many people do such diligent research on a place, mining the history and bringing it to life, so I always feel a little guilty when I just take the feeling the prompt gives me and run in a different direction with it. But inspiration is just to inspire, not prescribe, like you say!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. […] This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous story Karen – so sensuous and delightfully funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment, Francine.


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