Last Stop

Minilik Squar Bus Stop, Ethiopia | Dinberu Getachew, Google Maps

Minilik Squar Bus Stop, Ethiopia | Dinberu Getachew, Google Maps

Nyala be mad at me again.

She won’t say it, but I know she is by the way she stares  like the bus might pop out of thin air if she hope it hard enough.

“It’ll happen for you some day, I know it,” I say, because it’s what I always say, but neither of us believes it anymore.

Me and Nyala, sitting at the bus stop; last time. Best mates since barefoot days, forever friends, married us brothers on the very same day in a double ceremony. We’ll raise a dynasty, we said.

It’s not my fault my babies come easy. Five years, three healthy boys, and now another in my belly snake-dancing like a happy day.

“I can’t be your friend anymore,” she say, not looking my way.

Don’t you remember us? I want to say. Don’t you remember our promises? But promises mean nothing.

150 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.

This week’s story was a story I had in mind to write, and so I went in search of a photo of two women in Ethiopia to represent it. I landed at this bus stop where I found not only two women in the midst of some apparent emotion–also these two ghostly girls. I knew then I’d found my spot.




  1. lillmcgill

    How sad. The picture is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really excellent voice in this. Such as sad tale. I especially enjoyed snake-dancing and happy day.


  3. Agree with Josh’s comment. I love finding Google Maps ghosts! I guess that photo depicts their relationship fading away. I also like your use of “barefoot days.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Google Maps ghosts are the best. I’m writing an entire novel inspired by one 🙂 Thanks for reading and for your kind comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the rhythm of their dialogue, and gradual reveal of their connection. Most poignant – good writing.


  5. This is heartbreaking, Karen. And yet I understand it too, from both sides. It’s not the girl’s fault she falls pregnant easily, but I can only imagine how distressing it is for her friend to keep seeing it happen. Hard to be happy for someone in that situation. Lovely voice, as others have said and beautifully done

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad the piece worked for you. The story meant a lot to me personally, and it’s rewarding to know it came across.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The heartbreak comes through very clearly x

        Liked by 1 person

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