What I’m gonna leave and do?

Arron Glasgow, British Virgin Islands. BBC Interview https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41218817


First came the wind
wasn’t no thing, but then,
the rain came blowing.
I was sleepin then my brother came running, say
we got to be closing up the blind.
But instead him and me just hanging. Him holding on to the window, and I just hold him.
Couple minutes later them winds come down, take my momma’s roof,
then mine, then the living room,
so we came running. Had to run.

Next day when the storm broke, this is what we see. This.
Now then, now then, look at me: couple shirt and a pants. This is all I have. This.
I think, look around, see. All I got is walls. This is what I have.

And so I say go. I say I wanna leave this place, I say want to give up and go.
But what I’m gonna leave and do?
Where I’m gonna go?


148 words

I can’t take the credit (or blame) for this story. I was deeply moved by this fellow’s interview, as he processed the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The British Virgin Islands was devastated by Irma in 2017. The damage from this storm has often been described as “like Hiroshima,” but such a description lacks the human toll such a storm can take. It’s hard to pick up the pieces when there are no pieces left.

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw, and a really shitty attempt at writing a vacation story, which was what this was intended to be.

To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

33 Comments

  1. Excellent and heartbreaking piece. I hope the people who suffered this have recovered by now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too… However if it’s anything like Puerto Rico, the answer would be no.

      Like

  2. Oh, that’s so … so heartrending. And you are good at getting the flavour of speech.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Crispina! I mostly just listened to the interview. I always struggle with vernacular.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I struggle so much as to be non-exisitent. Even my native Norfolk escapes me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, I know the feeling.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is heartbreaking, I wish all the victims, everywhere on earth, came back to normal state.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great wish! Thanks for reading.

      Like

  4. […] week Karen has invited us to take a cruise to the British Virgin Islands for WHAT PEGMAN SAW. As I’ve […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Karen,

    You caught the desperation in his voice. Such a tragedy. Well written story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    1. It is a tragedy. I can’t even imagine how one moves forward from that. Thanks for reading Rochelle. It’s a pleasure to see you this week!

      Like

  6. You create a powerful, and poignant sense of immediacy, for this man facing such devastation and his shock at such loss. Good writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Francine! Thanks for reading. I hope you will join us this week 🙂

      Like

  7. lillmcgill

    Your many admirers have already said everything I can think of to say. Perfect!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading. You are most kind!

      Like

  8. You’ve rendered the voice very skilfully, and used it to tell the tale movingly. Well done for putting a human face on the disaster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Penny. It was moving to me to realize how devastating such a thing would be–I’m glad it came across.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A voice from the midst of turbulence relayed brilliantly. A good description of hopelessness at the finish. 😰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, John.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The pictures put that notion of warmth and fun and leisure in my head and I forgot all about the hurricane’s impact, such a short time ago. Tragic and what a poignant voice.

    Like

    1. I confess these things can run together in my mind too. The hurricane was not that long ago. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. […] Pegman, using my own image(s) (sorry my pictures are pictures of pictures).  So thank you, Karen, for choosing this fabulous […]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Such a sad story. Thank you for reminding us. We forget too quickly after these disasters 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Christine.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So perfectly and heartrendingly done, Karen. The island of Tortola was one that I visited on one of my cruises and was so beautiful and the people tremendously friendly. I hope they got the help they needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so! Sounds like it was completely devastated. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So many islands were destroyed. I’ve heard they are on the road to recovery though I’m sure far from where they were.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It looks like was a stunning place. I

        Like

      3. Oh yes! I don’t know if this particular island was badly hit or not..

        Like

  14. A beautiful voice, Karen, and a tragic story overflowing with emotion. So well written I wouldn’t recognise it as yours, if I didn’t know. Brilliant authoring. Most professional.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Guess I’m like one of those million monkeys typing. Every now and then, something good is bound to turn up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just one? I think you have typing pool of those charming animals at your fingertips, Karen 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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