What Pegman Saw – Three Stayed Back

Frenchman's Cap

Frenchman’s Cap, Tasmania | Mungo Jones, Google Map

Here on this hill, we stayed back. We watched the other survivors pluck their way down the mountainside, past the burned shell of the fuselage, until the half-dozen figures were lost among the rocks and landscape; wondering, hoping, waiting.

We turned our eyes skyward and watched for rescue planes that never came and comforted the girl who grew tired as the hours turned to days, shivering even as we bundled our parkas around her, and gave her the last of the thin crackers wrapped in foil which we found amidst the wreckage of holiday baggage and broken bodies which were strewn upon the slope. And as waited, we told rescue stories which started out with big headlines and TV interviews, but then were more about meat pies and brown trout cooked on a fire, and finally just about living long enough to say goodbye to the ones who mattered most.

150 words

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

Sorry so late! I never could get my first take completed to my satisfaction, so I abandoned it and wrote a new one! This is actually a photo of a climbing expedition and plane crash survivors, but there was something kind of forlorn in there which inspired this story.


  1. Heartbreaking and bleak: very effectively portrayed. What a horrible situation, to have to decide whether going or staying is more likely to lead to survival, not knowing until perhaps it is too late.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I echo Joy’s comment. And you tell the story so well. Tugs the heart, it does.


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