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A Thousand Thousand Thanks

We searched the lobby for the face we’d seen in the polaroid taken so long ago—the face so like the woman my daughter had grown into. But that woman was nowhere to be seen. In her place was a woman grown old before her time; her long black hair prematurely gray, the steep angles of her cheeks given way to deep creases.

¿Eres Claudia?” I asked. She nodded, unable to take her eyes off my daughter—her daughter. Our daughter.

Claudia approached and took our daughter’s hands into her own. She spoke a stream of rapid Spanish, so full of unfamiliar slang, and so choked with emotion I barely caught a word.

I watched our daughter’s face. What was she thinking—seeing at last the almond eyes she’d only seen in her own face?

Mil gracias,” I had planned to say. “Mil mil gracias.” But sometimes words are not enough.

151 words

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

Apologies for missing last week and being late this week. We’ve been traveling and I’ve been away from the computer for more than a week.

The Things He Says

“That’s where I raised my kids,” he said, pointing at the five-story construction project. Max was always saying things like that. Strange things, inexplicable things. Haunting things. Like the time he pointed to the underside of his toy airplane and explained where the bombs went, and how the compartment where the man sat was very, very small.

I cleared my throat and smiled at him in the rearview: my bright-eyed boy in the safety seat, his plump legs jutting out, his bright sneakers bouncing to the bumps in the road.

“Is that so?” I asked.

“Oh yes. Will Daisy Towne have a swing set?”

“Yes they do, honey. They’ve got swing sets, and slides and maybe even a seesaw.”

“What’s a seesaw?”

I realized he’d probably never seen one. The park by our flat didn’t have one, so I explained what it was.

“Oh I remember those,” he said, nodding.

150 words.

Crazy, right? Okay, an explanation:

As I strolled down the street, in that surging, lurching way that one travels in streetview–where destinations never seem to get any closer until suddenly they’re gone–I had the weirdest moment. The tidy redstone church I was heading for turned  covered in scaffolding, and then it was gone and I wound up in front of this, what you see above. There I was, tripping and skipping through space and time and unable to find my way back. And then for no reason, I remembered the strange things my son used say when he was little, and then this story happened.

I think it has something to do with the fact I devoured a season of Legion last week.

I’m sure I missed a fabulous opportunity to bone up on New Zealand but I just wasn’t feeling it today. So, instead I offer the above story, the spirit of complete non-sequitor, proving that inspiration can be whatever you want to do it it.

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


WARNING: If you want to watch Game of Thrones, but haven’t yet, major spoilers follow, so don’t read this post. And if you have no desire to watch Game of Thrones, hopefully you will still enjoy the story.

“Khal Drogo dies in the first season, you know.”

“I know. I said pretend.”

“Well it wouldn’t be accurate. Plus, he was never here.”

“Okay, fine. We can do Jon Snow and Ygritte. At fairy pond we were at yesterday? Romantic, am I right?”

“She’s dead too.”

“If you’re not careful, I’ll make you be Tyrion again.”

“Lord, anything but that. Okay fine, I’ll be whoever you want me to be: Khal Drogo. Jon Snow. Jaime Lannister?” He jiggled his eyebrows at the last one.

“That would make me Cersei and no thanks.”

“Now who’s not being open minded?”

“You are Khal, and I am Khalessi and our boat has landed on the shores of King’s Landing and we shall fall upon the walkway and make love.”’

He pressed her closer against the ancient stone wall and ran a hand up her leg.

“Wait,” she said. “I think someone’s coming.”

150 words

Written for What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.


Renovacion, Mexico City, Mexico

Renovacion, Mexico City, Mexico

Antonio got there early.

“You’re in luck,” bossman said. “Today we got a load from Texas. We can use you.”

It was two hundred pesos a day. A fortune, compared to his father’s factory job.

Inside, a woman showed Antonio how to pry the precious metals from the motherboards, how to free the veins of copper from their insulated sleeves, and how to cover his mouth with his t-shirt when hammering apart the screens.

“See how nothing is wasted?” she’d said and then she coughed into a curled fist.

At dark, bossman came back and counted out the bills. “You party big tonight,” he chuckled. “Come back tomorrow.”

The woman waited until bossman was gone and tugged at Antonio’s sleeve. “Don’t listen to him. He keep you here til you choke on a lung. Be smart. Save money. A year or two of this, and you can leave Renovacion for good.”

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 below:

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When I randomly landed upon this location for Pegman, I had no idea what it was. I wondered at the tarp-covered stacks of debris, and after a bit of research learned that this is where mountains of discarded electronics go to be recycled. You can learn more in this great article by Michael Smith:

In This Mexico City Neighborhood, Life Revolves Around E-Waste

He Could No Longer Trust the Mailman

Photo Prompt © Roger Bultot

Photo Prompt © Roger Bultot


There were only three people Clem trusted: the mailman, the kid from the pharmacy who delivered his meds and the lady in 3B.

He was so close to cracking it—the whole thing. Very much near uncovering the underlying conspiracy behind all of it.

From the window, he looked back over his shoulder and tried to decide if one could see it from the street: Clem’s careful collage of post-its, news clippings and abandoned receipts. Because just now he’d caught the mailman LOOKING UP.

Clem turned back: their eyes met. Some knowing passed.

He could no longer trust the mailman.

100 words

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneer, hosted by the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo prompt courtesy Roger Bultot.

To read more flash fiction inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button.

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I post this rather sheepishly, because the last fictioneer piece I posted, I did not get around to commenting/replying/reading as I would’ve like. Thanks for reading. I aim to do better this go-around.

Here be Treasure

Thanks to Piya Singh for this week’s photo prompt.

Thanks to Piya Singh for this week’s photo prompt.


Dwarves. I not be talking the human-born sort that find their way to a hearth and home from time to time. No, I speak of the legendary kind, with antlers and dew claws. The kind they haven’t had in these parts since the Daisy Age.

But the earthen cups, the wooden platters, the bubbling grobpot over the fire told a different story. I lifted a cup, still warm from morning break, tipped it to my face and breathed. Tamsen and jiminy-root. These were Gilded Dwarves. “Men,” I say to the ones inside. “Out to the woods. Find cover and wait.”

This has been an edition of the fabulous Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, this week’s photo courtesy Piya Singh. To read more flash fiction or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button:

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What Walls Do

barbed wire curled around a fence post

PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

“Back then it was just a barbed wire fence.”

Liberty tipped his head and squinted at the top of the blood-smeared wall. “How tall is it again? I never remember.”

I shrugged. “Hundred feet. Maybe twice that.”

For a minute we watched four refugees struggle at the postern, where someone had hammered in rail spikes almost halfway up. The guard had yet to take it down. Rumor was six people got over on Sunday. But this family would never make it. Not with a baby.

“Why’d they build it anyway?”

“Well son, back then it was to keep people out.”

This has been an edition of the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the generous & talented Rochelle Wisoff Fields. This week’s photo courtesy Madison Woods. To read more 100-word flash fiction or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button.

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