Category Archives: what pegman saw

A really bad flash fiction piece inspired by this creepy abandoned building.

Sofia, Bulgaria © Google Maps

“Petey? Pete.” Laura touched a hand to her brow to block the sun. Her new running companion had slipped his collar and bolted down an unfamiliar trail.

She paused at the gate of an abandoned compound. Obviously they’d wandered off park property and onto the ruins of…something. She noticed a gap in the gate. Too small for her, but probably big enough for an undersized shelter mutt to slip through.

A man in coveralls stepped out from behind the wall, startling her.

She cleared her throat. “Have you seen a dog?”

He smiled, revealing a jagged row of teeth, as uneven as the picket fence. “Skinny little retriever?” he asked.

She swallowed. “Yeah.”

He opened the gate. “Come inside. You can take a look.”

Six hours later, in front of a roaring fire, the man tossed the dog another rib bone. “That’s enough for now. Tomorrow you go out again.”

150 words

Wow, I don’t know what is wrong with me this week, but every single story I started wound up with ghosts, aliens, vampires, werewolves or murderers. Every place I landed was stranger than the last, like check out this tree-circle in the woods. Anyway, this was not necessarily the story I wanted to write, but when I wound up with 150 words I decided to call it good. And maybe I need to steer clear of Bulgaria, especially this close to Halloween.

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

Just Another Day in Paradise

Mauritius, © Google Maps

She’d said little since he’d picked her up at the airport. Instead, she stared out the back window of the cab, her eyes wide, her lips parted.

“Will you be staying with us long, Madam?”

She hadn’t answered. Instead, she’d pointed at a parking area, making noise could have been a grunt–or perhaps just some unrecognizable word. She pried open the door and lurched across the lot like a sleepwalker.

When she hadn’t returned in ten minutes, he’d walked up to the facilities and looked around. Which was when he noticed the sandals strewn on the sidewalk. And then, just in view down the forested trail, a blouse. He followed the narrow path, past a pair of trousers and a series of undergarments.

She was under the waterfall, eyes closed, wearing nothing but a smile.

He reached for his phone and called the desk. “We lost another one.”

149 words

This has been another edition of What Pegman Saw. Great location, Josh! This lovely place is a vacation for the eyes. I don’t know how they can get the tourists to leave. I don’t think I could!

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

For the want of

Littleton, West Virginia © Google Maps

After Jimmy’s funeral, I walked back from Country Cupboard past his place. I saw his car still up on blocks. He was always going to fix it, he said. Get out of this town.

When we were still in school he liked to tell me about all the places he was going to go. When we were smaller still, we hiked amongst the ferns and forest, and caught crawdads down on Sugar Run. One spring he made me a bridal bouquet from blue-eyed Marys and stole a kiss.

“I’m going to marry you someday,” he said. “We’ll move away.”

Such silly things as kids’ll say.

Up the hill from his house, the white birch stand sentinel, like skeletons amongst the gray-bark slopes. For the want of a ’98 SL2 suspension, we could have left.

For the want of a job at the pipeline, he could have stayed.

147 words

This has been a depressing installment of What Pegman Saw. I kept hoping for some redemption as I worked this piece, but it never materialized. Littleton, West Virginia is the poorest town in the second poorest state. Between my research and the dreary rain today, I think I need an uplifting book, a cozy fire, and a box of Godiva.

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

Littleton, W.Va., is a town decimated by poverty, drugs

The Moroccan Smuggling and Security Service

Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport
©Google maps/
Audric Laverdière

Peter felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around with sick dread. Two armed men stood behind him. One grabbed Peter’s suitcase by the handle.

“Moroccan Security Services. We need you to come with us.”

Thirty minutes later, Peter waited in handcuffs, the eight packages of cocaine he’d tried to smuggle now stacked on the table in across from him.

The official shook his head. “You were very foolish, young man.”

Just then a familiar figure walked in. It was the dealer, Omar. Except instead of the expensive suit he’d had on when he sold the cocaine to Peter, he wore the same uniform as the Moroccan Security Service. Omar caught sight of Peter and laughed. He hoisted a duffel bag onto the table and proceeded to pack the cocaine inside. He turned to the official. “No time to chat today. I’m meeting a Brazilian in two hours.”

149 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.

You would think when I’m the one finding the prompts I might have an idea what to write about when Saturday morning rolls around, but it turns out I’m not that smart. I was stumped. Then, google to the rescue–I came across this headline: Brazilian Arrested with 6 Kgs of Cocaine at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport. What was astonishing to me was the related articles at the bottom of the page:

Turkish Passenger Arrested with 2 Kg of Cocaine at Mohammed V Airport
Peruvian Passenger Arrested for Cocaine Trafficking at Mohammed V Airport
Ghanaian Flier Arrested with 9.6 Kg of Cocaine at Mohammed V Airport

Of course my go-to is always to jump to wild conspiracy, and The Moroccan Smuggling and Security Service  was born. Plus, these guys just look scary.

Jake Plunder and the Temple of Sambor

Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia © Google Maps


“Have I seen you before?” The old woman at the gate eyed me suspiciously as I paid my way in.

I got that all the time, even in spite of the fact that it had been nearly twenty-five years since my father, Jake Plunder, had been a world-renowned treasure hunter. I was little more than a semi-colon in my mother’s belly when he was in these parts raiding lost temples for gold.

I strolled through the ruins and waited until no one was around before slipping into the temple. Once inside, I waited in the darkness for the solstice sun to creep overhead and fill the chamber with light.

When the light hit Shiva and the mouth of the statue opened, I removed the pink diamond from my pouch and returned it from where it had been stolen twenty-five years ago. I turned to leave.

Only six more to go.

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.

I was so excited to see the early birds submitting their story. Looking forward to reading everyone’s take on the prompt.

In other news, I’m down to the last 35 pages of editing my novel The Kwan Factor. By this time next week I should be done with this round in the ring with what has turned out to be an unexpectedly challenging novel to write. Looking forward to finishing up very soon. I’ll be glad to move on to the next.

Detskiy dom № 8

St. Petersburg, Russia
© Google Maps

“So what did they tell you? How much do you know?” he asked as she climbed into the back of the cab.

She reached to tuck a strand of hair behind one ear. “They said they found me at an orphanage. Detkiy dom Number 8.”

Sergei laughed. “That place, eh?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“That place hasn’t been an orphanage in thirty years.”

The young woman sighed. “I thought you said you could help me find my birth parents.”

“I can. And I will. But forget everything you heard about your story.”

“But my birth mother was 21, a Ukrainian. A college student, studying in St. Petersburg. It was in the dossier.”

Sergei laughed, took a drag from his thick cigar, and let the ashes fall to the floor of the cab. “The first thing you’re going to learn here, is that everything is a lie.”

– –

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.


The ones who are both

Castillo de San Felipe del Morro


Cofresi blinked as the soldiers ordered him from the dark cell.

“Guess your days as ‘terror of the seas’ are over, eh?” said the one with the sneering face. He yanked at the chain that tethered Cofresi’s legs.

The solders laughed as they led him up the walkway.

“Scared now?” the dull-eyed one taunted. He grinned, revealing a fresco of broken-tile teeth.

Cowards like him were only brave when the men they feared wore irons. “It is you who should fear when you set my spirit free,” Cofresi said.

“Well that’ll happen soon enough,” said the Capitán.

Cofresi shrugged and walked into the courtyard. He’d been a lord, a murderer, a lover, a thief. He had been a savior. Now it was time to do what all men must do; the men that are good, the men that are bad, and the ones who are both.

146 words

Kept this under 150 words this week, since I went over on last week’s. This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

Holy crap, it was fun exploring this old fort!  It made me picture a pirate being walked to execution, and I didn’t have to dig far to find Roberto Cofresi.