Category Archives: what pegman saw

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.



For the Want of Courage

Bridal Veil Falls, Utah | Google Maps

It was where they were to be married. Not at the falls per se, but at the chapel down the ridge. Her in winter wool with a frost of lace upon her neck and sleeves, and him in a fine-tailored frock coat. At least that was how he had always pictured it. But it was not to be.

She had her head turned by a fella out a St. Louis and married him afore two years’ time. And he knew her his whole life.

Knew ‘of’ her at least. And she up and left. It weren’t fair. She was supposed to wait. Wait long enough for him to ask her hand. Long enough for him to pay a call. Long enough for him to work up the nerve to tip his hat—at the very least. He had a lot of working up to do.

But still, it weren’t fair.

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.

What Pegman Saw: Stockholm

Copenhagen, Sweden,
Voigt Steffensen Hans (Kunstmaler) |
Kim Michael Wincentz
Google Maps

“Wait a minute, is that her?” I stepped closer, head tilted as I studied the broad brushstrokes which composed the face of the female dancer in Elias’s painting.

I turned back to Oscar, who stood in the center of the studio, arms folded across his chest. He nodded. “Take another look around.”

I walked the perimeter of the studio, more slowly this time, scrutinizing every female face in every painting. The sour mouth, the narrow jaw, the flint-chip eyes in the shadow of the heavy brow: they were all her. Every single woman in every painting—a decade of Elias’s work—and they were all her.

“Why would he do that? She abused him. Robbed him of every confidence. Crippled him socially. Why would he do that?”

Oscar walked to a large canvas resting on an easel. On it, the female face glared triumphantly. “It is because…I think he misses her.”

151 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.

Many liberties were taken in the writing of this little story, and my apologies to the artist for highjacking his/her work for my own twisted purposes. The prompt was in Stockholm, however after taking a number of tours of Sweden this morning, I wound up in Copenhagen and landed in this gorgeous studio. And somehow, my Stockholm concept got tangled up in the canvas here.

The tour of this studio is an example of why I love Google maps. Here I sit on a snowy winter morning in the midwest, and yet I was transported to this bright and sunny artists studio, smelling paint, fika, and strong coffee. There are 100 billion stories out there on Google maps and I can only write them one at a time. Which is why I need your help 😉

Have a super-amazing-most-awesome day!


Another Way to Run

Stunning shot of the snake river in grand canyon

Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon | KeYang, Pixabay

The carabiners jingled on his backpack as the elevation flattened. He drank, the water sweeter than the finest whiskey. He wiped his mouth and smiled as he screwed on the lid. There was a time he would have laughed at that notion.

He’d been sober four years now. In 2014, he’d quit running from himself—casting aside the drink that had kept him from being a good husband. A good father. Instead, he focused on restoring his health, walking–more and more.

Last year he’d hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. The year before it was the Appalachian. This year it was Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim before heading to Switzerland for the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Deep in the canyon, the river laid bare eleven epochs of time—digging down, to the very core of it. Something in him nagged, and he began to wonder: was walking just another way to run?

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.

My husband and I hiked halfway down the canyon on our honeymoon. Completing the hike is definitely on my bucket list. It’s a stunning spot. One of my favorite places!

Truly sorry I have not been around much lately. I have been suffering from the most debilitating insomnia. I’ll fall asleep okay, but then wake up at 3:00, 2:00, sometimes even 12:30 am, and then be completely unable to get back to sleep.

Last night I slept 10 1/2 hours and it feels amazing. So amazing.

Liquid Courage

Satu Nou, Olt County, Romania | Google Maps

It took a hero.

That was the thing outsiders never understood. That, and how the dead would rise from their graves to feed upon their relatives. This was true thing. It was only a matter of time before his brother-in-law’s animated corpse fed upon his children again.

Gheorghe tipped the bottle and took another deep pull of the ţuică. He looked up at the Moon. It would take courage to see his dead uncle’s face, to drive the sickle into his heart, to burn his corpse and make the tea from his rotting Heart. He swayed against his shovel at the thought and took another swill.

When he woke up, the moon was replaced by the amber skies of dawn. He slapped a hand to his neck, feeling for a wound. Had the dead been at him? He sat up, annoyed with himself. He had to do this. Perhaps tomorrow.

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 apologize for my absence as of late. I’ve been battling insomnia. But, I got nine hours last night and feel like a new person. Or at least like an old person who has gotten nine hours of sleep.

This story was inspired by this well-written and worth-reading piece: Romanian villagers decry police investigation into vampire slaying. If you read it, you’ll see my story isn’t fiction at all.

After reading it, I plopped my Pegman down on the map in the general location described by the article and was stunned to find myself right in front of a freshly dug pit. There are more up and down the length of this street. I’m sure there’s an explanation…right?



And Thus, the Oporto Was Lost

Marina da Afurada, Porto, Portugal | © sstefan, Google Maps

All superstitions had been observed for the journey, even the ‘spilling of blood’, which conveniently occurred on its own when the bosun and cooper came to blows over the affections of a blue-eyed whore at a brothel in Matosinos.

A plump gray kitten was secured to bring the journey luck. The quartermaster even purchased a caul from a local midwife. They’d waited to set sail until the first day free of rolling clouds and red dawns. They’d even brought a priest to accompany them on the journey.

Portuguese sailors were notoriously uneasy about weather, and the winds blew ill in the North Sea even in the best of times. Thus, they were reassured by the priest’s presence and the promise of daily mass.

But when the storm came, the fools ran to the quarterdeck for a holy water blessing instead of manning the sails. And thus, the Oporto was lost.

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 End of Mother Goddess

Cuevas de Zugarramurdi |  © Ernesto Vizcaino Abad, Google Maps

“Explain yourself,” the Inquisitor-General said. As he paced, his long cape billowed behind him. The woman rambled on, the sounds of her language a puzzle to his ears.

When she finished, the Basque translator turned. “She says they have done nothing wrong. That it is just—how you say—a ‘woman’s meeting.’”

The man snorted. “What nonsense is that? What good can come of a ‘meeting of women?’”

The translator turned, a tangled string of sounds issuing from his lips as he asked her. She answered.

“She says it is there they pass down the ancient wisdom. That they teach how to prepare the leaves that ‘bring the moon’, and what herbs will cure cangrejo. These cures render prayer unnecessary. She says this is sacred wisdom, passed mother to daughter, since the time of Mother Goddess.”

The Inspector-General walked closer, nodding. The woman dipped her head.

“Now we’re getting somewhere.”

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.

Sorry I’m so late this week. I wrote a story I didn’t like, and wanted to do another one. I then promptly fell into a rabbit hole of fascinating research about the Basque Witch Trials that had me wishing I had more time to know this topic. As it is, this is 90% made up…

Or is it?

Looking forward to everyone’s stories this week!