Tag Archives: fiction prompts

What Pegman Saw: Hallo Schönheit

Image result for elvis in the army

“They’re here again.”

Private Smith eyed the gate. A dozen German girls twirled their skirts and stared back hopefully.

“C’mon Smitty. Let’s go down there.”

He shrugged. “They don’t wanna meet no ‘nobody’. They’re here to see him.”

Even Johnson couldn’t argue that. Wherever the Third Armored went, throngs of fans followed—but they were no fans of the soldiers. They were fans of Elvis Presley. Meanwhile, Elvis spent next to no time at the base. He was seven kilometers away in Bad Nauheim.

Still, it didn’t stop the girls from showing up. Elvis wasn’t even all that handsome, Smitty thought. He ran a hand over his buzz cut. He’d be handsome too, if he hadn’t had to buzz his hair to the pink of his scalp.

“Let’s go down there anyway,” Johnson said.

There were a lot of girls. “What are we going to say to them?”

Hallo Schönheit, hallo.”

151 words

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

This story was inspired by my dad, who was stationed in Germany with Elvis. He never met him, but said he was always surrounded by a crowd.

 

 

The Mad King and the Saint

Khor Virab, Armenia © Vahagn Mosinyan. Google Maps

Darkness crept back into the cracks of the castle as dawn vaulted over the windowsills. The dream remained. She sat up, hand clutched to her chest, remembering the angel and his instructions.

Only Gregory could relieve the king’s madness.

Gregory, a man long dead to the dungeons at Khor Virap. Everyone knew that. But it had seemed so real.

The king now roamed the forest as a boar, his madness so profound it had caused his teeth to grow into tusks and his skin to sprout bristles.

She got up, covering her chemise with a wrap. This time she’d relay no one else the angel’s message. She left for the forest alone.

“Tiridates,” she called out. Every twenty paces she called his name to the sun dappled woods.

She froze at the sound of a grunt. She turned around. “Tiridates, it is Gregory who can free you from madness.”

150 words

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

This is inspired by the real life history of Tiridates III of Armenia. It occurred in the fourth century AD.

When reading such accounts, I always marvel when I come across things that are hard to reconcile with facts as we know them now–such as what is a madness that causes one to rip off their clothes and run and live in the forest… where they sprout tusks and grow bristles all over their bodies? Strange days indeed.