Tag Archives: Prompts

The Stakeout

Janta Stores Bandra West, Mumbai, India | © Support Direct India Google Maps

Rehana smiled for the first time in seventeen days. It was him. She’d know him anywhere: the thin lips, the heavy brow, the eyes cold as kadappa stone.

He was standing outside the ATM vestibule, his eyes darting up and down the street. Not only was he back, he was setting a trap for another victim.

Her throat tightened as she remembered the day. What a nice man, she’d thought. That day, she left with a friendly wave. It wasn’t until she got to work she realized his friendliness was a ruse to lift ₹10,000 from her account.

No one scams Rehana Shaikh. At least not again.

She’d gone back to the store across from the ATM every day for seventeen days waiting for him. Waiting for justice. The police had merely shrugged at her initial report. “Nothing we can do.”

They wouldn’t be able to say that now.

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.

Inspired by real events: Mumbai woman visits same ATM everyday for 17 days, catches man who duped her

The Last Family Vacation

St. Helena Island | © kyle williamson, Google Maps

They were fighting again.

Derek could read his mother’s moods like a seasoned meteorologist and something had happened while he’d sat on the precipice and sketched for the past hour.

Mom’d showed up, arms folded, mouth taut. “We’re going back to the ship. Now.”

Dad was all false cheer on the drive back to the boat, sneaking sips from the silver flask he kept in the front pocket of his Bermudas and going on about Napoleon and what a treat it was to finally see such a historical sight.

At the harbour store stop, she returned with a bottle of gin.

“Looks like someone means to have fun,” Dad said; the chuckle that followed rang hollow.

She shot him a dark look before turning to Derek. “Someone seems to think this trip isn’t fun at all.”

Derek looked down. It wasn’t, if you wanted to get all honest about it.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. My apologies to the people in this photo. Not sure why it inspired this sad family drama, but it truly had nothing to do with them.

To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

There’s No Place Like Home

Tokyo Google Maps screen capture

Tokyo Google Maps screen capture

Tokyo was everything that Iowa wasn’t. It was why he’d come.

Tokyo was civilized, urban, occupied and vibrant. Tokyo was vertical where Iowa was horizontal. Tokyo was fast where Iowa was slow.

He loved the ever-present crush of people, the novelty of towering over a crowd at the subway stop, the ease of talking to pretty girls eager to practice their English on the drawling American—who was maybe not so handsome by Mississippi Valley High School standards.

He’d come eleven months and twenty-eight days ago—hopped on the plane the day after graduation. Landed a job right away and was making a decent living teaching English at the junior college a short subway’s ride away.

But back in Iowa it was June—the month of a million greens, when the vast bowl of the Midwest becomes the Emerald City of growing things. And suddenly, intensely, completely: he missed it so.

150 words


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

Phoning it in a little this week. My teenage son is in the hospital with mono, strep, influenza and pneumonia, plus a few accompanying complications. We’re on day four. And all I can think is: there is no place like home. And why do hospitals wake sick people up every 45 minutes?

PS J Hardy Carroll please excuse the use of the word ‘suddenly’. 😉 Got my adverbs on, eh?