Living Memories

armenian genocide

Armenian civilians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Ottoman soldiers. Kharpert, Ottoman Empire, April 1915 – Photo Credit: Anonymous German traveler – Published by the American red cross, it was first published in the United States prior to January 1, 1923.

Samvel and Samuel had a lot more in common than just their names. Sitting together at a table outside a small Parisian cafe, the former sipped his coffee, and the latter put another cube of sugar into his steaming beverage.

“I hear Israel is considering recognition of the Armenian deaths.”

“I certainly hope so. Ours is widely known, but already the world is forgetting.”

“I just wish the world would remember the 20th century’s first genocide. We both died at age five, but here we are as grown men.”

“Yes, you in your holocaust and I in mine. We have been resurrected, whether by God or some lesser but still mighty force, to be living reminders of the past.”

“We must never let the children of this century forget the children of ours, whether executed by the Ottomans or the Nazis. Now finish your coffee. We must join the others.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image and location as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Armenia.

Although the nation has a rich history, it’s hard not to immediately think of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and Armenian Genocide denial. I read one article that said Israel was about to recognize the Armenian Genocide and another stating that Turkey was not at all pleased by this turn of events.

Searching the web for Armenian names and finding “Samvel,” I thought having an Armenian genocide victim and a Jewish Holocaust victim together having coffee was an interesting idea. But who are they who have died so long ago and yet in our midst today? I left that rather vague, but the idea is that some “force” is causing people from the past to emerge in the present so modern people won’t forget the horrors that have occurred so many decades ago.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to

24 thoughts on “Living Memories

  1. Excellent writing here. The genocide was the first thing I thought of as well. When I was growing up in Tucson, I had a Turkish friend who told stories of the fights his family would get into about this. Sadly, as eyewitnesses die it becomes more and more likely the story will be erased for political expediency.


  2. An interesting take, and a wonderful tribute to both halocaust’s. I can imagine our ancestors in heaven having such conversations.


      • What you did worked perfectly… the ambiguity as to their personage was perfect. Maybe, in our minds, we did see them as spirits, or as angels, even.


      • My understanding is that people are spirits but can never be angels as angels are created beings with each having a unique purpose (long story). They could be reincarnated or even resurrected in some strange fashion. Also, it might not be God pulling the strings but some other strange force. Interesting thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your invention of mortals/spirits to tell your story. They can add their voices to those of writers like you and Rochelle, to make sure that we never forget the holocausts. Good story, well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadly, I had no idea about the Armenian holocaust until I took a writing class from an Armenian writer. Then I soaked up that history. I hope these events are not forgotten. I enjoyed how you set the Jew and the Armenian together at a table. Somehow I envision them shaking their heads in wonder.


  5. An interesting take on this tragic event — made even more tragic by the deliberate attempts to erase it from history. It’s bad enough that over the centuries, almost everything that people at the time thought was terrible (or wonderful) is forgotten. But when people deny the reality of major events that happened in their own lifetimes, or in their parents’ or grandparents’, that is unforgivable.

    Liked by 1 person

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