Walkabout

great barrier reef

© Google 2012

Barega saw himself here in dreamtime. Merindah the Seer woman told him it was his time for the walkabout, his spiritual transition so that he could join the men of their people.

His journey would be long and take many days. Barega would be traveling alone for the first time in his fourteen years of life. His father taught him well the skills needed to succeed in his travels.

He found himself here near the great water, the one he had dreamed about. There were many living beings in their land that were revered, and Barega knew that beneath the great water, many more existed. However, he now realized what his experience in dreamtime meant. This mighty reef was alive, too. He walked across the rock and sand to touch its many bodies and souls.

Today he was a man and men must protect the spirits of all life

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use the Google street view image above as a prompt to craft a bit of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 149.

Today, the Pegman takes us to The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

I learned a lot about the Reef (actually it’s made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching over 2,300 km or 1,400 miles long) at Wikipedia and Adventure Mumma.

Wikipedia says that: “according to a study published in October 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985.” This coral bleaching is attributed to human use impact such as fishing and tourism as well as runoff and climate change.

The good news is that the reef has died off many times before, usually during each ice age, and then recovered, but the original environmental conditions have to be restored.

I also learned that about 12,000 years ago, a person could walk from the land directly out to the reef. Since I’ve recently been interested in writing time travel stories about going back to that period in history, my “Walkabout” tale simply fell into place.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Terror

cape crozier

© Google, Nov 2016

The Adelie penguin colony at Cape Crozier, Antarctica had long been the subject of study. There were over a quarter of a million breeding pairs of birds identified. Scientists inhabited several tents at the site plus a crude permanent structure that vaguely resembled a collection of shoeboxes. However, this expedition was not here for the penguins.

“What do the latest readings look like, Scottie?” Carter Roberts addressed the party’s Chief Volcanologist Amanda Scott. She ignored the unwanted familiar use of her name.

“Not good, Carter.” She didn’t bother to glance up from the seismology report. “If these readings are accurate, then given the progression we’re seeing, we’ve got less than three months.”

“So Mount Terror is aptly named.”

“We always thought it was an extinct volcano, but sometime next October, it’ll make the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa look like a firecracker, plunging the whole world into a new ice age.”

Written for the What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the Google street image above as the inspiration for a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 149.

Today, Pegman takes us to Cape Crozier, Antarctica. I looked the place up at Wikipedia, and when I saw “Mount Terror” and “extinct volcano,” I knew I found my hook.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

A Great Place to Retire

la puerta falsa

© Santiago Ruiz JimÈnez – National Geographic

Larry and Jan sat at a table at La Puerta Falsa sampling Bogotá’s signature dish, steaming bowls of ajiaco. They had just come from the Museo Botero, home to an impressive collection of paintings by Colombia’s most famous visual artist, Fernando Botero.

“I never thought of retiring here, Larry, but this isn’t the Bogotá I’d heard of.”

“That’s ancient history, dear. Bogotá is safer now than most large U.S. cities, and our dollar is going to go a lot farther here.”

“Is money really a question, Lar? After all, you’ve done well over the years.”

“I know, but that’s because I didn’t spend foolishly. I made my customers do that.”

“Whatever you say. Yes, let’s spend the rest of our lives here.”

Larry Zalkalns had spent the better part of five decades as the largest drug kingpin on America’s east coast. He was no fool. He only benefited from them.

Written for the What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. The idea is to use an image of the target location, such as the one at the top of the page, to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150 exactly.

Today, Pegman takes us to Bogotá, Columbia. Usually, when I think of Bogotá, I think of drug cartels and gun violence, but I read an article recently that said Columbia had become a great place to retire and is much safer now than in previous decades.

I found a 2015 New York Times story called 36 Hours in Bogotá, Colombia which seemed aimed at younger readers, but which also gave me enough material to use in crafting my scene.

The image above comes from the Spanish language edition of National Geographic.

Given Bogotá’s historic reputation, I gave Larry an interesting profession.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Non-Memorial

Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Credit: Getty Images

“I don’t get it, Sheldon. What’s the big deal? It’s just a bunch of blocks.”

“Great place to party, though. It’s like a maze in there, Linda. Get a bunch of people together, bring some weed, and no one can find you.”

“We didn’t come here to party, Sheldon. We’re touring Holocaust Memorials in Europe this summer. But this one in Berlin doesn’t even vaguely mention Shoah.”

“Quit living in the past, Linda. Loosen up.”

The young girl looked down at her shoes, fighting back the tears. “I can’t”. Her Bubbe died just four months ago. Linda could still hear her voice singing her to sleep when she was little. The image of the tattoo on Bubbe’s arm, the one the Nazis gave her when she was a girl, never left her.

Linda looked up and in the distance to their right, she saw a group of young Neo-Nazis laughing.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image as an inspiration to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150. Today’s challenge takes us to the city of Berlin.

This news article at Haaretz explains the controversial history of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, so I won’t include the details here, except to say that we must never forget Shoah and we have a duty to not only remember the past but to make sure we never repeat it.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Proprietors

aliens and devil

© @any1mark66

“It wasn’t enough for you to just visit Jackson Hole like all the other tourists, you had to listen to that vagrant and take us down some little back road and we end up here.”

“You’ve got to admit Sheila, this is pretty unusual.”

“I want to go back to town, Frank. This place is scary.”

“Just a bunch of cheesy looking statues.”

“That’s what they all say, folks.”

Frank and Sheila turned to see an old woman, the one who’d been talking to the cashier when they first looked into the shop.

“My great-granddaddy told me all about it, even wrote it down, about the day aliens and the devil fought right here for possession of humanity.”

“Who won?”

“It came to a tie, young man. They share ownership of us. If you want to come into the back of the shop, I’ll introduce you to our proprietors.”

Written for FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 27, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long with 150 being the idea. My word count is 149.

To read other stories inspired by the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Juan’s Prayer

Plaza España

Plaza España at night, found at Wikipedia

Rosita had been sitting at the edge of Plaza España in Guatemala City for hours. It was night, but she was oblivious to the passing cars or the bright neon lights which, to everyone else, were so festive.

The earthquake caused his beloved church to collapse on Juan during his prayers, though why he would be praying at such a strange hour was a mystery.

“Oh my dear husband, what will I do without you? How can I go back to our home in San Sebastian alone?”

“You won’t have to, sister. He prayed for me to watch over you.”

Written for What Pegman Saw. Thanks to Google maps, this week we are taken to Guatemala City. The idea is to use the prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 100.

I did some “Googling” and found that there had been a severe earthquake there just a few days ago. A man had been killed in neighboring San Sebastian when a church collapsed on him at about 1:30 a.m. Since the prompt was specifically Guatemala City, I set the scene with his widow at the Plaza España (keep in mind that Rosita and Juan are fictitious) where she had been staying with relatives. I’ve implied that Juan knew he was going to die and was praying for his dear wife to be cared for. His prayer was answered.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

For the Love of Marilag

fort san pedro drive in

Fort San Pedro Drive In, taken from their Facebook page.

He sat eating his Ang Chicken Inasal and sipping a Red Horse while watching “The Chosen Band’s” female lead singer. Benjie didn’t really care for their music, but Marilag was beautiful. He came every Tuesday night to see her while everyone else was listening to what they were playing. He knew when the band arrived, how long it took them to set up, the amount of time each performance lasted, and especially when Marilag took her breaks.

Benjie finished eating and opened his backpack. The gag, rope, chloroform, and everything else he needed for the kidnapping was there. Tonight, Marilag would he his.

Written for the What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. This week, we are taken to Cebu City in the Phillipines via Google maps and particularly to the Fort San Pedro Drive In. The idea is to use the prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is a modest 103.

I looked up the drive in and found its Facebook page which is where I got my photo prompt and the rest of the information I needed to write my wee tale. The idea to have Benjie kidnap Marilag (which means “beautiful” in Tagalog) came from a plot point in the 2016 film Deadpool.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Name on the Gravestone

rosenberg

Found at commons.wikimedia.org

“No one even knew his first name, just the initial A.”

“It’s okay, Bubbe. It took a long time, but we finally found your Dad.”

Esther Rosenberg Katz had been waiting for this day since she was old enough to understand her precious Abba was lost in the war. She grew up with her mother, two brothers, numerous uncles, aunts, and cousins but she was always without her Tateshi.

Thanks to years of research and her computer savvy granddaughter, Esther finally found him.

“Are you going to have him exhumed so he can be buried in Israel?”

“No, Elisheva. We’ll leave him here with his comrades. Hashem will restore him to Israel in His time.

Esther reached into her handbag, opened the small container inside, took out the soil she’d brought from the Holy Land and sprinkled it on Abraham Rosenberg’s grave in her final duty as his daughter.

Today at “What Pegman Saw” we are taken to Kanchanaburi, Thailand and specifically to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. I found the image above when doing a google search and found it and the cemetery’s history fascinating.

The idea is to use the Pegman Google image to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 149. I’ve added some links in the body of the story to explain certain words and concept that might not be readily apparent to all readers.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Hunter Goes North

portal, nd

© Google 2014

There’s not much in Portal, North Dakota. The population is a little over a hundred, but it’s one of three ports of entry from Canada. It’s also in the Bakken Oil Field region, which makes it expensive as hell to live here. Fortunately, I’m only visiting.

I found his hiding place in an oversized load on the back of a flatbed on Railway Avenue. It’s just after dawn, so I know it’s safe to approach him. His wealthy mother hired me to find him after she discovered what happened. Being a vampire hunter isn’t much different from being a private eye, except the weapons are different. I’ll dispatch him, provide photographic proof for my client, collect a nice fat fee, and remind myself that I’m also doing a public service taking another bloodsucker off the streets.

I wrote this for the “What Pegman Saw” photo prompt writing challenge, which this week takes us to Portal, North Dakota thanks to Google Maps street view.

The idea is to use the photo as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 137.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Just Another Monday in Chicago

chicago

Michigan Avenue in Chicago

Walking down Michigan Avenue, Johnny remembered the meme, “Come to Chicago for the food, stay because you got murdered,” yet all he saw was another “hustle bustle” Monday morning in a big city.

Naturally he came prepared. This was mostly a vacation trip, but he did have one bit of business to attend to. There she was just ahead of him, about to cross the DuSable Bridge. It would be touchy in broad daylight, but with these crowds, he was confident he’d get away with it.

He slipped the small .22 out of his sleeve into his palm just as he caught up with her. He shoved the barrel into her back and fired, then kept walking. She collapsed against the bridge railing and then onto the sidewalk.

Another successful hit, this time on an NBC news exec. Now to lunch. He’d heard “The Purple Pig” had a great wine list.

Written for What Pegman Saw. The idea is to use the Google Maps photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is exactly 150.

To read more stories inspired by the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.