Urartu

Taşlıçay

Taşlıçay, Ağrı, Turkey © Google Maps

He came to Taşlıçay after a snowstorm and entered Mehmet’s restaurant. The last customer had left and the proprietor had let his staff go early.

“We’re closing, Sir. I have nothing left to serve you.”

“I am not here to eat, Mehmet.” He spoke heavily-accented Turkish and appeared middle-eastern.

“What do you want?”

“To save your life. Great forces desire to take it.”

“You’re insane. Taşlıçay is a boring place. Nothing happens here.”

“After the great flood, elemental spirits, both good and evil claimed the area around Urartu and lay dormant. Tonight they rise from the temple on the hill and the höyük to the south. You are the last direct descendant of the ark, the last one who could prevent them from entering your world.”

“Who are you?”

The messenger of Hashem grew large and powerful, was armored in ethereal light, and drew a sword of silver. “They come.”

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

Today, the Pegman takes us to Taşlıçay, Ağrı, Turkey. I looked it up and there’s not much going on in Taşlıçay either currently or historically, except for a few tiny details.

I leveraged the Facebook page for Things to do in Taslicay, which provided the restaurant setting. Going through the Google maps street images, I found the one posted above, which appealed to me since summer is approaching fast.

There’s a burial mound to the south of this rural town and both an Urartu temple and Armenian monastery on the hill above the village of Taşteker. Then I read:

Urartu, which corresponds to the biblical mountains of Ararat, is the name of a geographical region commonly used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands.

Ararat is the legendary resting place for Noah’s Ark after the Great Flood of the Bible, so I thought I’d attempt to wrap all of that together into some sort of mystic tale of disaster and horror, all in 150 words. How did I do?

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

Oh, and how are these locations chosen, anyway?

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Angel in the Wind

Empire State building

© Jill Wisoff

“They’ll be better off without me.”

Anne McCoy kept telling herself that looking at the view from the 86th floor observatory deck of the Empire State Building. As far as the despondent woman was concerned, this would be the last thing she’d see this side of eternity.

As she launched herself into thin air, she heard a voice.

“Your life is worth more than you can imagine, my daughter.”

Then a sudden gust of wind blew her up and back, and in a moment she had returned to the observation deck, with a broken hip and a new, grand destiny.

I authored this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

The photo is unmistakably the Empire State Building, and looking up specific incidents on that site, I discovered that on December 2, 1979, Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back onto a ledge on the 85th floor by a gust of wind and was left with a broken hip. I changed the name of the person and a few of the circumstances to create my wee tale of survival and redemption.

Oh, in Genesis 32:22-31, Jacob wrestled with an angel, and among the other consequences, had his hip injured and walked with a limp for the rest of his life. Somehow, it seemed to fit here as well.

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