Pena, Portugal



By Neel Anil Panicker

A woman’s face etched in a beatific smile and holding in her arms a barely three-month-old baby girl greets Emily.

A tear drops from her eyes as she places in her pint sized bag the sepia tinged black and white photograph, the sole reminder of the only family she ever had.

Outside, she cranes her neck upwards and peers into the sky.

The bright orb of fire sends a pleasant tingling sensation surging through her veins, warming the cockles of her heart.

‘But why’s there no blast? Why the delay?’

Emily wrings her hands anxiously and peers yet again into the sky.

Slowly, as if goaded by the power of her unflinching eyes, the clouds give way and bright dazzling rays sparkle onto the earth.

And then as if in pronouncement, a huge ear splitting sound blasts through the atmosphere.

It is the sundial’s cannon ball strike signalling noon time.

It’s also the prompt for her to head for the main road.

There awaits Francis, the love of her life, the liberator of her soul.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #pena,Portugal



Petra, Jordan

A superb fictional travel photo prompt that the wonderful K Rawson challenges us with on a weekly basis  at

Petra, Jordan


Genre: Historical Fiction

Image result for human sacrifice, petra, jordan

By Neel Anil Panicker

Om couldn’t believe his eyes __a hand levelled rocky expanse stared at him.

After a memorable night at the Theater and the Street of Facades, was this really the promised ‘Big One’.

 “And to think that I climbed 800 sign posted steps up a rocky slope for this?” he chided himself.

As if reading his thoughts, Derek, his Australian friend, uttered, “You seem not too happy, mate. Wait till I show you something”.

 “Now what’s that?”, inquired Derek, irritation creeping into his tone.

 “See that raised platform over there,” said his friend, pointing to the left.

Om’s eyes followed the lowered fingers.

Perched on a cliff a heart stopping 170 metres below them was an altar.

There were over a dozen of these, all around 15 m long and 6 m wide. Each altar, set up on four steps, had a wash basin to one side.

“That’s the High Place of Sacrifice. The wash basins drain out the blood which then runs down the mountains. And some of them are of humans.”

(neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansaw#historicalfiction#highplaceofsacrifice

Image result for human sacrifice, petra, jordan


The main alter was for the burnt sacrifice. It contains several small steps and a niche where the fire could have been used. However, there are no evidences of fire at their altar or the other altars around Petra. Built into the two altars are wash basins.

Were there ever human sacrifices at Petra? There is no hard evidence but there is a Nabataean inscription at Meda’in Salehwhich reads “abd-Wadd, priest of Eadd, and his son Salim, and Zayd-Wadd, have consecrated the young man Salim to be immolated to Dhu Gabat.

Their double happiness. The god Al Uzza is also known to have received the sacrifice of boys and girls. In particular, the pagan philosopher Porphyrius states that once a year a boy’s throat was sacrificially cut at the oasis of Dumat some two hundred miles from Petra.

neelwrites/whatpeg mansaw/blackisbackandhow!/historicalfiction/30/07/2017


Cape Town, South Africa

Thanks to K Rawson for hosting this wonderful weekly flash fiction challenge at

Cape Town, South Africa

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


Genre:historical fiction



By Neel Anil Panicker

Amandla! Amandla! i-Afrika, mayibuye!  

Cliff Andrews elbowed his way ahead, to near the front steps of the Town Hall.

It means Power!Power! Africa it is ours!, his local aide cum photographer Desmond Steines responded.

Earlier in the day, Cliff, had flown in from Washington and contacted the ever smiling Des, whose darkish features lit up like a 400 watt bulb, the  black button eyes shining like diamonds in the dark, on being told about the assignment.

 “Des, this is big. The guy’s back from prison. Get some close ups. Really tight, buddy. We need to catch him in action, ” were the last bits of advice the senior newsman manning the Africa desk of the New York Times handed out before the two stepped out of the nondescript third floor hotel room and into the mid summer madness that had enveloped all of Pretoria.

Four hours later, back in his hotel room, Cliff’s Remington typewriter banged out the words, “The ANC tri-colour flew high in Cape Town today, the black at its top defiantly jutting out into the dark African sky. The fight for freedom is not yet over; it’s just begun, so said Nelson Mandela who looked …”

©neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansay  #historicalfiction  #nelsonmandela #anc #africa



From racial segregation to global inspiration

Nelson Mandela lived one of the most remarkable lives of the 20th Century. Born in an era of racial segregation and oppression in South Africa, he made it his life’s mission to fight for an equal and democratic society in his country.

After 27 years in jail, Mandela helped prevent civil war and became South Africa’s first black president. By the time of his death he’d become a renowned statesman and global icon. Discover how Mandela went from prison cell to presidential office.

For more information you may click on this link




Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Hosted by the wonderful K Rawson at

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


Image result for great barrier reef pollution

By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Teacher, why is it called The Great Barrier Reef?’

Because man says so. Because arrogant man has deemed it fit enough to be designated as one of the Seven Wonders of His World.

Because stupid man, small minded greed-filled egoistical man, pitch drunk with the myopic power of his own bloated importance says so.

‘They say we can see the Reef from Space. Is that true, teacher?’

Not for long my dear. The way things go all that will be left to see would be miles and miles of faded blue patches that are nothing but bleaches; sorry pithy leftovers, as if some blood sucking leech had drained it of all life.

‘That’s a horrible thing to happen, teacher. Isn’t there something we can do about it?’

Oh, we can. All of us can. You all can. You can go back and tell your parents, your school mates, your neighbours, just about everyone you encounter to respect Nature a bit more than what they do now.

You can tell them to make peace with Nature; tell them that it’s the only way we, homo sapiens, can ensure our continued survival on Planet Earth.

Drill it into their thick heads that in the fight between Man and Nature there can be no winners, only losers.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #greatwarrioringrief



This week Pegman takes us to Antarctica.

Cape Crozier, Antarctica

Hosted by the charming K Rawson at

Cape Crozier, Antarctica

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:



By Neel Anil Panicker

General Leal’s eyes never left the sumptuous spread laid out on the oblong metallic dinner table.

Shoving all niceties aside he attacked the food with a ferociousness that would put even a ravenous lion to shame.

In no time he and his two score odd men had gulped every single morsel of food.

“Hope you liked the sardines, General,” gushed Edward Philips in a convivial tone as he tried hard to conceal his amusement at the gastronomic antics on display.

As if in answer, gobbled in no time were tinned bacons, semi-cooked fresh vegetables, and an assortment of tongues__ox, sheep and pork__all watered down with hurried swigs of whisky.

Waving his arms around, Leal replied, “Look at my boys, Philips. Aren’t they all mighty happy? This is the first time in over two months that we’ve had a decent meal.”

Philips nodded understandably.

It was he, who had earlier in the day, after confirming that the new ‘intruders’ were not Russians but from ‘friendly’ Argentina invited the General over for dinner.

And it was he, a radio operator stationed at USAmunsen- Scott South Pole Station for the past one year who knew more than anybody else the perils of living in sub-snow Antartica.

©neelanilpanicker2017  #fiction #whatpegmansaw #Antartica


Operación 90 (Operation NINETY) was the first Argentine ground expedition to the South Pole, conducted in 1965, by ten soldiers of the Argentine Army under then-Colonel Jorge Edgard Leal. It was performed to attempt to cement Argentina‘s claims to a portion of Antarctica, as well as for scientific reasons and to perfect polar exploration techniques. The operation was named for the target 90 degree South latitude point (the geographic South Pole).

Leal’s team departed on six snowcat vehicles from General Belgrano Army Base on October 26, 1965. The main group was preceded by a scouting four-men patrol on a sled drawn by 18 dogs. While the scouts remained at 83° 2″ S, Leal and his men reached the geographic South Pole on December 10. They then returned to Base Belgrano, which they reached on December 31. Overall, the mission lasted 66 days.[1]

The operation was performed in secret so as not to upset the superpowers of the time, the United States and Soviet Union. The main purpose of the expedition was to exercise the claimed rights of Argentina to the continuation of its landmass which (along with almost the entire Western Hemisphere including the US and Canada) had been proclaimed as a Spanish entitlement by Pope Alexander VI in 1493 through the Treaty of Tordesillas.

General Leal and his men, shortly after arriving to the South Pole, were met by a radar operator from the USAmundsen–Scott South Pole Station, who asked them who they were and what they were doing there. The group, after Leal explained that they were not Soviets, was invited to take a meal at the American sub-snow base—the first decent food, said Leal, that the group had had in some weeks.





Bogota, Columbia

Hosted by J Hardy at

Bogota, Columbia



Silva House of Poetry - Honoring a Colombian legend

By Neel Anil Panicker

 “¿Podría decirme la ubicación exacta del corazón?”

Dr Juan Camilo, senior cardiologist at Santa Barnara Medical Center couldn’t  believe what he had just heard.

True, in his almost four decade old career he had had patients who made all kinds of demands, bizarre requests, a few outright stupid, and one absolutely insane: ‘Doc, can you stop my heart for ten minutes. I want to experience what it means to die.’

But this one was different, especially so as it came from a person whom all of Bogota nee Columbia respected nee revered to the point of veneration.

He mulled over the entreaty for a moment and then replied, “Claro, si insistes”

The tall young man’s eyes lit up and he replied, “Muchas gracias, doctor.”


It was a decision that the renowned doctor would regret for the rest of his life.

The following day’s newspapers reported the tragic death of  José Asunción Silva, the cause, a single bullet shot through the heart.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #historicalfiction #whatpegmansaw #email:neelanilpanicker@gmailcom #161words


José Asunción Silva (27 November 1865 in Bogotá – 23 May 1896 in Bogotá) was a Colombian poet. He is considered one of the founders of Spanish–American Modernism.

On the morning of 24 May 1896, a housemaid found Asunción Silva dead in his bed with a gun near his body; he had shot himself in the heart the night before. There are many reasons for his suicide, including the death of his sister Elvira, the loss of almost all his work when his ship sank near a quay in the Caribbean sea, and his debts. Prior to his death, he asked his doctor confidentially to mark the exact location of his heart.

He was buried in the Central Cemetery in Bogotá. Perhaps his more important legacy is the house where he lived, which has been converted into a museum, the Silva Poetry House.[1]


Today Pegman takes us to Berlin’s Stresemannstraße in the former GDR.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

Hosted by J. Hardy Carroll at



Image result for Stresemannstraße WATCHTOWER


By Neel Anil Panicker

Tonight I leave.

Bid adieu to the oppression, the darkness, the madness that defines my life now.

They loved me. Or so I thought. At least that’s what they led me to believe.

As proof they came in hordes, watched me perform, cheered lustily when I flung myself high up in the skies, somersaulted, did the trapeze.

But it’s all over.

Now, I’m their enemy. They’ve clipped my wings. Grounded me. Banned me from performing. Stolen my breath and soul.

All because I asked for my due. Demanded be paid my worth, not the pea nuts that they hurled at me. In their eyes I’m a marked man for the few more Marks that I asked for.

And so I’m leaving; escaping my tormentors; escaping from a lifetime of servitude.

They have a term for what I plan to do. It’s called treachery; the punishment: instant, brutal death.

I know I may fall, those machine gun toting guards high up in the watchtower may riddle my body with a thousand bullets.

I don’t mind that; accept that as my fate.

I still want to escape. To fly high. To, hopefully, do the trapeze, but this time for audiences who love me, for real.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #WHATPEGMANSAW#FICTION #203words

Trapeze artist Horst Klein was banned from performing in East Germany because of his anti-communist beliefs. So, he used his tightrope skills to flee to West Berlin. “I couldn’t live any longer without the smell of the circus in my nostrils,” Klein told newspapers at the time. In December 1962, Klein scaled an electricity pole near the Berlin Wall and, dangling high above the guard patrols, inched his way across a disused power cable. His hands numb from cold, he fell from the rope and broke both of his arms, but he had landed inside West Berlin.