neelwrites/it’stime/whatpegmansaw/historicalfiction/13/08/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Pena, Portugal

Hosted by the wonderful H Hardy Carroll at

Pena, Portugal

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

IT’S ABOUT TIME

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION

Image result for sundial, PENA, PORTUGAL

By Neel Anil Panicker

 

IT’S ABOUT TIME

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION

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

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

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

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:

BLACK IS BACK AND HOW!

Genre:historical fiction

Image result for CAPE TOWN HALL SPEECH OF NELSON MANDELA

 

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

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/ztd26sg

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neelwrites/antartica/whatpegmansaw/knockingoffthecold/historicalfiction/200words/17/07/2017

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:

KNOCKING OFF THE COLD

(GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION)

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  neelanilpanicker@gmail.com  #fiction #whatpegmansaw #Antartica

(HISTORICAL BACKGROUND)

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.

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neelwrites/bogota/whatpegmansaw/150words/fiction/08/07/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Bogota, Columbia

Hosted by J Hardy at

Bogota, Columbia

SHOOTING PRACTICE 

(GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION)

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

(HISTORICAL BACKGROUND)

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]

neelwrites/Stresemannstraße/watchmeflyhigh/whatpegmansaw/200words/03/07/2017

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 https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/07/01/berlin/

COME, WATCH ME FLY HIGH

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION)

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
(HISTORICAL BACKGROUND)

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.

 

neelwrites/burkhalifa/whatpegmansaw/150/18/06/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Today Pegman takes us to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

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:

UNIMAGINABLE HEIGHTS

17 View from the top

By Neel Anil Panicker

The cityscape of Dubai with its palm tree lined linear streets, the domed minarets, the hexagonal  odd patches of green on an otherwise sand kissed topography__all were a blur, like a colony of ants, barely visible to the naked eye, and yet glistening in the blistering heat of the desert sun.

As Lubna watched the visual spread of ever changing kaleidoscopic colours from her 150th floor hotel room at the Burj Khalifa, she felt on top of the world, both literally and metaphorically.

A whirlwind romance, a lavish wedding, and now, two days later, a dream honeymoon in the skies, around 3000 feet above the earth__ God had been generous nee lavish in showering his blessings.

She turned around and tiptoed towards the master bed, towards the man of her dreams, intending to lather his handsome face with sweet kisses.

Under the covers, Usman waited, knife in hand.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #148words

neelwrites/whatpegmansaw/guatemala/historicalfiction/150words/12/06/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

hosted by https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/06/10/guatemala-city/Guatemala City

Today Pegman walks through Guatemala City

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:

GAME, SET, MATCH   (GENRE:HISTORICAL FICTION)

By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Answer me correctly and I’ll marry you.’

“Shoot,” shot back Alex Mathews, a final year exchange student from Michigan.

Today was his last day in Guatemala City. Jessica and he were at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin campus, inside the Museo Popol Vuh, gazing at the richest collections of Maya art in the world.

‘What’s that?’, she asked, pointing towards a sharp pointed conical tool.

“That”, said Alex, “is the Paleoindian stone knife. It was used way back in 9000 BC by hunter gatherers who entered the Americas from Eurasia. They built ice corridors extending…”

‘Impressive. One more,’ she said. ‘Are you the hunter or the hunted?’

Alex lowered his six foot tall frame, gazed evenly into Jessica’s eyes and replied, “With you…always the hunted”.

Her eyes turned a huge blob of lava. He imagined hot rocks bursting out of that gorgeous volcano vent of a mouth.

She whispered, ‘I’m game.’

©neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansaw #historicalfiction #150words

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleoamericans is a classification term given to the first peoples who entered, and subsequently inhabited, the Americas during the final glacial episodes of the late Pleistocene period. The prefix “paleo-” comes from the Greek adjective palaios (παλαιός), meaning “old” or “ancient”.

___

The Popol Vuh Museum takes its name from the Popol Vuh, one of the most important texts of the indigenous literature of the New World. Written in the western highlands of Guatemala around 1550, Popol Vuh brings together a set of myths and historical accounts of great importance for the study of the indigenous peoples of Guatemala. The names of their authors are unknown, but there are indications that it was written by prominent members of the nobility of the Quiche kingdom, which dominated a large region of the Guatemalan highlands at the time of the Spanish conquest. Written in a neat poetic style, it is also a masterpiece in literary terms.

The Popol Vuh presents a mythological version of the creation of the world, followed by an account of the adventures of the twin gods, Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, in primordial times, before the creation of the human being.The triumphs of the heroes against the primordial forces and the gods of death give rise to the creation of the man from the corn. The second part of the text concentrates on the origins of the ruling Quiché lineages, their migration to the Guatemalan highlands, their conquest of territory, the establishment of their main city and the history of their kings until the Spanish conquest.

The original text of the sixteenth century has been lost. It is known that it was written in Quiche language, but using the Spanish alphabet. At the beginning and end of the book, the authors mentioned that they wrote it because it was no longer possible to see a book called Popol Vuh, which existed in the past. Much has been speculated about the nature of this book, which should have existed before the Spanish conquest. It is likely to have been a pictorial manuscript similar to the postclassic codices known in central Mexico.

The oldest surviving text of the Popol Vuh is a transcription of the Quiche text made at the beginning of the 18th century by the Dominican friar Francisco Ximénez, who also made the first translation known in Spanish. Ximénez presented in double column the Quiche text next to the Spanish version, and titled it “They begin the Stories of the Origin of the Indians of this Province of Guatemala” . This manuscript is in the Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library of the City of Chicago. It was extracted from the library of the National University of Guatemala by the French abbe Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, who published it for the first time completely in 1861. Since then, numerous editions and translations have been made.

The word Popol Vuh literally means “book of the mat”. Among Mesoamerican peoples, mats or petates were symbols of the authority and power of kings. They were used as seats for rulers, high-ranking courtiers and heads of lineages. For this reason, the title of the book has been translated as “Council Book” .

The mythological accounts of the Popol Vuh are closely related to other mythological texts collected at the beginning of the colonial period, as well as with many oral traditions that are still preserved in the indigenous communities of Guatemala and other parts of Mesoamerica. In recent decades it has been shown that they also find close parallels in classical Mayan art. In particular, the scenes painted on the polychrome pottery of the classical period in the Maya lowlands present figures of gods and mythological scenes related to the myths of the Popol Vuh. The Popol Vuh Museum houses an important set of such scenes, painted 800 years before the writing of the text that we know today.