Published December 18, 2016 by rochellewisoff
Bonaparte, IA Post Office

Bonaparte, IA Post Office

What Pegman Saw is a new Flash Fiction challenge utilizing Google Maps by K Rawson. The assignment is to write a story –150 words or less– based upon the location provided. Use the photo or follow the Google Maps link and take your own street view tour.

Here is this week’s location.


I’m stepping out of my Friday Fictioneers comfort zone this week. Having more than 100 words to play with was actually something of a luxury. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 149


“Didja check the return address?” asked Milly.

Charlie, the postmaster, pushed back his cap and scratched his head. “Ain’t got one. Jest addressed to you and James.” He unfolded a rumpled note. “It says, ‘December 20, 1914. Keep it warm and dry. Merry Christmas.’ It’s postmarked Pleasantville, Iowa. You know anyone there?”

“We went through there last January.” The vision of a young couple popped into her mind.  “Grace and Elliott Tucker. She couldn’t’a been more’n fifteen. They put us up for a few days when one of our horses went lame. Nice folks. I hope they’re well.”

“Afraid Mr. Tucker done got his-self killed. Struck by lightning.” Charlie handed her an obituary included with the note. “You gonna accept the package?”

Milly lifted the month old infant from the mailing pouch, breathed in his sweetness and kissed his round cheek. “In time for Christmas dinner. Welcome home, Noel.”  


39 comments on “POSTAGE DUE

    • Dear Karen,

      My pleasure to participate. I can’t promise I’ll be able to do it every week but this was fun. A different spin on the prompt. Best wishes and a Merry Christmas to you and yours. And thank you for the nice comment.



      Liked by 2 people

  • Oooh a new challenge. I might see if I have time to do this one. Three a week shouldn’t be too hard. He says right before Christmas lol.

    I like this story. The twist at the end was really good.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Well. That’s a different twist. Many, probably most, people don’t realize that children were actually mailed back then. Scary thought. Your story is both sad and hopeful. A tragedy for one and a new beginning for another. I wouldn’t say you stepped out of your comfort zone at all. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Masterful story, Rochelle. I don’t always like realistic fiction, but yours is just so excellent and compelling, full of at least the promise of hope. The last paragraph here is so surprising and beautiful; I think it’s my favorite (if I had to choose). Shalom!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, so, so cold. We’re only, I think, about 4 hours from you guys. I didn’t leave the house in 2 days (unusual for me; I don’t like being cooped up inside). You know, CNF magazine might be a market you look into, when you’re not busy with writing books or making art! Anyhow, it was an excellent story; as Jan said, lots of people don’t know that children were ‘shipped’ back in the day. And, sadly, we hear this morning, that there are 47 orphans in Aleppo, but at least they seem to have gotten out safely.
        On a positive note, keep writing and good luck with your triplets!

        Liked by 1 person

  • Oh dear, oh dear, I haven’t even started working on this week’s FF challenge yet, and now there’s this new and enticing one. I know I can’t keep up, but I may have to try one of these after the first of the year. Thanks for sharing it with us. Your story itself is a hoot. Now, I know most people won’t consider it funny at all, and I do understand that it deals with a very serious issue. However, you capture so much of the down-to-earth, easy-going, free-spirit attitude of these people that it gives the whole piece a light tone. And the end is certainly surprising, to say the least. All in all, I found it sweet, happy, and funny all at the same time. And just think: you did it all with a word to spare. Your diligent FF discipline has paid off for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      I saw this challenge and thought I’d give it a go. The story came so quickly this morning that it almost took me by surprise. The truth is I’ve always found it fascinating that there was a time in US history where people actually did mail children parcel post! I’ve wanted to write about it some way and today was the day. 😀

      In some ways it is funny. The sharpest wit is often born of pain. Thank you for all of your lovely comments.




  • This is great Rochelle. Love the dialogue – such a strong, genuine feel to their language. And what a present to receive. As others have said, a mixture of tragedy and joy here and very well conveyed. I just can’t believe people actually posted their kids … Nicely done

    Liked by 1 person

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