THE MEASURE OF CIVILIZATION

Published February 25, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to the Amazon…not Amazon.com…but the original one in Brazil.

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

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Here’s the photo I chose from the Google Buffet.

Thanks to K Rawson for hosting this challenge!

the-amazon

 Ah the joy of 50 extra words! I’ve taken one of my older Friday Fictioneers pieces and given it a make-over. 

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 150

THE MEASURE OF CIVILIZATION

Half naked Himba people in Nambia, a sweaty camera crew and millions of TV viewers witnessed our marriage vows. 

I followed Trevor up the Himalayas and drank sun-scorched canteen water instead of Cabernet.

In Nepal he slipped on animal feces and narrowly escaped being trampled by a choleric elephant.

After Trevor’s ankle mended, his next assignment was the Amazon. There we lived in a grass hut. Mosquitos and humidity made it impossible to sleep.

Trevor kissed my eight-month belly. “You should go home.”

“You are my home.”

Before the words left my mouth, my water broke.

Twelve hours of spine-crunching labor later, a Waurá midwife helped deliver our daughter. We named her Kauné in her honor.

_______

Back in the states, safe from cheetah attacks and hippo stampedes, Trevor’s mangled body lies on a cold steel table. The driver, texting on her cell phone, never saw him cross the street.  

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waura-child

47 comments on “THE MEASURE OF CIVILIZATION

  • I was about to write what a lovely life tale, and then I caught the last lines… A tragic end. Some are not made to adapt to the modern technology of the world and are best left in the habitat that they thrive in, just like the indigenous tribes in the rainforests themselves. Wonderful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      That’s one of my favorite sayings. I used to have it posted on my sign shop at work. Sadly it’s true. Thank you for a lovely comment. Glad to see you here and hope you’re doing well.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear J Hardy,

      That’s what he got for Skype Diving. Yeah, that was terrible. But those freak accidents do happen. My husband’s cousin survived Viet Nam and died in a car accident a week after he got home.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I often see people using mobile phones in their cars in the UK, despite the recently doubled fine for getting caught. It makes my blood boil every time I spot one of those idiots (and I don’t care if that word “idiot” is politically correct or not!).

    Your story said it all. What is civilised? Certainly not extinguishing someone’s life for the sake of a conversation which doubtless can wait.

    For some reason, your story brought to mind T.E. Lawrence (best known as Lawrence of Arabia), who, after surviving many heroic and amazing adventures abroad, returned home and died in a motorcycle accident.

    An excellent piece of writing. I sense your anger behind those last two sentences D:

    All best wishes,
    Sarah

    Like

    • Dear Sarah,

      You sense my anger correctly. I’ll admit to having phone conversations in the car, I only do it with bluetooth…hands free. I know there’s some controversy over that. But texting and driving??? Give me a break. Idiot is the proper term. The same people probably can’t walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.
      At any rate, I’m glad you liked my story and took the time to say so.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    People behind the wheel of their mobile phone are a great menace. I see it all the time and have written many rants about the murderous SUVs qualifing for NASCAR on Texas highways. Even the Prius driver so concerned about his carbon footprint has not a care in the world about the carnage he leaves in his wake because he cannot maintain control in a single lane of traffic. Your story is yet another shout in the concrete jungle.

    Definitely a good driver,
    Stephanie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Stephanie,

      A wonderfully affirming comment for my story. The outrage continues. Whenever I see a driver holding a phone to their ear or, worse, holding the phone out to read a text…one hand on the wheel, the other on the phone and no eyes on the road, I want to bash into them myself. (counterproductive, but…just sayin’)

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Apart from the awful moral of the story and resulting kick in the guts, I loved all your aboriginal tribal witnesses and the midwife… the world is a fascinating place away from traffic, knuckleheads, petrol fumes and the concrete jungle !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Valerie,

      We do pride ourselves on being civilized in the concrete jungle, don’t we? All the modern conveniences for which some pay too high a price. Yet the aboriginal tribes seem quite content with their simple lives. Hmmm…makes a person wonder.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I love it when you come by for a visit. Cheers to you and yours. ❤

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Beautifully written, as always. Message oh so clear. You so often hear of people surviving extreme conditions, dangerous territory, only to be killed in a totally avoidable way. Outrage is not a strong enough word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I went to Thesaurus.com. Alas, the synonyms for outrage weren’t much stronger…resentment, anger, choler, acrimony, infuriation were a few. Nothing to joke about. It happens too often and not just teenagers. Not too long ago there was a tragic school bus accident…the driver was texting. Lives lost out of stupidity. Perhaps people should have to have background checks to own a cell phone. Okay…rant over.

      Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting. It means a lot.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Rochelle! What a tragic end. I always watch with disgust the drivers either phoning or texting, they kill or get killed but no one takes a lesson from that. You write so beautifully dear. Message loud and clear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Indira,

      So true…it seems where there are cars, cell phones and so-called civilization, there are these senseless tragedies. We see the news stories and think we’re skilled enough to be above that. Sad. Thank you for such a lovely comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • So sad. I wish that all types of vehicles had a black box that recorded phone use. Followed up by any accident when the driver is on the phone, resulting in them being banned from driving for life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James,

      Some stories are like that. As for the photo, I just found it on Google. I thought it would be nice to have an example of the indigenous. A bit of research for this one, but not history.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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