Published May 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman walks through  Portal, ND

Bizzy bizzy weekend so I’m late for the party, but I just can’t seem to avoid it. I’m not sure if it’s the lure of choosing my own prompt, since I choose the prompts for Friday Fictioneers. 😉 Nonetheless, it’s different and if the muse tells me a story I havta write it. Write? Of course, write! 

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post. Many thanks to J Hardy Carroll and K Rawson for hosting.

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.

The photo is a house in North Portal, Saskatchewan. My choice from Pegman’s smorgasbord.

Genre: Historical Faction

Word Count: 150


Elise picked up a magazine from the end table and flipped through the pages, stopping at an article about Portal, North Dakota.  “Lovely place. Looks safe.”

“Let’s start where we left off.” Audrey peered over her reading glasses. “Tell me more about your childhood.”

“Idyllic. I drank from garden hoses and bought spoon malts from the ice cream man.”

Audrey’s mouth twisted to one side. “Last week you told me your uncle forced you to—”

“Did I ever tell you about my dog Ami? Odd little Beagle. Hated to be petted.”

“Evasive.” Audrey wrote on her clipboard. “Tell me more about the fights at the diner.”

Memories flooded Elise. Four years old again, she huddled under a table.            

Dad lunged at Mom. “You selfish bitch!”

Mom hurled a napkin holder, clipping his forehead. “I hate you!”  

Elise bit her trembling lip. “Aside from that, I had a perfect childhood.”



  • You make me appreciate my aunt/mom, Rochelle. For all the verbal abuse Dad dished out, Mom took it and never really fought back. Consequently there was never the physical violence or throwing stuff in our home.

    I think she’d have left him rather than take abuse and he knew it. They got a long best by both having jobs and staying out of each other’s way. Never so much as a hug or kind word, but at least no violence between them. I got all the smacks.

    And did “Elise get smacked around, too? Sounds like Audrey is going to have to do a lot of digging — and in the end, will it help Elise to rehash the memories?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Christine,

      Most of the time my mother took it, but this was one time she didn’t. Dad was verbally abusive more than physically. This was only one of two times that I remember a fight going that far. (yes, true story time) It might have been about this time that my mother found secretarial job and left Dad to his own devices. Elise didn’t get smacked around…she was Daddy’s princess which came with a set of problems of its own.
      Audrey did have her work cut out for her. 😉 In the end, Elise sorted through her memories, and after years of therapy, both in and out patient, she learned to pour her feelings into her writing.
      Thank you.




  • Was this era of this architecture just naturally where the domestic abuse was more acceptable? It’s so odd because initially I got the same sense from the picture. Perhaps just picking up on the same vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Raymond,

      I suspect the house in the photo was built around the same time as the house I grew up in. It was built in 1956 and looked like a palace after living in a small apartment. I don’t know that domestic abuse was more acceptable, it just wasn’t spoken of. And children were taught that everything an adult said was gospel.
      Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle, what a wonderful story you have woven once again. Repressed childhood ,memories_ the theme is so appropriate and universal to most of us. The mirage of a perfect childhood, isn’t that we all carry forth into adulthood. Excellent, crispy writing, as usual, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Elise’s emotions, and fear of revisiting them, are palpable. Audrey needs to give her more space and let her speak in her own time. A realistic view inside the consulting room.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Historical Faction. Love your genre title. I wonder how many people actually had a totally wonderful childhood. Not many I’ll bet. I think for our generation, it was part of growing up. The consequences of what we went through seems to be more severe in today’s world. Anyway, good story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I can understand why some adults try to mentally cover up their dysfunctional childhoods. I had a best friend who visited at our home and I visited there, sometimes staying several days. Some families are good at covering up. I never knew her father was an alcoholic until about two years ago when she told me in an email. She decided to go in the convent right from high school and her father burned her photo album she’d kept from childhood. After her parents died years later, she came out of the convent. She finally married. Good writing as always, Rochelle. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Interesting story about your friend. I had a friend in a similar situation. From all I could tell when I was over at his house, he had the perfect family. They were fairly well off…huge house. I thought his mother was just delightful. It was years later that I learned she was an alcoholic. My friend was most excellent at hiding it. He did turn out to be a wonderful husband and father.
      Thank you, re my writing. 😀




  • I remember having a conversation with an acquaintance once and he was telling me what a wonderful childhood he had, so happy, that it truly was the best time of his life. I was genuinely baffled! What, you didn’t spend half of your growing up afraid, walking on eggshells, anxious, lying in the dark waiting for the nightmares to come? Is that possible, outside of storybooks?
    Thank you for sharing this, Rochelle. You handled the subject masterfully. That evasion is so real, the wanting to speak but the past being too uncomfortable, too difficult, it twisting inside you, refusing to come out. Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I had an idyllic childhood with my head in the clouds. I came down from there much much later and then zoomed back right up there! The land of dreams and fiction is so much better isnt it? Thank you for sharing your story Rochelle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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