Published August 26, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Flash fiction is a valuable training tool for all writers. It helps promote clarity and precision by forcing the writer to be succinct.

This week WHAT PEGMAN SAW travels to North Korea. Be very careful of what you say to whom you say it.

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.

 Many thanks for hosting this challenge to Karen Rawson and  and J Hardy Carroll .

For this week’s challenge I revisited a Friday Fictioneers piece I posted two years ago, added 50 words and gave it a new title.

Genre: Realistic, Historical and All-Too-Current Fiction

Word Count: 150


            At thirteen Myung Hee was three years older than the rest of my students. Despite my many scoldings, they laughed at her and called her babo.

            One day I found her weeping in the schoolyard.

            “What’s wrong, gongjunim?”

            “I’m not princess.” A single tear trickled down her cheek. “I feel sorry for these children. They are not understand.  In time a heart beats this light can be snatched from them.”

            I tried to hug her but she pulled back. Her swollen eyes, old beyond their years, pierced my heart.

            “My baby brother and I escaped Kim Jong-il’s prison camp, but two days later I buried him in the desert with only the stars to see. I thought South Korea would be the center of my dreams, but they lie with my brother in darkness.”

            Myung Hee’s words resonated deep within me and, in that moment, the teacher became the student.   


27 comments on “ASLEEP IN THE LIGHT

  • Okay, I admit that I used the same photo as the prompt for my story, but I didn’t read any of your content before crafting my tale. Yours is so poignant. South Korea wasn’t the pinnacle of her dreams but perhaps in time she’ll learn to make a new life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James,

      Sadly this is the common story for many refugees. The even sadder part is that while South Korea is so close, it’s so heavily guarded that these people must leave through China. I think Myung-Hee will make a new life for herself as evidenced by the many testimonies I’ve heard. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      That film clip has been floating around for sometime, along with many others of its ilk. I don’t imagine those children were allowed much playtime. The expressions on their faces are just this side of eerie. Thank you re my story.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    So beautifully written, as is now expected of you 😉
    Like Suzanne, I cannot help but wonder what kind of life those children in the video have.

    Lotsa love


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Magarisa,

      I base Myung Hee on a woman I heard who shared her experience before escaping North Korea. She had seen her first public execution by the time she turned 7. I suspect Myung Hee did, too. Definitely wise beyond her years. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Yank my heartstrings, why don’t ya? A sad, sad story, well-told. Such a hidden culture, one can only imagine the reality… and some of us have seen enough that we don’t need too much of the imagination factor. Hate to say, Great story, but it is.

    Liked by 1 person

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