Published November 9, 2019 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman goes to Guyana, South America. Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by this week’s location. Feel free to use the image supplied with the prompt, or zoom in to Guyana on Google Maps and find your own inspiration. Warning, there are not a lot of photo spheres, but the more you zoom around the more you’ll find.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others at the link up below. You may contribute, poetry, prose, or essay–or whatever the location inspires you to write. Reading and commenting is part of the fun!

click the frog. You know you want to. 

Thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating this challenge.

The following is an expanded version of a story I posted 4 years ago in Friday Fictioneers. For those of us who remember…let us never forget. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150


            Like a frightened animal, the girl huddled in the darkest corner of an abandoned shack on the beach. I offered her refuge in my winter home in Bridgetown. After much coaxing she accepted.

            “Where are your parents?” I asked. “Do they know where you are?”

            She fell into my arms, shaking with anguished sobs. “Dead. Everyone’s dead.”

            I embraced her, unable to stem my own tears. “You’re safe now.”

            “He promised us a rainbow family in Paradise,” she whispered the next day over lunch.

            “We saw the bastard on the news. How did you escape?”

            “I told the guard Father wanted flowers for the meeting. I hid under bushes all day, ran all night and then stole a fishing boat. I floated a long time.” She licked her blistered lips.

            “Scorcher today.” My husband burst onto the patio, pitcher in hand. “Kool-Aid anyone?”

            “No, thank you.” She choked. “Not ever.”  



19 comments on “WHITE NIGHTS

  • A chilling story and all the more so for being so closely based on fact. But it’s not black and white, is it? As the interviewee says in your link, we have to ask ourselves why so many people were prepared to leave their homes to follow Jim Jones to Guyana. Marginalised people will look for a saviour if they feel there is no other way to be treated fairly or for their voice to be heard and that’s what people like Jim Jones rely on. It’s a lesson we muct learn.
    As always, you do a wonderful job of personalising a large story. Tragic but wonderfully told.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lynn,

      With this being the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht this weekend, we can see how people are duped into following monsters. Jews in turn of the century Russia thought Marxism would be their rescue from Czarist tyranny. 😦
      I can still see the photos from the aftermath of Jamestown…so brutally tragic. Thank you for your kind comments.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Kristallnacht – such a chilling world event, a true warning from history for us all, a reminder to be watchful, for if this kind of thing is allowed to happen, worse will follow. The problem is when people are struggling, in a terrible situation, when their lives are in danger or they’re oppressed, it’s so easy for a charismatic leader to tell them what they want to hear. And they believe because they want to. We all need to look below the surface, at hidden agendas. Always a pleasure to read your work, even if it’s traumatic


  • Oh man. Forty years on the eighteenth of this month, but still as horrible and shocking as ever. Well done. As you pointed out, Guyana is much more than Jonestown, but I still vividly recall reading about it in Time. The very next week, Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone were murdered in San Francisco. Jones had helped both get elected.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Unfortunately, Guyana will always conjure up in my mind, and history, the pictures and news reports on the news and the Life magazine spread. Your story is well done and the use of Kool Aid at the end just seals it closed. Those who do not know of these events probably won’t get the Kool Aid but the rest of us have it indelible stamped in our memories. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I recently heard an article on NPR about Jonestown. “Reliving” that scary time is as horrifying now as it was then. I looked up videos about Jim Jones. I always wonder how people like him get away that sort of thing. Lack of self-esteem? Not enough money? Too much money? Sad state of affairs, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lish,

      Those are tough questions. The incident is as chilling today as it was in 1978. I can’t imagine otherwise intelligent people being duped to that extent. But then, we can look at Nazi Germany with the same bewilderment and the list could go on. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.




    • Dear Karen,

      This was one I couldn’t pass up. After all it’s been 4 years since I wrote the first version with 50 fewer words. 😉 Thank you for your kind words. It seems three of us went the same direction.




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