What Pegman Saw in North Korea: This Fragile Career

This week Pegman takes us to Samjiyon, North Korea…maybe.

When I scouted this location several days ago to prepare the post, there was no street view (unsurprisingly), but there were a half-dozen photo spheres on the North Korea side. The one I’ve provided above no longer works on the map when you search North Korea, and all but one of the photo spheres have vanished! If you zoom out you may still be able to get to a hotel room, lobby, or parking lot. All these are eerie, empty. And who knows, these locations may be taken down by the time you reach this prompt.

If that’s the case, you’re invited to select something from one of the photospheres across the border in China at the Tianci Tourism Holiday Village, where things seem considerably more lively.


This Fragile Career by Kelvin M. Knight

The order to delete the street views came in a flash. Mun Dowon flinched as Kim Hak-su barked what would transpire if the order wasn’t completed. Hunching over his keyboard, Mun Dowon regarded his colleagues’ empty desks and shuddered; their workstations had been replaced by cardboard computers hanging from the ceiling.

Deleting the photospheres was easy. Polishing their leader’s statue so it shone brighter than the clear blue sky was straightforward. Ensuring the forest was not too tall or too small was trickier. Balancing naturalness and unnaturalness required featherlight touches. Greying over any cracks in the courtyard was painstaking work, harder than clearing it of people.

Mun Dowon shuddered as he regarded the image. Somehow two figures blurred the scene. How? He zoomed in. Familiar faces smiled. His work colleagues. But they were… They waved. He swore. They danced. Sweat lanced his trembling fingers to the keyboard.

‘Go, away!’

(150 words)


To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own one hundred and fifty word story, click the Blue Frog button below:

 

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18 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw in North Korea: This Fragile Career

    1. Hey, Ivor, was watching the Bledisloe Cup when you commentied (on YouTube) The Wallabies looked so good in attack, but the All Blacks just tore them apart. Grrrrr. Guess they are still stinging from the Lions Tour draw. But… back to my post, thanks for commenting, yes, that line just came to me, glad you picked up on the surrealism, the emptiness, the fear hanging can do, especially computers reduced to cardboard cutouts.

      Liked by 1 person

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