I walked down Urban Street where the kid had taken the bullet last night.

The Community Center sat on the corner. It looked like a vacant lot. All the windows were boarded up.

I heard singing. A mournful gospel voice. I pulled open the door and edged in. The choir broke into a powerful cry.

A minister spoke as the choir subsided. He demanded change for the nieghbourhood. More jobs. More money. Stop the violence. Stop the drugs.

I saw who I had come for. He turned and saw me. He knew. When the choir started their next song, he walked down the aisle towards me.

‘I just wanted him to stop,’ he said. ‘I didn’t mean to kill him.’

‘You shouldn’t have shot him then,’ I replied and took him out the door.

Another beautiful Buffalo day, another family torn apart by gun violence.

So what’s new?


Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

33 responses to “URBAN STREET”

      • Good question, but I am afraid of the answer.
        I just hate how really we have all become kinda of used to it. IT doesn’t shock us anymore to hear of a shooting in the news.
        When that shooting happened in Florida at the airport recently, my daughter saw it come across the TV in breaking news. She called out to me, ” Mom, there was another shooting.”, No shock in her voice at all. That’s what stood out to me and made me sadder. What kind of world is it going to be for our children?

        Liked by 1 person

      • From the point of view of Europe, we look at the shootings, one after the other, and it just seems strange to us that nothing is done, that the law isn’t changed. What would it take to finally change the laws? It seems no massacre is big enough.


  1. Very well written. Gun violence is a real problem. I couldn’t have imagined anyone bringing a gun to school, now it is a real fear for students. I know the piece isn’t about school shootings, but I thought of that as my niece and nephew are still school age.
    Sadly, I don’t see the racism that drives the sort of scene you’ve written about here disappearing any time soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, it doesn’t seem like there is the collective will to do anything about it, whether through gun control or the underlying social problems.


  2. Powerful words. True to the bone. Very very sad. Just last week, we had a little nine year old girl murdered in broad daylight by a driveby shooter. It was over the river from us, but still just as shocking. Everyday, I watch the little ones wait for the bus outside my window with phone in hand (just in case), and I pray for their safety. Every afternoon, I watch them come home, and my heart whispers a thankful prayer upwards when I count all the little heads, and then hear them run up the steps to the floor above us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chilling story. This highlights how alien gun control – or the lack thereof – is to people outside of Europe. I can never wrap my head around how something so lethal can be so easily obtained in the US, or why it’s so mired in controversy when anyone even attempts to change the laws or make them stricter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Powerfully written and sad story. In researching to write for this prompt, I came across true-life version of this tale in the headlines just this week, only a few blocks away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw that too, I think it was just the next street along. My thoughts were heading that way before I saw that news story. Sad as it seems to be predictable. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Iain,

    The last line made me gasp with indignation. What’s new? How desensitized we can become. I’m as guilty as the next person and have even uttered the words, “What’s new?” Then two weeks ago a friend’s fiance became a fatality.
    Good story, although hard to read and not point a finger at myself.




    • Thanks Rochelle, I’m glad the story had an impact. One small thing we writers can do is try and remind people that this shouldn’t be the norm, we shouldn’t be desensitised and we should keep trying to point this out and change things. My sympathies to your friend. Best, Iain.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, they say guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But it’s a darned sight harder to kill people if you don’t have a loaded weapon in your hand. Sad, true and well written, Iain. I could see it being something longer – a police procedural in a community that’s lost, on the brink of chaos

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is, but in a society whose constitution is built on the right to bear arms, with a pioneer, fighting spirit woven into the fabric of their national psyche … It’s going to take a long time to shake those traditions

        Liked by 1 person

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