Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 06: UNDER HETTY PEGLER’S TUMP

Posted: 18 December 2012 in 12DaysFF, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , ,

Warren Ellis is a writer. It sounds harmless if you say it fast enough, doesn’t it?

There is absolutely nothing I could tell you about Warren Ellis that you wouldn’t believe.

This one’s for you, mate, with grateful thanks for way too many things to list.

Title: Under Hetty Pegler’s Tump
Word: susurrus
Challenger: Warren Ellis
Length: 200 words exactly

“…no, no problem at all. Yes, goodbye.”


The old woman wasn’t really annoyed as such; any irritation was far too familiar. She’d become good-naturedly resigned to the telephone call, the letter, the email, or occasionally, the personal callers.

She remembered the article that these days caused her so many wasted hours, and a wry smile surfaced. Briefly.

It was a short Internet piece, on the history of the Neolithic burial mound overlooking the Severn Valley, naming Hetty Pegler as the seventeenth century landowner. And on every anniversary (the birth, the death, the purchase of the land) the approaches would come.

She’d politely explain that no, she wasn’t a descendant; the name was pure coincidence, she’d tell them.

And they’d leave her alone. Until the next time.

It amused her to think of the archeologists and palaeontologists investigating the tump, the rumours of pagan worship, never knowing what was buried far, far below the barrow. It had been a pity about her late husband, but the old gods had demanded something in their soft, susurrus whispers… something in return.

And mistress Hester Pegler would chuckle to herself, switch on the flat screen television, and marvel again at the twenty-first century.

© Lee Barnett, 2012

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: Why Can’t Reindeer Fly? – challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 02: Around and Around Again – challenger: Wil Wheaton
Day 03: Hell Comes To Greenland – challenger: Jason Arnopp
Day 04: It Shines Like Mud – challenger: Greg Rucka
Day 05: Frederick The Unopened Package – challenger: Amanda Palmer
Day 07: The Impossible Box – challenger: Mitch Benn
Day 08: Away In A Manger – challenger: Tony Lee
Day 09: Typos and Typography – challenger: Kieron Gillen
Day10: Why Santa’s A Jerk – challenger: Ed Brubaker
Day 11: The Wrong Christmas Cookies – challenger: Matt Fraction
Day12: The Christmas That Wasn’t – challenger: Jamie McKelvie

“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, are available from, and in some countries on Amazon. ebooks available from the author; email for details.

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