Home » What Pegman Saw » My Bit of Paradise – What Pegman Saw

My Bit of Paradise – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman takes us to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This week’s location was suggested by James over at Powered By Robots. Be sure to stop by and visit his blog where he shares all manner of marvelous short stories.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Feel free to use the image provided in the prompt, or chose from photo spheres around Kinshasa. Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the linkup below.

I had a bit of trouble getting this one going but finally, something came to me.  Thank you always to Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly challenge.

My Bit of Paradise

“You live here, Bienheureuse¹?”

“Oui, mon frère².  Don’t you just love it?”  Her smile was positively beatific.

“It’s so far from civilization.  Why would you choose here?  And it’s so small!”

Bienheureuse’s smile never faded.  “Say what you will, Mamadou.  I love it.  I bought this place with my own Congolese francs after years of saving and working my fingers to the bone and fighting off men like you.  You?  You have nothing.  You abuse women, expect them to do for you while you sit on your ass.

“Mama was right when she named me.  I am very happy with my little bit of paradise.  No man can take that away from me.  Get off your lazy butt and do something good with your life!”

Mamadou’s smirk faded.  “You don’t under—”

“Don’t even! You are not possessed by bad spirits. You need to change your attitude.  It starts with you.”

¹Bienheureuse literally means “Very Happy” and implies woman as it is the feminine gender

²Frère means brother.



50 thoughts on “My Bit of Paradise – What Pegman Saw

  1. I know (thanks to my living in France) tons of Congolese and your story could be absolutely true. Well thought out! I find that Congelese women are mostly very hardworking, selfless and very, very strong. They do still get too soft on their men, many of them, but they’re learning – In France you get tough or you get under…. Just ask me! 😉

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  2. Dear Dale,

    Good for her. She’s a strong woman. Love the way she flew in his face. It sounds like he’s made excuses for his behaviour before and she’s not buying to it this time. I’ve heard the claim that God is really the one who names us. 😉 Perhaps, Mama had inside information when naming her daughter. Good one, my friend. One of us had to write a cheerful piece this week. 😉

    Shalom and hugs,


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  3. Q,

    Nicely woven into happier places born of strength and perseverance! To the idea that a woman’s self fulfilling prophecy is her divine right, and not owned by any other individual. This is the hope. For better places in a too dark and oftentimes thankless world.
    And beatific . . . nice word!

    Peace and owning your own future

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  4. As others have said, Bienheureuse is such a great character, shifting for herself and not taking any excuses from her useless brother as to why he can’t do the same. I think she’ll live a very long and contented life in her little spot of paradise. Lovely story with great characters Dale

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  5. Well played on the names! My first thought was how you engaged in my perception of African spirituality.

    PS: You know that I don’t venture into fiction very often, but the next post (in 15 minutes) is another step for me.

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  6. I really like the voice of the woman here, who has been through so much and is taking a stand to live her life her own way. I hope she is able to stay safe in her small retreat. And I love the name!

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      • As someone who grew up with the name Joy, I have some sympathy for anyone saddled with a name like that — other people expect you to act like your name, unreasonably so sometimes. As though you have any choice about what your parents named you! Luckily, I feel like the name Joy fits me pretty well. Thank goodness I wasn’t named something like Chastity or Prudence, lol!

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        • I like to think the Universe gets involved when it comes to naming kids… or maybe we just simply adopt the persona that fits it. I wouldn’t change my name despite the headaches it can cause living in a French province. What? Isn’t that a BOY’S name? Sigh… yes… and a girl’s AND can even be a last name…
          Oh hell no… How does one live with such a name?

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