Transience

joy

Image of euphoria

Kimbra was singing in her heart as she executed a series of flawless pirouettes. “We’re going to get married!”

She never thought Sebastian would ask her given the circumstances, and knowing he was a traditionalist, she was determined not to ask him.

But he did, he did, he did and she was walking on air and sunshine and then doing cartwheels. Kimbra had to stop because the crowds at the Village were getting too thick. She skipped and danced between the people, giggling and smiling at each of them, as if they were all the most wonderful human beings to grace the planet.

Sebastian was a total movie geek so the perfect place to have the wedding would be the Cinema. They didn’t have a large hall, just smaller party rooms, but they wouldn’t invite many guests. She still had to decide which of his three favorite movies they’d watch. None of them were romantic comedies which would make it tough, but she didn’t care if he wanted to watch Jaws as long as they watched it together on their wedding day.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Mauritius Robbery Affair: Messenger

nicosia1

© Dickelbers/Wikimedia Commons

Chapter Six: Messenger

Ian Dennis flew into Larnaca International Airport on Cyprus, but he had another airport in mind.

In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and the Nicosia International Airport, once the island’s principal air hub, was the site of extremely violent encounters between Turkish and Cypriot forces and was heavily bombed. Today, it is deserted, officially closed and, located within the UN controlled buffer zone, has been declared a Protected Area used as the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping force.

Fortunately, Ian has a few connections at the UN and in Cyprus security so he arranged for a private visit. He had a meeting this morning with her.

She stepped out from behind a security wall at what was once the Health Control centre.

“I see you continue to abide by the rules of British punctuality, Ian.”

“And you remain mysterious as ever.” He indicated a direction by waving his right arm and she joined him on an uncharacteristically casual stroll through the ruins.

Continue reading

The Hiroshima Legacy: From Tales of the Yūrei

Hiroshima

A mushroom cloud billows into the sky about one hour after an atomic bomb was detonated above Hiroshima, Japan – Atomic Heritage Foundation

“Five minutes out from target, Colonel. Altitude three two three three three feet. Local time zero eight one zero.”

“Acknowledged, Captain. Status of the package, Captain Parsons?”

“Parsons here, Colonel. Package armed in flight. Lt. Jeppson took the final safeties off 25 minutes ago. We’re set down here.”

“Acknowledged, Captain. We are a go for final approach and delivery. Descending to three one zero six zero feet.”

Colonel Paul W. Tibbets Jr. looked out the cockpit window, first to the left and then to his right. The Enola Gay was accompanied by two other B-29s, The Great Artiste was carrying instrumentation for measuring the heat and radiation of the blast, and no-name ship contained the latest photographic equipment to record what has about to happen.

Continue reading

The Minutemen of October

lights of sturgis

© Jan Wayne Fields

“I say we’re gonna get the code real soon. We’re at DEFCON 2. If the Commies run the blockade and the Navy tries to stop ’em, it’ll be nuclear war.

Despite his apparent anxiousness. Air Force Corporal Brandon “Red” Kowalski was still deemed able to man one of the 50 Minuteman missile silos on the Ellsworth Air Force Base complex north of Sturgis, South Dakota.

“President Kennedy won’t risk World War III over this. He’ll figure something else…” SSgt Tyler Lundgren stopped talking when the alarm went off. Lundgren decoded the message. Both men retrieved their individual keys. They were at war.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as an inspiration to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is exactly 100.

When I found out that the image is titled “lights of sturgis,” I looked that up and found out that Sturgis, South Dakota has an annual Parade of Lights. I also found out that “the vast Ellsworth Air Force Base complex, the land north of Sturgis was dotted with 50 Minuteman missile silos. The L5 is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the center of the town.”

That led me to think about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Here’s a quote from that article:

“On October 25, the aircraft carrier USS Essex and the destroyer USS Gearing attempted to intercept the Soviet tanker Bucharest as it crossed over the U.S. quarantine of Cuba. The Soviet ship failed to cooperate, but the U.S. Navy restrained itself from forcibly seizing the ship, deeming it unlikely that the tanker was carrying offensive weapons. On October 26, Kennedy learned that work on the missile bases was proceeding without interruption, and ExCom considered authorizing a U.S. invasion of Cuba. The same day, the Soviets transmitted a proposal for ending the crisis: The missile bases would be removed in exchange for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba.”

But what if the Navy did try to seize the Bucharest and tensions continued to escalate? The Soviets might not have transmitted their proposal ending the crisis and nuclear war could have been the result.

While all this was happening, I was an eight-year-old boy resting in a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska after having my tonsils taken out. I don’t have a clear memory of Mom or Dad, but much later on, Dad told me that while Mom and I were in the hospital, he and another Air Force airman were manning a missile silo preparing to launch their Minuteman at their designated target. You may or may not know that after receiving the nuclear go codes from the President, each of the two men had to individually insert a key into different locks and turn them simultaneously in order to launch their  missile. This prevented any one person from being able to perform the launch.

Fortunately, in real life, none of that happened, but at the time, everyone thought it would, at least the adults.

I know. My story has practically nothing to do with the prompt photo. Normally, I’m pretty literal, but this time, I had a different idea and I ran with it.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.