Friday Fictioneers: The End


friday-fictioneersWhen I first saw the photo prompt last week, my immediate thought was of Hiroshima. I’m not sure why, but it nagged at me for days. However, I was really busy, and wanted to write something “happy,” to counter my dark mood. But even after I wrote my happy story, Hiroshima stuck with me.

I wrote this in minutes, and then Googled Hiroshima. There was the story of Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last remaining airman of the Hiroshima mission, who died this past Wednesday, at the age of 93. He died one week to the day, before the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945. I went back and added his name and his description* of that day. There are many who feel that the horrific events of August 6 and 9th (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), were singularly responsible for ending WWII. I hope y’all don’t mind my dual entry.

Please visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog, Addicted to Purple, to participate or read others stories in this series.

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The End (100 words)

“Do you think it’s the right thing to do Sir?”

“Son, I try not to think too much; bigger men than us make those decisions. This is our mission, and I’ll sleep fine tonight, knowing I did my job.”

“Yes, Sir. ” Crewman VanKirk remained quiet, double checking coordinates.

As their payload disappeared, the powerful plane shook, and for an instant he feared something had been sheered off.

“Oh my God. There’s nothing left.” He whispered to the universe.

“Let’s hope this ends the war, men!” The pilot called.

Below them, Hiroshima dissolved into a pot of black, boiling tar.*

*     *     *
If you enjoyed this post, please hit Like and then leave a comment; I love to hear what readers have to say.  Check out Tales From the Motherland’s Facebook page (my goal is 400 likes this year), and Twitter, where I struggle to keep it brief.  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.© 2014    If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.

 

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29 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: The End

  1. FYI … I thoroughly enjoyed your last week’s entry “Smokin’, Babe” and thought about commenting at the time, but that was the first week I participated in these and was hesitant. :-D

    • Well thank you very much ZombieSymmetry, and welcome to Friday Fictioneers and Tales From the Motherland! I’m glad you decided to take a chance and share your thoughts. I’m coming up on my first year at FF, and haven’t missed a week yet; I love it! This week, I went overboard, with 2 posts… :-p It happens sometimes. I hope you’re enjoying participating; I’ll run over and check out your story. I’ve been crazy busy this summer; sorry I missed it last week.

  2. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Dawn, Good story and I did hear the news about the last airman from the Enola Gay dying. My father was stationed on the air base that the Enola Gay took off of in 1945. I hate that it happened, but do believe that many soldiers were spared death. If the Emperor had been reasonable to begin with, this would not have happened anyway. I am so very sorry that people are cruel. I love my country, and I think it was the only thing that we could do, because the Emperor was not going to give up. Nan :)

    • This is a subject that has been argued and discussed for decades. I’m not sure I agree entirely, Nan, but I respect your opinion and understand why you feel that way. It was a terrible event in world history, born of many other horrible events. I’m glad your father came home safely!

      • Nan Falkner says:

        Dear Dawn – I am glad too – They didn’t have any kids yet – thus – my brother, and my twin and I. We had a great life – very, very little money, mother made all our clothes and we were all loved. My dad didn’t talk a lot about the war – he was a medic; Have a good week! Nan :)

  3. Dawn, last year I read a non-fiction story about Hiroshima and the details were horrific. Glad you posted twice.

    • Thanks Alicia! I hesitated, but the story just wanted to be written. ;-) I find the details surrounding Hiroshima and Nagasaki almost unbearable. Thanks for taking the time to read two if my stories this week!

  4. We can only imagine what the crew on that plane was thinking. Eloquent job of describing it. Let’s hope we never feel the need to do that again.

    • Thanks for the kind feedback. In reality, we don’t have to guess, as there are several accounts of their experiences, which the various crew members gave, over the years. That said, it’s hard to know if they ever could fully explain that experience! Yes, I hope we never– NEVER– have to do that again.

  5. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers: The End | ugiridharaprasad

  6. Dear Dawn,

    We can argue until we’re my favorite color and it changes nothing. Good story and a fitting memorial.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • Thanks Rochelle. Yes, I think this topic has been argued to death, over the years. It was a horrific moment in history, brought on by many other horrific moments… war, is a very ugly business. Thanks for taking the time to read 2 entries this week, Rochelle. Your time and effort, as well as your thoughtful responses are always appreciated. Shavua Tov!

  7. Dawn, Good story and timely. I have no trouble remembering that date because it was my 4th birthday. I hate that it happened, but there’s no doubt that it saved the lives of many in the military at the time. I understand the reason it was done, but I don’t think that kind of force should ever be used. Well written as always. :) —Susan

    • Well than, Susan, happy birthday this week! It is a sad memorial, but a happy day for you– as it should be. I hope your 73rd is lovely. Thanks for taking the time with my story, and for sharing a memory.

  8. subroto says:

    Did they know what the scale of the devastation would be? Maybe not, maybe ethics got left behind in the desire to know what they could achieve. Armed with that knowledge will we ever let it happen again?
    Great imagining of what the crew may have thought.

    • Thanks Subroto. Admittedly, there was less imagining than you give me credit for. If you follow the link, Mr VanKirk shared the quote I included. There’s certainly been a lot written about the event and the men who (physically) dropped those bombs…while I think much was known about the devastation the nuclear bomb would deliver, I’m not sure anyone truly foresaw the actual toll. Or, I hope not. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment; I appreciate it!

  9. wmqcolby says:

    We talk nuclear bombing like we’ve been doing it for years, but the reality was it took two countries and two bombs and that was all. Nothing else like it has happened since 1945 … thank God. Interesting, though, is I thought of the Enola Gay, too, when I saw the prompt. But, I didn’t want to go there and I probably couldn’t have made it work. You did, though, and wonderfully. Two stories for one this week. Great!

    • Really excellent points, Kent– especially about me making the story work! (joking). Truly, it is an important point to remember that it was done once, and never again. Thank God, it’s never come to that, and I truly hope it never does. As soon as I saw this photo, that’s what I thought of… interestingly, on the very day that Mr. VanKirk died. *cue creepy music* Thanks for your feedback on two posts this week; it’s doubly appreciated!

  10. Mike Lince says:

    Interesting topic for your story. Indirectly, my father’s life was spared by the dropping of the A bomb on Japan. The expedited surrender by Emperor Hirohito that ended the war with Japan led to his release from the Japanese POW camp where he was held in Manchuria. He probably would not have survived the protracted, conventional war we were engaged in at the time.

    In the end it was the terrible math of war that led Truman to make the decision to drop the bomb – 150,000 Japanese lives vs.150,000 American lives. Given those options, it is not difficult to understand his decision to use the bomb. While those numbers seem terrible, they pale in comparison to the civilian casualties (~500,000) in Germany due to Allied bombing by the Allies. The only difference was those were conventional weapons. However, we don’t spend so much time wringing our hands over the German lives that were lost, probably because that bombing campaign was considered payback for Hitler’s bombing of England.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking article. – Mike

  11. Amy Reese says:

    Wow, how interesting that these men died at the same time as you wrote this. Coincidence? Who knows? Sometimes, you just got to stop and listen and write what’s simmering beneath. Well done. Great imagery, Dawn! The pot of black, boiling tar is quite effective. You are so versatile.

    • Thanks Amy; that is so nice of you! The boiling tar is a direct quote from VanKirk (hence the star and credit). I found the timing “interesting” too… I can’t say how strong the image was, for me. I just felt like I needed to write about Hiroshima. Powerful anniversary.

  12. The horror of wars is always hard to discuss… I have always found the bombing of Nagasaki more gruesome.. for several reasons.

    1. Nagasaki was one of the few cities that harbored a big Japanese (largely Christian) population
    that had been spared to that point.
    2. The main reason for dropping the bomb was to test that the alternative technology used in
    making the bomb had to be tested.. Japan was very close to surrender, and would have done
    so too.

    The story in itself is a chilling account on how it must have felt… and the war ended that much is true.

    • Björn, I opted to not address Nagasaki here– though that anniversary is this week as well. I wasn’t aware of those details, but the horror that was unleashed on both cities is hard to fathom still, all these years later.

      So great to see you back, Björn! Thanks for taking the time!

  13. Jill says:

    Hi.

    I nominated your blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

    Check it out here:

    http://ripplesoftruth.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/inspired-by-the-unexpected/

    Regards,
    Jill.

    • Jill, Thank you so much for this lovely honor and thoughtful gesture. I am always touched when someone really enjoys my blog, and my writing. It’s one of the reasons I write: to connect with others. Thank you! That said, I don’t participate in these awards anymore, for several reasons– the two most important being: 1) I find it hard to recommend others, as there are so many blogs I love. And more importantly 2) I’ve said it all. I can’t answer questions or share more, that hasn’t been said in other awards or in my blog posts. Given my crazy schedule, I don’t have the time to write award posts anymore. However, I am sincerely touched and I have given a shout out to you on my Flash Fiction post for today. I’ll try to do the same on my next post as well. Again, thank you!

  14. tinabasu says:

    Dear Dawn, very nicely written.. its unfortunate that i happened.

    <a href="Tina from The Sunny Side of Life“>Tina from The Sunny Side of Life

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