SOCS – Explosion

Linda G Hill’s prompt is as follows: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “xp.” Use it as a word, or find a word with “xp”in it. As always, use any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I wrote a bit of a story. An imagining of the beginning of a nuclear war for someone living outside a target city. Here it is:

“Her fingers flew across the keyboard creating new words and sentences, highlighted in red, on her computer screen. The document she was working on had to be submitted to the stock exchange the following morning or the roadshow timetable would not be achieved. That would make all the teams to this initial public offering look incompetent in the eyes of potential investors. She was pushing hard to get all her changes made so she could send the financial sections back to the lawyers before the 6 P.M. deadline. They would turn the changes around overnight and she would check them first thing the following morning. I’m glad the lawyers will have to do the night shift, she thought. I should be finished by 4 P.M. and can get home in time to take Tom to his psychology appointment at 5 P.M.

The murmur of excited voices from the rest area down the passage did not filter through her deep concentration until it escalated to shouts of horror and shock. Looking up, she noticed that her desk was the only occupied one in her section of the office; even her assistant had disappeared. A frown wrinkled her forehead. We won’t finish early if Sue doesn’t get her section done quickly.

“Jen! Come quickly. You’ve got to see this,” Sue’s voice, loud and distraught, broke into her thoughts. A mild feeling of alarm stirred her into action. I’ll go and see what she wants. I could use a trip to the loo anyhow.

A throng of her colleagues was gathered in front of the television. Every pair of eyes was fixed on the large screen television and not a sound or moment disturbed the sudden complete silence as they gawped at the events unfolding in front of them.

Turning her own eyes to the screen, she saw a picture of a man filling the screen. His skin sloughed from his body and his flesh seemed to be running like candle wax as he staggered towards the camera, blinded eyes staring, and arms held out in a gesture of appeal. The scene changed. Jen could almost feel the practically noiseless but blinding explosion, followed by a brilliant fireball that boiled upwards into the blue sky. The sky darkened and the soft, white clouds rippled as shock waves fanned outwards, with a grey cloud of radioactivity surging after them. Oh, my God. What’s happening? Dread clutched her in its tight embrace making breathing difficult. Other cities flashed onto the screen, showing similar scenes of devastation as a frenzy of retribution fell upon the leadership of the world. New York, Washington, London, Sidney, Tokyo, Shanghai, the list when on and on. Nothing here; not yet.

She shifted her eyes to the large windows. Outside the room nothing had changed and inside, only the terrible astonishment and horror of the small audience, bunched around the television, blighted the normalcy of her surrounds.

Suddenly, fear hit her. She needed to get home to Tom. Around her, the other watchers were stirring, expressions of panic on their white faces. The group suddenly splintered in all directions as people ran towards their desks, grabbed their bags and keys, and stampeding towards the elevators and stairwells. Jen made her way down the stairs, weeping silent and horrified tears at this unexpected turn of events.”

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18 thoughts on “SOCS – Explosion

  1. Oh my GOD Roberta, you have written this SO well. I have often imagined what it would REALLY be like in the event of this happening. Makes me shydder. Great writing

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Priscilla. It was like this at work on 9/11. We were all busy working and someone ran in and told us that planes had flown into the Twin Towers. I remember it being so surreal – just like a movie.


    1. Thank you, Teagan. I am glad you enjoyed this. I was writing this just before we left to go to the theatre to see Chicago. Terence said “What are you doing so busily?” and I said “Oh, I am just destroying life on earth as we know it.” Grin.


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