Unanswered Questions (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Unanswered Questions (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Photo Credit: John Robinson

The people watched in horror from their apartment windows as the young woman jogged across the bridge. A normal sight under normal circumstances, but these were not normal times.

Had she not heard the public service announcements about the air quality?

Five days ago, North Korea launched a nuclear bomb that exploded mid-air. A cloud of radiation slowly drifted toward the West Coast. Alerts went out to all residents from Seattle to Portland: the air was no longer breathable. The President consoled the citizens and assured them the government was diligently working on a solution. Until then, a mandatory curfew was in place.

How could she not know? How is it even possible that she can breathe?

Parents covered their children’s eyes, protecting them from the shock of what would surely be an agonizing death.

They questioned how they could warn her.

Would pounding on the glass get her attention? Could they put up a sign?

There must be something someone could do.

As the minutes passed and the woman seemed unaffected, a more horrifying thought began to take form.

How is it she can breathe?

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. John Robinson provided this week’s challenging photo

20 thoughts on “Unanswered Questions (Sunday Photo Fiction)

  1. I had to look this one up. If North Korea detonated a nuclear device in the atmosphere, it wouldn’t cause a radioactive cloud, but it would result in radioactive fallout. However, if they detonated it near North Korea, it would pose no danger to the American west coast, nor would the fallout be dangerous for more than a day or so.

    I found an article at Business Insider which offered up the details.

    That said, maybe our mysterious jogger is a mutant…or worse.

    1. But there is the possibility it is all a government cover-up/lie. In that case, “most” Americans would accept what they already believe. There would be some, like you, who would figure out the truth and try to warn the rest of us. Then the government would try to silence you. I’m not really a conspiracy theorist but it could be a good story.

      1. It’s hard to cover up an above ground nuclear detonation. Too many nations have the ability to detect it, plus the International Space Station might even be able to see it.

        The issue of a radioactive cloud vs. radioactive fallout is science, not politics. People have been deeply concerned about the consequences of nuclear war ever since we dropped atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. Since then, we’ve amassed a great deal of information about the aftermath of a nuclear blast.

        I’m sure there are some really terrific conspiracies going on out there, but most likely the real ones, the ones being covered up by the government, will hardly be suspected by most folks.

        Just my humble opinion at any rate.

    1. Maybe so Reena. Or not so plugged in that she just didn’t know (since in the USA we now have to rely on Twitter for our news LOL). Thanks for commenting!

  2. Love the not -so- ending-an-ending. How indeed is she able to breathe? She must be captured and turned into a lab rat- so we can find the answer. Sorry, these are desperate times!

    1. One of these days I will get better at ‘complete’ stories. For now, i will just leave your imagination hanging. Thanks so much for your comment Vivian. I appreciate you taking the time.

  3. Misinformation and disinformation. I wonder how many of these witnessed the explosion for themselves? None I imagine which is why she can breathe. BEcause nothing happened.

    Good story Susan

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