Summer Story Contest 2013 winner: 'What We Did About Nuclear Warfare'

RAE WOOD | Updated 7/25/2013

Illustration by Charlie Zimkus

When the sirens woke you from your sleep, you weren’t surprised.

You are Midwest born and raised. You are used to this. Childhood memories of eating dinner in the basement while watching the movement of a storm cell on Doppler Radar. Waiting patiently for your county to stop flashing red for “Tornado Warning.” Imagining the roof of your house being peeled away by the howling twister, piece of pizza snatched from your hand, spinning up into the void. You often get sucked up with it in your dreams. Waking next to your lover in a cold sweat.

– a new weeooweeeoo developed to signal apocalypse. Louder than the siren for severe weather. Hollower, more haunting – implemented and perfected due to the resurgence of nuclear threats. Schools have taken to showing the 1950’s Civil Defense Film telling students how to “Duck! And Cover!” with the help of a very cautious Bert the Turtle. Children sing Bert’s song on the playground while playing at Nuclear War.

Yet, options remain: do you head underground, or do you face the fallout above ground?

If you duck and cover, click here.

If you face the fallout, click here.