Welcome to Ohio!


The dull thumping of the helicopter blades shake the walls inside the house.   A family of four hides in the basement.  They have been through this before.   They know what’s coming.   It’s the same life for two years. The places change, but the people are the same.

Nizar holds his wife, Amira.   She curls over Sharma and Tarek.   The huge 1200 for home is empty save for them , a couch, and a couple beds.  They were told they were safe now.   The promised land of America.   Everyone here starts with a chance.   The vibrating walls says different.

Nizar remembers a dark car ride into Lebanon.  His family split for two weeks.  Their gold bought them passage.   Not peace.  In a week, it was a refugee camp.   Registering his child as criminals for lack of an official immigration form.  

Truck driving skills landed him work inside the camp.   He would transport the sick to infirmary, then food back on same truck.  The sick infected some of the food.  More bodies would flow one way.

He won a slot to Greece.  His family would be shipped like cargo to another place further from the death of his home town.  Another country, a different language.   He was told the had no way to support the refugees.  They would be homeless.   But it was away from the street violence. 

There was no peace. The people of Greece were not ready for his kind.  Years of stabbings followed the refugees across the country.   The family unable to speak the language ended up in a traveling mass.  The nomads plotted across the country. Shortly the government placed then on trains to move then further along.   Cattle cars made to house people.   The conditions of the camp seemed better.

The rails ended in Germany.   Another camp, another chance.   Another job helping by driving a truck.   Another chance.   This time it was permanent.   The intake to America.   Refugee gold.   A house, a government sort for him for a year, education for his children.  The land of milk and honey lays a plane ride away.

His mind is jarred.   A large crash upstairs.
Voices call out.   The family doesn’t move. The sounds of feet above them.   There was no furniture to hide under.  There were no objects to conceal.  The only thing was to wait.

The soldiers came down the stairs.  Automatic weapons raised.   Full battle dressed men against a small unarmed family.  Their words a mystery.

“Get up! Hands where we can see them!   Everyone step apart.   Feet spread! Stand against the wall!  Hands out!  Move! Move! Move!”  Yells one of the men from the back.

The family looks dumbfounded.   They don’t know the words but have an idea of what is required.  Slowly they give in.

“Sergeant,  I’m not sure they understand English.” Steward looks at his leader.

“Steward, they will!” He snaps back.

This is highly fictionalized! The photo taken over a residential street of an unknown raid. There was no publicity afterwards here. So on top of the Governor of the state declaring we were afraid to help non European refugees, it felt appropriate.

Peaceful Use of Nukes!

Really the US government was willing to use for civilian projects.   Project Plowshears (as if it could be anything else) was designed to blast harbors and tunnels.  We had these new bombs, and since there wasn’t a good war going on, why not take on mother nature?


The Left Click of Destruction

PHOTO PROMPT – © Marie Gail Stratford

“There was a time when rivers ran free.  There were tall plants, we called trees.   The ground was brown and covered in solid patches of grass…” Grandpa Julius pauses, pulls off his fishing hat, adjusts in on his head. “You see at your age we had a wireless libraries.   Lights powered all night long.”

Abraham looks at him with big eyes of a six year old.

“One day, the President had this device called a mouse.  With one click, the war started.  No-one knows why it happened.  Some day maybe you’ll see a light, fake sun in your room” his voice falters.