In memory of the estimated 135,000 people who lost their lives in Hiroshima 72 years ago
Warning: Contains racially-offensive but historically-accurate sentiments and language. Part of being a historical writer is depicting another time and place accurately, no matter how much I might disagree with certain aspects.
Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week I’m switching to my third Russian historical, Journey Through a Dark Forest, in honor of the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. This scene comes from Part IV, “The Good It Is Their Hap to Find,” Chapter 88, “A Happy Ending…or Not?”
Twenty-year-old Darya Koneva returned to America in June 1945, with her best friend Oliivia and some new friends who are related to a family Darya’s youngest stepaunts are friends with. Darya and Oliivia were exchange students in Paris, but they were trapped by the Nazi occupation towards the end of their year abroad.
Darya doesn’t feel ready to face her parents and tell them what really happened to her after she and Oliivia were arrested for participating in an anti-Nazi demonstration in 1942, so she’s staying with Oliivia’s parents in New York. She’s now out with Oliivia’s younger sisters and their godbrother Dmitriy, who’s in a Naval training program. Oliivia is busy with her new beau, Darya’s young uncle Osyenka.
The clocks are striking eleven as they walk through the streets of the Upper West Side, and a number of people are clustered in groups and pairs, either talking quietly or loudly chattering a mile a minute. At first Darya wonders if this means the war is over, though she’d expect people would be screaming it from the rooftops if that had happened. She hopes it doesn’t mean President Truman has died, or that the Allies’ fortune has suddenly reversed.
“Did something important happen?” Dmitriy asks as they enter his favorite ice-cream parlor.
“I should say so,” one of the soda jerks says. “President Truman was just on the radio announcing we dropped an atomic bomb on some Jap city called Hiroshima. It’s the most powerful bomb ever. I hope we drop bombs all over their monstrous country and kill them all. This should’ve happened a lot sooner.”