This is a response to a Friday Fictioneers 100-word photo challenge. These people standing together in single file, in the rain, brought to mind a protest I attended in Heilbronn, West Germany, in 1985. It took place outside the American military base, where nuclear armaments were located.
There were many peace activists there, and lots of signs that expressed the general discontent of the locals–such as “AMIS RAUS!” or “Americans, get out!”– regarding the Cold War encampments of American soldiers and military hardware. The bases had been there more or less since World War II, and showed no signs of leaving, forty years later. In addition, the rhetoric had started ramping up under Reagan, and nuclear accidents or accidental nuclear warfare seemed more and more likely.
This protest attracted media attention, in that a few news stations, even one or two from the US, attended. I remember being totally paranoid, that I would get caught or seen on camera and suffer some repercussions from this unsuitable behavior. This, fortunately, did not happen.
Hope you enjoy my fictional re-creation of the scene, and thank you, both for the prompt and for reading!
April settled like a wet blanket, around the fenced compound at Heilbronn. Lousy anti-nuclear-missile-protest weather.
Joss trudged uncomfortably, beside Erik.
Her hood slid back, exposing her uncooperative, totally recognizable hair.
“What if I’m seen?” Her gut tightened.
In two short years, Reagan would demand Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall. But for now, the Cold War seemed interminable.
“AMIS RAUS!” signs screamed.
Joss blushed. Anonymous, in this swirl of pacifist students and gray-hairs.
Barring disarmament, Germany would become the battleground. Conveniently wedged smack-dab between the two belligerents.
Erik dragged her toward the shoulder-camera.
“Joss. Time for an interview.”
For another side to contemplate, read The Other Side.