I read today’s prompt is flee, and my first thought was spelling. Flea would have been an entirely different subject. But I was transported to the old book Anne of Green Gables. When she arrived at Green Gables, fresh from the orphanage she made certain that they addressed her as Ann with an E.
Even though that was a serious issue for her I have another story about flee that is more sobering.
I won’t share any details, but nuclear weapons must be serviced at regular intervals. And that is where this story begins.
Three technicians were in the service building doing what they did everyday when one of them shouted “IT’S GOING TO BLOW.” He was referring to the hydrogen bomb he was working on.
The three of them fled the building, only to realize they could not flee far enough, nor quickly enough, to escape the detonation. So they dropped into a ditch to await their demise. But it didn’t explode. And no one knew why.
After a time, they re-entered the building and reported the incident. Supervisors notified supervisors who notified other supervisors. In a short time the area was isolated, guards posted, and they waited. Mum was the word.
That evening a C-124 aircraft arrived and the weapon in question was transported to New Mexico for evaluation (the flight crew must have been thrilled).
Six weeks passed before a classified message was received from the New Mexico facility. A number of switches must fire in order to detonate the bomb. The last one didn’t fire.
I am living proof that it didn’t.
Of course these stories don’t make the front page. Though I was only two miles from what would have been ground zero at the time of the incident I didn’t learn about it for nearly 55 years.