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  1. #1
    Brandon Cleveland
    Guest

    Dropping the bomb ...

    This is from my newest historical fiction. This is at least how I think it'd feel under the pressure.

    His stomach hurt, like being hit with a cannonball; feces leaked onto his underwear when the nervousness caused him to lose control of his bowels.

    Twenty seconds.

    He pressed the necessary buttons and pulled the levers to prep the weapon.

    Ten seconds.

    He sees the intricate grounds of the Japanese Imperial Palace, untouched during the bombing raids earlier that year.

    Five seconds.

    The middle finger of his left hand held tight to the ‘launch’ button, he whispered a silent prayer.

    Ding.

    At thirty thousand feet, the bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” fell from its chamber with a clink sound, like when a roller coaster fights to get up a hill.

    Wallace increased his speed and altitude to make it as far away from the detonation as possible – if he didn’t, his plane would crash.

    He was eleven miles away when a flash of light lit up the sky brighter than the sun ever could. The early morning sky went from white, to yellow to orange before going back to black.

    Even from that altitude, he heard the explosion, like God himself clapped his hands high in the sky. And then … silence.



  2. #2
    Cindy Kay
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    Brandon,

    Quite a dramatic place to start. L

    Is this one of the A-bomb drops? Are you sure that was over the palace?

    Anyway, a little word flow suggestions.

    "His stomach hurt, like being hit with a cannonball; feces leaked onto his underwear when the nervousness caused him to lose control of his bowels."

    The very reason you use similies and gross things like pooping pants, is so that you don't have to write mundane things like "nervouness caused." Don't do that. We'll know he's nervous if he's got stomach cramps and is ****ting his pants. Right?

    How does he see intricate grounds at 30,000 feet?

    How does a sky that starts as white go back to black?

    The climbing roller coaster sound is continuous, but you're trying to convey a single clunk so doesn't work.

    Why not name our guy? It really helps us start to identify with him. But maybe this is just a prolouge sort of thing and we'll never hear from him again?

  3. #3
    Brandon Cleveland
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    Cindy,

    thanks for the words - I'll try to clarify what may be confusing.

    My newest novel is an alternate history, kind of like "what if instead of dropping nukes over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we dropped them over Tokyo."

    This chapter is actually a flashback of an alternate George C. Wallace, who instead of becoming governor of alabama, he stayed in the military during WWII.

    Let me post the stuff before, tell me what you think:

    It’s early August, 1945.

    Major George C. Wallace is the lone pilot flying over the clear skies of early morning Tokyo. He named his B-52 bomber “Alice in Wonderland,” after his dear wife who took care of him after the brutality of the hands of the Japanese.

    His palms are sweating, and his jaw can’t stop chattering.

    Visibility is good – great as a matter of fact.

    He hadn’t slept in three days, and before that only because of the suppressants the doctors put him on. It’s like a kid trying to sleep on Christmas, but the opposite. He had a gift alright, but it wasn’t going to bring much cheer.

    Even Alice wasn’t aware of his mission. It was a matter of time before she found out – before they all found out.

    The Japanese will be sleeping when the bomb drops. It will be many years before they can sleep again.

    A voice came in over the radio. “Visibility scheduled to remain clear for ten minutes, major,” the voice said. It was Groves, making sure things went right down to the second. “We have confirmation that Emperor Hirohito is on the palace grounds and will be for at least another hour.”

    “The package will be delivered way before then, general.”

    Silence.

    “Then God bless you, son. God bless.” And radio contact was silenced.

    Two minutes before he’d fly over the target. Wallace’s whole body shook in fear and angst. His heart beat fast, so fast he thought it was going to pop. His lip twitched and his eyes blinked hard. Don’t pass out, don’t pass out, he thought.

    He vomited up the oatmeal he ate that morning onto his lap, and wiped his mouth clean with his jacket sleeve.

    One minute before target.

    Lights in the city looked like tiny fireflies staying still in the infinite night. If he thought of the people down there as nothing more than insects, maybe Wallace could live with himself afterward. Bugs, he said. They’re only bugs.

    His stomach hurt, like being hit with a cannonball; feces leaked onto his underwear when nervousness caused him to lose control of his bowels.

    Twenty seconds.

    He pressed the necessary buttons and pulled the levers to prep the weapon.

    Ten seconds.

    He sees the intricate grounds of the Japanese Imperial Palace, untouched during the bombing raids earlier that year.

    Five seconds.

    The middle finger of his left hand held tight to the ‘launch’ button, he whispered a silent prayer.

    Ding.

    At thirty thousand feet, the bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” fell from its chamber with a clink sound, like when a roller coaster fights to get up a hill.

    He was eleven miles away when a flash of light lit up the sky better than the sun ever could. The early morning sky went from white, to yellow to orange before going back to black.

    Even from his distance, the explosion sounded like God himself clapped his hands high in the sky. And then … silence.

  4. #4
    Mark Phillips
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    I actually like it quite a bit. My favorite quote of the bombing, and I hope there is a way you can work this in, is Truman's message to the Japanese after the second bombing:
    I'm paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to look it up.

    "They must now accept the terms of our surrender. Or else they will experience a reign of ruin from the skies the likes of which has never been seen on the face of this Earth."

  5. #5
    Janice W-D
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    Brandon,

    In this alternate history, did you give Gov. George an alternate wife, Alice? In real life, his three wives were named Lurleen, Cornelia and Lisa.

    Best,
    Janice

  6. #6
    Brandon Cleveland
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    janice -

    in my alternate history, wallace was shot down over the pacific and held as a pow so he never married any others. He ended up marrying the nurse he met after being rescued

  7. #7
    Janice W-D
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    Brandon,

    Ah, I see.

    Janice

  8. #8
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    Alternate history has to be credible down to the last detail, else the reader will turn on you. Here are some issues I see:

    feces leaked onto his underwear... . I don't buy this. Any crewman selected for this mission would have nerves of ice.

    Major George C. Wallace is the lone pilot... . The real Wallace was a sergeant. Making him a pilot is alternate history piled on top of alternate history. Is your focus going to be on Tokyo as the target? or Wallace as the pilot?... Also, I doubt if he would be the lone pilot. (In reality, the Enola Gay carried a crew of twelve.)

    “We have confirmation that Emperor Hirohito is on the palace grounds and will be for at least another hour.” This sounds school-boyish. American intelligence regarding events on the ground in Japan was spotty at best.

    Just some thoughts. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Brandon Cleveland
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    Jayce,

    I dont care how brave or hardcore you think you are, when you are on the field (whether it be on the ground or in the air), it is pants ****ting terror, take it from a marine.

    It's true, Wallace was a sergeant, but he was diagnosed with spinal meningitis and he received an honorable discharge.

    In my book, as a fighter pilot, he never got meningitis because he was shot down and tortured for two years by the Japanese, losing many of his fingers on both hands.

    The Enola Gay did have a pilot and copilot, as did the Bockscar (though I'm not sure twelve people were on hand during the mission), and there was air reconnaissance, but it was pretty much a lonely mission. Since it's not the Enola Gay, I chose to have Wallace pilot it alone. It fits the story.

    And as far as what happened on the ground, we knew well what was going on in Tokyo because we bombed it to hell destroying EVERYTHING but the Imperial Palace in March 1945.

    The reason we bombed the Japanese was because they refused to capitulate and give up their emperor (which we finally agreed to for some reason after the bomb dropped).

    As far as the scene and its focus, Wallace is not the MC, but this segment is from his POV. Tokyo being bombed is the pivotal event that makes this book what it is. The book takes place in the 1960s, and Wallace is now a general. So I would not consider this alternate history stacked on top of one another. Wallace never caught meningitis, because of that, he was promoted and was tasked to bomb Tokyo, with another person bombing Kyoto a few days later.

    Thanks for reading it and the suggestions though.

  10. #10
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Dropping the bomb ...

    Since it's not the Enola Gay, I chose to have Wallace pilot it alone. It fits the story.

    Not even in an alternate universe is anyone sending a plane carrying a nuclear weapon up with just one pilot. That would be the height of military incompetence.

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