Chernobyl Was a Very Bad Thing

Posted: August 18, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , ,

Today Pegman took us to Pripyat, Ukraine. Years ago I met a Greek couple who had been affected by the Chernobyl Disaster. Although they were elderly, they were frailer than their age warranted. “Chernobyl,” the husband said, “was a very bad thing.” I’m dedicating this story to them.


Oh, such a racket! Men shouting, babies whimpering, feet stomping, horns honking, dogs barking!
The eerie sound of gears grinding to a halt.

“Enough noise to wake the dead,” someone said. But the dead did not wake up.
Thirty-two years later the bodies are no longer counted because after all this time
there is no proof The Disaster caused the aches and pains that drag people toward death then allow them to plunge into darkness.

No proof?

For nine days heat from the fire spilled poison up into the sky where it drifted like a bevy of black angels hiding inside the wind.

How far? Who knows?

Tourists come to view the remains of our town, snap pictures of themselves in front of the decaying Ferris wheel, dust-covered dolls hiding behind gas masks, empty beds, blackened toys.

But no one can take a selfie beside the acrid scent of destruction.


  1. k rawson says:

    Wow, stunning work. Such a powerful story, both lyrical and tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great image of black angels hiding inside the wind.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. prior.. says:

    Powerful – the tourist part was sobering
    And nice dedication to the couple you knew (so sad)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale says:

    This was brilliant, Alicia. One of your best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 4963andypop says:

    Bitter, biting. The contrast between experiencing the tragedy, suffering through it, and being told the suffering’s cause wasnt provable. And then the tourists getting cheap thrills, taking selfies in the ashes. Powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t “like” this post. It’s too tragic. But, wow, it is an amazing and powerful piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s a powerful polemic you’ve written, Lish, with some memorable images.

    Liked by 1 person

      • pennygadd51 says:

        Dear Lish
        It was certainly meant positively!
        Your piece isn’t so much a story, though, as a dramatization of some of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Polemic seemed a more accurate description. And there is some powerful writing there. Two examples that I particularly liked were
        ‘“Enough noise to wake the dead,” someone said. But the dead did not wake up.’ and
        ‘where it drifted like a bevy of black angels hiding inside the wind.’
        Glad to here you’re deep in revising your novel – that must be very satisfying. But I hope you find time to squeeze in the occasional FF or WPS story!
        With best wishes

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, yes, I see what you mean. Thanks for returning. I’m in the throws of “nothing” right now. As in What DO my characters want? Why IS one of my main characters (the raven shapeshifter) doing among the Indians? What? When? Where? Why? The best part is the woman who last edited the entire novel said there’s but one big revision and a couple of tweaks before the novel will be ready to submit. Apparently, I’m very good at scenes and dialogue. That’s a plus.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pennygadd51 says:

        Working out motivations is what I’m doing as well, with ‘The dove on the pergola.’ It’s tricky, and it needs to be right. Go with your instinct as to what feels right, Lish!

        Liked by 1 person

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