The news ran up and down Burning Fork and Birch Branch roads in Magoffin County, Kentucky faster than the water in the creeks. The family ran into the house to turn on the radio, their only means of communication with the outside world. The address by the President of the United States was playing. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the U.S. had entered World War II.
The young man from Michigan enlisted in the Navy. He was to be sent to Kentucky where his fate would intertwine with that Appalachian family because of this Great War.
Picture credit to @Bikurgurl
It was a working class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. For the news media, it was made to look as if it were 1950’s America. Neat rowhouses indicative of northern cities, with mudrooms in front and widow’s walks. Coach lights. The snow was heavy that winter and you even saw the tracks of cars. Fortunately, for The Autocrats, the snow covered up how rundown those rowhouses were getting. He wondered, peering out the window through the draperies, if the news media realized there were no cars parked along the street or in the driveways. Those car tracks were made by The Autocrats’ cars. The news media had been brought there to see and report how normal everything was since The Autocrats had taken over. They had imposed a news blackout in the areas they had overtaken earlier in 2019.
The people had been warned to stay inside their homes. The Autocrats had allowed a few to be out walking, but only if they were white and known sympathizers. There weren’t many mixed race people left in decent places anymore. He had heard they had all been herded to ghetto-like neighborhoods. But, you couldn’t believe the news allowed on television by The Autocrats. The rumors were that their DNA had been tested and they had been sent to the areas of the world from which their ancestors came to America. The Autocrats were gradually asking for DNA from everyone.
There had initially been protests by the people when The Autocrats troops arrived. They were quickly extinguished with guns with real bullets. Tens of thousands of citizens of the city were murdered in the streets. The Autocrats, he’d heard, were living in Washington, DC now. Not yet in the White House, but he figured it was only a matter of time.
Able-bodied men were put to work in ammunitions factories. Women were employed in either sewing factories or were made to cook and sell food. Any other type of commerce was gradually shut down.
The news media were furiously scribbling in their journals. Cameras had apparently not been allowed. They had disembarked from cars in front of his house.
Suddenly, a journalist turned and saw the fence. By the direction of the overhang, he could tell it was meant to keep people out. He ran over to it and called out to the others in the media. One of them grabbed a fence pole and was immediately electrocuted. Some of the media pulled out tiny cameras and started taking pictures of the fence and their fallen colleagues.
The Autocrat’s guards jumped out of their cars and killed them all on the street. He could barely see for the tears in his eyes. He mourned for them and his country.