October 28th 1962, the town of Midwest, Wyoming, USA.

‘But why clothes pegs?’

‘Very useful things, you never know when you might need one.’

Jack looked again at the selection of jars and packets on the shelves.

‘It doesn’t seem like much. Wouldn’t we need to stay underground for months or years?’

Victor sighed. ‘It’s a start.’

Jack picked up a bottle of brandy that was only half-full and looked at Victor.

‘Aunt Doris been round, has she?’

‘We can replenish,’ Victor paused and glanced at the top shelf with a guilty look. ‘We might need to top on the red wine too.’

‘Let’s just hope they can hold off the missiles until you get back from the store then.’


Later that night the news announced that Krushchev had agreed to withdraw Soviet missiles from Cuba.

Sitting among crates of supplies piled up in the living room, Jack consoled a crestfallen Victor. ‘At least we’ve got plenty of brandy and wine to celebrate with.’


Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story, in around 150 words based on the weekly photo prompt. For more information visit HERE.

For more stories based on the prompt this week, visit HERE.


  1. Best to be prepared, though eh? Jack would have been grateful for those clothes pegs if the world had gone bang. Nicely written with a wry sliver running through. Great stuff Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  2. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was a little boy in the hospital having my tonsils removed. My Dad was in the Air Force, and many years later, I learned he was in a missile bunker with a fellow serviceman waiting for orders from the President to fire their nukes.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was only made aware of it by my parents when I was an adult. As a child, I was totally oblivious to the crisis. All I knew was that I had my tonsils out and my throat hurt. Ignorance is bliss.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes it’s definitely better not to know some of the things going on, or we’d all be stocking our bunkers I’m sure!


  3. I’m sure they are thankful they get to enjoy all that wine in peaceful times and not in the bunker! This day and time, I often think we should start stocking up our safe haven….our world is changing rapidly and it is not for the good! Great story and a reminder (not that most of us need it) of the serious decision to be made soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked the story for the neat way it highlighted common human nature. We tend to focus on the immediate and personal losses/gains without considering the larger picture. They are more worried about the piled up food rather than being relieved that there wasnt any need of it! Good writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I well remember all these worries in the ’60s, and the relief when it all eased off. I like the way your story takes a look at those times in a fun way, and blaming poor old Aunt Doris for the lowered brandy level was a gem. Let’s hope such shelters are never needed again – although I’m sure there are still plenty around today, just in case. Well written, Iain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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