George Washington stood at the bow of the liner as the port came into view.

He was aware of the cameras and people around him, the helicopters above, the military ships alongside.

He thought about his parents. This was their homeland. They had left before he was born, as part of the evacuation. They had named their son after the 1st President. If only they had lived long enough to return.

Now, by virtue of his name, he was to be the first person to set foot back on that land. The radiation had dispersed. The climate was deemed habitable.

Americans sheltered around the world could finally return home.

© Lucy Fridkin

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

86 thoughts on “REHABITATION

  1. Dear Iain,

    That homecoming was a long time coming. Good story and nice use of GW’s name and the returning of Americans to America. We have not had to weather a storm like that. I wonder how we’d fare should that time come?




  2. I also hope your story isn’t prophetic!
    As far as the last line is concerned, in someways it is redundant but I’m Australian. So, for me the story is about America having problems but other parts of the world being okay. Don’t know whether that was your intention.
    Great story though.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Partly about that, also about how America and the rest of the world would react if it was Americans who suddenly became refugees, and how attitudes might change in that case. Thanks Rowena 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “Americans sheltered around the world could finally return home.”

    This presupposes the U.S. (current) unfriendliness towards refugees reverses itself. Cuz why would the world shelter the U.S. given current history in the making. I’d laugh, but it’s kinda sad…

    Another stellar write, Ian.


    1. Thanks Liz, that was the intention of that last line. If positions were reversed I’m sure American (politicians) would think again about their treatment of refugees – and other Western countries too. Many thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Interesting comment: among Fundamentalist Christians there’s a prophecy that people in the West will be refugees, and will get treated the same way they treated refugees. (The very people who played the prophecy were praising God that many state governors said, “Refugees not welcome!” — shortly after playing the prophecy!)


  4. Well done for cramming so much of a post apocalyptic world into so few words! just the right amount of info to let us know what’s happened without it feeling forced. Great stuff Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my gosh love this! I loved the story you packed in there, how you left most of it untold but showed us a completely different world regardless. I agree with a previous comment that the very last line is superfluous. You packed enough of a punch up until then 🙂


  6. At first glance, the name George Washington took me back to the “good old days” then – what? cameras and helicopters? So, I began again and read the piece beginning to end. The name worked perfectly in this scary little scenario.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So much story in so few words, well done. As the others said, I hope it’s not prescient, and I appreciate the turn-around-is-fair-play nature of the situation. I find it totally believable that someone in charge would choose the person who happened to have that historic name to be the first one to return; but what an odd coincidence, to be that person, in that horrible time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve nothing to add that hasn’t already been said except, great take on the prompt… goes to show that a name is not just a name…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A very moving story. In spite of everything going on around him there is a terrible sense of isolation and the paragraph about his parents is particularly poignant. The last sentence made me go cold. To me, it describes a momentous occasion but with nothing to celebrate. Great writing, Iain.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. ‘The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,’ is claimed by Dostoyevsky (and others). Perhaps in this day and age we should add how we treat refugees to our measure of civilization.
    Clever moving story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Scary and sad. It would be a miracle to restrict such a disaster to the US only, what about Canada, Mexico…? Let’s hope it doesn’t happen. Great and powerful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That was clever, as I thought you were writing a historical cameo of the real man, then suddenly “bam”, we’re in the future. As others have commented, I hope your story isn’t prophetic, considering these rather strange and unpredictable times we live in D:
    Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nice work Iain. I wonder how the refugees were treated when they arrived Elsewhere? And how they will fare on their return. Also I am wondering if any couldn’t get away and what happened to them?
    So many questions raised by just 100 words, well done

    Liked by 1 person

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