[Weekly Writing Prompt] Alternate History

Fifty years ago this week, the US discovered that the USSR was building nuclear missile bases in Cuba. The two weeks that followed brought the two countries closer to disaster than ever before or since.

Public domain photo from CIA records

The Prompt

Write a story set in an alternate history where the Cuban Missile Crisis turned out differently and someone did launch a strike.



If you want to read up on the actual events, this Wikipedia article seems pretty good. I particularly liked the part (well, not ‘liked’, but you know what I mean) about the Russian submarine, the facts of which were only disclosed in 2002. What if the commander had made a different decision? What if Miami had been hit by a nuclear bomb.

You don’t have to write a Tom-Clancy-style military thriller here. Imagine anything in the alternate history of the world, from a mother trying to find clean water for her kids, to a history lesson for Fourth Graders.

Your story could treat the subject tangentially. It could be the kind of story you normally write, only with a few details in this world different: maybe there are only 49 states now (or maybe there are 52), perhaps Disneyworld was relocated to Pennsylvania “after the big war”…

You don’t have to be too serious. People lived and loved and laughed through the Blitz. People in an alternate timeline after Cuba would have to find ways to do the same, or humanity wouldn’t survive!

The Rules:

1. You should use the prompt in your story (however obliquely you use the ‘want’, it should be there in the character and all their reactions).

2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.

3. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.

4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Don’t miss my short story: After Cuba  #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/?p=2648

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is about the Cuban Missile Crisi #storyaday https://storyaday.org/?p=2648

Come and write with us! #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/?p=2648

See my story – and write your own, today: After Cuba #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/?p=2648