Wednesday, 11 March 2009

MULTIPLY Visual Aid #2: In the middle of nowhere


Jack’s father had built the house himself, each wooden slat fitting perfectly with the next. There were family photos showing a proud granddad Joe with his arms crossed standing next to the finished home. It took a long while to get everything together. He put it up on stilts to make sure it would be safe if it rained too much, and to keep the animals away. He fenced it in – just as a precaution. In those times you could not trust everyone. There were too many homeless travelling looking for work and somewhere to stay. Not all were honest, and the tales were many of farms being looted, set on fire, and the farmers even being killed just for the clothes on their back. So Joe took no chances and kept that sturdy wooden fence in order.

Eventually Joe and his wife died and the farm was passed on to his eldest son Jack. He was proud of the farm but as the years went bye the world started to change and Jack’s children were not satisfied. They left the farm and moved into the towns.

Somewhere in an office in a capital town Jack’s surroundings were being examined.
“That is an ideal place” The man in charge said “just what we need, take a look” and his co-worker had a look admiring his chief’s intelligence once again.
The co-worker’s eyes pulled the map to see it better but holding a cup of coffee in one hand, a splash of the dark brown brew landed on the map, just at the place where Jack’s farm was.
“You are right sir” he said, “nothing at all to be seen. We don’t even have to get anyone resettled.”

A few weeks later it was a dark stormy day. The clouds were gathering and plunging Jack’s farm under a veil of black. On this day there were even no birds to be seen in the sky. It was as if they had sensed that something might happen. The white fence was strongly reflecting the boundaries of the bare brown field around the house.
“Martha, looks like a storm is brewing and I have to go into town and get some supplies. Might do us both a bit of good to take a drive out.”
“Yes, I think so Jack” answered Martha “Perhaps we could stay overnight in town, my sister would be glad to see us again. We could come back tomorrow.”
“Good idea Martha, let’s get going and keep the storm behind us” and the two of them drove off.

If they had not gone to town they might have noticed that the area where they lived was suddenly surrounded by soldiers. Everything was being fenced off with barbed wire and metal signs showing “Danger – keep off” were being distributed. Martha and Jack were the only people living there. The neighbours had moved on a long time before.

“Jack, did you hear that noise”
“Yes, and that was loud, seemed to come from behind us.”
And then Jack and Martha felt a very strong wind blowing behind them, so strong that the car was forced along the road at a higher speed.

Three months later Jack and Martha were no longer. They had died from the effects of the radio-active fallout that had struck them on that fateful day. At least they were saved from seeing that their farm was no more, destroyed by one of the first nuclear tests. It had been covered by a coffee stain.

Visual Aid #2: In the middle of nowhere

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