Katacha Díaz is a Peruvian American writer. Wanderlust and love of travel have taken her all over the world to gather material for her stories. Her prose and poetry has been published internationally in literary journals, print and online magazines, and anthologies. Her most recent credits are: Harvests of New Millennium, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Pangolin Review, Poppy Road Review, The Galway Review, Taj Mahal Review, Westview, Barely South Review, Ethos Literary Journal, Poetry Pacific, Anak Sastra. She lives and writes up in her perch in a quaint little historic town at the mouth of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, USA.
By Katacha Díaz
October 1962 . . .
It’s the height of the Cuban missile crisis.
News headlines read —
SOVIET MISSILES IN CUBA
U.S. BLOCKADES CUBA
RED SHIPS FACE SEARCH OR SINKING
Fear is in the air. It is a tense political and military standoff. While JFK navigates uncharted waters with Khrushchev, a Soviet Navy submarine plays hide and seek with the American Navy in Caribbean sea waters.
Television, news headlines, and our family and friends all have opinions and messages for the young 35th President —
PRESIDENT KENNEDY BE CAREFUL
PEACE or PERISH
In Connecticut, the blaring sirens during the school day is an utterly terrifying reminder this could be the real deal, not a duck and cover practice drill. I’m in history class, down on the floor on my knees, and hiding under a not-so-sturdy desk. I’m petrified, fighting back tears. Is this another scary Air Raid Drill, or are weapons of mass destruction on their way to Greenwich? I’m holding my breath and praying. Hiding under my school desk won’t protect me from nuclear annihilation, but no matter what happens, I know prayers offer solace and peace.
For thirteen days in October, as the world hangs on the brink of a possible nuclear war, the fear of a global calamity is palpable.
It’s a dangerous game of political brinkmanship between the two superpowers.
Who will blink first?
JFK or Khrushchev?