The Balkans as Inspiration? (Part 1)
A Hot and Steamy Friday Fictioneers
I’ll wager that got your attention, but my only meaning is the heat wave we’ve been experiencing here on the east coast. Yes, summers in the mid-Atlantic are supposed to be hot and humid, but this goes beyond that to oppressive. Makes me want to return to the wonderful seventies in Oregon. (And did I luck out there–I spent a week there between two heat waves. I must have racked up some particularly good karma.)
The heat leaches energy and creativity from every pore of your body, and though I had a concept right away for today’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt–the bicycle had been placed just so to signal someone–I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to go. A pre-arranged signal for an elopement? An indication to a roommate to stay away a while longer? A warning of an unwanted guest?
Each of those sounded pretty intriguing, but my thoughts came back to a place I’ve dealt with in fiction before–The Balkans in the 1990’s, the scene of some of the worst genocide based on religion since World War II.
Many aspects of the civil war in the Balkans baffled historians and diplomats, namely, how could people who had lived together peacefully for centuries suddenly turn on neighbors, even family members by marriage? That was the aspect played up most in the western press. What we didn’t often see were the selfless acts of courage by one ethnic group to protect the other. I’ve tried to pay homage to that in “Band of Brothers.”
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