Monday, September 7, 2015

War Games Make Children Of Us All

Bomb shelter
A hundred metres underground

“Marni, I want to pop the bubbles.”
Delighted clapping. “Oh yes, Marni, please? Please can we pop the bubbles?”
Marni casts a sidelong glance at their mother, curled against the absence of their father by the wall. She nods. “Let’s pop bubbles.”
The twins squeal in delight.

Four and a half thousand metres above ground

“Reckon you can hit something today, Dan?”
Dan laughs over the intercom. “I’ll hit more than you!”
He can practically hear Pete’s grin as he replies. “You’re on.”

The Strategy Room
Miles away from chaos

General Robinson rubs his hands together in glee. “We’ll get ‘em yet, Sir. Those smarmy bastards’ll be running with their tails between their legs.”
The President nods. “Go get them.”

Bomb shelter

Marni blows a shiny sphere, faintly iridescent in the shelter’s dim light.
Jordan grabs his sister’s shoulders. “Wait! Wait for it to float first!”
“But I want to pop it now!” 
Marni lets loose a stream of perfect orbs.
The twins squeal and dance, leaping up and down and left and right as they try to catch them all.
Pop pop pop pop pop.


“Bomb’s away!”
Dan hears the sound of Pete’s plane dropping its load, even over the sound of his own engine.  He laughs and releases his own. He imagines the sound of it hitting its target.
Boom boom boom boom boom.

Strategy Room 201

The President leans forward over his desk, fingers gripping the edge whitely. “Well?”
The General smiles. “Got ‘em. Every last one.”
Mr President rocks back on his heels, exhaling. “Damn, but that feels good.”
“Yep,” General Robinson agrees. “Perfect desolation. They’re gone. Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.”

Bomb shelter

Marni can hear the scream of the bombs approaching. She ignores it, watching the twins as they whirl and dance, writhing with pure delight. They catch the final bubble, and the perfect sphere explodes. They laugh. The lights go out.

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