The Joke That Bombed

1945 punchline

Oh, I forgot to mention, at the start of this month I won two minor writing competitions with my short fiction. Both with a limit of 200 words, one story was based on the prompt: “a piano lesson” – I took inspiration from the Laurel & Hardy short where as removal men they deliver a piano. The second comp. story was prompted by the word “laughter”, I came up with this:

The Joke That Bombed

Moonlight cast a blue glow over the desolate quarry. The chain-link fence had been cut, dusty footprints formed a path leading into the disused mine, now a forgotten storage facility.

‘There it is!’ Jed and Sam’s phone lights rested on the unexploded bomb rumoured to be stored here.

Sam’s beam picked out the stencil writing on its side: “1945 Punchline.”

‘Punchline,’ said Jed, ‘also known as the “Joke Bomb”, developed by the Peaceniks to end WW2 in a nonviolent manner; through laughter. Made of rubber, the bomb was designed to burst on impact releasing a failsafe joke targeting both sides equally. Boom, war over: no one can fight when laughing that hard. And the clever bit is the addition of a memory-suppressant causing everyone to forget a Joke Bomb had even been dropped.’

‘Did it work?’

‘They never tried it… (??) What are you doing?’

Sam pushed the bomb over the edge of the mineshaft. After several seconds silence there came a distant fart noise.

Both boys sniggered. Then jumped as a whoosh of blue air erupted from the deep hole.

Sam guffawed, struggling to say: ‘What just happened?’

Jed rolled on the ground weeping with laughter, ‘Dunno, I can’t remember.’

©MikeOlley2017


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