The Joke That Bombed

1945 punchline

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.’

——————————————————————


This story appeared in Mind Clearance

If it messed with your mind in a way you liked then why not buy a copy?

Published by mike olley

Mike Olley writes short fiction. He has two collections of very short stories available, Better and Mind Clearance. His work has also been published online as well as in several anthologies. Originally from London, he spent a few years in Spain before a quirk of fate brought him back to live in an English seaside town. He now spends his time gathering storylines washed in by the sea.

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