Flash fiction: Going Underground

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Most men get a shed. My dad got a bunker.”

As she laughed, her epaulettes quivered like the top-lip foliage of a retired colonel.

The two tons of reinforced concrete had been decommissioned in 1993, leaving 135 Cheshire civil servants unemployed – stymied by Glasnost.

The family bought soon after it and parked the family tank out front. Lucy was four then.

“It’s my birthday soon,” she said.

“November 9, 1989. It’s fancy dress.”

She walked me breezily round the exhibition and we cupped our ears as the four-minute warning blasted over the PA in the decontamination room.

“I believe a second Cold War in my lifetime is a distinct possibility,” she said amongst the warning lights of the control room.

The epaulettes didn’t quiver this time.

She could see I was troubled by the image of my daughters leaving school and walking home in the acid rain.

“But we’re ready.”

* I’m thinking of entering this flash fiction in a competition organised via Cheshire Libraries for the Chester Literature Festival. Do you think it’s good enough? Share your view.

 

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