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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · War · #2132016
Flash Fiction - Old habits die hard.
“Crops doin’ well,” says Paige, looking over their cornfield from the porch of their farmhouse.

“A-yep,” says Bob, her husband. Bob shifts a straw between his lips from left to right and back again.

A murder of crows erupts center field and scatter in all directions, followed then by a blast and a towering flame speeding off, leave Bob and Paige looking skyward.

“Well, lookee thar, what be that a-flyin’ outta the cornfield?” says Paige. Left hand placed above her eyes as if saluting.

“Don’t reckon ah rightly know, I'm a guessin it might be one o’them thar nuke-lee-are miss-iles,” says Bob, dusting off his hat and setting it back on his head. Replacing the straw in his mouth with a chaw of tobacco and checking his watch, Bob says, “Well, I reckon it be time to fire up the grill. Call my sister. And get out them cold beers.”

And like a groundhog, the tip of another missile pokes its head out of the hidden silo.


Surrounded by the smell of meat cooking over a flaming charcoal grill and the roar of missiles launching compete with a cacophony of voices chewing the fat.

“So,” says Bob, turning over a burger. “I’m having a BBQ one day, a day very much like today, and it’s got to be some 30 years now, and my buddy Billy comes up to me …”

“Any of you keepin’ count?”
“Eleven by my last count …"

“… He’s the 20-year live-in boyfriend of Beth, the town Jezebel and first lady. She was friends with my younger sister Betsy and Betsy was friends with Billy’s sister, Paige, my wife,” he flips another burger.

“Nope, it’s 13, I got here earlier …”
“Yep. I counted 13…”

“… And Billy, the pyromaniac, puts his hand in his pocket and pulls out what looks like a silver M-80, an’ he says ‘Bob, d’you know what this is?’ I says ‘An M-80?’ an’ he says, ‘Nope. I made it. It’s better than an M-80.’ So, I says ‘What can it do?’ Billy says, ‘It goes bang real loud. Let’s set one off.’ So, I says to Billy, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea Billy on account of all those attending the BBQ might not approve.’ Walkin’ away, Billy says, ‘I’m gonna light it anyways.’”

“Any of you know what kind …”
“Reckon they could be Eye-See-Bee-Ems, or LG-Ems or M-Eye-Are-Vs…”

Bob pops a can of ice-cold beer and takes a swig and then says “Minutes later we all hear a loud bang. That’s when Billy shows up covered in feathers and his eyebrows missing, and he says, ‘Bob, sorry about your chickens.’ I must say Billy had this town thinking he was plum loco. But I think he made out real good in the end, movin’ on up to President of these here United States.”

“Hey Bob, guys, lookee thar! Why’s that one a-comin’ our way?”

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