June 16, 2015–Prompt–Bomb Shelter

Write on the Edge Prompt 6-16-2015

(this weeks prompt was a pick six it went thus: Your character enters a bomb shelter, he sees a fire extinguisher on the wall someone else enters and there is the smell of fresh air.


The day started out well – the usual for a summer day in Yuma. Hot! Very Hot!

Most Yuman’s have discovered it is best to do outside work early in the summer, the earlier the better. Gramps was born and raised in the desert, growing up well before AC was the norm. He appreciated the cool morning air provided by Mother Nature.

At 72, Gramps had a long list of projects to finish. His forgetfulness and gnarled hands keep him from scratching many from his list.

Today he was determined to clean out the old family shelter. Built during the cold war era; the shelter was a subterranean structure in the corner near the herb garden.

Opening the door, Gramps reached up and flicked on the power switch to active the air pumps and lights. Bent over with broom and dustpan in hand, he slowly made his way down the steps and into the bowels of the 8’ by 8’ shelter.

He was not prepared for the sight before him. At the foot of the stairs was a pile of loose soil. It was damp and rich in humus. It gave off a musky odor. Gramps was completely dumbfounded.

He searchingly looked around the walls. He looked up and down, side to side. There. There was something down by the storage units on the West wall. A lone fire extinguisher was dangling from a loose bracket. The screw holes were enlarged and crusted with dirt. There, going down from the bracket a termite mud tube.

He did not like what he saw. There were termites here, and another thing to add to his list.

By JoAnne Mowczko

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