through a glass darkly...


Come Friendly Bombs

Once there was a teenager called Toby who had a row with his mum and dad.

Nothing unusual in that, you might say - it happens all the time. But Toby was a little more creative about revenge than most. Instead of sulking for days, or locking himself in his room, or tearing all the best bits out of his dad's sports magazines or replacing the washing-up liquid with glue, he got his own back in a unique and inventive way.

That night after a few too many beers he got out his dad's ladder and a tin of scarlet paint, and clambered up to the roof. The slope was alarming, especially after those beers, so he anchored himself to the chimney with a length of his mum's washing-line. To avoid drunken wobbles he marked out some lines, and painted the words 'BOMB HERE' in large friendly letters across both sides of the tiles.

His parents were out at a Daniel O'Donnell concert and hadn't a clue it was there. The only clue was a damp patch on the patio where he'd had to scrub off some paint and by morning it was dry. But the letters showed up next month on Google Earth and all his mates called his mobile to snigger at what he'd done.

After that Toby forgave his mum and dad. The row hadn't been about anything much, and they gave him a decent telly for Christmas and helped him study for his exams. University beckoned, as did a red-headed lass in the neighbouring street, and he forgot all about that big friendly message on the roof.

Until the day the Prime Minister cocked a snook at the Pan-American Empire. Nothing unusual in that, you might say - it happens all the time. But this time they failed to see the funny side, and sent their bombers across the Pond.

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© Fiona Glass (Shortlisted/commended in the Once There Was online contest.)

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