Merle's Midnight Fall
By ice rivers
Merle Seton was a dreamin' bout sittin' on a dock Five feet above soft rocks that were covered with warm Lake Water. Merle slipped gently off the dock Feet headed for the rocks but found only air and instead of warm crystal clear water his bare feet found nuthin but floor beneath his six year old soles.
Somehow he landed on his legs before he fell on his ass which was the cause of the crash which woke Merle up uninjured. Merle climbed back up the ladder No wiser and no sadder To the bunk not the dock He took a look at the clock Which was pointing to Midnight. He fell asleep in atomic fright Feeling kinda sore and sad. Where the heck were Mom and Dad?
See, the Setons lived in Nevada as close as anybody to the atomic bomb testing grounds and were in the forefront of American fifties families who learned to love the bomb. Merle's father was involved emotionally and economically with the atomic arming of the Cold war. His great triumph occurred with his contribution to the Manhattan Project which probably saved the life of his twin brother who was stationed in Manila and warming up to be cannon fodder during the inevitable horrific invasion of Japan that would make Iwo jima look like Ding-Dong school But then we dropped the bomb on 'em and all the living brothers came home.
Since then Merle's Dad had labored on various sidetrips, brilliant defense measures that ended up being expensive dead ends. These dead ends included the nuclear bazooka, the F3H jet, the atomic artillery shell and the various pills and nostrums the atomic alchemists devised to cure radiation poisoning. Yeah, Merle's Dad was convinced that the bomb was his friend and the guardian of his family.
Shelley had her doubts but had learned how to be married as the forties turned into the fifties. She kept her big trap shut.
The Setons were used to seeing flashes and minutes later feeling their house rock. Shelley heard the crash from the bunk room. She opened her trap, nudged her husband and whispered, "what's that" Merle's father, worn out from a hard day's night at the plant sleepily replied "Jezzuz, go back to sleep, it's only an atomic bomb . I gotta be at work early tomorrow."
Before shutting her trap and settling back in bed, Shelley whispered to her husband "All right. I was afraid that maybe Merle had fallen out of the bunk".