Bomb, Shelter by Wendy Nikel

We place the bomb on the steps of the old courthouse. Abandoned roadways buckle beneath our tank, which rumbles past the city’s darkened edifices. It seems impossible to imagine this place in its heyday. Impossible to imagine so many people.

We scale a tower and begin the countdown.


Rain splatters the asphalt and creeps into the fresh cracks.


A deer wanders past, searching for shelter.


The bomb explodes. Seed and peat and powdered clay burst skyward. By this time next year, everything will be green.

The deer watches as we rumble away to reclaim another lost city.

Wendy Nikel’s fiction has appeared in Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Nature, and elsewhere.

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