Children Seated in Front of Bomb

by Thorin Klosowski

  1. Nigel, Erica, and Bernadette sit in front of the bomb on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  2. Jose, Cary, and Oscar sit in front of the bomb on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  3. Sundays, nobody sits in front of the bomb, as per rule 49.998-3(b).
  4. Each of the bomb sitters are under ten years old, as per rule 248.3490-88.
  5. There are three self-identified male bomb sitters and three self-identified female bomb sitters, but all three of each gender cannot sit together on the same day, as per rule 340.349999-(c).
  6. Each familial house must donate one child every 16 years, as per rule 2344.44-N.

On Mondays, I wake up around 6 am. My mom is usually already awake making my breakfast. On Mondays, I get a special breakfast—pancakes with chocolate chips—but every other day I just get cereal, or sometimes granola. I don’t know why Monday is so special!

After breakfast my dad takes me to the bomb. My dad says I have to sit here three days a week until it happens. I don’t know what it is or what happens but I do know that at least I don’t have to go to school until it does. I sit with Nigel and Erica. I don’t really like Nigel because all he wants to talk about is video games, but Erica is okay. She likes the same movies I like and sometimes we read the same books.

We read a lot of books because there’s not much else to do while we sit in front of the bomb. We have to sit from 8 am until 5 pm while our parents are at work. When it’s 5 pm we get to leave and go home. I get to bring my own sack lunch and sometimes Erica and Nigel and I trade snacks because Nigel’s mom always gives him pudding and my mom only gives me an apple. But sometimes Nigel wants an apple so it’s okay.

Anyway, on Mondays my mom always makes the three of us tacos for dinner. I think since we have to sit together all day that we shouldn’t have to eat together but I guess that’s just how it is. On Wednesdays we go to Nigel’s house and his mom makes us spaghetti and on Fridays we go to Erica’s house and her dad makes us hamburgers.

I like Mondays the best because of the pancakes and the tacos. But also because on Mondays Erica and I have our book club. We invite Nigel just because my mom tells me we have to, but he only likes adventure books and we don’t usually read adventure books because Erica and I think they’re boring. I like murder-mysteries and Erica likes scary books so we usually switch between those. Last week we read Haunted Signs on Tranor Manor and this week we’re reading The Look of the Past.

When it’s not a bomb day I just go to school like normal. Sometimes the teachers are really happy to see me for some reason. But sometimes they look annoyed. Especially Oscar’s dad, the gym teacher. He always looks both mad and sad to see me. But maybe that’s just how he looks.

In our class, we have a live feed of the bomb. So I see the other kids sitting there. It’s weird because that means when I’m there, the class can see me there. My teacher says that’s because of the rules. She says that watching the bomb is just part of life.

In my History class, we’re taught that the bomb is important because of the cycle. If the cycle is broken then it will be bad for all of us. Nobody talks about what that means. I don’t know if the bomb has ever been bad for everyone before but I guess that’s why we watch it.

When I’m older, I won’t have to watch the bomb anymore. Or if it’s bad for everyone. Or if it’s only bad for the other three kids. That’s what my dad says. He says that because of numbers it’ll probably be fine and I shouldn’t worry. Instead I should focus more on my schoolwork when I’m at the bomb. I guess he watches the live TV too.

I hope that whatever happens with the bomb happens when I’m there because I want to know what my parents know. I think if I’m not there then maybe I’ll miss it and I won’t know, even with the live TV. Sometimes I also have trouble understanding what happens on the TV and it’s easier if I can be there. So hopefully that’ll happen soon because I’m almost 10 years old and the rules say I can’t be that old.