…We’re not allowed to play in the bomb shelter. Too bad, because it would make a dandy clubhouse. Mr. Thompson fixed it up real nice, with cots and Army blankets. He even put in a radio and a TV down there. It must be the fanciest bomb shelter in Oklahoma. It still has dirt walls and floors, though, so Lurlene’s mom didn’t bother to put up any pictures. I’m not sure if I’d want to be down there during an atomic bomb. Seems like all that noise might scare the scorpions and snakes and they might all head underground, right into that shelter. It’s something to think about, but Carlos and I are okay, anyway, because Mr. Thompson made it clear that when the bomb falls, or a big tornado comes through, only his family will be allowed in there. Everyone who has an underground shelter talks like that. They say it’s survival of the fittest, and some men even say they’ll shoot the first person that tries to get into their shelter when the bomb falls, especially if he’s colored. They don’t say so, but I’m sure they’d shoot us too. Just to be safe, Carlos told me not to ever go over there if I see a bomb coming, ’cause you never know. I asked Gramma where our bomb shelter was, and she said she hadn’t gotten around to digging it yet. I wish she’d get started while she’s got me and Carlos here to help her. She’s got a real big backyard. She could have the biggest bomb shelter in Lawton. We could keep Aunt Lilia’s watermelon pickles down there and also use it for tornadoes, of course. We get lots of tornados here, especially in the spring. My Gramma is pretty smart, I’m sure she can figure out a way to keep out the snakes and scorpions. I’m counting on Mom and Pete to keep out Dad and Frieda. Let ’em dig their own shelter…
Amazon, $2.99 USD, suitable for YA and up.
1999 first place fiction, Surrey, Canada
2004 Oklahoma Book Award finalist