Author : Ryan Watson

The war had finally been instigated. Nobody was truly certain how it had started or which nations were involved. All anybody knew was that it had been a month since the missiles were launched. All high profile personnel were secretly escorted to underground bunkers. Rank dictated the depth of the bunker as well as the strength of materials used in its construction. Senator Nathaniel Keyes was a presidential candidate. He was sitting in a steel bunker 35 feet underground.

“Senator, it has been 1064 hours since the last impact. The radiation hasn’t appeared to have leaked to this deep. We have survived the attack sir.”

“I can see that Johnson. Any news from the other bunkers?”

“Not yet. We’re not sure if the communication uplinks are still running. We’ll know shortly.”

“Excellent. Keep me posted.”

“Of course sir. What should we do in the meantime?”

“What town is this bunker located in Johnson?”

“Hinderland sir. Population 14’500. A small town in central Idaho, it was chosen for being so insignificant that it wouldn’t be the target of any major strike forces.”

“You sound like you’re reading that off of the brochure Johnson.”

“The logistics package, Sir.”

“Does that package have a map Johnson?”

“Of course”

“Pass it here.”

The senator looked over the map, taking careful notice of what the town had to offer. As tempting as scouting for survivors or food was, nothing on the surface had any radiation protection. The people would be dead, the food inedible.

“Let’s go bowling Johnson.”

“I beg your pardon sir, did you say bowling?”

“You heard right. According this map the lanes are only five minutes away.”

“Surely there is something of more value….”

“Cut the bureaucratic bullshit Johnson. Everyone within a hundred miles is probably dead. Who cares what we do. I want to go bowling, whether you’re coming or not.”

Senator Keyes walked to the airlock. He grabbed the mandatory explorative survival kit off of the shelf and secured his breathing apparatus. His radiation suit gave him a wedgie. He began to climb the seemingly endless ladder that led to the surface. He wasn’t surprised that his guard did not follow. The only sounds were that of his steel toed boots clambering against the metal of the ladder repeating endlessly as they echoed through the tunnel.

The landscape wasn’t as barren as he had expected. Among the haze and dust stood the skeletons of the town, yet no signs of life could be seen. He checked his map and headed off down the crumbled remains of 31st street. The alley was located beside the local Catholic Church. He laughed to himself as he envisioned nuns in bowling shoes. He took a mental note to share this image with Johnson. He walked down the broken asphalt of 31st street, not stopping until he came to the crippled steeple of the church. He located the building that he imagined was once decorated with dancing bowling pins and other cute decals as he descended the stairs. The dust swirled as he opened the door to the basement. Extracting his flashlight, Keyes shone the light around the room, finding it to be more or less intact. He walked behind the counter and grabbed himself a score sheet and a pencil. He placed himself on lane number 4. The automated pin setter was disengaged. His game lasted 2 hours.

Grab a ball.

Throw a ball.

Walk down the lane.

Set your own pins.

Walk back down the lane.

Write down his score.

Grab another ball.


He scored 249 points.

His personal best.

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