A big atomic explosion at sunset

The Suicide Bombers


This is a very short story (just over 700 words) I wrote several years back. It seems appropriate to haul it out every time – in the words of a certain congress critter – "some people do something".

When the Suicide Bombers moved to town, there were concerns by neighbors and community leaders. There were also some protests.

The local chapter of the American Legion organized a rally outside the home of the Suicide Bombers. They held signs that said “Freedom of Speech: Yes. Freedom to Kill: No!”, “Threats of Violence Will Not Deter Us!”, and “Say NO to Terror!”, plus many others. They were a spirited crowd. Then little Samir, with his father watching proudly from the metal-reinforced viewport in the front door, walked into the middle of the protesters and pressed the big red button in the center of his vest.

The boom was heard from miles away.

Protest rallies were severely cut back. The town elders passed hate-crime legislation banning protests on the grounds that such demonstrations not only served to reinforce stereotypes but also unnecessarily increased the risk of further violence.

In an effort to reach out to the Suicide Bombers, the Rotary Club organized a picnic at the park and invited the whole town to come and meet the Suicide Bombers. Most who came were polite, but stand-offish. The Suicide Bombers took note of the fact that beer and hot dogs were among the food items being served. They soon left the picnic, leaving little Sumah behind. She stood near the town elders and pressed the big red button on her vest.

The explosion destroyed a historic oak tree reportedly as old as the Bill of Rights.

The town unanimously adopted a “live and let live” policy towards the Suicide Bombers. Soon they became accepted members of the community. The father joined the Fraternal Order of Elks and participated in that organization’s weekly functions (now completely alcohol and pork free). The mother traded recipes for bludgeoned goat and other staples with the womenfolk, who no longer wore makeup or dressed provocatively like infidel whores.

In summers, they vacationed at the lake, the children playing in the water with life-preservers fitted over the top of their bomb-vests. Father would lie on a towel in the sand, dozing in the sun with his finger resting gently on the big red button, with mother right beside him on her own towel, sweating in the sun beneath her full length burka, a bulge showing in her middle where the explosive waistband was strapped. They were a happy family and these were happy times.

At school, little Abdullah was the class clown. Sometimes his antics required disciplinary action, like after the beheading of his classmate David Brinstein. Such discipline was handled with care, however, lest Abdullah’s finger begin to stray too close to the big red button on his vest.

One day, a substitute teacher had the temerity to scold Abdullah in front of his friends. Words were exchanged, and Abdullah, eyes flashing, told her “Daughter of Satan, forever will you serve me in Paradise,” just before his finger found the button.

The school, renamed Abdullah the Martyr Elementary, was rebuilt in record time and things returned to normal. Everyone was a little wiser and more considerate of the Suicide Bombers.

The father eventually became elected to the town council. At his swearing in, he gave a speech during which his finger, in a habit he had developed over the years, tapped and danced on the big red button of his explosive vest for the length of his oration. Though the hall was air-conditioned, everyone in attendance was sweating profusely. He was voted President of the Council in a unanimous voice vote immediately afterwards.

Many happy years passed for the Suicide Bombers in that town. There were parades and celebrations organized by the infidels in honor of the Suicide Bombers. This kept the Suicide Bombers in a perpetual state of pleasure and happiness, which was good for all concerned.

It just so happened that one day, the father decided it was time for him to retire from the family business. In a modest ceremony attended by all the townsfolk, he spoke briefly about his life’s dream to be a Suicide Bomber, about his pride in his children who had followed in his footsteps, and his great fondness for this, his adopted town.

Finally, as he reached the end of his brief remarks, there was just one thing left to do...


Steve in 2021
About the Author

Topdog is Steve Merryman, a retired graphic designer, illustrator, and unrepentant asshole. Steve can usually be found working on a portrait commission or some other artwork. Steve fills his days by painting, writing, shootin' guns, cuttin' trees, hiking with his dogs, and savoring a beer or two, all while searching for the perfect cheeseburger. He studiously avoids social media and is occasionally without pants.