A Silly Thought….
Well, blog no:4 – I wrote this short story a few years back when there was a lot of talk in the press about the spread of nuclear weapons. Now with all the speculation about when and not if Iran becomes a nuclear power I thought it might be time to give it another airing, enjoy,..
A Silly Thought….
It was just past the third sunset of the day, on a world far, far away, when the three of them began the long journey home from the Bi-Centennial fireworks display.
“Wow, that was the best ever!” the little boy exclaimed from the back seat of his parents shuttle-pod.
“It’s just not fair we can’t have them more than just once every two hundred years, and bigger too?”
He was still very young. His Mother turned and smiled, seeking to explain:
“Because of the radiation,” she said. “And you know how dangerous it would be if it was any bigger. We all do.”
The little boy fell silent, thinking about what his mother had said, knowing she was right: “I suppose so, but… it’d sure be nice to see it close-up next time.”
This time it was the Father who addressed the little boy’s innocence:
“If only that were true, but it’s not,” the father began, knowing the time for explanation had come: “You see, when the scientists discovered atomic power, everyone knew it was a gift of nature, a marvellous gift to warm and light all the worlds for ever and ever.”
“Just like a star?”
“Yes, in a way, but not quite – more like having our very own ‘little’ star, right in out hands. But like any precious gift, it has to be looked after, and treated carefully.”
“Well, the scientists realized how, if the little star ever got away from us, it could destroy entire world; because it’s more powerful than anything else we know – more powerful than any earthquake or volcano. That’s why we had to wait so very long before we made the atomic power stations, until we knew enough to make them absolutely safe. So once every two hundred years we have the atomic fireworks show, not just to entertain us and to remind us of how lucky we are, but also to remind us how careful we have to be.”
The little boy understood. “I never thought about it like that. I suppose if we weren’t so careful, some people might even try and throw the little stars at each other.”
Ronnie! The little boys parents gasped, momentarily stunned.
Mother spoke first: “What a silly thought. That would be insane.”
Then Father spoke: “Even more insane than me aiming this shuttle into the sun and just killing us for no reason at all.”
The little boy was ashamed of his silly thought now that he realized just how insane it really was: “I’m sorry,” the little boy cried.
Mother and Father took him in their arms, soothing his fears: “I love you both. I love everyone,” the boy said.
“We love you too, Ronnie,” Mother and Father answered, smiling and forgiving. And in that far away world, life went on… happily and forever…