Written by M.J.C
I had read about this in comic books: It was the end of the world. Or at least the start of World War III.
I stared at the giant bomb in the sky. It had to be the largest bomb ever built. And there was no doubt it was a nuclear bomb. And it was headed right towards my block in Oakland. It was during the summer of 1971 or so, and it was the end of everything.
At the moment, none of the other kids noticed the slow moving gigantic bomb headed right for us. I stared, fascinated, and terrified all at once.
I thought we’d all die. And once that thought settled in my very next thought was: I have to tell Mom.
I screamed as loudly as I could until I reached our apartment and I burst through the door.
Mom heard me as I was running up to her and said “Stop screaming!” And, “What is wrong?!?”
“What are you talking about? There’s no bomb coming,” Mom asked and answered all at once.
“But there is! It’s outside in the sky right now! Come and see!” I tugged on Mom’s arm and pulled her towards the door.
She obliges and we start toward the door, then out the door, and onto the balcony. We walked to the edge of the balcony and Mom looked up and saw exactly what I had seen and told her about:
The giant bomb coming straight for us!
Only now it was closer.
Mom looked and was quiet. I thought, she’s going to cry and be sad that we are all dying.
“That ain’t no bomb! That’s the GoodYear Blimp!”
“What?” I said, stunned and confused.
“It’s the GoodYear Blimp and it’s a hydrogen balloon basically, and it travels around the country to air shows and sporting events. It’s probably here for the A’s baseball game.”
I stood there, mouth open, and staring at the Blimp as it slowly turned and moved away from us.
It wasn’t a bomb at all. We weren’t going to die and World War III wasn’t starting with a nuclear bomb. At all.
It was just a balloon.
Mom gently pushed my head as she headed back inside and said: “Those comic books got your head in the clouds. “
I looked up and the blimp, which was much smaller now as it floated away and thought: If Mom hadn’t see it before it exploded, it really was going to be a nuclear bomb to start World War III, and we’d all be dead.
Mom had saved the world, I thought, just like the superheroes in the comic books.
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