Funny Stories in a Bomb Shelter: A Daily Post Writing Challenge

This post was prompted by the Daily Post writing challenge, the Devil is in the Details. The point is to write something and add a lot of details to give a good picture of whatever you are talking about. It’s supposed to be three paragraphs long, but oh well. It’s my post, right?


The last story I wrote that made my dad laugh out loud, I wrote in the old bomb shelter behind our house. It should be a solemn place, but that’s where I write my funny stories. It’s quiet down there, and I find that inspiring. It’s such a unique place that I think it would inspire anyone.

Just like Blast from the Past...except, not at all

Just like Blast from the Past…except, not at all

The bomb shelter was built in 1957 by the original owner of the house, Mr. Nelson Harwick. It used to have a steel hatch and a wheel lock on it, but my dad was afraid someone would suffocate in there, so he took it off and built a cover out of 2×6’s. He painted it green to match the lawn and stuck a Master steel padlock on it to keep the raccoons out. The rusted steel hinge barrels are still there from the original hatch though, still sticking out of the concrete.

I don’t know what the original ladder was like, but the current one is made of welded rebar that my cousin Fred put in for a 4-H project when I was little. It used to have sandpaper on the rungs to give it grip, but that’s worn away now. You have to be really careful, especially on dewy mornings, which is when I like to go down there.

The shelter walls are lined with lime-green industrial shelving, which makes the useable space only about eight feet across and twenty feet long. The area around the ladder is full of wooden crates with light brown burlap sacks from when Mom used to store extra vegetables there. There’s a faint septic smell of rotten potatoes right near the entrance, but it disappears as you move further in.

The main smell is a damp, earthy smell but that is overlaid with a touch of smoky vanilla from Uncle Lenny’s Black Cavendish pipe tobacco. He and Aunt Gwen only live three quarters of a mile away on Route 12 and he likes to come over and smoke down in the shelter when he and Aunt Gwen are fighting. The smell reminds me of him and his deep, infectious laugh. For some reason, we never end up in the shelter at the same time, but that’s probably for the best. We both like our privacy.

It looks similar to this one

It looks similar to this one

There used to be electricity in the bomb shelter, but it was cut before we moved in, so I do things the old-fashioned way. I bought a pre-World War One kerosene lantern at a fly market for twelve bucks and since you can buy kerosene down at the Irving station, I keep it down there for light. To light it, I adjust the wick with a little wheel on the side and then lift the glass lamp chimney to reach in with a kitchen match. The lamp gives off a really clear, steady yellow light that lights up the whole room.

It’s funny—when I write I’m surrounded by food, although I would never eat any of it. It was fully stocked by Mr. Harwick in case of nuclear war and my parents have never thrown it out. My mom keeps it because she likes looking at all the foods she remembers from when she was a kid. My dad contends that it’s still good and says we should keep it around just in case. The steel cans are rusty on top and the ones in the back have so many cobwebs they’re like little spider cities. I wouldn’t eat any of it—not even the little cans of StarKist tuna, which I absolutely adore.

I write all my funny stories in a brown leather-bound blank book I got from my parents for my birthday. Whenever I finish a story, I give it to my dad to read. He always smiles, but if he chuckles that’s a good sign. If he laughs out loud, then it’s officially a good story. If he laughs until he cries then the story would probably win a Pulitzer, but that’s never happened yet.

Actually, as I’ve been writing this, I’ve gotten a good idea for a funny story. I’m going to go down to the shelter right now to write it down.

About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

7 responses to “Funny Stories in a Bomb Shelter: A Daily Post Writing Challenge

Let me know what you think. I appreciate all comments and criticisms.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tao Talk

Taotalk is a forum for the discussion of both the academic and pragmatic aspects of dao and Daoism, with participants expressing themselves on Daoist writings and pragmatics from their unique perspectives. It serves as a community for Daoists, and those interested in Daoism, to gather and talk dao.

H J Musk

Taking on the world one story at a time ...

CG Express

Writing, Musing, Sharing

Bridgette Tales

Everybody has a story. Here's a little of mine.

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Rolling Boxcars

Where Gaming Comes at you like a Freight Train

Lady Jabberwocky

Write with Heart


Self Improvment through Islamic Wisdom | All faiths welcome

The Pinay Ajumma

Stories, Inspiration, and Beyond

The Green-Walled Treehouse

Explore . Imagine . Create

One Minute Office Magic

Learning new Microsoft Office tricks in "just a minute"


Just grin and bear it awhile

Linda's Bible Study

Come study God's Word with me!

Haden Clark

Philosophy. Theology. Everything else.

Citizen Tom

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

The Green-Walled Chapel

Writings on Faith, Religion and Philosophy

To Be A Magician

A fiction blog of funny and dark stories

My music canvas

you + me + music

Eve In Korea

My Adventures As An ESL Teacher In South Korea

Luna's Writing Journal

A Place for my Fiction

Upper Iowa University

Center for International Education

Here's To Being Human

Living life as a human


Book Reviewer and Blogger


kitten loves the world

Strolling South America

10 countries, 675 days, 38,540km

It's All in Finding the Right Words

The Eternal Search to Find One's Self: Flash Fiction and Beyond

Reflections Of Life's Journey

Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green Stories

The Best Short Stories on the Internet

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author


Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)


Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

The art of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress

she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!


a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

%d bloggers like this: