One of them was an artist. Terry. He painted three of the M43 bombs with ‘knock you dead’ burlesque girls. Two of the 1000 pound bombs—Sadie and Holly, were lost in bridge busting missions over Luzon. The remaining bomb put the other two to shame. Her name was Claudine—and she was all Joe Barre could think about as he let loose a wall of .50 caliber rounds from the heavy guns, swiveling in his rear ball terret.
They took heavy fire. Japan burned. Their B-32 Dominator got all shot up. Terry never made it to the ground alive.
But Claudine did.
And Joe Barre did.
While no one was looking, the war ended and Joe went back to his family’s farm in Nebraska. Field’s of wheat, swaying in the spring—a pickup truck, sagging very low. A young man returning from conflict. With a girl.
He put Claudine in the barn. This caused him some pain—he’d have preferred for her to be able to stay with him in the house. His mother and father, were very strict Lutherans and insisted on marriage before ‘bunking together’.
Joe also had to find another place for the pigs. It was judged that if Claudine accidentally went off, she would level the barn, surely … and she would take the pigs, the chickens and the tractor with her.
His mother said, to his Father—”I’m just so happy that our boy is home from the war, safe and sound.”
“And that he’s over the cow.”
“Yes, that was a sad thing.”
Joe spent a lot of time with Claudine. She was a very sexy woman. There was no denying it. He’d sit in a pile of hay and just work himself up into frenzy gazing at her perfectly painted tits spilling out of her tight lingerie, pink nipples poking out, like prizes. He drooled gazing at her thick thighs and the curve of her ass—how Claudine arched her back and begged for him to climb on top and yank on her long auburn hair.
He just couldn’t deal with it.
He had to be with her.
He took her around, proudly. He liked to show her off. Take her dancing especially. This concerned a lot of the tamer people in town. They cleared the dance floor immediately and went home. They didn’t like the idea of someone cutting the rug with a 1000 pound artillery shell. The dance floor for Joe and Claudine was lonely, but he liked wheeling her around on her cart, spinning her romantically. Sometimes even grabbing a handful as he leaned her low in a dip.
Also, Joe liked to take Claudine to the drive in movie theater to see the black and white pictures underneath the stars. He’d buy them both ice cream cones and corn dogs at the Dairy Queen stand, smear them all over her. They cuddled in the bed of the pickup, making the truck rock—to the dismay of some of the others, who’d generally go and ask the cashbox-girl for their money back.
Back at the farm, Joe took great pride in hosing down Claudine. Soaping her up into a fierce lather. Scrubbing her until she gleamed diabolically in the moonlight.
They were married that Fall. Halloween 1948.
Claudine and Joe moved into a house on a plot behind the family farm. Their new privacy opened up much with their lovelife. Joe strutted around town even prouder now. Feeling like a true stud. He had the most beautiful girl. No one could top him. And she was an absolute vixen. Yes, and his touch made the vixen hum. He could hear it, the humming of her metal casing as he rubbed his body against it. What an utterly satisfying thrill.
For two years the happy couple tried for a child. It was discouraging—though, because nothing seemed to work. To look at her plump curvy body, one would assume that she was as ready as the fertile crescent from which had sprung civilization itself. Joe made grander attempts in his love making. Pulling out all of the stops. All the moves that he knew.
Nothing seemed to work.
He began to feel colder towards Claudine. How would the family farm survive if she couldn’t provide him with children? Who would help with the harvests? His father was too old now to run the tractor and it wouldn’t be much longer …
Joe rode her even more frequently. But eventually, realized that perhaps she couldn’t provide him with what he needed.
He went and saw Becky. She was the pigtailed daughter of the farmer down the road. “My daddy warned me about you,” she cooed.
“Anybody shacked up with a bomb’s gotta be dangerous.”
“Claudine’s a dud, apparently.”
“Shhhhh … don’t say her name. Just say mine.”
Becky had a welcoming body and a much more warm and responsive element to her screwing. Joe enjoyed stripping off her coveralls and laying her down in the green grass behind the woodshed, making her whole body turn pink. Becky seemed to be even more turned on by Joe’s wedding ring. She liked to feel it run down her smooth body … sometime making it disapear inside of her.
All it took was that one ‘stray’, When Joe came back to his farmhouse, all one thousand pounds of Claudine was gone. She hadn’t even left a note. She’d just gone.
Joe was hurt. He knew that he’d made a mistake, but he couldn’t dwell on it long. Becky was pregnant. She moved into Joe Barre’s little farmhouse and the two of them did the best that they could despite the strange situation. The harvest came in. Joe went down into town and picked some workers to help.
They’d heard of him too.
He said, “Don’t worry, my bomb is gone. She left me.”
The baby came. They named him Charlie. He liked to laugh. He rolled around on the carpet. His joy was contagious. Joe forgot all about Claudine.
Until Halloween of 1952.
When Claudine showed up on the doorstep of the farmhouse, knocking.
Becky answered the door, dressed as a witch.
—there was a sudden white light that pierced through everything, the air ripping, the molecules shredding, as Claudine detonated. Vaporizing the farm and everyone there. Shrapnel and debris flew for miles. Some of it even embedding into the screen at the drive thru movie theater.
Military officials responded, “So that’s what happened to our bomb.”