A Gift Upon the Shore
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Centres on the lives of two women who survive a nuclear holocaust, this story is told by Mary Hope who chronicles her friendship with Rachel and their life together from the chaos that precedes nuclear war through a nuclear winter. Wren's other works include "The Phoenix Legacy".
here.” Esther has come out the backdoor. She sees the wedges of wood on the concrete and hurries toward me. “Did you hurt yourself?” “No, Esther.” She starts picking up the wood, and I tell her, “Here, I’ll take that.” “Maybe you had too big a load.” She is solicitous as always, yet she seems to be having trouble meeting my eye. She balances three pieces in the crook of my arm. “That’s enough, I think.” I don’t argue with her, but take my light load into the house and deposit
made her way to the kitchen in the northeast corner. No stove or refrigerator, no cabinets, not even a sink. Pipes thrust out of scarred walls, and in one corner three rats foraged on a mound of garbage. Mary stumbled back, caught her foot on a loose floorboard, and gasped with a spasm of pain. The bathroom door was missing and so were the fixtures, except for the toilet that overflowed with foul, brown liquid. She went to the bedroom door. Where the door had been. A mattress, strewn with
she hadn’t seen her for a span of years. “I’m grateful, Mary. For you.” Mary could only nod. Then she went to the kitchen and a few minutes later returned with two glasses and a fifth of Jack Daniel’s. She put them on the side table, poured whiskey into the glasses. “Water?” “No.” Rachel took the glass Mary offered, closed her eyes as she sipped the whiskey. “I suppose we should call Captain Berden.” Mary wanted to laugh, but knew better than to allow herself that. She tipped up
I went north to Crater Lake. It was a wonderful, strange place. The color of the water . . . I couldn’t describe it.” Rachel nodded. “You don’t have to. I’ve been there. Crater Lake is one of the sacred places of the Earth. Was it . . . changed?” “Well, I don’t see how it could change.” Rachel smiled at that. “Where did you go from there?” “East till I came down out of the Cascades, then north toward Bend.” Again, his eyes were haunted by disquieting memories. “It was another
“Mary? Are you okay?” Laura was nearly shouting over the spitting of the motor and the baby’s crying. Mary tried to control her trembling, tried not to laugh aloud, but she didn’t have time to answer Laura’s query. The ampsystem blurted the bus driver’s announcement: “Passengers for Shiloh Beach, we will arrive in approximately five minutes. For continuing passengers, there will be a twenty-minute stopover. Rest rooms and vendor refreshments will be available. There is also a Federal