Mar/Apr 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 2 FictionMarch 1, 2017 |

Ishinomaki

The old man was filling sandbags and stacking them along the curb in front of his house. He had built a wall, a kind of low pyramid the length of the house, and was working his way around the corner and along the other side up away from the bay. The house itself was mostly undamaged. Several blocks away the ruins began. Here there were cracks in the road and running up the sides of houses but none of the same tsunami damage itself. A small miracle. From the car, Gallagher could see the tidemark farther down the road, a littoral of wreck and rabble and household goods. He watched the man for a while, wondered what new disaster he was preparing for. Gallagher got out of the car and walked over. He had spent the morning driving between gymnasiums and school halls, temporary shelters for the survivors. Most often, he came across the elderly and very young. It seemed the others were out in the ruins or waiting in line for supplies or perhaps like him also off looking for loved ones

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