By M. K. Wren
Within the twenty first Century, civilization is crumbling less than the load of overpopulation, fiscal chaos, petty wars, a terrible pandemic, and eventually, a nuclear conflict that necessarily ends up in a perilous nuclear winter.
On the Oregon Coast, ladies, author Mary desire and painter Rachel Morrow, scratch out a minimum life as farmers. In what little time is obtainable to them, they embark at the undertaking that they desire will provide the reward of information to destiny generations of survivors—the protection of the books: these to be had from their very own collections and any they locate at close by deserted houses.
For years, Mary and Rachel are chuffed to hard work at this activity of their solitude, yet an afternoon comes once they stumble upon a tender guy who comes from a gaggle of survivors at the southern coast. They name their group the Ark. an exceptionally hopeful assembly, it will probably appear, till Rachel and Mary detect that the Arkites think in just one book—the Judeo-Christian bible—and regard all different books as blasphemous.
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Additional resources for A Gift Upon the Shore
We stood together for a long time. And we were frightened that we had lived for twenty-one years and had never known what joy is possible to men. Then we said: "Our dearest one. Fear nothing of the forest. There is no danger in solitude. We have no need of our brothers. Let us forget their good and our evil, let us forget all things save that we are together and that there is joy as a bond between us. Give us your hand. Look ahead. " Then we walked on into the forest, their hand in ours. And that night we knew that to hold the body of women in our arms is neither ugly nor shameful, but the one ecstasy granted to the race of men.
The word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages. What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters?
Why wonder about this? We have not many days to live. We are walking to the fangs awaiting us somewhere among the great, silent trees. There is not a thing behind us to regret. Then a blow of pain struck us, our first and our only. We thought of the Golden One. We thought of the Golden One whom we shall never see again. Then the pain passed. It is best. We are one of the Damned. It is best if the Golden One forget our name and the body which bore that name. PART EIGHT It has been a day of wonder, this, our first day in the forest.