Re: Reparations

If you’re looking for a moving story about sacrifice that’s not related to the holidays, you might appreciate “Reparations” by Merrie Haskell, in an excellent reading on Escape Pod. Like “Wikihistory” it involves time travel to Worrld War II, but it’s the polar opposite in tone.

The narrator is part of a small group of volunteers trying to help the survivors of the Hiroshima bombing. Their efforts are a little like the fable about saving starfish on the beach. You can’t save them all but you can save the ones you throw back into the water. The first half of the story is fairly procedural, which gives your brain plenty of room to think about the Hiroshima bombing and what kind of healing is possible.

I was moved by the choice the narrator made at the end, knowing that she would suffer and only later find out why. The reader is not going to find out. That’s one of the interesting aspects; this story leaves a lot of gaps for the reader to fill in, whether from your historical knowledge or whatever theories you can make for why the narrator was driven to that choice. On the one hand, I like having things to puzzle out, or look up (like sieverts and the Ordivices), but on the other, I want to know what’s going to happen to her.

A well-crafted story, but I whether I like it is falling into the gap.