Morning for Sokroshera Chapter Sixteen
By Timothy Smith, 2020
Morning for Sokroshera Chapter 16
Tim’s novel of Russian America (Kodiak Island area)
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March 29, 1964: Fort Sheplen, Easter Sunday – huddled inside an abandoned ammo bunker as a storm rages outside.
Judson awoke stiff, shivering, and more than a little grumpy. He wondered, after spending only two nights in the bunker, how long any of them could endure it. Then his nose caught the scent of frying Spam, and he heard someone whistling merrily out by the bonfire. Was that Laura? What was that tune? “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!” It was Easter Sunday, of all things. He was on some other planet compared to all the other Easters when he had heard that tune. Memories of starched collars and Easter egg hunts, of organ music, choirs, and the comforting presence of his mother in the church pew beside him almost brought him to tears. Judson shook his head at the surreal conditions around him. Their accommodations may as well have been a tomb, and they were being held inside by the sleet and wind outside as securely as if a stone were rolled in front of the door. Our resurrection is still to come, if at all, he thought glumly. (Edit)
He heard a rustling beside him, and turned to greet Sandy Ann. “Today’s Easter, I guess. Russian Orthodox Easter is not until May 3 this year,” she said. “We call it Pascha (Пасха).” She was silent for only a moment before adding, “But the Lord is risen every day, isn’t He?” Judson could not help but chuckle and smile at his friend the theologian. Whatever else they might have to complain about here in the clammy hillside, none of them was alone, and there was amazing comfort in that. They walked to the fire, and Judson thanked Laura for reminding him about the significance of the day.
Laura’s early morning labors were displayed on a couple of plates beside the fire. Breakfast was fried Spam on freezer bread with jam if desired. Laura apologized for not being able to cook very well on the little fire in front of them, but Judson told her, “Fried Spam with jam is the best food what am!” Herman, Barbara, and Rinny had joined them by this time. Hunger overtook anyone’s desire to argue with Judson’s culinary review.
Herman looked out the open door of the bunker and remarked that the wind seemed to
have slacked off considerably since last night. But the bone-
One of Judson’s knock-
A couple of seconds later, another one of those unnerving six-
Author’s comment: One reader said, referring to the quake and tsunami, “Did you have
to make it so rough?” “Actually, it was worse,” I said. The quake and tsunami portions
are based on first-
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