Looking for more in Your Stories?

Alpha/Beta/Gamma

Author: William Graham

‘Well it was kind of like this, as best I can remember with the sands of time running on,’ commenced the narrator to the late night campfire youngsters listening eagerly, faces aglow from the flames.

‘The day had been a busy one at work in the materials handling business but as the day progressed the sky became more ominous. As I tended/slabbed some of the garden in the evening the torrential 1980's rain started to turn the leaves on the rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries and potatoes black. In worlds where there are two suns the vegetation appears black, but this colouration ironically was the result of fallout from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.’

‘Some time later I managed to obtain a medal given to some of the workers who entered the complex to prevent further damage. It was a gold, ruby-red cross with an emerald bar and a Alpha/Beta/Gamma reactor flask, written in Russian. I also received information from the American Nuclear Society about where some of the local Russian population went for treatment for diseases like cancer that were caused by the disaster.’

‘I remember reading a book by Jacob Bronowski called The Ascent of Man and in it one of the photos showed the blue glow of the neutrons – a different glow than from your campfire. Intrigued, I headed for Ayrshire to visit our local nuclear plant. But somewhere along the way I stopped to see a marvellous Ayrshire sunset and found myself stranded with my car on the beach with the tide rushing in around me. Fortunately a local farmer was handy with his tractor and managed to pull me out of the soggy sand.’

‘With the spectre of fusion nuclear power generation on the horizon, and the destruction in recent war escapades, one wonders if it is best to leave such power to the sun gods. I hope we don't get into bother from the air pollution folks for the campfire smoke – or from that woman down the road with her washing still on the line!’