Carin Clevidence is the author of the novel The House on Salt Hay Road. Her short stories have appeared in Story, the Indiana
Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, and FiveChapters.com, and her nonfiction in Grand Tour, Fiction Writers Review, and the
Asahi Weekly of Japan. A recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts
Work Center in Provincetown and the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, as well as residencies at Yaddo and the Hermitage. She lives in
Massachusetts with her two children and is currently at work on her second novel.
They stepped out of the door and
the wind howled around them
with a sound like that of a train
going past. Off the porch, to
the west, the surf ran in a wide
torrent, awash with wreckage
from the houses on the dunes. Crouching
low to the sand, they set off east, away from
the new inlet. Clayton walked in the lead.
The woman followed haltingly, carrying the
boy on her back. As they scrambled over the
hillocks of sand Clayton saw a flock of small
birds, chipping sparrows he thought, huddled
in the lee. The birds squatted close to the
ground in a wedge-shaped formation, their
beaks facing into the wind. As Clayton and
the woman drew near, the birds rose in alarm,
and the wind whisked them away like specks
The woman, burdened with her son, began
to lag behind. Clayton forced himself to wait.
He was anxious to get to the bay's edge and
angry with himself for not insisting they leave
the house earlier. The woman was struggling
through the beach plum, which caught at her
boots. Clayton went back and signaled that he
could take the boy. But the child clung to his
mother, his arms clamped around her neck.
"Just for a minute, Eddie," the woman
pleaded, raising her voice. "So Mama can
The child closed his eyes and held on with a
death grip, shaking his head so violently it
looked like he was having convulsions. The
woman lowered her chin and struggled on
with the boy on her back.
As they neared the bay, the bridge came
fully into view. It was standing, Clayton saw
with relief, though the span seemed to sway
in the wind. But it looked farther away than
he'd imagined. Beside him the woman had
collapsed on her knees and was holding the
boy in her arms now, sheltering him from
the flying sand. Clayton looked back along
the bay toward the Gilpin's house. It was
still there, though part of the porch had
disappeared. Behind it, where the Everitt's
house had been, the ocean was running
headlong into the bay. Between the inlet
and where they stood, Clayton saw a dock, a
small white rowboat tied on the leeward side.
The boat would just fit the three of them, he
thought. He pulled at the woman's shoulder
and shouted, "This way."
As they approached the dock, Clayton saw it
shudder. The rowboat was tied fore and aft,
stretched out like a man on the rack. Clayton
strained to pull the boat in by the painter and
cleat it closer.
"Get in," he yelled to the woman. He helped
her free herself from her son's arms. The boy
screamed and writhed. "Hold on," Clayton
shouted uselessly. "Just a minute."
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers