Tom Purdom




    Pearson's first war toy had been a bombsight. He had been five years old and his mother had helped him order it from the back of a cereal box, a couple of months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The bombsight had been a small block of black wood with a glass crosshair arrangement. The targets had been four paper ships. You lined up the crosshairs on one of the ships and turned a red wheel on the bottom of the block of wood. And watched the bombs fall through the stratospheric heights that separated a boy's eye from the floor.

    The game on Pearson's notescreen is a bit more sophisticated. It's based on the invasion of Normandy-- a battle that took place over eight decades ago. Pearson has played several games that attempt to replicate the tactical challenges of the Normandy campaign and this one has become his favorite. He especially likes the way the game designer dealt with the logistics. The shelter is a noisy place but the game has blocked out the wails of two infants and the relentless chatter on the TV.

    Forty-three adults have crammed themselves into the shelter. Most of them are sitting in orange plastic chairs arranged in front of the TV screen. Four toddlers are stumbling around the play area next to the snack bar. Several mothers are holding babies. The shelter has attracted most of the parents who live in the apartments clustered around the Henry Creek shopping mall. Most of the childless people have weighed the odds and stayed in their apartments.

Copyright 2003 by Tom Purdom. All rights reserved. This document may be printed out and archived for personal use. All other use is strictly prohibited.

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