I read a science fiction short story a while ago and only remember fragments. It was a post apocalypse setting.

A group of people were forbidden to enter this area. High level of radiation. They see a sign saying "ashington". It turns out to be Washington DC after a nuke hit.

There's another part that says a man sits and stares out of a window. He turns out to be the president after the nuke strike.

Those are the only two things I can remember. Please help identify this story with title and author.

  • 3
    Not much to go on; please try to remember some more fragments. How long ago did you read this? "A while ago" is, like, last year? ten years ago? twenty? fifty?
    – user14111
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 4:17
  • possible duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/181029/… (which is newer but has an accepted answer)
    – Otis
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


Maybe you're thinking of "By the Rivers of Babylon" by Stephen Vincent Benet.

"Written in 1937, a character named John narrates the tale of his exploration of the forbidden "Place of the Gods" in a world that has nearly forgotten the existence of 20th century civilization. John is the son of a priest of a tribe of hunters, heirs to a global catastrophe, whose curiosity takes him on a journey of discovery and search for truth about his civilized ancestors and the statue of a god called ashington."

Though I don't think it has any mention of the President, so that might not be it.

I have the entire story on my site if you want to check it out. http://post-apocalyptic.com/by-the-waters-of-babylon-by-stephen-vincent-benet/

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