Sloosha’s Crossin’ An’ Ev’rythin’ After
Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After takes place on the Big Island of Hawaii after “the fall” and is a retelling of events of the life of a Valleysman named Zachry. Unlike the other sections, Zachry’s tale is in one part and is not written in proper English but instead is written in a sort of English variation.
When he was boy, Zachry was walking through the forest when he realized that Kona men were near. The Kona men are a barbarous warrior tribe that are avoided by the Valleysmen. Fearing for his life, Zachry ran back to his camp at Sloosha’s Crossin’ where his brother and father were situated, unknowingly leading the Kona to the camp. While hiding, he watched as his father was murdered and his brother enslaved. Afterwards he trekked back to his village and told them what happened with the Kona, withholding the part where he accidently led them to his family.
Time passes and Zachry, now a skilled goat herder, recounts when he was twelve and impregnated the girl he loved. Sadly, when the baby, or “babbitt,” was born, it possessed no mouth or nostrils and suffocated. It is then revealed that the Valleysmen believe in two entities. The first being their god, Sonmi, who they believed healed her people and guided souls into rebirth. The second being Ol' Georgie, who is basically their devil that makes deals and devours souls. The leader of the Valleysmen is the Abbess. She taught and guided her people. When Zachry became a man, she augured his dreams in a coming of age ceremony. “One: Hands are burnin’, let that rope be not cut. Two: Enemy’s sleepin’, let his throat be not slit. Three: Bronze is burnin’, let that bridge be not crossed.”
There is another group of people confirmed to be living in this post apocalyptic world: the Prescients. They use the technology, called “smart,” of the “old un’s,” or the people from the civilized times. Unlike the Valleysmen and Kona, the Prescients did not reside on the Big I, but visited in their flying ships from far away in order to trade with the Valleysmen. A Prescient woman named Meronym asked to stay with the tribe and was accepted. The village voted Zachry as the person the host Meronym and she moved into his dwelling with his family. Zachry immediately dislikes and distrusts her. She tells the people that her people darkened their skin to endure with “the red-scab sickness,” and that she is fifty years old, which is unheard of for a Valleysman. When Meronym was out in the village, Zachry went through her things and found a silver egg. After he picked it up a girl appeared speaking old-un tongue which he hardly understands. She is then replaced by a Prescient man who reprimands him for going through Meronym's things.
One day Zachry's sister, Catkin, stepped on a scorpionfish and was on the brink of death. Zachry went to Meronym and begged her for help. Although she initially told him that she was not allowed to get involved, she eventually gave him a pill that saved Catkin's life. When Meronym revealed her desire to climb to the summit of Mauna Kea, Zachry decided he owed her for saving Catkin an wearily agreed to be her guide. Mauna Kea is the fabled home of Old Georgie and is precisely why Zachry didn't want to go.
As the pair venture towards the peak, they bond over stories. Meronym tells him that the fall of civilization wiped out most of the world and was caused by the Old Uns because of their hunger for more of everything. She also told him that his god, Sonmi, was a “freakbirthed” human who lived and died hundreds of years ago. Eventually they make it to the observatories atop Mauna Kea. Meronym reveals that the silver egg he found was called an orison and that the girl he saw was the real Sonmi. She uses the orison to record what happens as they explore and discover the bodies of deceased astronomers.
Meanwhile, Zachry is tormented by Old Georgie who tries to convince him to murder Meronym. He throws a spear over Meronym's head, nearly bludgeoning her. They then climb up a rope and Georgie tells him to cut the rope to ensure Meronym dies. Remembering Abbesses augering, “let that rope be not cut,” he refuses. They leave the mountain as friends and Meronym tells him that the reason she came to the Big Island was because of an epidemic that has plagued her people and her search for a solution.
They eventually go to a trade celebration between the tribes that live on the Big Island. The Kona men attack the celebration, enslaving, murdering, and raping the Valleysmen and other tribes. Even Zachry was enslaved, but before he could be taken back to the land of the Kona, he was rescued by Meronym. Duophysite, a Prescient, talks to Meronym through her orison and tells her where they can pick her up and that Zachry was welcome to join them. He declined but agreed to help Meronym escape.
Together they visit the village and see that everyone has been taken or killed, including Zachry’s family. When left alone, Zachry finds a sleeping Kona man. Although he remembered Abbess's warning “Enemy’s sleeping, let his throat be not slit,” he killed the Kona anyway out of vengeance. Having discovered their slain comrade, the other Kona go after Zachry. The pair almost make it to the meeting point but a conflict ensues, resulting in Zachry being shot by an arrow in the leg. They come to a bridge but Zachry recalls the final part of the augering, “Bronze is burnin’ let that bridge be not crossed.” He convinces Meronym not to cross and instead go around. However, the Kona men did not hear Zachry's warning and instead went across the bridge resulting in it breaking and them falling to their deaths. Zachry passed out and awoke upon the Prescient ship. Having no choice but to live with the Prescients, over time Zachry grew old and had children. Zachry’s son talked about his father's stories and how Zachry believed that Meronym was the reincarnation of Sonmi, because of her comet shaped birthmark.