Steve brought in the Sunshot and put it on the counter. It was the size of a large log set on its end or a small trash can.

It was white, cylindrical, smooth. It didn’t look like anything special. There was a black strip up its side.

“What do we do with it?” Caleb wanted to know.

“We put it out on the porch and let it charge for a few minutes, and then we put the powder and water in and it makes food for us.”

“Out of the sunshine?”

“Out of the sunshine.”

“Where will we put it on the porch?”

“On the railing, I think.”

“Why do they call it a Sunshot?”

“Because it only takes a single shot of sun to feed a whole family.”

They put it outside. It was a sunny day. The black strip on the Sunshot’s side started to turn white.

“When it matches the rest of the Sunshot, it’s ready to be taken inside,” said Steve. They sat there watching it.

It was no more than a minute later and the black strip had completely disappeared

“What do you want to try?” Steve asked. “We have a steak dinner and chicken nuggets…”

He sorted through all the packets, listing off the names.

“Broccoli and beef, mac and cheese, birthday cake…”

Caleb wanted cake, but Steve decided on steak.

“Can I dump it in?” asked Caleb.

“Sure,” said Steve.

Caleb had trouble opening the packet, but Steve tore it for him and Caleb dumped half of it in a little tray that stuck out of the side when you pressed a tiny button. They shut the first drawer and pulled out a different drawer and dumped in the rest of the packet.

They closed the Sunshot up and watched the black strip appear again on the side.

When they opened the drawers this time, there was a full steak dinner inside with mashed potatoes and green beans — enough for a whole family.

Steve lifted out the steaks first. They smelled wonderful. Then came the potatoes, and finally the green beans.

“Wow,” said Steve, marveling. “This does look really good. I was expecting really thin, watery stuff like in a TV dinner or something, but this looks homemade!”

“What’s a TV dinner?” Caleb wanted to know. The food smelled really good.

“It was frozen food that people used to have when they’d watch TV.”

Steve dished the two of them up and and it was the first good meal they’d had in quite a long while.

“We could mix this with the seeds we collected and the berries and the fish and the squirrels you catch,” said Caleb.

“We can,” said Steve. “And this’ll help the people that are in even more trouble than us. The ones who still live where there aren’t enough animals to hunt or any plants to grow. That’s who this was really made for.”

They gorged themselves. Caleb wanted cake but Steve convinced him they should save the cake for a special occasion.

After they finished, the Sunshot went back in its box. They put it safely in a corner of the kitchen and kept it there.

Everything is a work in progress.

Everything is a work in progress.