Liam went back to watching the sky. Either everyone had slowed down or in the short space granted to him he had adjusted to the pace of the job. He felt like someone had switched him from 45 to 33 1/3. Everything took on a dreamy, slow motion quality. There was plenty of time to spot traffic, forever to notify Wy, an eternity for her to find them safe passage. The loud jumble of excited voices over the earphone receded, and all he could hear was his own words, concise, deliberate, heavy with importance.
Slap. “Cessna on floats at ten.”
Poke. “We’re sneaking up on the red plane again, fall back, fall back, fall back.”
Nudge. “Watch out, there comes that 172 again.”
Point. “Trooper plane at two, trooper plane at two.”
“One minute remaining in the opener, I say again, one minute remaining.”
The Cub’s circles seem to tighten, and all Liam’s focus narrowed to five square miles of sea and air. Planes, boats, fish seemed to blur together, he heard his own voice speaking, saw his own hands moving, felt his own eyes roving back and forth, looking, watching, waiting.
“–ten seconds to closing, eight seconds, seven seconds, six seconds, five, four, three, two, one, the herring opening for seiners for the Riggens bay district is now closed, I say again, the herring opener for seiners for the Riggins bay district is now closed.”
Excerpt from the first Liam Campbell novel, Fire and Ice. The fifth, Spoils of the Dead, publishes on February 6, 2021. Order your signed hardcover here.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.