Next up was a zig to Akamanuk, perching precariously on the edge of the Nushagak River two big bends above Newenham. She buzzed the homestead, two buildings, a short airstrip crowded with trees and a tilled rectangle of earth with what looked like a very healthy crop of potatoes. Ted came out and peered skyward. She turned, banked, dropped down to fifty feet and opened the window, straining a little against the force of the air generated by the propeller and their forward motion. Wind roared through the cabin and the sound of the engine doubled in decibel level. Over the headphones Wy heard Mr. Glanville, silent until now, whimper the tiniest bit, but he made no other sound and she wouldn’t have listened if he had. First pass she dropped a half-used roll of toilet paper, the end straggling free, the roll falling about ninety feet from Ted’s front door. She could do better than that, and turning and banking again she came around for a second pass, this time waiting another fifteen seconds before she dropped the mailbag.
It thudded into the ground ten feet in front of Ted. She painted a lazy eight in the sky while he fetched it and checked the contents. She’d included a box of sugar-free chocolates, his favorite, and he waved his thanks. She waggled her wings in reply and zagged north, following the river to another river community, Kokwok, this one with a bigger strip, where she deposited a relieved Mr. Glanville along with Kokwok’s mailbag.
Spoils of the Dead, the fifth Liam Campbell novel, publishes on February 6, 2021.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.