There was a large boulder on the near bank, the top worn smooth from years of use by Shugak backsides. Kate sat down. Mutt sat next to her and leaned up against her legs, a warm, heavy presence. They watched the horizon, waiting.
At first it was no more than a luminous outlining of the distant peaks, a deceptively soft suggestion of what was to come. For a while it remained so, the light snared in the spurs and crags of rock and ice as it gathered in strength and presence. When the peaks could no longer contain the flood the light welled up and spilled through the gaps, glimmering trickles that swelled into gleaming streams and gleaming streams into bright rivers, the sun in spate. The bowl of the valley was filled to its ragged brim with a torrent of light that splashed down the Kanuyaq and up every feeder creek and spill stream. Engulfed in the backwash, the shallow canyon at Kate’s feet was too narrow to contain it all and it splashed off the banks and fountained up to catch at the tips of an eagle’s wings, soaring high overhead.
Fun fact: It’s no secret that the main uncredited character in the Kate Shugak series is Alaska itself. I think this book is where the sitting rock above Zoya Creek makes its first appearance, just so Kate could sit and look at the view. She’ll be doing some of that in Kate23, too.
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