When the Swallows Return
By Skip Hanford
Andrew turned the small plane away from the sun.
“Take a look down there,” he said.
“Sure,” Carlyle said. “But first, let’s join the mile-high club.”
“Only if somebody can fly the plane,” Andrew said. “Take a look down there.”
Andrew Bentley owned what he firmly believed was one of the last working airplanes in the country, if not the world. Certainly the last private plane.
“Okay,” Carlyle said, staring out the window. “Where do you want me to look?”
“Down there,” Andrew said. “See?”
“All I see is that big field and, hey! A combine! Didn’t know they were still working! They’re harvesting down there!” He looked at Andrew, grinning. “I just didn’t see it, something so normal!”
“Things are getting back to normal,” Andrew said. “Slowly.”
They flew around for a while longer. It was late summer and they saw farmers at work, combines, grain trucks, fields.
“The good thing is they didn’t bother to hit the rural areas,” Andrew said.
“Yeah,” Carlyle said. They flew on in silence for a while.
“Better get back,” Andrew said. “Just glad we’re stocked up on fuel.”
“Yeah,” Carlyle said. “They probably don’t make that anymore.”
Egomaniacal Author’s Note: This was set in the world of an unpublished story of mine, hence use of the pen name. —–jsb.