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Mail F(l)ight

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The envelopes and small packages sat in the mailbag, one amongst a dozen in the cargo hold, itching for a fight. The flight had taken off late, the expected connecting passenger delayed by weather. Apparently there was a front of cold, damp air bringing clouds and rain, and the wind was already making things difficult. But it hadn't arrived yet, and it was still unreasonably hot and dry in Salt Lake, making the onionskin paper and thin stationary feel brittle, the ink heavy on their pages. The glue holding down the stamps and sealing the flaps was irritating. What it was doing being 90 degrees on the first day of November nobody knew, and they didn't like it either. Unnatural was what it was. Even the plane felt it.

The letters rustled, jostling against each other. They wanted out of the bag; they wanted to be in the hands of their recipients, not in transit, in limbo, unread. The packages shrugged their corners in irritation, twine and tape and brown paper stiffening in affront. They wanted to be at their destinations just as much as the letters. They carried important things! The bag began to tip over, bumping the adjacent sacks and boxes, and soon all the mail was shoving and scratching and carrying on. One heavy, awkwardly packed bundle went so far as to roll over with a thump and push the stack of millinary boxes all askew, sending several tumbling. The hats squawked in outrage.

The plane twitched at the disturbance. Mitch looked down at the controls in some exasperation. Nothing was amiss with the Terrier; the atmospheric conditions unchanged as he flew ahead of the front. Only one thing it could be.

He shouted back over his shoulder, "Hey! Settle down back there!"

With a few last sounds of complaint, the mailbags and boxes stilled, canvas hunched against crate and cardboard abashed. they'd get to Colorado Springs soon enough, but not by irritating the pilot. The rest of the trip was uneventful. (Though the hat that Stasi ordered was so put out by the whole thing, it didn't sit right for a week.)

"How was everything?" Alma asked later, after the Terrier was unloaded and snugged down for the night.

Mitch smiled, "Just the regular mail fight, nothing unusual."