Hickenlooper stood by the chain-link fence, a gloved hand hooked around the wire. “I love watching airplanes, you know? Never had the eyesight to be a pilot, but I sure do love watching them fly.”

“Yeah,” Ruby said. “I know.”

“I had the urge to come out here just now to watch planes take off,” the officer continued. “It’s the strangest thing.”

“Is it though?” Ruby said, thinking back to the old landing strip and terminal before they’d faded away.

“It’s almost like there used to be one here, one I used to visit all the time, and it’s calling me back,” said Hickenlooper. “That’s dumb, of course. Airports don’t just disappear. There’d be some trace, you know?”

Ruby didn’t say anything, just watched the policeman as he lingered sadly at the fence.

“I guess what I’m saying is, this would be a really good place for an airport,” Hickenlooper said at length. “That’s all.”

“Yeah, it would be,” Ruby said. She began to move out of the pool of light formed by the squad car headlamps. “Have a good evening, Officer Hickenlooper.”

“Ruby.” Hickenlooper had turned away from the fence and was looking directly at her. “The mayor has a standing order for your arrest. You and your little friends.”

“Are you going to arrest me, Officer Hickenlooper?” Ruby said. “You really think what they say is true? You taught me in D.A.R.E. class in fourth grade, the one where the fire broke out. You know.”

There might have been an ember of recognition in Hickenlooper’s eyes, the memory of a smile. Then his face was chipped granite, and he was looking into the distance again. “I go on duty in fifteen minutes,” he said. “That’s all the warning you’re going to get.”

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