When the altimeter read 600 feet, Jo levelled out
their ascent. The countryside sailed along below them,
summer-glossy trees patched with green and gold
fields, threads of stream, ribbons of road. The horizon
lay ahead, a smudge of blue hills against white clouds.
Her heart felt as though it was pumped full of steam
like the envelope above her. No, not steam: hydrogen
like the big airships used. If she weren’t holding the
control sticks, she might bob up into the sky like an
untethered balloon. She couldn’t stop smiling.
She’d almost forgotten about the tall woman, until
she said, ‘How far will this thing go before we have to
from ‘Skyway’ by K.C. Shaw