Blacke Harbor (Part 3, page 1 of 6)

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Part 3

At the mouth of the Jackson River sits the dying fishing hamlet of Blacke Harbor. Settled in 1685 by a Ukrainian immigrant named Dmitri Blacke, the tiny town was once a thriving fishing community. Now, as is the case with so many small fishing villages, overfishing and international competition have idled most of the family-owned fishing boats. The majestic fishery and its cannery, which were once among the largest in the state, are long closed and sit as heartbroken memorials to Blacke Harbor’s glory days.

Erik Sokoloff watched the tiny silver plane shimmer in the July sunshine as it skipped along the airport’s only paved runway. He watched it slow and turn its nose toward the rust-stained metal building that served as the facility’s main hangar. As the plane turned and aimed toward the middle bay its markings came into full view.

Erik sensed his companion’s posture change. This was it. Her plane. He opened the door of the sleek black Lincoln and moved to the back seat just as his companion exited the driver’s side of the sedan and stood by the open door, staring at the slowing propeller of the aircraft, willing it to stop.

In the week Erik spent as a guest in Jurgis Blacke’s home the odd old man spoke of little other than his granddaughter. Three times he told Erik the story of their discovery of the exact virus and twice he commented on how happy he was Catherine had turned down the latest job offer to stay in Blacke Harbor. “We’re the only family we have left,” he said many times.

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