Nuuk, Present Day
Retired police constable David Maratse opened the door to the balcony and stepped outside. He leaned against the railings and stared across the fjord towards the centre of Nuuk, Greenland’s capital city, population 15,000 and counting. Maratse straightened and tucked his hands into his pockets, plucking at an empty shell .22 bullet casing in one of them, a twist of fishing line in the other. He turned as Sergeant Petra Jensen called to him from the kitchen.
“Piitalaat,” he said, smiling as she joined him on the balcony.
Petra turned into the wind blowing off the fjord, tucked a length of hair behind her ear, then reached her hand out to press it against Maratse’s cheek. She slid her fingers through his wispy beard and sighed. “Are you going to be all right?”
“I know. But what are you going to do today?”
“I’ll think of something.”
“It might make it easier for me if I knew what.”
“Piitalaat.” Maratse took Petra’s hand and pressed it to her lips. “I’m okay.”
“You say that,” she said, pulling her hand free, before leaning in close, nuzzling nose against his neck, “but I worry about you.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Ever since we moved from Inussuk…”
“I said I would come with you.”
“Yes, I know, but…”
“I’m where I want to be,” he said. “Here. With you.” Petra lifted her head and Maratse smiled. “It’s the only place I want to be.”
“Iiji, you know I am.”
Petra tucked her head back into the curve of Maratse’s neck. “I want to believe that…”
“And I know it. But we’re in the city.”
“But you don’t do cities.”
“I’ll find a way.” Maratse turned to kiss Petra’s forehead. “You have to go to work.”
“Atii is picking me up.”
“She’ll be here soon.”
“I know.” Petra pulled away, slowly. She smiled as she plucked at Maratse’s jacket. “You could always give this a wash. That would keep you busy for at least a week.”
“Go,” Maratse said.
Petra rubbed a fish scale from her fingers. “A month.”
“Atii’s here,” Maratse said, pointing at the police patrol car pulling into the car park below Petra’s apartment. “You’ll be late.”
“Never.” Petra kissed Maratse’s cheek, brushed her hand once more across his cheek, then peeled away from the railings and into the apartment. “Call me if you get bored.”
Maratse waved. He watched her leave, then leaned over the railing to wave again as Petra stepped out of the apartment building and jogged over to the patrol car. Dust pillowed away from the tyres as Constable Atii Napa accelerated out of the parking lot. Maratse turned back to the fjord, caught the shadow of a sea eagle, and stared up to watch it soar across the sun.
“Hmm,” he said, as a second eagle joined the first. Ravens croaked from the roof of the next apartment building, gathering in conspiratorial twos and threes, stalking the edges, flapping, cawing, and crowing. Maratse turned back to the eagles, content to watch them for a little while, for want of anything better to do in the city.
To be continued…
Copyright © Christoffer Petersen, 2021.
This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.