The cargo haulers had made their drops on the edge of the storm front and skittered back home again on the leading edge of the storm front. Iphana hadn’t had time to watch them go, she was too busy hauling her supplies inside. The loads were too heavy for her to move on her own but she had equipment in the workshop that could shift them and she needed all the help she had. The storms made their presence known first at higher altitudes but it wouldn’t be long before they were here at ground level and anything she didn’t have inside by then she would have to count as lost. Once the supplies were in she’d be right for the winter, the fuel used for her heating and generator was the one supply that had never been short delivered.
She wasn’t clear what the “problem” was that had prevented her from being brought into the settlement for the winter, but she couldn’t help but wonder if it had something to do with why the hawler drivers would never stay and talk to her for a few minutes, even if she’d spent twelve hours working on a rig to get it moving again. She been doubly careful with her personal hygiene in case her body or her breath ponged and she hadn’t noticed, but to no avail. Frankly the isolation had been getting to her, she hadn’t even had any mail for months. She’d been looking forward to winter in the settlement.
It was a close run thing in the end. Iphana drove the forklift into the workshop for the last time and hit the button to close the inner door just as the gale force winds laced with ice particles hit. For a few seconds as the roller door descended she felt the full force of the winter storm, then the door was down and the simple absence of the wind was blessed warmth. A second button raised the solid winter door from under the ground and when it was in place the roller door stopped undulating in the wind.
Getting into dry clothes then sorting and storing her supplies were the next jobs but something made her stop in her tracks.
Sitting in one of the cargo drop loads, still enclosed in the cargo net, was a large, bright yellow mail bag.