JAECI MASHED the mushrooms into the river water with a smooth stone, and he drank.
He was wearing a white silk scarf he’d found years back in the jungle near where he sat this evening on a rotting kapok trunk astride the border between Brazil and Peru.
With the scarf he looked as if he’d be sitting in a P-51 cockpit instead of atop the old kapok as night fell.
Moments later, he fell off the tree trunk and thumped to the ground as an unseen hand pushed the throttle forward, and he rumbled down the taxiway.
On reaching the far side, he veered left or right, saw the runway straight ahead as the throttle touched the end stops. The engine roared, but it was not a P-51 after all.
If only he possessed a pilot’s license.
He felt a stag beetle creep across his left leg just seconds before he became a black-winged heliconius.