Disaster / Destruction
The Nonesuch is frozen in the ice and the expedition grinds to a halt.
For long weeks, the crew of The Nonesuch struggled to survive. They hunted seals, poorly. They burned anything on the ship they could spare to try to stay warm. The officers left their private quarters to sleep huddled together with the crew. They were cold, they were hungry, and they were fading.
When I was about five years old, I remember wandering out of our home at night in the middle of winter. I stared, enraptured, at the aurora filling the sky. Gram was the one who found me, wrapped me in a blanket, and scolded me for walking out in the cold. But, she was also the one who pulled me into her arms and pointed to the lights.
"See those lights, Sova? That's where our ancestors live. Look how they shift and bend - they're dancing! One day, when I'm gone, I'll be up there, too."
I wonder if the lights in the north are the same as the lights in the south? Every night, they shine over our ship, so beautiful despite our dire situation. I wonder if Gram is up there, or if she can't find me this far north. If I die here - which is looking increasingly likely - will I join my ancestors in the southern lights, or be trapped forever in the north?