To The World Beyond The Sky

Sunlight had grown dimmer each day until it was a dark orange tinge in the sky. A gloom across the horizon: Earth’s yellow sun in its last throes. Thousands had already made their way to Helionous, the Earth-like exoplanet; the wealthiest already evacuated, a randomly-selected worker lottery followed.

Sisip’s family had all passed on, and, without the sun, the land would soon wither unrecognizable, bleached, silent. Every night she stared into the darkness, looking for Skitekmujewawti in the haze. Amethyst stacked on gold: the star-ringed Milky Way galaxy, humming in the vast void, stretching itself over the evergreen hills of her reserve. It was the road to the Spirit World, where her ancestors lived, and it would be behind her on her journey through The World Beyond The Sky.

Sisip furiously wrote the constellation songs and stories her family had told her on a scrap of birchbark and smuggled it into the Helionous Employee manual. A deep breath: almost boarding time.

Gesasijig gloqowejg wa’so’q wela’gw. The stars shine bright in the heavens at night. She took a last look above. Soon there would be new stories stretched out above her, and she would sing these ancient words to her new and glittering heaven.

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