Wood Buffalo Scullery

We built the star scullery, on the moor that used to be Wood Buffalo National Park. The land looked nothing like the boreal forest from great-grandmother’s tales of Canada’s final wildness.

It was scrub grass and deep pits with metal and concrete protruding at odd angles.

The scullery was a cloth house, with removable spines, we carried on our backs. If anyone had been interested in leaving the city, we’d have patented it.

Fairy tale sculleries had washstands. We had a telescope, an antique thought useless by our generation who doubted the existence of stars.

We arrived in July. During the brief night, the light clouds from Edmonton and Yellowknife kissed. We waited. Great-grandmother’s tales told of long nights in December. By late November, at midnight there was a thin piece of navy visible to the naked eye.

It was just a sliver, but enough that we thought it might be possible to wedge a bit of true darkness back to the earth.

In the false darkness of the scullery, we took turns looking through the telescope lens.

I was the first to see it. A star on December 21, 2145, an honest to goodness star.

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