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from Aradia's Diaspora by Susan Woerner

Copyright © 2018–2020 Susan Woerner

Scene 78

“I cannot make out which way is up on this map,” Isobeau said as she leaned over it on the captain’s table.

“Well, if I could spot the Big Dipper, I might be able to orient the map,” I suggested.

“The big what?”

“Dipper. Uh, I think they also call it the Drinking Gourd or the Big Bear or Ursa Major.”

“You have many strange things in your world, Betty,” Isobeau said shaking her head, “I have not heard such names. Are you sure it is in the stars?”

Exasperated, I said, “yes, of course it is! It’s something I learned when I was a little kid and some things never change about constellations.”

Isobeau looked doubtful.

“Jeez, Isobeau, I do know a few things. I’ll point it out to you if you don’t believe me.”

We went topside. The sails were up and between an unseen current and a light breeze, we were moving. I looked up at the sky and gulped. Had I not looked up at the sky since we were on the water? There were gazillions of bright stars, the sky so full, there was no way I could pick out the Big Dipper. There were so many I couldn’t even see the Milky Way.

“Ok, so maybe I can’t see the Dipper after all.”

“If there is actually such a thing.”

Was Isobeau forgetting I was captaining this ship? Why was she so irksome? Before I could question her and get down to the root of it, Toci appeared.

“I know the stars,” she said, “and I know how to find them on the map.”

Isobeau looked irritated, &ldqu...

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