67 degrees north

He was stuck in the snow. Why did he listen to them? He was no man for adventures, he as no man comfortable away from the warmth of his home. All he could do was to assume the role the others invented for him in their stories.

But now he was lost and stuck in the snow; alone. He really wished that someone would hear his cries, come out of the forest and fix his broken ski. No one came. He was alone, buried waist deep in the fresh snow, with a broken ski and no wait to communicate.

Half frozen, he decided to be the hero of his story. He would not stay there waiting to die in the middle of the forest. He could reach the lake that was so close to him and die with a view of the clear sky.

He was a dead man, and he knew it.

After a lot of time that seemed an eternity to him, he reached his destination. The air was cooler here, his breath froze as soon as it escaped his lungs and his face hurt from the air. But he could see the sky. It was magnificent. He had never imagined that there were so many stars in the galaxies. He considered how vast it was, the emptiness that lay before his eyes made him scared. He was nothing for the universe, a small dot in a huge canvas. He wondered if his universe was actually a great piece of artwork that someone, somewhere admired in an art gallery the same time he was dying. Did they like it? Did they think it was revolutionary? Expressive? Piece of shit? He would never know.

As he was contemplating how much money an alien would pay for his universe-painting (not much, he was convinced of it), he saw them. They never were so big in the sky, waving like huge green flags in the emptiness of the sky. Their brilliant colors made all the other stars faint in front of them. They sparkled brighter at different points, and some of the tips of the waves turned pink. He never have liked pink before that moment. They made him happy. They calmed him down.

He lay back on the powder snow and enjoyed the spectacle the aurora borealis presented just for him. He could see the waves of light, a storm that held within it a big wooden ship. It floated up and down and always closer to him. It was a Viking ship, the last of the explorers. It came so close to him he could reached up his hand and touch. He could join the crew and explore the emptiness of the vast universe and never be cold again. All he had to do was to stretch his arm.

He stretched his arm with a smile on his face and a frozen breath in his lungs.


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