By Rebecca Fletcher

Carol’s teacher once said that Orion was a summer constellation, and therefore could not be seen in the winter. Her teacher was an idiot.

Lying in a half-finished snow angel she didn’t want to destroy, she found him by the one – two – three of his belt, and traced the form of a hero she didn’t know. The stars made silver threads between them that changed their form every time she drew them with her mittened hand. He was proud and strong. He was frail and afraid. He was battleworn. He was green.

But he always faced away – poised to battle the darkness of the unknown around them. Orion was a hero with a face she couldn’t imagine, even in the moonlit cloud of breath that escaped when she spoke his name. He was a pale astral skeleton given form by the imaginings of a girl embraced by snow. Those fragile bones as soft, silver, and cold as the blanket around her.

Carol’s teacher once said that stars were suns, blazing hot, billions of miles away. Her teacher was boring.

The stars of Orion were the icy map of a titan scrawled upon the ocean of space – velvet, deep, unknown. She could follow the stars forever, an unending search for a hero in the bones of long-dead stars.