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They got away with it, too. I pursued in wild anger after you arrived, but they found protection in abandoned buildings. All I wanted was one clear head shot at each of them to avenge my dear friend, my boon companion. Your brother. You had screamed at me to stop when you saw me trying to get into one of the buildings. Ambush, you had cried out in terror. You always know how to push my buttons, don't you? I wept when we buried your brother in the frozen ground, but you didn't.
"Stop it!" My eyes rimmed with tears as I commanded my heart and mind to forget the past. "No one can hurt him now. He's free. He's in the safe zone. He's there waiting for me, for us."
I want to think about something else.
Turning southeast on the hard oak seat, I noticed Orion again in the southern sky. His bow before him eternally as he hunted with his big dog Canis Major for the great rabbit constellation before him. At least that had been what my father had taught me to help me remember navigating by the stars when I had been six years old. We lived by the sea in North Carolina. We often fished at night in his big boat after my mother died of the unusual fever, as Dad called it. I was a little kid. Barely remember a thing about her. Dad didn't want to leave me alone with strangers for some reason.
My father taught me of Polaris, the North Star. How it was the tail tip of the baby bear constellation Ursa Minor with Ursa Major, the great mother bear roaring nearby at Drago the Dragon seeking to eat the frightened cub. Drago had cast his tail between the mother and cub to separate them. The wide W or M of the nearby constellation Cassiopea and the house shape of Cephus were the boyfriend, girlfriend constellations watching the epic battle of the major constellations warring over a careless bear cub that had climbed too high up a cellestial pine tree. All night, the struggle spun slowly above the north horizon. Just look for the Big Dipper, Dad had said. That's the body of the momma bear. She's the North Bear constellation. Remember that.
My father had taught me alot of traveling at night by creating simple stories about the constellations. Nearly thirty years later, I remembered each one as I watched the night sky move over me like a giant glass bowl etched with designs and patterns.
Another hour passed sufferingly slow.
Swatting mosquitoes, I wondered if the latest mutant strain of the West Nile virus was in their bite. We had heard rumors of yellow fever epidemics in the swamps of Louisiana. You had told me of the lab work experiments where cats and dogs were injected with foul zoonotic viruses and released into the general population.