Author: Katlina Sommerberg

Snow piled over trees, rendering them unidentifiable lumps. In the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, it was early spring, but Charlotte thought of Christmas.

Over eggnog, Grandma always gave her lessons in writing Traditional Chinese, often with the stars and planets’ names. Grandma’s love for the stars propelled her North, intent on capturing the last beauty to arc across the sky.

After months of trying, tonight was her last in the Arctic Circle, and the last for the Northern Lights. Astronomers, professional and amateur alike, warned the interference in the magnetosphere would stop future auroras.

The world decided the next technological marvel mattered more.

Five airplanes crept across the sky, blinking against the black night. The only other lights came from satellites; even Venus remained lost in the void.

The aurora blanketed over the artificial stars, colors fading in and out like a dream. The deepest purple clashed against the lushest green, stretched from the heavens down to the trees.

She captured swirling magenta against fading greens, blue plumes threaded through like wispy veins, and more with everything from modern imaging equipment to retro cameras.

She alone documented the natural phenomenon’s death.