Stars Above and Ice Below
by Jeff Soesbe
It was late January when the aliens took Harvey from his small ice fishing shelter on Pine Lake. They returned him early the next morning, just before the first rays of dawn broke over the pine tops. At that time, he remembered nothing but only believed he had fallen asleep while fishing, not an uncommon occurrence. A little chilled, Harvey gathered up his equipment and shelter and headed back to his home in Silver Bay.
Winter continued much the same as most winters in Northern Minnesota did. Work at the mine, bowling league Tuesday and Thursday nights, ice fishing every other weekend. Now the ice gave Harvey a sense of unease, of something not being quite right, and trips usually ended with him leaving the shelter and seeking the safety of the pickup truck or even driving home early, feeling his way down Highway 61 in the dark of a cold, moonlit night.
By March Harvey had dreams of a sky full of stars and a view of the Earth that one only ever saw in waiting room magazines. Nights he couldn’t sleep, he left Ethel's soft snoring and went into the family room. Harvey flipped through the channels and if he ever found views from the space shuttle on Educational Channel 21 he sat transfixed for hours. The images felt like they tugged at some part of his mind that was stuck, blocked, inaccessible and yet yearned to be set free.