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Something is wrong. It feels like I have just crawled into bed and closed my eyes after a long night of babysitting, a loud scream is piercing my ears and my brain is commanding that I pry open my heavy, heavy eye lids. I am having the most amazing dream of flashing sunlight dancing off of calm blue water, I am back at Pauline and Andres Lacoue’s fish camp at the Ramparts just south of Fort Good Hope, an eagle spirals down the cliffs and starts to scream and scream and scream…

Something is wrong, really, really wrong! The eagle’s scream in my dream has turned into the sound of the siren that is located not very far away from my bedroom window. The siren is sounded when there is trouble in this northern community of Coppermine located in the North West Territories of Canada’s arctic. Our tiny Inuit community sits on the pebbly shores of the Arctic Ocean. This siren is seldom heard in the dark of the night.

My window is frosted over and frozen; Jack Frost must like my window. He has repainted it many times, it is thick with his art- work; the sill is a lump of ice at least 3 inches thick. I cannot see into our back yard where the town garage is located, the community Co-op sits next to the garage, which is across the street, and our school is further yet up the hill. Our “backyard” continues on forever to the south, if you were to start walking, you might bump into Yellowknife after a long, long while. This is Polar Night time, we have no sun, we get to bask in dusk for a few hours and then return to the endless night.

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