Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Flight Diverted

The day seemed to take forever. Spike was eagerly looking forward to the time she had booked at the top of the Astronomy Tower. Everything she could do from her careful research and notes had been done; and it was time to go back up and take readings from the actual stars themselves.

The stairs seemed to multiply under her feet. Surely it hadn’t taken this long to get to the top of the Tower that first night, when the constellations had danced before her eyes and it seemed she had her finger on the pulse of the cosmos itself. She finally reached the top, pausing to breathe deeply of the cold crisp air.

She focused the eyepiece, scanning for the section of sky she had found before, reading her chart carefully, comparing what she saw to what was in the sky . . . frowned. Tried again. And again. All night long in a fruitless search for what she had seen.

She looked at her chart again. All those long hours; all that hard work. It couldn’t be for nothing! Then she turned it around . . . and it all became clear.

The new constellation, the Pavo Pavonis, was actually the well-known Tree of Lights, the Arbor Lucent. All those long hours. All that hard work. It wasn’t that she was going to fail the OWL, exactly. But she was going to have to re-create the entire chart, and she only had half the term to do it in.

Half the term! She looked at her watch in the glimmerings of the predawn light. Yes, she had just enough time to contact her OWL Examiner and explain that the chart she had created was incorrect and she was going to start over again. Spike ran down the stairs, back to the Great Hall with her news . . . as Sascha chuckled at the efficacy of his little joke.

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