Submitted to the Christian Indie Writers Podcast as a writing prompt on 9/22/22.
Nukilik’s sixth winter was the harshest on record in her small Inuit village. Not that they kept records like that there. She lost her entire family that winter. Everyone she knew, everyone that cared for her, gone. Gone from exposure, starvation, and attacks from starving predators. Nukilik only surviving due to her visiting family in a larger village to the south.
After the discovery of the loss of Nukilik’s family, she was placed in the care of the state. A traumatic event for an already traumatized young girl. Though, it wasn’t long before she found a lovely foster family. She was placed on a plane with her few possessions and an escort to fly to the city of Anchorage Alaska.
It was a very long flight and Nukilik fell asleep toward the end. She slept through the landing, through the cab ride, and through the arrival at her new home. Her new foster father carefully plucked her from the back of the cab and carried her to her new bedroom, laying her down until she woke.
When she woke, she found herself in a new house. She looked for someone in the house, but there was no one. She could hear voices coming from outside. She found her foster parents and the escort on the front lawn. When Nukilik went out on the lawn, she was amazed. She had never seen a tree before. All she knew from her village was snow and ice and rock and water.
When she approached the tree, the wind blew and rustled the trees, speaking an entirely new sound for Nukilik. She cocked her head and asked, “What are you asking me?”