I do not own Northern Exposure. I am making no profit from this story, and no copyright infringement is intended.



The tiny town slept in the early morning chill, a gray mistiness shrouding the tall evergreens that climbed the hill at the end of the main street, Pennsylvania Av. Except for the cry of a golden eagle high above, the town was silent.

The red flashing traffic light (the county's only one) that hung on a wire over Pennsylvania and Second, appeared to blossom in the light fog as it flashed on-and-off.

The traveler entered the town from First Street, in no particular hurry. He found himself in the area every moon or so, and liked to drop in and schmooze, even though the place had a touch of the macabre what with all the moose and caribou antlers over almost every door (and spares nearby, just in case). He strolled up from First toward Second, passing the General Store (closed), The Brick (about to open for breakfast), KBHR-57AM Radio (just coming on-the-air at 6:00 AM), and came to a stop beneath the traffic light on a wire. No matter that he was walking… he knew that everybody in this town stopped at this light, and therefore so would he. On the corner stood concrete-and-stone block building with a colorful mural proclaiming it to be "Roslyn's Café - An Oasis." The "'s" appeared to have been squeezed in as an afterthought.

He tried to decide which was more interesting... the mural, or the traffic light. The painting was beautiful; two stories high with a camel framed against the desert, palm trees highlighting the round vignette. But at least the light DID something… it… well, it FLASHED, for one thing. And it also swayed in the gentle arctic breeze. Actually, it pretty much met the U. S. R. D. A. requirement for excitement in this part of Alaska. But then he saw the sign advertising "Snowmobiles, $1500.00 XLNT cond.," and reconsidered. But the sign didn't light up, and so he went back to staring at the traffic light. This didn't last long, however, because a pickup truck had just stopped at the intersection, the traveler caught in its headlights. Looking toward the cab, he saw that it was being driven by Ed, a friendly young man of Native heritage. Ed smiled at him, gave a wave, and allowed him to walk to the corner before driving off with another wave. Through the morning air he could hear a snatch of the AM radio in the truck saying, "...sale at Ruth-Anne's on those great crawdad-flavored Pop-Tarts, get 'em while they last…"

As he ambled back down Pennsylvania Av the way he'd come, he passed by KBHR, and noticed a young hippie-type man sitting in the window and speaking aloud, saying "He just walked right past me folks, and I would say by his demeanor that we'll get a positive report among the moose lodge this month. Y'know boys and girls, it's important for us to remember that. We tend to take for granted what a gift at is indeed how our four-legged brothers allow us to share their fragile world."

Strange to hear such a sentiment in a town that seemed to be crawling with moose antlers. In fact, the only building that didn't have antlers above the door or the window or the porch, was a blue Western-style facade with a sign saying, NORTHWESTERN MINING Co., and a window reading "Dr. JoeL Fleischman" (the "L" in Joel looked to have been squeezed in by the same person who did Roslyn's " 'S".)

As the traveler wandered his way back into the woods, he breathed a sigh of relief that HIS antlers were barely formed.

Cicely, Alaska, at the crash of dawn was one place this moose did not need to be.