How to Keep the Moon Afloat

A short story

“The night the moon toppled swarms — suburb-flushed — sung lost lilts and gathered shiny goods under plastic macs, goading the stars to follow suit with gleaming eyes and gnarled whispers, crunching and grinding white bones.”

Grace winced. “Can’t we have a cheerful bedtime story tonight Mama?”

Dora, however, a woodland witch, was plagued by wild imaginings of the apocalypse.

“It didn’t really happen like that, did it Mama? I mean, when the moon fell, humans didn’t go mad did they?”

After a moment of silence, Dora declared “they were already crazy dear. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have dropped. Everyone knows no moon can remain afloat unless those who view it are of sound mind.”

“What made them crazy?” Grace widened her eyes.

“Well, perhaps their tale can be your night-time story dear.”

The witch tucked the soft brushwood covering over her child and revealed how humans lost their minds.

“When the moon, still high in the sky, first felt the reverberations of doubt, she shuddered. To doubt love, she knew, was to fracture the invisible net that held the universe in place. Surely her lofty position was in danger and she would, in time, plummet.”

Dora sat up, astonished humankind could have doubted love. “But Mama! How could they?”

“Listen, dear one and I’ll tell you.”

“Doubt began when a thick blanket of smog engulfed the land.”

Perplexed, Dora again spoke. “What’s smog?”

“Pollution made not only from chemicals but also derived from fearful thoughts. It swamped the cities and rose to the skies, unsettling everything in the universe.”

“But why were people afraid Mama?”

“They were scared they didn’t ‘have enough’ and thought they weren’t ‘good enough.’ As ‘enough’ was lost to them, their doubts grew into dark clouds and united with toxic waste.”

“But the moon was put back in the sky somehow,” said Dora.

“Dearest. A few humans still believed in love because they knew they were and had enough. Their conviction brightened the universe and mended the web, fastening the cosmos in place again, and calling the moon to rise.”

“Might they ever lose sight of ‘enough’ again Mama?”

“I’m afraid they always do Dora. It happens in cycles. After the universe is untethered, the moon falls, smog alters the climate, then ice cascades over the world and leaves only people without doubt alive, and they begin anew.”

The witch kissed Dora, now asleep, on the forehead and pushed back the leafy roof of their tree-house. Silver moonbeams bathed the child, and all was well with the world. But the future was uncertain.

Disclaimer: This story has little scientific basis (and unless the witch stumbled upon the truth, there’s no need to worry!) Best not doubt love though, just in case.

Copyright © 2019 Bridget Webber. All rights reserved

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Writer, poet, storyteller. https://muckrack.com/bridget-webber-1 Author Page Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y2cgqhgv

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