Moonmen (unedited)

When I was born, the sky was a clear beautiful pitch black. Every day started with the shining sun while the fantastical mixture of blue, green, and other colours of the moon steadily shifted in front of me. Its colours seemed to dance in front of me. When I was still a few days old, my dad told me stories of how the moon used to be covered with blue, and after a few weeks, green and brown seemed to come out of nowhere. Since life was rather dull, I would spend most of my days looking up at the moon and staring at its brilliant colours. I would wish that my home wasn’t gray but more colourful like the moon.

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I twitched with excitement when I saw red spots appear around the moon. I ran to my dad to ask him about it but just as I got close to him, he stopped me.

“If you’re going to ask me why the moon does that, I don’t have an answer for you.”

I looked at my dad “But why not? Do you think on the moon there is magic?”

My dad looked at me and earnestly said “Maybe. Not even the wisest man around here could answer this question.”

Again I insisted “But why not?”

My dad looked at me “Because no one can go there. It is impossible. Some have tried and in turn wasted their lives. Some even tried to jump towards it.”

I was surprised “They tried to jump? Did they reach the moon?”

My dad looked down and said “Tomorrow I will tell you all about it. Rest first my son.” I was restless. Every day felt like an eternity but nights even longer. I hated the rules, but I knew they had to be obeyed. Jumping too high would send you spiralling out of nowhere to the abyss of space, so staying grounded was safer. I kept thinking about how living on this grey unfertile dirt would be life, until the thought of it weighed down on my mind and slowly I fell asleep as the image of the kaleidoscope moon drown the light of the sun brought my eyes to a rest.

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As the sun’s light slowly crept towards me, I awoke and rushed towards my dad. Life here consisted mostly of talking the day away. The sun provided all the nutrition we needed while every hallowed ground made a suitable home. Life was as simple as the monochrome soil.

“Did anyone reach the moon?” He nodded at me and said

“There was a time that many of our kind wanted to reach the moon. They believed life there would be more enjoyable or dynamic. Some simply dared to jump higher.”

I interrupted “Isn’t that how mom disappeared?” Disappeared was of course a strange word to use. For something to disappear it would first have to be there constantly. Everyone was there but also not there. My dad was sometimes white but he would shift to black in an instant. Other times no one could see him as if he disappeared, but he could be heard. It was as common as the grey that surrounded us that someone would disappear, but to be gone for more than a week was strange.

My dad interrupted my thought and said “Yes. She, along with 3 others, jumped so high that she flew. For a while they seemed so magical floating in the air. People were exclaiming that they would join them. In a split second however, she started hurtling towards the moon while the others drifted out into space. After that, almost no one tries to reach the moon anymore. That’s also why we tell the young that they shouldn’t try to jump.” I was speechless as my dad gazed into the moon. My dad and I have actually had this very same conversation before. Word per word I would ask the same question and he would answer the same thing. The only reason I kept having this conversation with him was one, to convince myself never to jump to the moon, and two, to see that little spark in him that would light up whenever he talked about mom. Even if that experience was a single long month ago, its effects could still be seen hurting my dad.

No one actually really knows how old anyone is. Someone entering society is actually called ‘becoming.’ Dad and mom are those who discovered you first, where dad is the darker colored one during the ‘becoming’ and mom would of course be the lighter colored one. A ‘becoming’ only happens when there is two of our kind looking at the same spot. A ‘becoming’ happens with the simultaneous discovery of two moderately aged people of another one of their kind. Of course a ‘becoming’ doesn’t always take place when the set criteria are met. In the end, no one really knows how anyone comes to be. No one even knows how our language was formed, or where ideas come from.

“Dad, maybe mom landed on one of those white currents. If she did, she might still be alive. She might just be stuck there with no way back. We should try and find out if she’s alive.” I broke the silence with hope. Between mom and dad, mom was always the move vibrant one. Even with the seemingly monotonous lifestyle we had, she seemed to bring life in the lifeless. I wasn’t very old when she disappeared, but I

My dad just smiled at me and told me “Rest my child. Tomorrow we can spend time once again conversing about the moon. Tomorrow we can talk about saving mom.” And so I tried to fall asleep. I thought about how different mankind would be if we were born in the moon rather than this grey-scaled planet. I thought about mom surviving the fall towards the moon, or even her learning how to fly. If these did happen, why isn’t she trying to get back to us? Has she enjoyed the moon so much that she’s forgotten about us? I slowly fell asleep as I watched the kaleidoscope moon drown the light of the sun, but the mixed feelings of being forgotten and abandoned lingered within me.

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“Dad, do you think there’s life on the moon?” I woke my dad with this question. As he shook of his grogginess, he then said

“Why?”

“Why what dad?”

“Why do you need to know?”

“It’s to save mom.”

He then slowly pointed towards a part of the moon

“Yesterday, that was green, today it is brown.” He points somewhere else on the moon “That patch of green grew a black line cutting it.”

He then started gesturing towards another part of the moon “Some parts of the brown here emit light as if the sun shines through the moon. So what do you think son? Do you think there is life?”

And so I pondered about it “Dad do you think there are moonmen? Do you think there is mankind like us but more colourful? Do you think they turn blue and green rather than black, grey, and white?”

Rather than answer my question my dad went silent. It was as if he feared the possibility of different beings. He told me “I certainly wish that there aren’t any moonmen. Life is peaceful. There is no need for moonmen. It’s getting late, go to sleep.” As I lay down, I pictured how the moonmen would look like. Would they be big, or would they be smaller than us. Would they change colour or would they stick to one. Would they sleep the same time we do. Would they weigh more than us, would they smell bad, would they be able to fly with ease, would they be nice or would they try to push us out? With the flurry of thoughts running through my head, I grew weary and so I fell asleep as I watched the kaleidoscope moon drown the light of the sun.

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When I woke up the next day, I saw my dad wide awake staring at the moon. “Did you just see that large blast of light from the moon?” I felt a hint of concern in my dad’s voice. It was as if that blast of light could have reached us.

“Dad?” My dad was as lost as I was. His calm demeanor was broken by this blast of light. Just as I was about to break the silence, another blast appeared near the first one. If there was life anywhere near that part of the moon, I found it doubtful that it survived. It was as if the sun itself exploded on the moon.

“Son, don’t try to save mom. Don’t go to the moon. It is impossible for life to survive there.” I interrupted him “Dad what if moonmen could? What if moonmen could survive in such conditions.” My father just simply shook his head and told me to go to sleep.

That night I could not fall asleep with ease, but I watched the kaleidoscope moon drown the light of the sun. As I stayed awake, I thought of moonmen. Maybe we couldn’t survive in the harsh conditions of the moon, but what if moonmen could? What if moonmen caused everything happening on the moon? The thought that we weren’t alone in the universe seemed comforting for me, but my dad didn’t seem to share this sentiment. I eventually was able to force myself to fall asleep, but even my dreams were filled with moonmen.

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I woke up to the loud sounds of the ground shaking. I saw what seemingly looked like a shiny black moving piece of rock move towards my planet at an alarming speed. It moved so fast and so quick that within a split second it was already on the moon, pushing away my kind at an alarming rate. Even stranger, white moving rocks with black faces seemed to fly out of the shiny rock. One of them planted a strange object onto the ground with a flowing rectangular blue, red, and yellow coloured image on it. I saw these strange quick moving rocks phase through others of my kind. How can rocks be so alive?

One got close enough to me for me to see weird shapes drawn on it. The shapes were formed like this: N. ARMSTRONG. The rock moved so fast that his momentum seemed to push me towards where he was going. He was going back towards his shiny rock, and try as I might, I wasn’t being phased past him like the others of my kind. I heard my dad shout “My son!” and I could hear others of my kind shout and try to save me. The rocks were too fast, and I was eventually pushed by their sheer speed and force into their shiny rock and got locked in. The white rocks seemingly tore off their black parts revealing another layer of rock beneath.

I panicked as I thought about how I would escape their shiny container, but even before I was able to form a plan, I felt one of the rocks pull me towards it. I was eventually sucked in by the rock and the last image that ran through my head was how the beautiful kaleidoscope moon would always slowly drown out the sun.

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My crew-mates Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins shook me awake. Buzz asked me “Are you okay Neil? We lost you for a moment there.” I shook my head “Yeah I’m fine I just got dizzy from all this excitement.” As we made our way back towards earth, I tried shaking my head of the dream I just had. Everything felt so real. It seemed kind of impossible for something to live on the moon the way it is.