Tales From The Town #39: The Moons Of Earth

“Look at the silly old moon,” said Ethel, as she stared out through the window that had recently appeared in the ceiling of their room. “It’s so beautiful.”

“It’s so boring, more like,” said Claire. “It barely even moves. It’s the worst moon ever.”

“It’s not!”

“It is,” said Claire. “The best moon is the moon that’s always on fire.”

“That’s the sun, Claire,” said Ethel.

“Not it’s not.”

“It is.”

“It isn’t. If it was the sun you wouldn’t be able to see it at night but you can.”

“You can’t.”

You can’t,” said Claire. “I can.”

“The actual best moon,” Daniel said. “Is the moon made of metal.”

“That’s not a real moon,” said Claire. “It’s made up.”

You’re made up,” said Ethel.

“I’m not!”

“Nor’s the moon made of metal,” said Daniel. “It’s just you have to be in Australia to see it. They have different stars and everything!”

“You’ve never been to Australia, Daniel,” said Claire. “Or New Zealand.”

“Anna’s been to Australia,” said Ethel. “And New Zealand.”

“Well, good for her,” said Claire. “I still don’t think Daniel’s favourite moon should be a moon he’s never seen.”

“Your favourite moon is a moon we’ve never seen,” said Ethel.

“My favourite moon is the ghost moon,” said Tina. Everyone thought she was asleep but she wasn’t at all. “I’ve seen that. Twice.”

“I’ve seen it, too,” said Ethel.

“We’ve all seen it,” said Claire. “And anyway there’s no such thing as a ghost moon. It’s the apparition moon.”

“That’s just another word for ghost,” said Ethel.

“It’s not. It’s totally different,” Claire said. “And why would there be two words for one thing, anyway? It’d be completely confusing!”

“And bemusing,” said Tina, quietly.

“Most perplexing,” said Ethel.

“Confoundingly mystifying,” added Daniel. “Discombobulatingly flummoxational.”

“Everyone shut up,” said Claire. “Those aren’t even words.”

She flopped back down on the bed and banged her fists against the mattress.

“And we’re supposed to be watching the silly old moon, remember?” Claire shouted up at the sky. “Not talking.”

The four of them lay quietly on the bed and stared up at that mysterious new window of theirs. The moon shone through the glass like a beacon, huge and full and as bright as snow. It seemed to fill the entirety of the sky. If you looked into it long enough you could see almost anything you wanted.

“I told you the silly old moon was boring,” Claire sighed. “It’s even more boring than no moon at all.”

But by then everyone else was asleep, and when the moon that was always on fire finally made its appearance, Claire had to watch it all on her own.



1. Written between May 24th and May 30th, 2021


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