Mary lay on the grass under a full, white moon. She lay there feeling like a sliver of light. Mary is too pale for the burning sun, but for the gentle, milky moon, she is just right.
Mary stared at the moon without blinking. A slideshow of faces is what she anticipated, wished to see. Faces are what she had seen on the circular screen before.
On this night, the moon had something else in store.
Moon spoke to Mary, her voice in Mary’s head.
Moon’s voice is cool, soft, and here’s what she said, “Get up, Mary, and walk carefully to the Moonflower tree. There, at its feet, you will find a blackboard and chalk. Don’t linger, come back here. The Moonflower is poisonous, you see.”
Mary walked through the thick dark to the tree with trumpet-shaped flowers. White and scented with love, it was hard to believe it had poisonous powers.
But, thought Mary, beautiful things must have a defense, because beautiful things make nasty things tense.
Mary carried the blackboard and chalk back to her previous location, sat down, and waited for Moon’s instruction.
“Please write the words I say. Tell me to slow down if the words are running away.”
With Moon’s cool, soft voice in her head, Mary wrote and, as she did, the letters floated off the board up into the sky, a ribbon of noodle alphabet.
Mary tried to grab them back.
“Stop! The words are running away!” she said.
“They’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. Don’t worry. You need only tell me to stop if I’m going too fast for you,” said Moon.
Mary wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more. Thank goodness the words left the board – there was not nearly enough space for them all.
As the words neared Moon, they reassembled. The jumble of words, of their own accord, wrote the message across a sky that was now a billboard.
The words appeared, at nightfall, in many places. The message was translated. No matter which evening sky you read, it was your language you saw in your head.
If you were awake, perhaps you saw the words too?
People of Earth,
I am Moon,
in the fullness of my cycle
Always, this is how it is:
an eternal rhythm
of coming and going,
you are not alone,
by what can be seen
Before resting in slumber,
before the day is new,
say these words,
and believe them
to be true:
“In this blessed bubble
in peace and happiness,
and stillness deep
In this blessed bubble
we will be safe tonight,
and every day
In this blessed bubble
no malice dare come,
for the light it emits
is as bright as
we spin a web,
an intricate net
or the intellect
Who is created?
Could it be we do both,
in an eternal spiral
of eternal growth?
Mary was tired and asked Moon if she could rest.
Moon said, “Please keep writing, Mary. We’re almost done.”
Mary wrote Moon’s last words, her fingers, by now, a little numb.
Move forward with grace,
weary People of Earth
There is infinite, abiding
love for you,
for the goodness you birth
Thank you for receiving
my rounded thoughts,
thoughts that will soon
White light, purity,
and strength to you
in her fullest phase,
Mary watched the last word peel off, float by. She was too tired to lift her head and see it pin itself to the sky.
“Go to sleep now, Mary. You worked hard. Thank you.”
Mary lay down on the grass, on her side, bringing her knees to her belly, her left hand under her cheek.
“Goodnight, Moon,” she whispered, “Thank you for letting me hear you speak.”
All the faces of Moon smiled.
“Goodnight, Mary,” Moon replied, wide awake.
It would be quite a few nights before Moon lay on her side, taking a break.
Mary & the Moon by Michele Damstra
xxx ❤ TeaShell
PS If you enjoyed this short story, you might enjoy An Old Woman & a Pig, as well as An Old Man & a Crow
PPS I reworked this story in May 2022, refining and shortening Moon’s message