Over the Moon (flash fiction)
A windy day at the park, and three onlookers sat on their perch of a park bench, watching people strolling (or running) on paths or eating lunch on other benches or tossing a football. Two kids were flying a kite.
— Good day for a kite, one onlooker said.
— Sure is, another onlooker replied.
— Oh, to be that kite, the third onlooker remarked. Look at it way up there, floating and fluttering away. No worries at all. Such a beautiful red, too.
— But wouldn’t you rather be a bird? Much more freedom that way.
— True. The kite is tethered by the string. It can’t go where it pleases. You could say that it’s a prisoner of that boy on the other end of the string.
— Yes, you could say that. Without that string, that kite could float where ever it wanted to go.
— Or where ever the wind took it.
— Poor kite. It’s tethered by the string just as we are tethered by gravity.
— Did you say gravity?
— Indeed, I did. And I assure you that I am fully aware of the gravity of the situation.
— Oh? And just what is the gravity of the situation?
— Why, gravity, of course. Plain as day.
— And what a nice day it is. Pleasingly sunny, not too cloudy. Pleasingly warm, not too chilly.
— Sure, sure. But back to gravity. It’s the situation, all right. It keeps us pinned down on this bench. Without it, we’d all be floating around as helpless as babies.
— Yep, that’s the only thing keeping us from floating uncontrollably and flapping these useless arms. Then we’d wish we had wings instead of biceps.
— Yes, we’d thank the tether then.
— Otherwise, it would be sheer pandemonium. Crowds of people floating around and bumping into each other.
— Utter chaos.
— People would get stuck on rooftops and treetops. Why, you’d float all the way to Patagonia!
— Patagonia? Hardly. The Gulf Stream would carry down past Florida and all the way to the Caribbean.
— Gulf Stream? Isn’t that a camper? That would carry you down to Florida?
— No, that’s a Jet Stream.
— No, jet streams are in hot tubs. The Gulf Stream is in the Atlantic Ocean. A hot tub to an ocean is a difference of many factors, I assure you.
— A stream in the ocean? That makes no sense at all.
— Same with streams of consciousness. Those things are impossible to follow. So slippery, you’re sure to fall. And in falling, you fail somewhere. Somebody does, at least.
— But we’re not even close to the Atlantic Ocean.
— Still, it would be maddening to be caught in the current that somehow affects the wind direction.
— Yes, floating with no controllable direction would be maddening.
— Directions are needed.
— Like when we go to the library. Without them, and by them I mean directions, we’d be lost. We’d never get there!
— Truly, maps and directions are necessary.
— As is gravity. To think otherwise would be madness.
— Now, there’s no reason to drag the moon into this. What has the moon done to you? All is does is sit up there, beautiful in the sky.
— You can barely see it up there in the day time. Much easier to see it at night, in the dark.
— It’s mysterious that way. You see, it’s not completely innocent. It affects the tides and people’s moods. Hence the term lunacy.
— It affects more than werewolves?
— Yes, it affects the desperate and the violent. More babies are born and more crimes are committed on full moons.
— On full moons or during full moons?
— During, I suppose. I don’t know the statistics of moon people.
— Regardless, we need to stop the moon from being full.
— A capital idea.
— But can we stop the crime part and keep the babies being born part?
— Maybe we could cut the full moon in half.
— Then it’s a half moon.
— A crescent moon.
— The cow jumped over the moon.
— Someone should give that cow a contract.
— In what sport?
The three watchers watched the two kids tossing a football to each other.
— Football, one onlooker said. Most definitely football. We’re talking lucrative contracts. Serious money.
— Impossible. No one’s going to root for a cow.
— Vegetarians would.
— True. They like football, too, I imagine. As long as you stop referring to the ball as pigskin.
— Of course. And executives would make a mint on that cow’s milk. It would be deemed super milk. Drink that, and you can also jump over the moon. You could make lots of touchdowns, too.
— Now we’re talking lots of lucrative contracts.
— Serious money all over the place.
— But if every football player drank the super cow’s milk, would anyone have an advantage?
— No, of course not. You’d have to make it illegal.
— Illegal milk? That’s preposterous.
— Not all milk.
— Thank goodness for that. I have a particular fondness for coconut milk. Not only delicious, but nutritious as well.
— Okay. But you’d just have make the cow that jumped over the moon’s milk illegal.
— How can you distinguish the milk of that cow from the milk of normal, ordinary cows who can’t jump over a fence, much less the moon?
— It shouldn’t be illegal. We need to see extraordinary feats like that. Cows jumping over the moon. That sort of thing becomes legend. And songs are sung of legends.
— We need more songs like that. Legendary songs.
— Tell you what should be illegal are dishes running off with spoons. That’s unnatural.
— Everyone knows that spoons belong with forks.
— Yes, and dishes belong with bowls.
— Belong together as beautifully as peanut butter and jelly.
— Well said. This mixing up nonsense is what’s really madness.
— What we need are kites that stay tethered to the ground, balloons that don’t rip away from hands toward the freedom of open skies, cows that don’t jump over moons, and spoons that stick with their true loves, the forks.
— Agreed. We need to keep things well and good. Anything else would be lunacy.
copyright Dave Williams