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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Moon-Man (Flash fiction serial)

Two minutes ago the bullet pierced my wife's breast, throwing her back against my chest.

Three hours ago UN forces broke through our flimsy perimeter barricades, staining our ivory, dusty yard with their filthy ridged boots.

Five weeks ago the world's most powerful nations voted to ban sales of moon acreage to individuals, nullifying the homestead my family lives on. "No one has the right to own any part of the moon--it is a universal resource that belongs to the earth," they said, because they wanted to own it, and if they can't, no one can. Even our Paraguayan homeland voted against us.

Eight months ago Time magazine reported on my wife's clean energy enterprise mining H3 by the sea of tranquility, alerting the whole world to how much earthlings stand to make monetizing the moon. They assumed she, too, did it for the cash. As if we didn't live in a two by six meter box. As if we didn't need oxygen.

Thirteen years ago my wife's dark eyes sparkled like our Guarani night sky as we squeezed into the tiny capsule atop our rocket to the moon. I could feel her heart throbbing against my chest as she whispered, "We're free now."

Twenty-one years ago I began selling everything we owned and working double shifts at the bio-tengineering firm in Asuncion to save up for a one-way ticket into space.

Thirty-four years ago my wife bought three acres on the moon, online, stumbling over her words in an almost singing voice as she sold me her manic dream of sustainable farming in a glass box. I didn't believe, at the time, that the world was wrong enough to warrant escapism like that, but I admitted that her fingertips--something in the slow, sweeping way they spread the Pop sci articles and smudged pubmed printouts on the hot floor around us--something in the way she fingered the vines sprawling across our cement patio promised me that if anyone could build a biosphere on the moon, she could. She'd just dropped out of high-school.

Fifty-five seconds ago she gripped my face with her clammy hands as I screamed surrender. The wrinkles around her eyes now squeeze "no," but she cannot speak. Her voice has left her to possess our teenage son--he hurls himself at his mother's murderers, he dies slicing open their air hoses, smashing their helmets, roaring her words: "We will fight for our home!" He was born on the moon; his pooling blood seems to shine against its surface. I give up, I beg him to stop, plead her to live; I'm bargaining, he's anger, she's acceptance. She gasps in Guarani, promising me she'll see me again. "Jajotopapeve."

She breathes, and then doesn't. Her soul mists her helmet. It's fading, all of it--they squeeze my oxygen line to drag me off her. I choke. They throw a flare torch into the gutted capsule we arrived in, where our beds lay, and for a moment there are flames before the air disappears. The flames choke. The astronauts smash the walls of the plastic box where our food grows, and the plants pop out jubilantly like jack-in-the-boxes, little knowing they're soon to starve. To choke.

Mi amor, all of it, dies.

We were arrogant to dream--to dream we could wake the world by moving to the moon--no, arrogant even to dream we could ever really own anything, no, no, NO--arrogant to dream at all. We were arrogant to dream at all.

The moon is no longer our home. The moon--the moon belongs to the earth.


I'd like to do a flash fic series with this moon-man character. Should be rated PGish. Come back next Tuesday for more! In the meantime, for happier, funnier short fiction, check out this link! For dark and horrible things, check out this link! To throw caution to the wind and just read through all the fiction on this little blog, click here! Haaaappy hunting!




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