Short story "Luna"

  • Hey, so this was requested to get put up, so here we are :) 

    Let me know what you think!

     

     

    Sept 23 2055

     

    Entry no 206

     

    Luna, have you ever thought about what it’s like to be alone? It never once bothered me in the past. Actually, I’d say I used to quite enjoy it, see. The moments of quiet in our noisy world. When you were younger, during one of your fits, I would end up escaping to the wheat fields to regroup. There is just something about the night sky here that just calms me down. It’s quite peaceful. Though whenever I got back to the house, I’d have to deal with an angry wife, and a crying child. It’s alright though, I eventually figured all that out. But aside from that, I’ve learned that in the years raising you with your mother, that it’s simply not enough to be all on my own. I treasured the days that you would come running home from that old county school so I’d have an excuse to pick you up, and tell you I love you. I miss them days where I told you stories that my papa used to tell me before I went to sleep. Hell, I even miss the days that you would fight with me about doing chores. After a while, you would always run to your tree house, and soon after come back and say you were sorry for the way you acted. I loved those moments. It seemed like, that whole chapter of my life would last forever. I was truly happy.

    But as time went on, you grew. Which is natural of course, but it just happened so fast. With time, you grew taller than me, and a hell of a lot smarter than me. When your mother passed away, we grew apart in our grieving. I never really adjusted to this new chapter; it was one of the most difficult times I’ve ever experienced. I mean, one of the only people I grew to love besides my parents, was gone, and you just decided you didn’t want to talk about it, or anything anymore. It was the summer of 2050 that you told me that you were going off to some science school to get a fancy degree, and while I smiled with you and encouraged you, everything in me just said… no. How long will you be gone? Will you get enough to eat? Will this year be our last harvest? Why are you leaving me all alone? It took everything in me not to grab you and tell you exactly why this is a mistake, and how you can’t just up and leave. But I kept my mouth shut Luna. I kept quiet ‘cause I loved you. But now I sure wish I said something. Will you ever come home again? You told me to get to know people in the town closest to us, but I don’t trust them. They don’t care about anyone. All that matters to them is what they hold in their hands. No, the only people for me is family. I mis--

     

    With a faint crack, the pencil broke. Looking from the top to bottom of his letter, Dane noticed the clear difference in writing. At the beginning, it was the writing he was familiar with; neat and precise. But by the end, the font started to become darker as he pressed harder onto the pad, leading to the unravelling of his thoughts. He looked up and pushed away his long curly brown hair from his eyes, trying to process the world around him. He sat at the base of a lone cedar tree, and looked out at the legion of pale yellow stalks jutting out of the ground before him. The wind around him tugged at his hair and the world alike. The patchy sky gave the environment around him a familiarity that Dane had known his whole life, comforting him. But when one of the patches began to hover over his head, he shivered.

    “It just ain’t the same” he spoke in a barely audible voice. The wheat does not dance in the wind as it used to. The leaves above him rustled with a foreign song. He placed his hands down to his sides to feel the blades of grass and while they feel the same as they always have, there is just something off about them. Dane grunted as he pushed himself up off the ground, and stretched. The world used to be so vibrant he thought, brushing off his blue jeans. The weathered man turned around and began saunter past the cedar and looked up. Before him was his home seeming older than the earth itself. On all sides, this two story house was flaking from a paint-job many years ago. By the time that he got to the threshold of his home, the sun began to set, painting tones of orange and pink throughout the sky. The familiar sound of the door creaking filled Dane’s ear as entered his home. His first step in the house resembled his door, as it let out a high pitched creak faintly ringing in his ears. He ignored his aching stomach, as he walked past his kitchen and slowly made his way up the stairs to his bedroom.

    “Maybe some sleep will do me good” Dane whispered with an expressionless face.

     

     

    September 25th 2055

     

    Entry no 207

     

    You know Luna, I think I might be dead. To be honest for the past five years, I have felt a lot of things. Fear. Confusion. Anger. Resentment. Cowardice. And of course these are normal things that people feel on a day to day basis. It’s fine to feel these things Luna, but it wears down on you after years of it. I’ve always seen myself as a strong man, able to take on anything, and that I work better alone, but this is just torture. After the second year of being by myself I tried to go into town, I just needed something. I just needed to see someone. But the thing is, it didn’t work. I was too damn afraid. Yeah I’m also afraid to be alone, don’t be a smart-ass Luna. But the moment I set foot outside of my property, I was terrified. I didn’t know the land. There were trees I didn’t recognize. There was land that I just couldn’t handle.

    I know what you’re going to say Luna. How can a man be so fragile? How can a man who has built so much be so small? And I can’t answer that.

    But the strange thing is, is that there hasn’t been anybody around in years. I always used to get planes and such, flying over the farm. Occasionally, I would hear a truck pass by, but there has been nothing for two damn years. Strange, isn’t it? So I’ve been thinking maybe, I am simply dead. This is just my solitary resting place. I don’t know if this is supposed to be heaven or hell, but either or, I don’t like it. In fact Luna, I can’t stand it.

     

    Quickly, Dane sifted his journal and pencil into the back pocket of his jeans, and lowered his body down to pick up the scythe from the ground. A small tension crept through his lower back, making him grunt as he rose up again. Dane squinted his eyes onto the flatlands that held his life’s work. The golden field caught by the wind appeared as a sea, an endless sea. He walked up to the edge of the field and brought his hand around a single stalk of grain, careful as if he were handling an infant and studied it. He brought his hand up along the length of the stem, and felt the head. Dane closed his eyes, and lowered his head, letting his lengthy hair fall in front of him. With his touch, he felt all of the individual golden kernels along the head, feeling their dry texture. The beard along the outside of the kernel felt soft, serving as a motif among the rest of the plant. Dane opened his eyes. The wind stopped. He pushed back his hair, looked out onto the field, and saw that the rustling caused by the countless stalks of wheat brushing against each other had stopped. Silence filled the air, taking no prisoners. Dane looked at the the setting sun that created a scene that it could have.

    Finally the sun set, and darker colors started filling the sky. One after another, stars started to form beyond the atmosphere, and eventually the whole sky was shining with a brilliant light. The bright lights formed pathways throughout the sky emulating milk being poured from one side of his sight to another.

    “Daddy, why do the kids at my school call it the milky way?”

    Dane’s heart stopped. His throat became dry, and eyes moist. He rose his hand up to his mouth.

    “Cause Luna” he said outloud. “It looks like someone spilled milk all over the sky, now doesn’t it?”

    Luna giggled, and replied;

    “Yeah I guess so!”

    Dane’s eyes were still fixed up at the stars, he did not dare to look down. A tear ran down his cheek, as he heard her laughter, which made him tighten up his face. He could swear he could feel the tugging on his jeans.

    “Daddy, let’s sing twinkle twinkle little star!”

    Tears continued to roll down his cheeks.

    “Alright.”

     

    “Twinkle twinkle little star,

    How I wonder what you are,

    Up above the sky so bright,

    Like a diamond in the sky,

    Twinkle twinkle little star,

    How I wonder what you are.”

     

    Dane fell to his knees and wept uncontrollably, in the still night.




    Sept 27th 2055

     

    Entry no 208

     

    I need to see you Luna. I don’t give a damn if this is some twisted afterlife. I’m leaving.

     

    The last thing that Dane put in his duffel bag, was his journal. With one hand, he pushed aside the food and clothing that he had packed up and slid the old journal in, keeping it secure. With a couple tugs, the zipper on top of the bag was closed, and with a heave, he tossed it over his shoulder. The weight of the bag felt crushing. As if the entire world was just launched upon him. Slowly he rose up, adjusted his belt, then started for his door.

    “Well I’ll be damned, it works.” The ignition took a couple turns, but after some attention, the old truck returned to life. Dane stepped outside of the truck into the garage, filled with tools and different things that he had jimmy rigged together. He placed his hands on his waist as he looked at the rust covered truck. Nearly the entire thing was covered with dust, and it gave a feeling of belonging that Dane had not experienced in a long time. He felt the hood of the truck, and felt the coarse texture of a vehicle way past it’s time. He returned to the driver’s seat of the truck, looked ahead through the open doors of the garage and made his way.

     

    Sept 28th 2055

     

    Entry no 209

     

    So I’ve been on the road for a day now, and I still have seen nothing yet. Only this country road. This can either mean one of two things. Either it is simply because of how far I have been living from everyone else, or it’s cause I am lost. I know for a fact that I am not dead now though, so that’s good. It took me a little bit of effort to get out of the area, and it’s still weird not to see things I’m used to. In fact, the less time I spend on thinking about it the better, but I’m adapting faster than I used to. I just gotta keep focused. Sleep now, then focus.

     

    By the second day on the road, Dane had gotten used to the sound of driving over gravel, and the gentle hum of the truck. He peered out the side window, and saw the passing fields of nothing go by as he drove. With the sun rising in the eastern sky, it sung throughout the plains with a refreshing light. Dane shifted in his jeans, as he tried to get comfortable on the leather seating cracking with age.

    “A man my age shouldn’t be sittin’ this damn long” Dane grunted as he adjusted himself in his spot. Looking around the truck, he noticed underneath the dashboard was the dead radio that he tried to get working so hard on the past couple years. It would have meant the world to him to hear about his daughter somehow. Maybe she’s won an award of some kind. He pressed the power button on the ratio and as expected, there was no response. With a gentle rap to the face of the box, he murmured.

    “Well, good riddance”.

    Dane looked back onto the road, and when he did, he saw something in the distance. A silhouette of something. He leaned forward and squinted his eyes, trying to focus on the object, but he was just not close enough to see it. After a couple minutes, the silhouette began to have more shape to it, and more structures around it began showing up, and Dane’s eyes opened wide.

    “By Jove, I’ve made it”.

     

    When Dane was farther off from the structures, he couldn’t really tell anything about them, just besides them being buildings. He could tell that this was the first couple buildings to the town of 60 000 that was the closest to where he lived. Memories of his trip into town flooded his memory as he approached closer and closer.

    “Damn, I hate it here. But if it’s a step closer to Luna, it’s fine by me”

    Eventually colour was given to the buildings, except it was not exactly what he had expected. Green traversed all along the walls, making them almost seem alive... but why? Finally he drove up alongside the buildings, and he observed that the green was in fact surrounding the entire building... what used to be the panes of glass on the faces of old stores, was broken. Dane stopped his truck and he stared at this for some time, but soon after he continued into the town.

     

    Sept 30th

     

    Entry no 210

     

    Alright Luna, so you might think that I’m totally crazy, but I’m not. I think the world ended and left me behind. After seeing the odd sight of the first buildings I saw being torn apart by nature, I was both curious and concerned. My first thoughts were along the lines of what the hell is going on here, but I never assumed that this would continue. I just figured that they were abandoned and the earth decided to take it. It looked funny, considering it seemed like mother nature just gobbled up the poor stores, but again, I figured they were just abandoned. Luna, there is nobody here. I went farther into the town, and there is nobody. It never crossed my mind until after I entered, but I realized that I never heard the sound of busy traffic, people talking, children playing, or anything. Hell, there were no birds singing any songs. When I entered the heart of the town, I saw the rest of the buildings were just as the first ones that I saw, overgrown and destroyed by mother nature. It seems as if she just had enough of everyone treating her poorly. I can’t imagine this just randomly happening to some this size of a town and it not happening elsewhere. Anyways, I’ve stopped for the night on the far side of the town. I’ve found some gas, and extra provisions that will hopefully serve to be plenty useful. Hopefully I’ll see you soon.

     

    The next morning he turned on the ignition, he was off. Now that he was on the highway, he no longer had to travel on the gravel roads, and he covered much more ground in shorter time. He tapped his thumb against the wheel as he rested his hand against it. Dane pondered, what could have happened to that town? Maybe some disease? Whatever happened, allhe knew was that everyone was gone. He gazed along the fallen terrain around him. On occasion along the road, he would see broken down buildings with some collapsing walls, but mostly covered in a vibrant green. Is the whole world like this?

    Dane quickly stomped on the brakes. What happened to Luna? He stared out onto the open land, he started to lose natural sight. Luna. Wait, there’s no way, she’s just in school right now, she can’t be…

    His heart leapt up to his throat as he stomped on the gas pedal.

    “There’s no way...

    There’s no way…”

     

    Gone. Gone. Gone. Everywhere he looked. Everyone was gone.















    “Luna’s gone too isn’t she?”









    Before he left, Dane doubted whether or not he needed to bring a shovel. Who knows when you need a good ol’ shovel for something, right? After scooping about three feet of dirt, a reasonable sized hole appeared in the ground, Dane stopped digging, and leaned against his shovel, and wiped sweat from his forehead. After a moment's rest, he squatted down to reach into the near duffel bag, and started poking through it, trying to find his most treasured possession. A tinge of pain shot through his finger which made him throw his hand out of the bag. He looked in it and saw the loose knife that had cut him. He glanced back at his finger, and took a breath of relief to see that there was no blood.

    “Got lucky.” Being more careful this time, he looked in and grabbed his brown leather bound journal and held it in his hands. Quickly he looked through the book, finding entry upon entry of letters to Luna, and inquiries about life. Some were really old ones from when he was a young man, but most of them were dated from the past five years. Dane closed his eyes, closing the book as well. He returned to the hole he made, and stood before it and just stared into nothing. Finally with a sigh, he went down to his knees and gently put the journal into the hole, and began pouring the dirt back onto it. Once the disturbed earth was brought back to its previous state, he looked up into the sky to notice that it was night. The stars that filled the sky shone down brightly on him and the numberless legion of lights were as beautiful as ever. With his chin in the air, Dane cleared his throat, and with a cracking voice spoke;

     

    “Sorry I didn’t have any more of you to bury..”

     

    Each word was excruciating.

     

    “What kinda father am I..”

    He was shaking.

    Time passed.

    His quivering lip opened one last time in a whisper.

     

    “Twinkle twinkle little star,

    How I wonder what you are,

    Up above the sky so bright,

    Like a diamond in the sky,

    Twinkle twinkle little star,

    How I wonder what you are.”