“Bible stories, that’s all they are!” I said.
“Mr. Newby said the moon was created on the fourth day, along with the Sun!” Mr. Newby being my seven year old son, Ivan’s, Religious Education teacher.
“Well, not everything in the Bible is completely true,” I said gently, laying a hand on his shoulder. “Some of it’s an … interpretation.”
“What’s intep…, inteperetation?” His big blue eyes looked up at me earnestly.
I suddenly wondered what it meant myself. “Well, it’s a way of saying things in … a different way,” I ventured.
“Well, Mr. Newby said it’s all true!” He turned back to his Playstation and I resisted the urge to punch a cushion, picturing Mr. Newby’s face.
“Have you ever thought about the Moon, I mean like where it came from?” said Sonja. I was head of the collections department, she was my sexy secretary, although I had to keep my fantasies to myself, for now at least..
“What, don’t you start, I had my son banging on about it this morning, courtesy of his bloody RE teacher!”
“Well Paul’s reading a book that says it’s an alien spaceship!” Paul being the boyfriend, a young ambitionless man of loutish appearance. Heaven knows what she saw in him.
“Uh-huh. She rested her face on her hands, red-painted nails pressing into her smooth cheeks, and looked up at me with doe-eyes.
I turned away, busying myself with aimless paper shuffling. “Well, what’s the evidence then?”
“Well he says it’s a trillion to one odds that a planet would have just one satellite that’d be the exact apparent size of its sun.”
“Could be a coincidence?”
“Ha, or it could be a sign to us humans, when we grew to a certain stage in our development, that it must have been placed there artificially.”
“Seems like a lot of trouble to go to.”
“Paul says it’s a stepping stone.”
“A stepping stone to other planets. How would we get to Mars, for example if we couldn’t practice by going to the Moon.”
Hmm. She had a point. Or rather Paul did. Or rather whoever wrote the goddamn book did!
When I got home that evening Ivan was on the Playstation. “What are you playing?” I asked.
“I might have guessed. Where’s mum?”
“Taking a dump.”
“Don’t be rude!”
He didn’t look up, his fingers and thumbs whirring to the sound of explosions. “Servicebot 9 perishes! Servicebot 9 perishes!”
Leaving him to invade the Moon, I took a torch and went out into the night, down through the garden to our summerhouse by a small pond. Rippling on the surface was a bright, circular, silver-white, glowing object, right in the centre. I sat on a bench and lit a cigarette. Looking up, I watched as the fragrant smoke drifted across the moon, my face bathed in its liquid silver. I wondered, like millions doubtless before me, where had it really come from and would we ever know?
If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 300 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.