I See the Moon

Submitted into Contest #80 in response to: Write about a child witnessing a major historical event.... view prompt


American Historical Fiction Happy

“Tomorrow’s the big day, my little rocket man.”

Mom sits beside me on the bed and her slender hands reach to stack my large pile of Mystery in Space comic books neatly on the floor.

 “Mom, did you know the moon is about 240,000 miles from the earth? Did you know they are going to put television cameras on the moon? Do you know I am going to live there one day? Did you know the astronauts are going to bring back moon rocks?”

“Yes, yes, I know, Billy. Now, where did we stop reading last night?” Mom lifts the worn book off of the small table beside by bed and begins to read. After a few pages of my favorite book, The First Book of Space Travel, mom straightens the bedspread and tucks the edges in tightly around me and Major Matt Mason. Pushing the stray hair out of my eyes she lightly kisses the top of my forehead.

“I see the moon and the moon sees me, the moon sees somebody I wanna see. God bless the moon and God bless me: And God bless that somebody I wanna see.” We recite this together while holding hands. Our eyes looking out the window towards the moon. 

There are always tears in mom’s eyes when we get to the end. Reciting the rhyme without him still makes her sad. Mom blows me another kiss. I pretend to catch it and put it to my lips. She turns out the light and leaves me alone in my room.

 In the darkness the moonlight casts a bright beam across my bed like a pathway into the expansive sky. I close my eyes and imagine myself walking through soft fluffy clouds, gliding past Big Dipper and Little Bear, floating through the starry night straight to the moon. I step cautiously onto it’s surface and bounce. It reminds me of when I poke mom’s green jello salad with my finger. I laugh. Then I scoop up a hand full of black moon dust and toss it up into the air. The particles twirl and swirl before me. I march around in my weighted boots leaving footprints as I go. I smile. I am rocket man and I am on the moon.


“You can’t eat with your helmet on, Billy. Take it off.” Mom says handing me my Mickey Mouse Rocket Ship cup filled with orange juice.

I race outside after swallowing my last spoonful of soggy cereal. My best friend, Phillip is already in the back yard waiting for me with Sargent Storm.

 “Don’t use all the aluminum foil this time.” Mom warns as I slam the back door.

“ Good morning, Major.” Phillip says.

“ Good morning, Sargent. Is everything a go for launch?” 

“Yes, sir. All systems ready.”

Phillip begins the countdown. “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,1.”

 “Blast off.” We shout together as we zoom around the back yard before landing our rockets safely in the sand box.

“That was a smooth landing.” 

“Thanks, Sargent.”

“Let’s get out there. Ready the space sleds.”

“Watch out for that deep crater!” Phillip yells as our space sleds barely miss the deep hole he had dug out with a shovel. 

Phillip and I explore every inch of the moon with Major Mason and Sargent Strong until our mother’s call us in for lunch. We both got the action figure space heroes for Christmas complete with all their accessories. It is the best gift ever!

After lunch, I help mom string red, white and blue streamers and balloons across our living room. Phillip and his parents are coming over tonight. Mom said Phillip and I could each have a moon pie and milk for dessert.

Mom turned the television set on early so the tubes could warm. Phillip and I sit in our space suits anxiously waiting with Major Mason and Sargent Storm close at hand.

Walter Cronkite’s familiar voice alerts us that the programming is about to begin. The room is silent with all of our eyes focused on the black and white screen in front of us. 

The landing of the lunar modular, Eagle goes off without a hitch. We all give a sigh of relief when we hear Armstrong’s report to control center in Houston. “Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.” 

 A fuzzy, blurry picture comes in as we see a glimpse of an astronaut climbing down the ladder from the lunar modular onto the moon’s powdery surface. Commander Armstrong looks like a ghost in the hazy image.

“Look, look there he is! He’s on the ladder.” I shout. 

Phillip and I move to the floor and crawl closer to the large television set. We repeat Commander Armstrong’s words “One small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.” As we leap around the living room trying to imitate his swimming like movements. 

“ Oh my, can you believe it? It is really happening.” My mom says.

“It was a long time in coming. Can’t let those Soviets get ahead of us.” Phillip’s father responds. 

We watch as Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin press an American flag in the moon’s surface. Phillip and I stand and salute the stars and stripes along with them. Our parents cheer and clap. Phillip and I jump and and down shouting. “They are on the moon! They are on the moon!”

“Quiet down boys or we’ll miss what President Nixon is saying.”Phillip’s father cautions.

“Making a phone call to the moon. I just don’t understand how that can be.” Phillip’s mom says shaking her head.

President Nixon thanks Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin. He tells them how proud he is off them. The President tells them every American is proud of them too and sends their prayers for a safe return.

It is all over to soon for Phillip and I. We want to see more of the moon and the astronauts but our parents say it is getting late and time for bed.

Looking up at moon through my bedroom window; I think I can almost see the American flag waving proudly from the moon’s surface. I climb into bed close my eyes and dream.

February 09, 2021 10:48

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Emily Trucco
13:06 Feb 15, 2021

This is wonderful! I loved how light hearted and fun your story felt. Billy was a brilliant characters - I could definitely feel the excitement of the event through him. Was Billy's dad supposed to be one of the astronauts? I loved the mention of Billy's mum looking at the moon and thinking for his father, but was rather confused when it was never mentioned again. I'd also put a line break between Billy's dream and the dialogue "You can't eat with your helmet on ...". It took me a moment to realise that Billy wasn't dreaming anymore. The c...


D. Owen
15:08 Feb 15, 2021

Thank you, Emily. I aways look forward to your feedback.


D. Owen
15:30 Feb 15, 2021

I considered having Billy's father be one of the astronauts. My thought was more that he was no longer with them-passed away. I changed the line. Please let me know if it lessens the confusion. I am open to suggestions. Thanks, Doria


Emily Trucco
17:13 Feb 15, 2021

Yes, I think the way you describe it now works really well. I look forward to your next story - I enjoy your writing hugely


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D. Owen
15:08 Feb 15, 2021

Thank you, Emily. I aways look forward to your feedback.


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