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Science Fiction Fantasy Fiction

As far as I know, Rowan Davis was the first to discover the hole in the clouds. Soon after the discovery, he gathered a few of his friends, as well as myself. We stayed up all night watching the gap. Then we decided to meet again the night after. For three weeks now, the rain has not stopped! 

The last one of us arrived at midnight. I believe it was Bankin. He joined us in the bedroom. Rowan did not have any expectations. In fact, he purchased the telescope by chance when it all began and for no other reason.

It was Eloise, Rowan's wife, who made the chocolate pudding. She had a very good reason for doing so. After extensive observation and two bowls of pudding, Rowan claimed that the hole was widening. He said, "It's getting bigger and bigger.". 

Jenkins confirmed his observations. "Confirmed" may be a bit too formal. "Agreed" would be more appropriate. But Wolfgang Herman disagreed. Obviously, Wolfgang Herman is German. He still devoured Mrs. Davis' English-style chocolate pudding. "We'll know tomorrow who's right,'' he said. 

The next night, at ten o'clock, we gathered again in the attic. Herman assembled a lens that he brought from home and it seemed to fit the telescope perfectly. "This will prove very useful,'' he said. 

By 2 a.m., it was clear that the gap was widening. Herman concurred. That night no bowl of chocolate pudding was served. 

By 2:30, we could all see through the hole. we could see the moon. Jenkins was the first, Rowan was next, Herman and Bankin after them, then me and Eloise.

Rowan and Eloise have been married to her for over 25 years! None of us has been in a relationship for that long. Even more unbelievable is that they met in August, married in August, and got their only son on the last day of August.

But he died three summers later. 

I was amazed by the sights. I thought they were stunning. As Jenkins said, "Goodness, that is unimaginable. Those craters. They are filled with water. What a sight." 

Bankin lit a pipe in the corner of the room. He used Hatchins American tobacco. Rowan also once used Hatchins tobacco but he stopped smoking after his son died. Since that awful summer, he changed many things about himself. Bankin noted that the moon's new atmosphere is very similar to ours. His mouth formed a small cloud. “First winter ever." Was I the only one imagining snow on the moon?

Herman glanced through the telescope viewfinder. Three hundred pounds. The price Rowan had been asked to pay. "Well, what a wonder," he said. 

Mrs. Davis rubbed her teeth against her lips and repeated, "What a wonder." She was about to become 48 years old in less than two weeks. 

Jenkins tapped on the window. He cautioned that theoritically, this can be just an optical illusion. Rowan stepped closer to the telescope. He peered through the peephole. He said, "No way! Something serious is going on!". Following his observation, he inspected the telescope body in the same way one would appraise an artifact.

Herman said that if it rains up there, there should also be winds. Jenkins agreed. "The wind must also be blowing from one direction to another," he said. 

"I'll bet it blows from the dark side to the light." Rowan said. 

Herman and Bankin laughed out loud. Jenkins gave a shy smile. Mrs. Davis shook her head. I remember that her smile came a little late. 

Jenkins then pulled out a twenty-pound banknote from his shirt pocket. He handed it to Eloise with the JMW Turner side facing up. “From dark to light,” he said.  

Bankin sucked with pleasure from his pipe. He liked Jenkins' special sense of humor. Bankin himself used to have a good sense of humor.

As if asking for permission to speak, Rowan raised his hand. “Now, tell me, can we guess a reason for all this?" 

Herman kept silent. Both Bankin and Jenkins were silent and so was Mrs. Davis and I. But the most silent of all was Herman. He replied, "Of course we can." without giving any further explanation. So Jenkins said, "Is there, for crying out loud, one thing in our world that has no reason?" 

"Take luck, for example," Rowan said. 

Bankin placed his pipe in an ashtray designed as the 'Amor and Psyche' statue of Canova.

"Glück?" cried Herman. 

"Yes, luck," Rowan said. "Does luck have a reason?" 

Herman opened his eyes. His eyes were too big for Rowan's small attic. “Luck may have a reason and luck may not have a reason, and it might be that sometimes it has a reason and sometimes it doesn't." He said with a slight German accent.

I felt Jenkins' arm around my shoulder as he came close to me. If I win a bingo game, my wife wins the lottery, and my daughter meets a guy I like for a change, must all of these things have a reason? 

Eloise got up. She got up at once. "If someone wants tea or coffee or a cold drink… There are also biscuits and cookies." She didn't normally offer Rowan's friends anything to eat or drink, but that night, she did. Rowan asked for tea. Bankin tea. Jenkins tea and biscuits. And Herman, I think it was coffee. He generally preferred coffee, no matter what time of the day it was. 

Bankin sat on the couch exactly where Mrs. Davis sat before going to fetch tea and biscuits. She probably thought that this may be the right time to tell her husband about her pregnancy, at the age of 48. She will be due in the summer.

She was in the kitchen when her husband entered. She hadn't called him to help with the drinks. I was close enough to hear the sound of water rising from the tap.

“So, Rowan!” She said, “Would you like to hear some more news from the universe?” 

February 20, 2022 00:25

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4 comments

17:46 Mar 06, 2022

Hi Tsvi, As promised I'm back to offer some crit. I had a quick flick through your profile before I started reading and noticed that you have had a previous story shortlisted. Congratulations! This is more than I have managed to achieve. I'm actually a little intimidated by you and trying to critique your work when I suspect your writing is better than mine is a bit weird. But I'll give it a go: As far as I know, Rowan Davis was the first to discover the hole in the clouds. - I really like the opening line. What a great way to build a se...

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Tsvi Jolles
18:48 Mar 06, 2022

Thank you for your review, Kathrine. I appreciate your time and effort. The Reedsy editors won't let me incorporate some of your good corrections once the story has been approved. However, I will incorporate them in my files. Thanks again, and I hope I can reciprocate.

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18:02 Mar 04, 2022

Hi There, I got this story in critique circle - if you would like me to read it an offer some crit I would be happy to do so - please let me know by replying to this comment. Best, Katharine

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Tsvi Jolles
19:01 Mar 04, 2022

Sure I'm always in for a feedback. And thank you so much for offering this.

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