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Fantasy Friendship

Out in the distance, the Earth (she/her) was looking as sinfully boring as usual - there was only so much you could do with a few colors, some clouds, and a giant wall that the Moon (they/them) had heard from his friend was to Make China Great Again...or something. The Moon didn’t understand what it meant - they thought China had always looked really good, even though it was obviously nothing compared to Jupiter’s rings or the hot glow of Mars. But it was trying. 

The Moon on this particular evening was as high as a big pizza pie, but that was typical - it was a little known fact that the Moon’s air was 75% marijuana, 20% nitrogen, and 5% oxygen/other. Armstrong’s supposed “One small step…” line had actually been pre recorded; his real first words on the Moon were: “Oh my god, I’ve reached nirvana.” But that hadn’t made the television cut. The Moon still wasn’t sure why. They rather liked Kurt Cobain. 

This was the Moon’s constantly high mind on a tangent again. Tonight, really, they were just waiting for their friend. Their only friend, really, other than the space monkeys. Their friend usually came around this time each day, after a long day of hunting down souls. His name was Ted, but associates called him The Reaper (he/they) for confidentiality purposes. The Moon was the only one to know his real name.

He came like he always did, in a magic portal that had been the basis for the ones in those superhero movies. The Moon liked to watch it form, a glowing ember appearing against the cosmic sky, growing large enough to form a hole. The hole was never big, but, contrary to popular belief, Ted was rather short and didn’t need much. 

“Hello, Moon old pal,” Ted groaned, collapsing into a crater before inhaling a deep breath of Mary Jane. “Man, you know, you get better with age.” 

The Moon appreciated the compliment, although being reminded of their age often made them feel bad for their galactic companion who grew greyer every day. “I wish I could say the same for my friend. How was she today? Get any good ones?” 

As his skeletal figure rose and fell under his cloak, he began his long list of grievances for the day: mistresses of politicians who needed to be covered up, a serial killer who asked too many questions, a child who asked no questions with the exception of when Fido was coming, a writer begging that he be let back to write the next great American novel on the scene - But you’re so short it’s laughable! No one will believe it! 

“Why do they always talk about my height?” Ted complained. “I’m only 5’3. Where I come from, that’s not so bad.” 

The Moon said nothing. They were approximately 1,076 miles in diameter. No wonder so many girls loved them. 

“Every day, it’s the same thing. ‘Is this really happening?’ ‘So I’m actually dead?’ ‘Is God real?’ ‘What is the meaning of life?’ Jesus, I don’t get paid enough for this crap. I’m supposed to pick up, drop off, try again. That’s it!” He reached under his cloak and supplied a short sickle, beginning to do a series of single tosses. 

“Can you show me some more moves?” The Moon asked. They knew talking about Ted’s colorguard days was the one thing that never failed to cheer him up. 

The Reaper got up with excitement (or what the Moon could assume was excitement) and started throwing out all his moves: single tosses, slams, twists, even a triple toss at the end. “I still wish I had a saber of some kind,” Ted sighed. “That was always my favorite.”

They talked and laughed the rest of the evening as they always did, Earth hours passing by like Earth minutes. The Moon talked about their loneliness, the conversation that they had every time their night was beginning to come to an end, and the Reaper talked about the perils of his job.

“It never gets easier,” The Reaper said. 

“Bringing people to eternal damnation or eternal happiness?”

“No,” The Reaper retorted. “I don’t care where they go. But the quotas I have to meet…they’re ridiculous. I mean, seriously, you really expect me to be able to handle ten thousand souls a day? By myself?” 

The Moon “mmh’ed” in agreement.

“And I’m working 126 hours a week. This is my only break!! Ever! Sure, I don’t need sleep, or food, or water, but is that enough reason to make me work forever?”

“Not at all.”

Not at all! I’m making minimum wage for Christ’s sake! Do I do anything with the money? Of course not! But it would be nice to be recognized.”

“Well, if it makes you feel better,” The Moon started, “I’m always on the clock. I just sit up here and spin for awhile and I guess it makes the Earth people’s days brighters.”

“Their nights,” the Reaper corrected.

The Moon paused for a moment, taking the time to process. “Wait, their nights?”

“Yeah,” the Reaper replied, “You’re in charge of nights. Sunny’s got the day shift.”

“But-” The Moon was beginning to panic now. “But, but…how do they ever sleep? I’m really bright.”

The Reaper was still failing to see how much this was really impacting their friend, and kept playing with the sickle while answering the questions. “Babes, I love you, but you’re really not all that bright. Even with you shining at night, it’s still pretty dark down there.”

“Oh my goodness.”

“But Sunny’s got a good handle of the day! You know, it’s kind of cool the way his rays hit the ground. They give people these really cool tans-”

“BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?” The Moon was crying now. The Reaper began to feel the ground under their feet shaking. “What am I to Earth? Just a sign of perpetual darkness? Is that all I am?”

The Reaper understood now. “Oh, babes.” He bent down to pat their friend. “I know you’ve been in love with Earth for a long time now. I think you should know, a lot of humans feel the same way.”

The ground stopped shaking. “They…they do?”

“Sure!” Ted exclaimed. “I get asked all the time if I’ve ever visited you, and I get to tell everyone how wonderful my good friend is! They love you, Moony. And anyway, Sunny’s overrated. Earth would be stupid not to be in love with you, too.”

“Do you read her my letters?” 

“Every day.”

“Does she-”

“Babes, you know she’s mute.”

“I know. Fuck climate change.” The Moon didn’t swear much, but when they did, it was about climate change. 

The Reaper leaned down to pat his friend again. “Alright, love, it’s time for me to head back to the grind. Same time tomorrow?”

They took a breath. The Moon breathed better when their friend was here. “Same time tomorrow.” 

The Reaper set his sickle down and the glowing ember appeared, a little dimmer now because they were leaving. But the Moon knew he would be back. He always came back.

January 25, 2022 15:16

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1 comment

Corey Melin
19:21 Jan 30, 2022

Enjoyed it. Love the imagination. Always a big plus. Unique and imaginative.


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