Fly me to the moon

Submitted into Contest #112 in response to: End your story with a character standing in the rain.... view prompt

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Kids Drama Coming of Age

Fly me to the moon

Let me play among the starts

Celeste could hear soft crackling behind. A warm fire, almost as tender as her mother’s arms. She rocked her little baby and hummed the song. Holding Celeste so tightly that it seemed as though she would never let go. So Celeste let her head rest on her mother’s chest.

In other words, please be true

In other words, I love…

The fire disappeared first. It left nothing behind, but the cold. So Celeste tried to look at her mother, but she was no more. In her place, blankets. And a scratchy pillow. Her mother’s song now bitter silence. So Celeste had nothing to do other than listen. To the quiet. Had there ever been such a song, as the one in her dream? She wiped her tears away and tried to remember.

Fly … La la la la, but the more she tried to seize the notes, the further away they flew. Then there was nothing left of it but a vague tune. The tune misshaped itself somehow; then there was nothing left of it, but the vague memory of a dream, which had once more lied to her. Comforting fires and delicate songs. Lies.

Celeste sighed. What else was there to be done? She went back to her bedroom and grabbed a couple of Vicodin from her bedside table, got ready for work, took some more pills, then left.

Everybody was silent in the office that morning. Not a quiet silence. One full of whispers. Celeste stopped next to one of her colleagues to find out what was going on, when, in the middle of the indistinguishable voices came a cry. A baby’s cry. Celeste ran to Mrs Jones’ office.

In it, a cradle had been left on the floor. Even though the cries coming from it were incessant, Mrs Jones refused to put look at it. She was staring at the door, until her secretary walked in. ‘You could have knocked.’ She said, coldly. Celeste did not answer anything, staring right at the baby instead. Mrs Jones continued: ‘Make yourself useful, will you? Take the baby. That’s your job for the day.’ ’Who’s the mother?’ is the only question that Celeste managed to utter, but it was already too late. Mrs Jones had left.

There are many people and many places perfectly suited for a crying baby. A teacher in a kinder garden, a mother in their home, a nurse in a hospital. But a secretary in a busy office? No, that certainly didn’t check any of the boxes above in any way. Celeste lifted the blanket on Luna’s face to have a better look. Rosy cheeks, the most lively smile that she had ever remembered seeing and brown eyes. ‘Oh so your eyes aren’t blue! Well, I guess nobody’s perfect.’ The baby cried some more.

Had Celeste ever held a baby before? She tried to remember, but all that came to mind was her last dream. The fire crackling, the warmth, the music… Celeste held the baby a little tighter, started rocking it back and forth, and sang to it. ‘Fly la la la la and let me la la la la laaa.’ When words ran out, she started humming it. The baby stopped crying. Was it a he or a she? ‘I don’t even know your name.’ Whispered Celeste, as the baby was slowly drifting off.

‘Her name is Luna.’ Celeste turn around. Those gentle words came from a black-haired teenage girl. Her eyes kept on trying to escape the room and her arms were clutched, as if they were the only thing holding her up. ‘Well thank you for telling me, I was about to find her a new name! Is she your little sister?’ The teen did not answer, she simply looked down. She was shaking a little.

Fly me to the moon

And please tell me your name

Sang Celeste. The teen laughed ‘Those aren’t the right notes!’’Oh, so you know it?’ Asked Celeste. The teen sat next to the baby and sang:

Fill my heart with song

Let me sing forevermore

You are all I long for, all I worship and adore

In other words, please be true

In other words,

I love you…

Celeste knew, as she looked at the child and young woman, all that she needed to know ‘You’re the mother.’ She said. The teenager stood in silence for a moment, then answered: ‘I’m Dawn.’

***

Fill my heart with song and let me sing forevermore

You are all I long for

All I worship and adore

Celeste giggled as her mother smothered her with kisses, before singing again

In other words, please be true

In other words, I love…

The sentence did not need an ending to be full, but Celeste wanted to hear it. She tried clinging onto her mother, her arms holding nothing but dust and air, her body falling into her bed, where she woke up. She woke, no longer a hopeful toddler, but a tearful adult. She threw her pillow to the other side of the room, but that wasn’t enough. The pillow broke nothing, feathers didn’t fly out of it. Nothing happened. It bounced on a wall and that was it.

The song came back to her mind. Not that, she thought. Anything but that. Oxycodone. One? Two? What about a handful? She had never done that before. Celeste emptied the bottle of pills in her hand. Was she really about to do this? What else was there out there, really? She would be at three. At three. One… Two… The phone rang. Celeste looked down to her hand. The pills could wait.

‘What have you told my daughter?’ Said the voice on the other side of the phone, before Celeste could even say a word. ‘Mrs Jones?’ She asked. ‘Well who else would it be? Listen, Dawn left.’ There was a small moment of pause, from both of them. ‘With…’ ‘No, without. Without the baby. She just left one note.’ ‘What does it…’ ‘Fly her to the moon.’ They both took a pause. ‘I’ll come to work right away.’ ‘Come to my place. I can’t handle this… This thing!’ ‘Her name is Luna.’ Mrs Jones hung up.

Half an hour later, Celeste picked up little Luna from her grandmother’s place.

The next hour, the three of them were in the office building. ‘Is this a durable…’ Celeste didn’t have time to finish her question. Mrs Jones locked herself in her office without answering.

Some babies cry to be heard, others because they need something. After a while, Luna’s cries started sounding muffled, as if being heard no longer mattered. perhaps it didn’t. Her eyes had turned pale, as if all the color had been drained from them. Celeste held the baby tighter, but it was no use. She went back to her dreams. Safe fires, soft songs and warm mother’s embrasse. What would Luna have to dream about? Ringing phones? People typing on computers? The cold arms of a stranger?

Celeste looked back to the little note that Dawn had left behind. ‘Fly her to the moon.’ Fly, fly… She got up, baby still in her arms and ran out of the building and out into the street.

Sometimes, when Celeste looked up to a tall building, she would get vertigo. When ever she would go to the other side of town and stopped in front of the Bridge, she would always need to sit down. As she was about to take a seat on the closest bench, she found just who she was looking for. A hood on her head, sunglasses covering her eyes, but it was definitely her.

‘It’s funny’ She said, Startling Dawn. ‘Sometimes, working for your mother, I spend whole days doing these insane, meaningless tasks… I forget what the job is all about. Then I think back to the Bridge and it comes back to me. It’s about being part of something… Bigger.’ Dawn frowned: ‘She didn’t get it built to make something great. She wanted to prove that she wanted to reach whatever was up there. In the sky.’

‘A Bridge to the heaven, sun and…’

‘And moon, yeah.’

Celeste sat next to Dawn. ‘Who’s the baby’s… No, never mind.’ The young mother did not even react. There was nothing left to say. Not even Luna had a sound left to make. Still, Celeste kept on talking: ‘You know, my mother, she… She passed away pretty early in my life.’ No answer, she kept speaking. ‘I have dreams about her, every night. And I don’t know how my mind manages to do this, but every single night, it convinces me that my mother is still there, holding me.’ It started raining. Dawn tried to look away, but she could not stop herself from looking at Luna. Without warning, she grabbed her baby into her arms.

‘I don’t know who you think you are, miss, or what made you think that I could ever take care of that kid, but I can’t. If my mom takes care of Luna, then at least she’ll have everything that she could ever wish for. I can’t… I can’t…’

Celeste looked up at the rain and stood up: ‘She’ll never be able to give your baby what matters most.’

‘And what is that?’

Celeste couldn’t find the right words to answer. So she sang.

Fly me to the clouds

Let me… play among raindrops’

Luna giggled, Dawn smiled.

Let me see what mother you could be

If only you dared to try

In other words, hold her hands

In other words…

Dawn cried as she kissed her baby’s forehead and whispered: ‘I love you.’

September 24, 2021 21:05

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