A tragic tale seen through the eyes of a child who speaks to the moon.
By Daniel Rodriguez
(Dedicated to the Real Malina and to a friend)
The moon rose over the little town, down under the valley. It was a quite town, but very modern in every way. It had it's mall, two separate movie theaters so one could catch the film the other would refuse to show and so forth. For food, it had it's share of restaurants ranging from Mexican to Chinese as well as those near twenty-four hour breakfast joints. This town had everything a normal city would have except a home team and traffic.
And the moon smiled. This is not a tale about the town, nor is it important how authentic and detailed the location is. It all leads to a simple thought; there is a town that is simple yet complete. It brings the feel of this tale and brings a feel to who this story is really about.
This story is about a child. A simple minded kid who has yet to be corrupted by the true world as well as his own age. His name is Brendan. He is the boy who lives in this town which sets the mood for the tale.
Then the moon had to depart for the time being. It had been a productive night for her and though disappointed that she had to leave, there was a solace in that she would return. Brendan was asleep until the sun was set to rise. It was going to be a new day, and definetly a new adventure.
The music was blasting more then it should to "The Wakey Wakey Song." The mother hadd never given her son a proper radio so until she could feel a purpose for it, he would suffer from the same music he heard when he started Kindergarten. To add, even in his age, he was too old for that song. It left him in a even more sour mood that this very song would end his times of summer and start the rest of his life of school with.
Eventually, the mother was able to drag the kid to school and then his class started, pretty uneventful stuff however one thing did happen. "Class, I would like to introduce to our school a person who has come from out of town…Carla Sutherland."
Obviously out of towners were rare, even more, new students. There was a chatter amongst the crowd already. The teacher however gave the girl a hidden stare. She kept her mouth shut though. She wasn't told how to handle something like this. However, for all she knew, the bruise on the girls cheek might have meant something else. Kids would play rough and get bruises all the time. She hoped that was the case. It wasn't.
Moments passed, the new girl was seated behind Brendan and during recess, the two would become friends. Then came the final moment of the day and the kids played a game of dodge ball. Though the teams were even, Brendan had to face kids that were twins. As a result, the two thought alike and their team won. It was a quick day for him overall.
Up the stairs in the empty house save the mother and father and into his room. He watched sun set and opened the blinds to let in the light of his other friend. Soon the town and all in was blanketed by night. And he was alone in his room, bringing a seat to his window. The time had come again.
"Good Night Brendan," the soft voice began to say. It was a voice that gave him warmth and a sense of protection.
"How are you this night?" He asked the moon. "Okay as usual" she responded then to say, "So today was your first day of the fourth grade. How did it go?"
"It was good, today I made a new friend. And we had some fun playing games." The moon was convinced something more then that was amiss. "What's wrong. You got something of a sad face?" It was almost uncanny how she could read him so easily. "It's nothing, just that, today, I played against two brothers and it just reminds me how I have no brother or sister to keep me company and be with me. No one to look up to and no one to have look up to me. It gets lonely in this house except when I talk to you."
The lady in the moon sat down, she felt guilty she brought it up. It was irony really but she kept her mouth quite and hoped to change the subject. "So, tell me about this new friend." It seemed to work.
"I think her name is Carla, she is new here…" Brendan began to say. "Is she nice?" The moon butted in. It took moments to realize that it was a futile thing to ask. "I think she is nice." The moon laughed gently. He obviously didn't understand the question. Just as well. "What's funny?" She stopped laughing at that moment. "Nothing" she responded.
As is the rule of nature, time passed and eventually, "BRENDAN! YOU HAVE SCHOOL TOMORROW! GO TO BED!" His mother semi-yelled from down stairs. "Well I have to go to bed, thanks again for talking to me, good night moon." He closed the window and brought down the shades and went to bed. The moon blew its kiss and wandered into the night.
It got lonely in that dark starry sky, accompanied by stars that had no life of their own. Then came the cold breeze and the moon finally set as the sun began to arise. Her time would come again. Just not at this moment, now the sun ruled the day.
"Wake up child, its time for Wakey Wakey!" The music began to horridly play. Brendan looked around the room for a brief moment coming out of his dream into the real world, not sure which was which. "Five more minutes," he reasoned with himself and went back down for some rest. All in vain.
The song wasn't stopping and truth be told, it was waking up the father who had to go to work. A loud knocking came on the door. "Bren! Keep that thing quite!" The father hadn't had his daily coffee and at this moment wasn't sure himself if he was still asleep dreaming of that song and knocking on the door. If so, he was waiting for the moment he would wake up and realize this was a dream of waking up. It wasn't.
So much for the poor kids five extra minutes of rest. Brendan got up, walking like a zombie and turned off the radio. Then came the second voice, "Come on honey, get downstairs, we don't have all morning, it's a school day." "I'm coming, I'm coming," he was barely able to mumble under his breath.
Down the stairs and into the kitchen, he sat and ate some silly brand of cereal that unsurprisingly contained the wrong type of nutrition to start any day. The day was starting slow for that household. Turned out they were really out of practice of working on their morning routine. Before they knew it, he was late for class.
The door busted open, and Brendan had to endure the awkward silence the teacher gives and the even more awkward stare of everyone in the class. There were two chairs open, both in the back next to each other. He slightly wished he could have sat in his old spot. So to the back he quietly walked, knowing he still had everyone's undying attention. Only made him feel worse. Then he noticed that the open seat next to him was open. Someone was absent.
About fifteen minutes into the lecture about the arrangement of the planets, the door opened again. The other late student walked in. The teacher was thinking of saying something, but upon seeing Carla's face, realized she was in way over her head. The young child merely looked back with apologetic eyes then simply said "I'm sorry, I'll sit down now." She looked for an open space, then realized the seat was next to the nice kid she met the day earlier. Carla sucked up the slight pain and tried to take this as a good sign.
The classes went on for some time, though sitting in the back prompted Brendan and some of the other kids back there more conversation time with another then Brendan would have originally liked, he simply wasn't absorbing the teachers words anymore. He also couldn't hear the twins in front trying to outsmart the teacher on the fact that Pluto should or should not be a real planet. The class had their laughter and soon, the school day was over.
So Brendan and two of his buddies, and the new to town girl, Carla went walking along the sidewalk figuring how to spend the afternoon. It was a semi long debate that ended with the idea that they all head to the park and play a game of tag. Before anyone could say anything, one of the two kids tagged Carla and the race was on. For the briefest moment she thought about telling her father where she would be so he wouldn't be worried, but then again the temptation to just have fun with her friends was too much.
The sunset revealed it was time to go home. A sad depression that the days adventure was over fell among all the participants. More so Carla then the others. Fate was inevitable and they all went home.
"Welcome home honey. Where were you?" Brendan forgot to tell his mother, but one of the pluses of living in a small community was that there were few reasons to worry if a kid didn't come home right away. "Me and my friends were playing tag in the park." "Okay, now go to your room and do your homework, dinner will be ready soon."
The dinner was average, but what was really getting the boy was the lack of sleep, he was exhausted and tired. So without wanting dessert, which was a rarity in itself, he set off for his bedroom early.
He looked at the window as he finished reading the assigned text. He learned nothing new, but that was not the point. Then he saw the moon outside. He walked to the window and smiled at her.
"So, how was your day?" He asked her. The lady chuckled. "Why do you always laugh when I say something?" She chuckled a bit harder at the last comment he made. "It's nothing."
"I don't believe you, what is it?" For once, Brendan was calling her number. "I promise you, it's nothing. Well, you kinda aren't supposed to ask me 'how was my day' when most everything I observe is night." Brendan realized his mistake. "Ya, sorry about that," he replied with a nervous chuckle of his own.
"Well, for a spirit that watches the stars for twenty-four hours a day, its going as can be expected. How about you Br…Brendan?" She almost let it slip.
"Are you alright?" he asked. "Ya, sure, I am just fine," she replied. He could hear the attempted cover up. "I heard that most people feel better when they talk about it." She smiled at the gesture. "Well, it can sometimes get lonely up here. That's all," she said looking at the vast space around her.
"Cheer up; you got me after all right?" He said cheerfully. She smiled. "Yes I do. So how is the 'nice new girl?' We really didn't get to talk about her last night."
"Oh, Carla, she is pretty cool. Today she looked a bit weird during class. Like she was scared or something. I don't know what that's about. But she is really cool. We played tag today. You know, there is something about her. I don't know what it is."
The moon pondered on this statement. Could it be that he "liked" liked her? "So, um, Carla, is she pretty, cute, gorgeous?" Brendan knew where this was heading. "What!? No, of course not. She is okay looking I guess, but there are cuter girls in class." Was he being defensive of his feelings or honest? She couldn't tell.
"So anything of interest happen today?" He thought for a second, "Well, I was late to class, does that count. Um, the twins made fun of the teacher, and me and my pals played tag in the park. You know what moon. As much as I would like to talk. I am getting shleepy." The lisp was setting in. He wasn't really able to keep in the tiredness in any more.
"Goodnight then Brendan, pleasant dreams." He smile and waved goodbye to her and responded, "You too. You seem to need some sleep yourself if your alone all the time. Goodnight moon." She lied to him, she was never alone as long as she watched over him.
"Brendan! Turn off that music and get up!" His mother was yelling, sure enough, he was sleeping through the second verse of the horrid song. He got up, stretched and let out a loud yawn. He would have given anything in the world that day to not have gone to school. Just the thought of class and wasting what could be good sleep saddened him.
He got his outfit picked out and headed down stairs. "Mom, we are out of cereal." She looked at him and smiled, "that's why I am making us breakfast this morning." She flipped the set of eggs down and placed them on the next dish, this one heading to the father of the household. "Thanks doll," he childishly called her. The mother then placed the next set of eggs in front of her son.
"Mom, how come I am an only child?" The table went silent. "Now more then in the past I keep just feeling so lonesome. Why haven't you had another one."
"Well, dear, we tried once, and well. We've told you this before, I miscarried." It wasn't her favorite topic obviously to talk about. It slightly killed whatever mood she was in. "I know my sister died, but why didn't you have another after."
"You know Bren, sometimes tragedy can take a lot of will out of someone and being that we almost lost you, we figured it wasn't worth the risk." The father tried to hide back his own wish to be a father to another individual. He then added, "It just wasn't in the cards. Now hurry and finish that meal or you will be late to school."
"Oh. That reminds me sweaty, I cant drive you, I have to leave for work early, so your going to have to eat up a bit quicker."
He scarfed down his eggs a bit so fast that the taste started to make him want to throw up. However he learned that you needed a complete breakfast to start the day ahead. He then ran out the door full speed. Luckily for him the school was five blocks away.
The backpack however added a slight sense of damage. His neck felt like its skin was starting to peel off and he just wished he was there already. Up ahead he could see the students still playing outside. He smiled that he wasn't going to be late.
The twins were getting into an argument. It made everyone form a circle to watch the events unfold. Unfortunately Brendan had to get his backpack in class before he could go out to play. By the time he came out to see what the fuss was, the school bell rang, and instantly he was drained of any fun energy he had.
"Alright guys, sit down." Brendan saw the open seat he wanted. He quickly bolted and sat down. Carla herself wasn't late this time and once again, like the first day of class, sat behind him. "Okay class, lets review, how many planets are in our solar system?" The teacher went on.
"Definitely not nine!" One of the twins hollered. Laughter in the class. The teacher couldn't believe those two rotten children were still on this subject.
"Hey Brendan," Carla slightly whispered, "Want to play at my house today?" Brendan thought for a moment. "Sure, how bout the other guys?" She smiled, "The more the better." They agreed that after they each went home to their respective houses they would meet at her place.
"Brendan! Perhaps you could tell us what the orbit speed of the moon is?" The teacher said impatiently. Brendan forgot he was no longer in the back of the class and the teacher could hear everyone other word he said. "I, um, sorry, I wasn't paying attention." "I will tell your mother about this in the next parent teacher conference."
Carla looked at him then leaned in to whisper in his ear. "Poor you." She proceeded to pat him on the shoulder to make him feel better. Everyone else was still lost in the "OOOOh's" as they taunted him. His face went red.
Eventually the class bell rang and they had their final leave for the day. "Okay, so we meet here at four, that's basically an hour, and from here we will head out to Carla's place." They each had some form of scolding from their parents for not keeping base of where they were the day before. Some more then others. They were going to play it safe today.
Brendandropped off his backpack and got situated, he had nothing to do for an hour and the anticipation of playing was driving him crazy, that and his parents haven't arrived home yet. Also there was nothing on the television. He put on the radio and…took a nap.
It wasn't the brightest idea he had. He was late. That and the person who woke him up was his mother. The clock said it was 4:45. That was a ten min walk, there and home. And he had to be back home by 5:30. He kinda slapped himself and ran out. "By mom, Im going to a friends house, will be back at 5:30. Love you good bye." And like that, he was out the door.
He was late but the crew was glad to see him none the less. Apparently her family wasn't home. That didn't stop them from having their fun though. They played a few games, and used the food in the kitchen to pretend they had their own restaurant. For kicks Brendan was a mean customer whose food was never quite right.
The front door opened. Carla went pale white. "Hi…Daddy, I have some friends over. I hope you don't mind." Brendan saw her father for the first time. He looked like a mess, and smelled bad too. However he decided not to judge the girls father. The father looked at them and for the briefest moment, looked like he wanted to say something, then just said a few mumbles to acknowledged and left the room.
Carla did a sigh of relief. However their new game didn't last that much longer then this moment. It was already 5:20 and if they wanted to get home in time. They would have to start walking. "I'll see you all tomorrow, thanks for coming over. Bye!" She said to her guests. They left.
The walk home was kinda boring. However for what should be basic summer heat, it felt like it was the middle of fall. The sun was hanging in they sky, yet there was a lack of what should have been a glare. He couldn't put his finger on it, but decided not to put too much attention in it.
There was his house as if on cue. He walked in. "Am I home late?" His father look at him then at the clock, that Brendan couldn't see. He held it in for suspense just to toy with the child. "You're home just in time. I wouldn't worry too much about it."
"So where exactly were you?" His mother asked. "Me and my friends were hanging out at Carla Sutherlands house." Her facial expression changed. "Dinner will be ready soon, can you go to your room, I think I need to have a talk with your father." Brendan didn't understand what that meant but to his room, he did went.
In his room, he heard these noises, sounded like they were arguing. Later he would come down and they would have a quick dinner. After watching television, he would head to his room, and get ready for bed.
It was night, and the moon was creeping through the trees. "Hi." He simply said. There was a pause, was she awake? "Hello? Are you there?" She would do this from time to time, he never understood why.
"Sorry about that Brendan, Just kinda looking around. The planet is not so small you know. You probably learned that in class if I am not mistaken." He nodded. "Well I don't remember learnignt he actual size but this planet I guess is pretty huge. How about you? I mean the moon is no small place to really call home.
She sighed, "Just a pebble compared to the earth. So how is Carla?" He forgot all about her, "Oh, she, she is normal I guess. She has only been living here for less then a week. I mean there are still boxes in her house that just take up space."
"Oh, so you have been to her house?" He smiled, "ya, she invited us over today." The moon had an idea. "Can you tell me where she lives?" Brendan thought for a moment, trying to remember the geography, "She lives about five blocks in that direction, the house has a red roof and has two round walls on the front." It was a terrible description but she was sure she could find it.
"Moon, I have a question." She wondered which way he was going tonight. "Sure, ask away." "Well, do you have any relatives, a brother or a sister, a mother or father." She was speechless. She could say anything, and it would be true. She wanted to word this carefully, but then gave in. "Ya, I have a family."
"Is it the sun?" This quarry caught her off guard. "The sun?" Made sense, that Brendan would associate her with some other planet or another. "Not exactly, but that's a different story."
"So do they see you at all?" He again asked. "Sometimes." He then looked at her and said softly, "You're lucky." "I am not lucky, you are, you got your whole life ahead of you, me, I just watch the seasons change and look over those who need me."
"Well then I guess we are both jus lucky. How about that?" The moon smiled, "sure I guess. How bout Brendan, you get some good night's rest, and I'll check up on Carla and see her for myself." He didn't understand why, but maybe it would get her to stop teasing him about her. "Alright then. Goodnight moon." "Night night," she responded.
The moon set her gaze down the street roads and noticed a house with an awkward roof and silly architecture that was close to the description left by Brendan. She could see that the man of the house was laid sprawled on the floor with a heavy belly. And in another room, was a girl cornered in her room, appeared to having trouble sleeping. Something did not seem right with that house. However soon it would be time for her to go beyond the horizon and for the day to start.
The sun rose the next day and smiled. Bright beams came through Brendan's room waking him up before the song even began to play. A good sign. Today there would be no kiddy "Wakey Wakey song for this house hold. He quickly unplugged the song before it would even start, then congratulated himself on that successful maneuver he just pulled that would keep him from waking up the entire household.
However whatever victory he had was shortly celebrated as he scared his mother who was on her way to knock on his door. "You got to not do that to me Brendan." Now go down stairs, breakfast is ready.
He quickly ran downstairs. For some reason today, he was more hungry then usual. He turned the corner and there were, more eggs. He let out a sigh. But this day he had more time to eat them then yesterday. With the eggs, he had a nice dose of hash browns but they were a bit more soggy then he would have liked for them.
"So it sounds like you scared your mother." The father was walking down the stairs. Then he added, "also, nice job on not having to rely on that stupid radio thing of yours. I will try and convince your mom to let me buy you a real radio. You can listen to actual music to wake up each morning instead of making me want to destroy your room."
Brendan laughed, it was a funny gesture. "So, why were you two arguing last night?" he aksed as his mom came in. The mom put her hand on the father so he would know that she would be the one to explain things. "You went to Carla Sutherlands house right?" He nodded.
"Well, see, Mr. Sutherland is not the best person to watch over you at her house and we would prefer if you have to interact with her, that you do it over here instead of there. You understand?" Brendan never saw his parents being this mysterious with him before. It made him almost untrusting of them. He lied when he responded, "I guess." He had no clue what they were talking about.
It was time to get heading out the door. "So mom, will you drive me this morning?" She shook her head no. "Not this day. I got to go to work early again." "I can drive you son," claimed the father. "You got five minutes, get ready and we will head out."
Brendan did his daily routine a bit quicker then he would have liked to, but it all got done none the less. However he was later then five minutes but his father didn't really mind. He too was late, trying to find his corresponding socks. When they both had what they needed, they rushed out, full speed.
The drive itself was less then three minutes. Walking to class, actually felt longer, even thought it wasn't. He didn't mind at first until the bell rang by the time he was heading out to the yard to play. He slightly cursed the timing of everything. Brendan could have sworn he was early.
"Okay, class please take your seats." They obeyed immediately. Brendan and Carla were able to get their same seats as the time before, and as in the first day. They were happy. As were their two freidns who sat beside them. "Okay, today we talk about…Pluto."
The teacher was sad that this was the topic on the agenda, it was like some cruel joke. She got herself ready for the twins, and prayed that she would live through this.
"So, where shall we hang out this time?" One of the friends asked. "Well, my mom went let me hang out at your house anymore, so how about my place?" Brendan suggested. It was an idea that no one had a problem with.
"Excuse me, Carla. Can you tell me at what axis the planet Pluto spins?" The teacher enquired hoping to gain their attention. She got nervous. Everyone in the class was looking at her, she didn't know what to say. All that came out was, "Pluto's a planet?" Somewhere, in the back, one of the twins yelled, "Told ya so," to the teacher.
Eventually the bell rang. The teacher sighed with relief that she lasted that bout with the students. It was a tough one but when she marked with her authority the twins tests about concerning Pluto and the solar system, she got the last laugh. Now they all headed out for break. Brendan and the crew went out for recess, a rematch was in play with Brendan and Co. versus the twins.
It was a tough game, but Brendan lost his key players early on and though he got one of them out, his team lost in the end. Carla enjoyed it. One of the students got hurt and began to cry. Then a few other students watched and a good laugh was had by all.
Then came late in the day, right before everyone got their test scores. The twins were not too happy. When concerning numbers of the planets, and any question about Pluto, they got those wrong. This lead to the class clowns actually arguing with the teacher. They would be staying late this day. Everyone in class pitied them.
The bell however wouldn't show its pity when it rang and everyone but the two of them went home. "So what time should we meet up at my house today?" Brendan eagerly asked. The two friends and Carla thought a bit. Her father got home early, so she would want to be gone during early as possible. "How bout in thirty minutes, this way we can just walk home and then easily make a trip to your house," Carla responded. It was a good idea. They all liked it. Brendan was thrilled to be hosting a party at his place. Just had to run it by his parents first. He was sure they wouldn't mind though. They never really did.
So the four friends went their separate ways. Brendan ran home. Again he was surprised that what should be summer heat, adding to the weight of his backpack should be baking him alive, but he hardly was sweating when he got home. He couldn't place his finger on it, but he was enjoying the cool air.
"Dad," Brendan asked, noticing his mother wasn't home. Apparently it was another late day for her. "Can I have some friends over today, they will be coming over here at 3:30."
"Are your chores done?" Brendan didn't even respond, he ran to it. The dishes were always a pain, he didn't understand why from time to time he would be the one forced to do them. I mean his parents should be doing all the house work. It made little sense to him, the whole concept of chores.
Next came the bedroom, it was a pigsty. He didn't have time in the morning to clean it up. What was he going to do, he had like fifteen minutes to do all the work. Skillfully he shoved all his clothes under the bed. Then scrounged up all his loose toys and put them strait in the closet floor. With all his strength he did his best to close the door. He wasn't sure if he heard a toy break or not. He hoped it was the latter.
Finally he was free from all the work. He came running down two steps at a time and jumped over the final four. "You forgot something," his father stated. Once again all te joy he held, went from high, to a complete low. In front of him, was the living room, and there it was not put away the way it should have been. "Sorry dad, I will get on it."
By the time he was on it, the doorbell rang. It was one of his friends. "Come in," said the father, "he is just finishing up and he will be able to play." The friend looked puzzled and saw he was doing chores. On his way here, he saw hat another one was on his way so with this in mind he kindly asked, "can I help Brendan with his stuff?"
"I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Would you Bren?" "Not at all, I enjoy having help," he let out exhaustedly. Right on time when the third one rang the bell, they were done with all their work. The both went to answer the door. It was the third friend. "Have you seen Carla yet?" the second one asked. The third one shook his head no. Then again they lived on different sides so unless he was a block separate on the time coming here, there was no way the two of them could have spotted each other.
It wasn't uncommon for friends to be late to a shindig. Brendan reminded them that when he was really late because he accidentally took a nap. The three of them thought nothing was amiss of her being late. In reality nothing was.
Five minutes later, she came through the door. The father told them to play nice and went on his way. He figured it was best to get in the way of kids and their fun. Plus he was scared of talking to Mr. Sutherlands daughter. Figured it was best to keep his distance. So they formed groups and went outside to the tree ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />fort Brendan's parents built for him outside years ago.
Brendan claimed himself king, and Carla and the other friend wanted to take the castle. They used a soccer ball to try and peg Brendan or his friend. Then they switched, and Carla became the royal girl, since they couldn't figure a proper title for her and Brendan and his ally tried to peg the other two from on the fort. However Carla found an old rubber ball and dropped it on the two of them. Being that they were making the rules up as they went along, Brendan and company were out and lost.
They then pretended to be a royal family, and that Brendan's father was evil and so they decided to infiltrate the house to spy on him. They weren't very crafty and needless to say, they all got caught in more then one occasion. But that was half the fun. However they couldn't play much longer. The sun was mid set, and the moon was somewhat visible already.
"Sorry, but my mom wont let me play after 5:30, you all have to go home now." Brendan sorely said. They all had a fun day and the two other boys still had a lot of energy left over. So they walked home together after saying their goodbyes, tugging on each other and punching each other. Carla couldn't help but laugh. Brendan too had to laugh. Then he said his goodbye to Carla, who didn't want to go home but knew she had to.
"We can hang out tomorrow right?" She asked him. "Of course, and then there is the weekend, we can hang out all day then," he said with a convincing smile. She looked happy and then left to go home. Carla closed the gate on her way out. And there he was, in the back yard next to his tree house, alone. He sighed and walked inside.
His mother was waiting for him. "Go and get ready for dinner. We are going to eat soon." Brendan got ready to eat as quick as he could. It was a nothing special dinner. Pork chops, not one of his favorite dishes. But he made due with it.
"So who were your friends that came over today?" Brendan smiled at his mothers question and answered." Carla? Came over here?" The mother said in a slight sense of disbelief. She kinda was hoping to not add fuel to the fire. However, she was slightly glad that the poor girl had friends.
After dinner the family put in a movie the mom rented from the local seller. It was a comedy. Not so funny though, Brendan was actually slightly disappointed. The mother apologized for not getting a good film. She kinda felt like it was her fault for picking the rental and forcing them through two hours of attempted comedy.
"Well, I think I am done for tonight. I want to get some shut eye before the next day starts." Brendan's eyes were starting to look heavy. "Good night." The mother was surprised he was up this late. She forgotten his bed time and was glad that he himself was aware of it.
"Good night son, also don't look so sad, tomorrow's Friday." That thought slightly cheered him up, however his mothers attempt didn't work any more then just slightly. He went to his room and closed the door behind him. Then he went to the window and opened it up.
"You there?" He asked the outside. The moon answered, "Yes, I am here Brendan. How was your day?" Brendan thought about the answer, "It was actually pretty fun. Me and the guys almost beat the twins at dodge ball. That alone was reason to be happy. Then, me, Carla and they guys came over to my house and we had a blast."
"Sounds like a productive day. What did you guys do here?" Brendan laid down for a bit to look out, "we played 'king of the castle', I lost…"
"I am not familiar with that game," the moon kindly interrupted. "Oh, what you do is, we kinda made the rules up as we went along. We just through balls at each other. The only difference was is one team would hide in the tree house. It's a really cool game. You should try it sometime."
"I would try it, if I could, but my place is up here for now. What else did you guys do?" "Well, we also spied on my dad. That was kinda fun. We used walky talkies to communicate. However he kept spotting us. But we enjoyed it."
Then Brendan had a question, "Wait a minute, you were out early today. You telling me that you didn't see us play?" The moon got embarrassed. "Okay you caught me. I saw you play for a few minutes. I just wanted to hear it from you." "Me?" he asked.
"Well, you got to understand that I don't get a lot of human interaction, me being up here and all that. So… hey Brendan, looks like you have company coming." That was odd. She never said anything like that to him. Could there be someone outside.
He walked to the window, as he got close, a ball came through and bounced right next to him. Carla was staring up at him. There was something wrong with her, he could almost hear her crying when he looked down and saw her.
"Are you alright? Carla, what's wrong?" She looked up at him and thought about just leaving, then again, she had no where else to go. "Can, can I come up?" He was inclined to say no, being that he would be breaking so many rules, however he could hear his family still arguing about some silly thing in the living room which was slightly out of view from the front door.
"Meet me in the front," he said to her. When she left, the Moon said to him, "you do what you got to do. I'll see you tomorrow." The moon continued her journey cross the sky when she heard someone speak to her, "Guess this is goodnight for you then. Night, Night." The moon looked to see who said that, over the Earth's horizon, the sun went out of view.
The door stealthily opened. "You want to come in?" Brendan asked. "Can I spend the night here, I cant go back to my house. Just don't tell your parents, please." He looked at her, and realized that whatever it was, it was something serious. He nodded his head and whispered for her to keep quite as they snuck upstairs.
"Brendan, what's with the noise?" He stopped cold. Then motioned for her to head to his room, "Nothing." His mom huffed, "Okay, just keep it down and don't run around those stairs." "Okay mom, love you good night." He got away scotch free. It was just a simple act of going into his room and closing the door behind him. She closed the door for him and they were safe.
"So what brings you here?" He asked the girl. "I needed to get out of the house. You don't mind at all if I sleep here?" He smiled, "no problem at all, it will be like a slumber party. Just on a weekday." She smiled, he wasn't turning her away and she was glad to breath some air knowing that she was safe, for now. They divided the bed into left and right, and the two went to sleep.
For the first time, Brendan didn't feel alone; he had someone who seemed like depended on him and even looked to him for help. It felt good, and he was truly happy for the briefest moments. Then he woke up.
Friday, the last day of the school week and to him, a day that was followed up by party and no work in class. He noticed the sun was once again the thing that woke him up, a good fifteen minutes before he needed to also. Which was good for him, he could sneak Carla out of the house easier.
The door opened and he cautiously stuck his head out, coast was clear. He whispered into her ears to run for it. His room being so next to the stairs that if his parents woke up, they would only have time to hear the front open and close by the time the raced for the view. She nodded and darted. "Thanks for helping me. I will see you in class."
She began her agile dart. She skipped down the stairs. "Brendan, keep it down, its not time yet. "Sorry mom!" he yelled back. They didn't notice that the voice was obviously upstairs while the noise was downstairs. Then the front door closed. Carla made it out safe. He jotted down the stair and put on the television. On it was some cartoon shows he never saw before but found himself liking. He never would wake up this early, after all.
His mom went shopping last night and he got himself some cereal. Definitely the sugared kind. He missed it so much after eating eggs for two days strait. The milk poured into the bowl that was already a bit too high with the unhealthy breakfast, but it tasted so good to him. That and it was Friday.
The cool cartoons where then spontaneously replaced with infomercials. The change in mood depressed him but he sucked it up. Then his parents came down stairs. "So did you two sleep well?" he asked. They mumbled. The father got himself some coffee to start the day. "Sugar," he asked his wife. Not understanding the question, Brendan said, "really? Then yes please!"
"What was all that sound you were making last night Bren?" "It was nothing dad, just accidentally knocking something off the table in my room." This was a lie to cover up the fact that he had a friend stay over during the night. "You guys were making some noises yourself," he said in defense.
"Your father has issues, it is nothing to worry about." "Me, I have issues?" The father wasn't too happy with his wife making fun of him at breakfast. "Not now dear, lets save it for later." He huffed, and said, "You're right, now is not the time."
When you get done with your morning routine, I'll take you to school." Brendan ran up stairs to get ready as soon as possible. He was lucky earlier that his parents didn't come down a moment sooner or they would have seen him devour half the cereal box. He came back down, ready for school ten minutes later.
In the car, his mom looked at him and said, "I think I should tell you, there are some things that aren't going so well at your friends house, the Sutherlands." Brendan then asked, "You mean at Carla's?" The mother nodded. "I will tell you more about it this weekend, just be careful around them." Brendan nodded and left the car. He was at school.
He saw his two buddies playing basketball with the twins. The twins seemed to be undefeated in every sport they played. Brendan vowed on this Friday, things would be different. He soon joined the game.
"Have any of you seen Carla?" He asked his two friends. They shook their heads. Then he forgot about her as the ball came this way. The game didn't go so well as he planned. He got fouled, hard. On the floor he started to cry cause it hurt. Not the best way for him to have started a Friday. A few hours of being awake and he has a gash on his knee.
By the time they put a Band-Aid on it, it was time for class. He wasn't late so he got his usual seat. That was a plus, and by the time he got there, Carla was already sitting behind his chair like she should. He was glad that everything was alright with her. He waved "hi" to her, she smiled.
"Okay class, today before we begin our lesson, I would like to point out that only two people failed the test. If you got a note saying you failed the test, please, by all means, stand up." Only two people stood up, the silly twins. "Now to clarify why you failed the test, when talking about dwarf planets you listed, Pluto."
"But Pluto is a dwarf planet." One of them said, in fact we have been discussing this the whole week with you." The teacher nodded then added, "But that's not the problem, you only listed Pluto, there are currently three dwarf planets, you didn't mention the other two. Then when asked to define a dwarf planet, you compared it to a moon. Sorry but that was wrong. Sit down."
The class could see the teacher was striking back for their continuous back talk that went on the whole weak with the twins thinking they could outsmart her. "Now today's lesson will be replaced with beverage and a movie, being that it is the first Friday of the new school year." The class cheered.
After the movie ended, the bell rang for recess. "So, you guys really want to play dodge ball again?" The twins asked Brendan and his crew. It had all come down to this, his last real chance to show them a thing or two. Plus his knee was a reminder of how badly he wanted to beat these guys. The game started.
It was even, Brendan got one guy one, the twins got two of theirs, and another fell. It was now two on two. Brendan and Carla, who just picked up the game, versus the twins. However like twins who think alike, which is what made them such a deadly duo on the court, unknown to the boy/girl team, they too developed a similar connection. Despite what the spectators, who really just wanted to get the next game, were thinking, the odds were split down the middle.
A ball was thrown here, and missed over there. The same for the next two shots. Brendan and Carla then picked out one of the brothers. They made no eye contact or no hints to show their choice, but like magic they attacked. When he missed his initial, Carla threw a wide shot. The shot was easy to avoid but that was the point. Amid the twin's maneuver, Brendan already sent a ball. There was no avoiding the second shot.
The other twin was alone. A first for on the court. Sure, his partner or even him have been eliminated off the court before, but they always won in the end. It was never a two on one. Never has any team gotten the jump on them. He locked eyes with both his opponents and felt surrender take over his body. He only hoped that it wouldn't hurt. The duo fired at the same time. He went down. Brendan beat them, finally.
Him and his team felt like a million bucks. They started jumping up and down in place, basicly just acting like kids. The local adult saw his watch. He blew the whistle. It was time to head back inside. The final class was about to start.
They got back inside and Brendan was wondering what he should do after school. Then Carla herself got to thinking of what would be the best situation on what to do after school. She leaned foreword and whispered into Brendan's ear if he could stay over for awhile at her place. He nodded his head.
The bell rang and they headed out. First Brendan would have to see his mother and ask her for her permission for him to go and hang out at Carla's. Carla however waited at the park near the corner. She just hoped her plan wouldn't get them hurt. It would definitely be a bad thing if her or Brendan got hurt because she didn't feel safe.
Brendan finally arrived at his house. To his surprise, no one was home. Both his parents were obviously still at work. So he left a note, using the spare paper set they hid for such occasions and said, "At Sutherland's will be back before 5:30." He then went on his way back to the park to meet up with Carla.
"What took you so long?" She asked him. "Nothing, just had to write a note, no one was home. Let's go." So the two of them walked to her house, chatting along the way. A few minutes later they reached their destination.
"Stay put for a moment," she commanded. Then walked close to the door and rang the door bell. No answer. And his car was gone. Good sign so far. She smiled, "Let's go inside." She took out a key from underneath a plant root and headed inside. She then signaled for Brendan to come along. He really didn't understand what was with all the secrecy around this place but figured she must have her own reasons.
"How about I cook you something to eat?" She asked him. Just then Brendan remembered he didn't eat lunch this day said, "sure thing. You a good cook?" It was a joke being that when they were pretending to have a restaurant that Brendan never ate the food. She laughed. So they sat down and had a meal together.
"So what do you have to do around this place?" She thought for a second, "Well, my dad has a video camera, we can make a movie." He never been on television before and actually knew very little about video cameras. So he naturally agreed and was anxious to see it. So they walked down the hall and she took it out. "Okay, now do something cool."
At that moment, he got stage fright. He just stood there. Motionless. She was just laughing at how nervous he was. "Okay, pick your nose!" He couldn't believe she was asking this of him. "Do I have to?" His voice indicated that he was still obviously intimidated by the camera.
"Okay fine, you be the director, I'll be the Hollywood movie star," she said way over dramatic. "This how I hold it….Hey I can see you in this thing!" He really has never seen a camcorder before. They were a rare and expensive item in the city. After awhile they got the hang of it and made bits and pieces of them just acting really stupid and childish.
They were having the time of their lives till it was near time for Brendan to go home when they heard the front door open. Carla forgot about him, she was having so much fun. Now only did she realize that her plan was flawed.
Her father walked in. "Carla, where are you. Come here Now!" His voice scared even Brendan half to death. "Where were you this morning!?" He demanded. She lied, "I was here, I just left to class early. He turned the corner and saw her with her friend. "What are you doing in my house?"
"I, uh, I came to keep your daughter company." Brendan didn't sound to sure of himself. "What did I tell you about having guests over!?" The poor girl was starting to shake. "I am sorry sir, I just figured she would like to have some one to help our daughter not feel alone."
"I wasn't talking to you," mid sentence he turns all his attention on his daughter and grabs her. "I thought I told you the rules." He pushed her down. She slammed against the wall. She started to cry. Carla believed for the briefest moment that if Brendan was there, her father would act like he did that one day, oblivious. But he was mad today. And she just put her friend in danger.
Brendan walked in between them. "Please don't hurt her," he pleaded. That was a mistake on his part as the father socked him hard in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. He would have cried if he was able to summon up that much power to his lungs.
Carla pulled him aside into the kitchen. It gave them a bit of distance and being that her father wasn't particularly fast, she hoped they would be able to catch a quick breath. "Get up." She whispered to him. He finally was too scared to cry and started regaining control of his body.
"We need to get out of here. Follow me." He said with what energy he could. The two bolted out the back door. "Get back here you brat! And give me back my daughter!" He ran after them.
By the time he was outside, they unlocked the back gates and were running for it across the town. He gave the best chase after them he could. Sure he staggered a bit, but he knew he could catch up to them. They were just kids after all.
"Come on, don't get tired now." Carla pleaded with Brendan who was still staggering. "Which way do we go?" She was new to the town and her geography was bad. "That way," he was barely able to get out. They ran for a store. But it was closed for remodeling. So they ran down the alleyway. Dead end.
The sun was out, and it was nearing the end of the real summer. Yet, Brendan once again felt cool, as did Carla. They both felt a breeze pass by. And then they saw her father. He looked mad, and the very definition of evil. He was closing in, step by step. However, the two of them, neither hid, they both stood strong waiting for the inevitable.
The sun however was less kind to her father then it was to the children. Four blocks he ran after them. His skin felt like it was on fire, he could not tell up and down. Then he started to slow down. He had a good look at the kids, all eight of them. He knew there was supposed to be two but he was clearly seeing some indefinite number of them. He felt noxious and almost cursed being alive he was in so much pain. If only he could have some water. He stared at the sun.
It was bright, the aura around it seemed to yell vengeance against him. At this moment Brendan himself looked at the son, and noticed something. He could actually look into it. It wasn't bright at all. In fact, he could see it as clearly as he could the moon or any other object. The father looked further and then, he went down. He wouldn't get up this time.
At that moment, Brendan's mom came driving down the street with speed, until she unexpectedly saw the two of them on her side mirror. She was on her way to Carla's house to see if he was alright, she obviously freaked when she got his message.
"Oh, my god, are you two alright?" She could see that there was some form of battle and that the guy now lying on the cement pavement, not moving did something to her child. She invited Carla to come over so they could talk with the authorities, while giving her a place to stay.
"So, how come you don't have a mom?" Brendan politely asked her outside his room. "My mother ran away from home, my dad was very mean to her. Your mom, she is nice. You are lucky to have her."
"So it was just you and your dad? How lonely that must have been. You know this whole week I been thinking about how alone I have been that I forget how lucky I am." She smiled, "I think we are all lucky in some ways. Even if my father is mean, I still had a roof over my head, and food on my plate. Guess it wasn't so bad." She wasn't sure if she was making excuses or not.
It was night the time the officers left the house. "Carla can you come down here for a second." She walked down stairs and talked to his mother. "You have no family that anyone can contact and well, seeing that you seem to get along with my son, and that you have no where to go. Would you like to become a member of this family?"
Brendan upstairs smiled. He heard her say yes. And the two of them when back upstairs, hugged. "Thanks for helping me when I need you." She said as she let go. "No problem, thanks for saving me, sis." She laughed. "Good night, brother."
"Well, I noticed something. You'd think that there is no such thing as getting exactly what you want. There is always some flaw right? But tonight, on this one night, through all the horrors and bad in the world, sometimes, things can work out exactly the way you want them. Good night, moon."
"Goodnight…" she said back. He smiled at her one last time, bowed, closed the blinds and went to bed. "…Brother."
"Brother?" It was a familiar voice. She turned around and saw the son past the horizons. "You, I saw what you did back there. You're the one who saved them. Didn't you?" The moon accused the sun. "Guilty as charged," he said back.
"So your Brendan's sister?" She looks back down at her brother sleeping and nods. "Yes, he is my brother and I should be down there with him." "I heard what happened to you, I am so sorry. Not much you can do."
"Well, that's why I am out here, I may not be able to be down there with him, but I can be up here. Watching over him, protecting him like a devoted member of any family would."
"Interesting how things turn out, eh moon?" "What do you mean by that sun?" The sun simply responded with, "That girl, she should be dead."
"What do you mean?" "Her body is supposed to be discovered, and her father was going to go to jail for her murder. She should have died either today or last night. She is supposed to be dead."
"Why did you save her?" "Simple, because her father threatened mine." The moon sat still a moment. Then she realized what he was saying. "You mean?'
"Brendan, yes. In a few years, he will meet a girl named Taylor, they will fall in love and I, will be their first kid. I figured I should look after my old man as I am sure he will be looking after me when I enter this world." She snickered at his answer, "So that's why you saved them?"
It was really Brendan who saved the girl. At any moment he could have turned away and she would have died." "So what is her future now?" The sun shrugged, "Her future is purely unknown from here on. No one above gave her a chance to live and so they made no plans. Though with a personality like hers, I am sure she will lead a long and healthy life. I got to get going, oh, moon, one other thing."
"What's that?" "Can you not tell Brendan about me. He shouldn't know about that."
"Sure thing. Good night sun." "Good night moon!"