We stood on the beach, staring helplessly. Murmured questions rose up and rippled through the crowd in time with the tides. I gazed at the water, glistening blue in the sunshine. Would the tide continue to ebb and flow now the moon lay on the sand? Or was it just reaching out, grasping for its old friend before it too became lost?
No-one knew quite what to do. Shouts that we should put it back were thrown forth quite regularly but no-one could answer how. So we all went back to waiting and staring at the moon on the sand.
The press turned up first, then the police and the scientists. Cameras whirred and flashed, reflecting sections of the crescent that had once only ever been in shadow. Every now and then in a strong breeze it rocked back and forth, like a rowboat washed up on shore.
I hung back in the crowds, watching the presenters point frantically and throw out question after question. Why did it fall? Why here? What about the rest of it? They lunged for scientists, trying to drag them before the rolling film but they all ducked and scurried away under the tape that was now cordoning off the moon laying on the sand.
Crowds of onlookers grew and shrank. Children came after school. Businessmen after work. Teens ventured forth as the sun began to depart. All of them remaining wondering if the moon would slowly rise back into the heavens. It glowed on the sand until the sun dipped below the horizon. And then darkness, only reflecting the torch beams from phones and trucks parked nearby. Guards took up their places around the ring protecting the moon sleeping on the sand.
A few glances came my way. Have you been here long? I shrugged and shuffled further back, blending with the edge of the tree line my guilt sitting like a rock in my stomach. Much like the rock that sat beside the moon now laying dead on the sand.
How was I to know it would reach? The rock had been so small. My pain and hurt needed to come out and the moon just stared at me, large and judgemental in the sky. So I yelled and I ranted but the moon wouldn’t reply it just kept looking back at me, that knowing look on its face. The rock was in my hand before I knew it and released just as fast. It had hurtled through the sky like a comet, a trail of fire in its wake. I watched, mouth agog as it kept climbing higher. My aim had been true and hammered into the milky surface. It wobbled for a split second, wavering from its orbit. My held breath slowly starting to leak out as I thought we were out of the woods. And then it suddenly became bigger as it began its descent down to Earth.
It didn’t look half as big now the moon lay on the sand.
Written in response to Midweek challenge prompt week 243. See the link for the picture that inspired this flash fiction. https://purplequeennl.blogspot.com/2022/03/mid-week-flash-challenge-week-243.html