another pSecret pSociety pshort pstory
Moonstone Moonchild by Mike Bozart (Agent 33) | Aug. 2017
by Mike Bozart
© 2017 Mike Bozart
Moonchild, a child of the moon; someone born under the zodiac sign of Cancer (June 21 – July 22). And, in common present-day parlance, a person who is a space case. Manda was both. And, yes, she had heard the 1969 song of the same name by the English progressive rock band King Crimson; in fact, she adopted it as her anthem.
On her 21st birthday, Caucasian American Manda found herself once again meandering about Moonstone Beach (CA, USA) in a beige, linen, full-length peasant dress. It was a foggy July 16th Sunday morning (2017). She was searching for those surf-rounded, alkali feldspar, pearly white, slightly translucent stones. With her head bent down, her thoughts flowed out. ‘Playing hide and seek with the ghosts of dawn.’ I’m the local lass who went nuts. That’s what they think. I know they think that I’m crazy. I’m the girl who took too much acid (LSD) at the house party three years ago. ‘She’s just coo-coo, lost in her imaginary world, aimlessly wandering the beach.’ Yeah, just let them think that. Today is a full moon. It’s out there, pulling on the ocean. And, pulling me along. Need to play up the insane woman bit to the max. Most guys like an easy score.
Manda lived in the nearby, mostly affluent, Westhaven community with Bruce, her now-hardly-ever-home, 52-year-old father. Her dad had received their modest, secluded, 1,111-sqaure-foot (103-square-meter), three-bedroom house in some kind of real-estate swap, which Manda was very suspicious about; she wondered if it had something to do with illicit drugs. Her soft-spoken mom, Alice, had passed away from ovarian cancer four years ago. Her two-years-older brother, George, was now living in Sunnyvale (CA), working for a specialized software startup.
Crouched down with her long brown hair drooped over her face, Manda dragged her right hand through the cool wet sand. If I find the right moonstone, it will be so irresistibly alluring. And, things will align. Just need some lunar luck.
“Excuse me,” a male voice suddenly announced. “Did you lose something?”
Manda looked up at the stocky, rusty-blonde-haired, mid-20-something, well-tanned Caucasian gentleman. “Oh, I’m just searching for moonstones.”
“Having any luck?” the young man asked. His light gray sweatshirt had a big, red, bold Stanford University S on it.
“Not yet, but the day is young.”
“Care to take a short break and join me for a coffee or hot tea at the Moonstone Café? They are having a special once-in-a-blue-moon early opening today.” Was I too forward? / Blue moon? Is it one? He’ll get the special alright.
“Ok, sure,” Manda replied. Yes! I know that I can get in her pants – or up her dress – if I play my cards right. She’ll be eating out of my lap. / Stanford. I bet he’s from a rich – and über-smart – family. Did he ace the SAT? [Scholastic Aptitude Test] No, he’s probably not ‘that’ smart.
“Great. It’s my treat.” We shall see about that.
They walked, side by side, over to the little beachfront restaurant that was only 35 yards (32 meters) away. They were seated at a two-top next to a large picture window.
Manda and the fairly handsome young man gazed at the beach. It was low tide. The nearest sea stacks were not even touched by the Pacific Ocean at the moment.
Then Manda looked across the table at her impromptu admirer. “So, what’s your name?” I bet he was a frat boy in Palo Alto. [CA] / She certainly has a nice rack. Hopefully I’ll be feeling it and more before too long.
“Oliver, but you can call me Ollie,” he stated in a businesslike manner. A jolly Ollie by golly. I bet he had sex with a cheerleader. Or, wished he did.
“Oh, my name is Manda.” So mandacious. [sic]
“Tell me, Manda, are moonstones worth a lot of money?” Ollie eyed her cleavage.
“They’re just classified as semiprecious, and on the lower end of the scale at that. But, I don’t sell them.” Hmmm …
“So, what do you do with them?”
“I arrange them,” Manda answered as their coffees arrived.
“Arrange them?” She’s even more whacked-out than I thought – a real space cadet. Wonder who looks out for her. Anyone? Does she have a boyfriend? Doubt it.
“Yes, I arrange them in a special, secret garden.” She’s certifiably bonkers. Though, she sure is cute. Sexy body. Need to make myself become her moon god.
“A moon garden?” Ollie asked.
“Yes, a moon garden,” Manda replied. I bet she’s all into astrology and the zodiac. Probably into tarot cards and mysticism, too. I’ll just pretend to believe. / I can tell that he thinks I’m just another Northern California frosted flake. That’s fine.
“Does this moon garden exert any supernatural powers?” What a ridiculous question.
“No supernatural powers, Ollie. But, it does lend clues.”
“So, at some time in the future, the clues must be returned, right?” Huh?
“What?” Manda had no idea of what he was talking about.
“You said that your moon garden lends clues.”
“Oh, a stickler for meanings, are you? Say, would you like to see my secret, semi-sacred moon garden tonight, Ollie? Maybe glean an insight into your life’s trajectory.” Semi-sacred? Insight into my life’s trajectory? Oh, this is going to be too easy. Just like taking candy from a baby.
“Why, sure. Where and when?” And then, how and why.
“Meet me here at 11 PM, and I will lead you to it. That’s not too late, is it?” I do have some spreadsheets to review before Monday morning, but I can’t pass this up. Easy casual sex doesn’t come along that often.
“No, that’s fine,” Ollie enthusiastically confirmed. “But, this restaurant closes at 10 tonight, Manda.”
“Ok, I’ll be in the beach parking lot at 11 sharp. It’s safe to park there after hours. The police won’t ticket you.” Good.
“Ok, whatever you say, mysterious moon lady.” Ollie smiled at her … a little too long. He’s quite winsome. But, he’s a wee cocksure. / This young lady is in for it. I’m going to wear her ass out. Can hardly wait.
The bill for a whopping $4.48 arrived. Ollie promptly paid it, leaving an overly generous $10 tip. They then went their separate ways: Ollie via an expensive Porsche 911 Carrera; Manda by hemp-fiber sandals. He’s probably already making six figures. Probably an IT [Information Technology] whiz. / She’s very trusting. So naïve. And, so in for it.
Ollie headed directly to a costume shop in Eureka (20 miles – 32 km – south) near Bayshore Mall. He would find a white, whole-moon-shaped, pull-over-the-head, glow-in-the-dark adult mask that even had craters on it. Manda’s going to love this. ‘Meet manic Máni, [the Viking moon god] … and his moonstone-hard lunar dong, Manda.’
As Manda walked along a densely wooded Scenic Drive towards Westhaven Drive South, her mind wondered about the night ahead. I hope that he’s not a violent type like the last one. No, I don’t think so. Ollie seems like an all-American, red-blooded, basic-as-sliced-white-bread kind of guy. Probably still prefers American cheese. I know that he wants to have sex with me. He thinks that I’m an easy lay. Quite typical. But, he’s never going to forget my moon garden. He’ll never doubt its power. Never. Ever. Again.
At 10:59 PM on a now-clear night, Ollie rolled into the Moonstone Beach parking lot. He parked his red sports car facing the ocean. Hope she didn’t chicken-out on me. Viagra single pack? Check. Condoms? Check. We’re good to go. Don’t be a no-show, Manda.
Manda, who had been sitting on the front porch of a closed-up and shuttered, wood-sided, one-story, former-restaurant-appearing structure, walked up to Ollie’s door. She lightly tapped on his side window.
Ollie, startled, snapped his head around. He smiled at her. She winked back. I bet that we’re having wild sex by midnight. Make that 11:45. / I can sense his lusty thoughts.
The sleek car door opened. Ollie stepped out with his moon mask in an opaque plastic bag. He was immediately awestruck by Manda’s black lace dress that was almost see-through. This is going to be a great night. I’m going to piston-pump her into a new orbit. / I know that he craves my body.
“Hello again, handsome,” Manda said with a flirtatious smile. “Shall we proceed to my moon garden?” Yeah, she wants it, too. Most excellent. This is going great.
“Sure, lead the way, moon goddess,” Ollie replied. Moon goddess? So sweet of him.
“Ollie, may I ask you to leave your cell phone in your car?” Am I being set up? Am I going to be rolled by her moon goons? Oh, just relax.
“Sure. No problem. The damn thing annoys me anyway.”
“Why allow unnecessary distractions on this magical night?” Magical night? Oh, yes! We’re in like Flint. Or, did my grandad say ‘In like Flynn’?
“Precisely,” Ollie concurred.
They then started walking northward up the beach. The only sound was that of the crashing waves on their left. After about 600 feet (183 meters), they reached a rivulet that cut across the sand and drained into the sea. Now, what? / Yeah, I feel it; good, I’ve got it.
“Time for the blindfold, Ollie. I’ll carry that bag for you. Remember, it’s a secret garden. Don’t worry; it’s a short walk from here. And, it’s not up the creek; your feet will stay dry. And, I promise not to lead you off a cliff.” What!
“Well, that’s mighty nice of you,” Ollie retorted. He then put the black blindfold on. What am I in for now? / Glad he’s compliant.
Manda then led him by the hand up an incline through the maritime forest. They walked towards Mawby Lane, where Manda and her dad lived, for about 170 feet (52 meters). Ollie felt the redwood needles as they occasionally brushed against his hands and face. Where in the world are we going? Hope this isn’t some kind of bizarre robbery-murder. No, I don’t think she harbors such malice.
Then Manda stopped. “Ok, you can take the blindfold off now, Ollie.” Thank God! Glad that no one whacked me in the back of the head.
“Thanks,” Ollie replied with a sigh of relief.
“My moon garden is right over here,” Manda informed him.
Ollie then followed Manda to a small, level, cleared area. There was an oval of moonstones, about a meter (yard) in length, glimmering under the full moon. In the middle was a circular, bone-white, convex object. So, this is it. Poor thing. This isn’t even a fair contest. This is going to be like balling a mentally incompetent ward of the state.
“So, what does your moon garden do?” Ollie asked.
“Remember what I said, silly? It lends clues.” His mind is just focused on my body. It’s so obvious. The male brain is so easily distracted by a seemingly ready and willing female.
“Oh, yes! Yes. Now, how could I forget? So, what do I have to do to be lent a clue? How much does your little racket cost, Manda?” Racket?
“Oh, it’s no hustle, Ollie; it’s totally free. All you have to do is jump from the outside of the oval onto the center stone with your hands at your side while looking up at the full moon.” Piece o’ cake.
“Broad jump?” Ollie asked for clarification.
“Yes, a broad jump is best for getting the whole effect.” Whole effect? Boy, this chick must have ate some bad [San Pedro] cactus. It’s really kind of sad. But, I can have pity for her later. After I ball her for three hours. Glad I remembered to bring the Viagra reinforcement. All set for a long pounding.
“Can I do it as Máni the Norse moon god?” He did some research. Very impressive. More esoterically curious than I thought. I underestimated this one. Still, the moon makes her request. Must not disappoint her.
“Why, sure!” Manda exclaimed.
“Bag, please,” Ollie requested.
Manda handed Ollie his cobalt-blue shopping bag. He then extracted and donned the moon mask. Wow! What a visage.
“Bravo! Splendid! Lady Luna [Spanish for moon] will love and cherish you even more, Ollie. She will never forget you.” Just play along. Just play along. Just keep her happy. Fun times are merely minutes away.
“Do you like it, Manda?” Wish I could snap a pic. But, I can’t.
“Very much! I love it, Ollie. Are you now ready to take your leap of lunar faith? Ready to see where your life is going?”
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. Yes, I’m all set, Manda. Ok, here goes!” Hope I don’t have to step on his fingers.
Ollie then leapt and landed right on the centerpiece. And immediately fell into a dark void. He dropped 13 feet (four meters), landing feet-first on cool, damp, soft, loamy earth. What the hell just happened? Where the fuck am I? Am I in an abandoned well? [reference short story ‘The Well’.] Think I sprained my left ankle. But, nothing broken. Thank God.
“Welcome to my oubliette, monsieur,” [mister in French] Manda announced from above. Her facial expression was now deadpan. “Always room for one more. And, we’re always in need of one more. The moon, well, she is very demanding. Pulling those tides around the Earth night and day is oh-so-tiring.” Oh, crap! She’s a psychopath – a psychopathic entrapper! Am I going to be a lunar sacrifice due to this lunatic? Think of something. Fast!
Ollie’s last image of the above-ground world was Manda’s moonlit head. As she screwed the round hatch back onto the narrow opening of the Cold War-era bomb shelter, Ollie frantically screamed for help. However, no one heard him.
A young lady repeatedly walks a North Coast (CA, USA) beach, searching for a certain semiprecious stone. She appears deranged. However, to one prestigious college graduate, Manda appears like easy prey. What happens at the 'moon garden' will completely change Ollie's life. Approx. 2300 words. If this tale were a movie, it would most likely be rated PG-13 (some four-letter words and crude sexual thoughts).