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Moonopolis

Moonopolis

 

By Steven Bevell

Copyright 2017 Steven Bevell

Smash Words Edition

 

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to your favorite ebook retailer to discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

The girl kicked at the grasshoppers. Her dress fit very well, but her misery was clear. She wasn’t pleased with her current attire and kicked another grasshopper.

“Don’t… Stop that… You’ll scratch your shoe…” her brother told her.

She didn’t pay his words any mind, as usual.

She kicked again.

“Stop it, Sarah…” he said.

“Make me…” she growled, “You try wearing this dress…” and she pulled at it with frustration.

Calvin ignored her.

He didn’t enjoy his attire anymore than his sister but he stood reverent.

This was his first funeral, and Sarah’s.

“When’ll this be over…?” Sarah asked her brother.

He hushed her and told her to pay attention to whoever was speaking before the crowd, but the crowd seemed bored to death and very matter of fact. Calvin took note that none seemed saddened by the loss.

He was a tall man, grey from age and wrinkled with wisdom. He shed no tears, but a subdle anguish haunted him and Calvin noticed the slow heave of shoulders, his heart wept, while the crowd around him was anxious.

Calvin didn’t know much about Uncle, only that he was a strange and quiet man, but today realized how wealthy Uncle was. Since his death, none mentioned anything about the man that didn’t involve the will.

All the curious dreamed about what was written within.

Even at Calvin’s young age, he knew the treasures of the world, about cash, how elusive it was, because Father always worked, yet Mother insisted their poverty.

Calvin stretched his toes. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d worn shoes. As the casket was lowered, he couldn’t help but feel something stir within his chest. A small ache. His father said death would cook that feeling within him as it does with everyone.

And while Calvin fought tears, Sarah occupied herself with the prospect of returning home, to more familar clothes, all the while the crowd watched the casket lower with odd relief.

Dirt fell onto the casket and Sarah spoke up egarly, “Can we go now?” she asked and tugged her brother’s sleeve.

“Wait for Ma and Pa, Sarah… Stop it…” he said.

The crowd started for Uncle’s estate and it wasn’t long before Mother and Father found them, “Com’on little ones, let’s get going, before Auntie Lisa leaves us behind…” Mother said, while Father chewed on a cork pipe.

“Aren’t we going home!?” Sarah cried.

Father shook his head, “No sweetie, not yet, we must go to the gathering, and the lawyer will read the will. Uncle was a very successful man! He’as a lot of assets!”

Sarah sighed and pulled at her dress as they arrived at the estate. The lawn was populated with people.

The crowd bickered as the lawyer climbed the pulpit.

“Ahum!” the lawyer coughed, “Ahum!”

The crowd grew silent.

The lawyer brought forth the sealed document, broke the seal and unrolled it, read aloud, “To whom it may concern! After I, Mr. Lewis, upon my expiration, all of my estate and assets shall be endowed upon Edgar. My dearest friend…” and the lawyer chagrined.

The crowd became a bed of nails and the lawyer disappeared.

“Who’s Edgar…? What happened, Father?” Sarah asked.

“I don’t know… Go play you two… Me and Mother need to find Auntie Lisa…”

“But I wanna go home!” Sarah cried.

Calvin ran before anyone said more. He realized the yard was something special, with all the treasures.

The house was no different, if not more so.

Calvin wandered the yard and into the house.

The ceiling could not be seen. The carpets were long. The rugs were heavy. Paintings were ghosts. Melted candles were ruins from a forgotten time.

Calvin peeked into a room. Dusty bookshelves and a desk lived within. He was drawn to the journals stacked on the desk. He shook the dust off one and writing rested on every page.

Within were poems about the moon and daily entries from a man who longed to reach the lunar surface, and confront whatever life was hidden there for so long.

From the shadows a gauntly old man came. He startled Calvin and glared at the boy.

“Sorry, for snoopin…” the boy’s eyes were curious, “Are these my Uncle’s writing…?”

The old man only nodded.

Calvin looked at the journal, asked “You’re Edgar… Right? Uncle gave you all he had… You sure’re lucky… Well… I met him once… I think…” and he put down the journal.

Edgar’s stopped the child before he left the room.

“What is it…?” Calvin asked.

Edgar pulled at the boy’s sleeve and led him down one hallway then a stairway. It wasn’t long before Edgar had the boy waiting, while he found the circuit breaker to power the lights.

And after some rummaging, the lights turned on.

Calvin was in awe.

“What’s all this…? Uncle really tried to go to the moon…?” he asked Edgar.

The old man offered a smile.

Calvin adventured the workshop, amongst the tools and gizmos.

“And you helped him…” he said.

The old man offered a smile and nodded.

“Does that mean… he gave up…?” he asked.

Concerned, Edgar lowered his chin, shook his head, wrinkled his brow and pushed Calvin along.

He brought the child to a desk with unkept materials.

Edgar sat the boy down and vanished in the bookshelves. He returned and placed a journal before Calvin. The boy coughed from the dust, and once he recovered Edgar encouraged him to read.

But before Calvin could open the journal Sarah came down into the workshop, hollering after Calvin.

“Calvin! Let’s go! Ma and Pa ’re ready to go! I swear this dress is gonna kill me…” but awe from all the contrapments around stunned her. “What’s this…? What’re you doing?”

Edgar stood silent and gaurded his guesses.

She saw the journal in Calvin’s hands, “What is that?” she asked.

But Calvin put the journal down, “Nothing, let’s go…” and said goodbye to Edgar for the both of them and left.

Sarah was determined upon something with her arms close to herself, which Calvin found strange, but not unwelcomed. She even went to bed without much to say, once they arrived home.

Calvin fell asleep, wondering about all the interesting things he saw at his Uncle’s home, but never gave a second thought to Sarah’s odd behavior.

Calvin awoke the next morning, and Sarah was acting as her normal self again. After a bath and a much needed breakfast, Calvin pulled on his shoes and grabbed his school bag and was out the door.

Calvin took his habitual route to school that morning, by the backways of the busy city, and it wasn’t long before Sarah came rushing to join him.

“Hey Calvin! Wait up for me! Remember that journal?” she had to catch her breath and her brother was annoyed.

“So what?”

That was when Sarah held out the journal, the same one Edgar wanted Calvin to read last night.

Calvin snatched the journal from her with a bad case of nerves, “What’re ya doing with that…?”

She smiled, “I read it, last night… It’s unbelievable! Do you think it’d be true?”

“Do I think it’d be true? I didn’t read it! You stole this!”

“I’m gonna return it… It ain’t stealing, you baby…” and she failed to snatch back the journal.

“Wait until I tell Ma and Pa ‘bout this…” Calvin foretold.

But Sarah always had something up her sleeve.

“But… what about the angel of love… the lonely cherub… cherubium! That beautiful soul waiting to be rescued…?” Sarah said. Calvin had no mind for her, but she continued, “She is real! Uncle Lewis wrote about her always… He was so close to reaching the moon! We need to carry on his work! It can’t be wasted!” Sarah overflowed with zeal.

Calvin brooded in silence, over what his sister said, and he considered all the contraptions he saw, and one he could not deny, the balloon.

“No one’s never been to the moon!” Calvin reported, “I’m taking this back now… If I hurry, I won’t be late… I’m telling Ma and Pa tonight… Go to school, Sarah…” and Calvin turned the corner, leaving her behind.

Calvin cut across streets and made his way down the alleyways, until he reached his Uncle’s estate. He let himself in, and searched for the familar hallway and the workshop, but he had no luck.

Instead, Edgar came from the shadows like a ghost and glared at Calvin.

Calvin itched, said, “Here…” and held out the journal for Edgar.

But Edgar didn’t take the journal, only considered it with indifference.

“Here… please take it back…” but Edgar didn’t touch the journal.

Edgar’s heavy eyes broke Calvin and he dropped the journal and ran.

Calvin turned a corner, and tripped over Sarah. He hit the floor and was out cold, with a bruise fermenting upon his head.

“Oh no…” Sarah gasped and cried at Edgar, “Help us!”

Edgar moved methodically in his old age. He was well versed in the trivial emergencies of life and was quickly armed with first-aid solutions. He felt the boy’s head and neck, checked his pulse and lungs, as his sister watched.

Calvin awoke on the sofa, under covers and his head bandaged. Alone, he pulled himself up and made his way outside.

Sarah and Edgar stood before an air balloon, equiped with a fuselage and propellers.

“Calvin! You’re awake!” Sarah smiled, “Oh… I’s just helping Edgar here… We’re going to the moon!” she cried as Edgar carried on his attention to tiny details.

Edgar saw Mr. Lewis in Sarah, it was faint, a spark, but there.

Calvin laughed in disbelief, “Let’s go Sarah…”

“No.” Sarah told her brother.

“Come on…” and Calvin started after her, to take her away from Edgar, and that contraption, “That thing probably doesn’t even work…”

“Uncle had it planned… But he was too afraid… He was afraid to fly… It’s all here… He spared no detail… Calvin, something is up there… Ask Edgar!”

Edgar glanced back and forth between the two.

Calvin couldn’t believe this.

Sarah pulled at her brother, “Come on and look inside…”

Calvin didn’t resist, rather his adventurous side took ahold of him.

Inside the fuselage was a pilot station and a living space, too cramped to be comfortable.

Calvin admired the craftsmenship and the engineering of the vessel. Sarah took advantage of the moment and closed the hatch and locked it.

“What are you doing? Open the door…” the boy was worried.

Sarah ignored him and relaxed at the pilot station. She flipped switches, turned knobs and dials and the balloon came alive and they gained altitude.

“Sarah!” Calvin cried and stumbled his way over to his sister, “Stop this!”

Sarah’s eyes grew wide, “I can’t!”

The boy fell to his knees and started to pray.

The vessel accelerated and the two held onto one another.

But soon everything calmed. Bolts stopped rattling, dials stopped spinning and the fuselage no longer trembled with turbulence.

Sarah pushed her brother away and teased him of his chickenhood

But her brother was furious and boiling, not in the mood for jests, “You almost killed us!”

Sarah peeped through a window.

Outside she saw Earth and clouds and blue sky, becoming more and more distant.

“We’re really high…” Sarah said.

To their surprise Edgar looked in through the window and wrinkled his brow.

He crawled and opened the door and let himself in.

With the door shut, Edgar straightened his vest. He smiled as they looked upon him with disbelief.

Edgar proceeded without a word to the pilot station and directed the vessel towards the moon.

Calvin and Sarah watched as Earth fell further and further away, while the moon became closer with each moment.

But for reasons unknown, the balloon burst into flames and plummeted after the moon.

They crashed and smoke billowed. Sparks and fire spit from the engines.

Sarah coughed and groaned.

“Calvin!” she cried, but no answer. She cried again and her brother responded with a weak moan.

Sarah ran to him, “Are you okay?”

“It hurts…” he struggled to say.

“Edgar!” she cried.

The old man appeared from smoke and flames. He grabbed a sandbag and peirced a hole in the burlap, tossed the sand into the flames, tried to suffocate the fire and it worked long enough for them to escape onto the moon sands.

Calvin choked, Sarah gasped and Edgar stood silent, as the vessel burned.

“He needs help! What’re we going to do?” Sarah asked, but Edgar said nothing and Calvin was too hurt to think.

Sarah said, “I’ll go get help… Stay here…”

Edgar didn’t like what he heard. He discouraged her, but she ignored the old mute and ran out into the barren moon.

Edgar did what he could to nurse Calvin.

Sarah made her way up the nearest cliff and looked down into the crater. There in the bottom of the crater nestled towers. Sarah hoped someone there could help them. She began her descent.

Under the crater shadows, a chilled gripped her, the closer she came, the higher the towers loomed. Sarah entered the small gates of the marble city. The city was masoned with moonstone and so quiet no sounds were to be heard.

“Hello?” Sarah listened to her echo.

Only an abondoned city answered her call.

“Is anyone here?” she cried.

She did notice something, a pair of eyes hiding in a far corner, before they disappeared.

“You!” and she started after the ghost.

She rounded the corner but found nothing. Whatever was there, was gone. She stood still, in panic and wondered about her next move, until a voice from above acknowledged her.

She looked up and a little alien stared at her. He studied Sarah before he spoke.

“Who’re you?” the alien asked.

“Sarah… My brother is hurt and needs help… Can you help?” she asked.

The alien considered, confused and uncertain.

After a moment, the alien jumped down.

“Neno…” he said with pride, “I’ll help you!” and he slapped his chest, and offered trust.

“Come, this way!” and she led the way, but Neno grew worrisome.

“What’s wrong? We’ve got to go up…” and Sarah pointed at the rim of the crater.

Stars twinkled in the dark sky.

Neno shook his head and said, “Come with me… I’ve a much quicker way… Come…”

Sarah followed.

Neno had a ship, nothing more than a sack and propellers. Sarah was amazed as the device delivered them, out of the crater and to her brother and Edgar. The ship came to a stop and plopped.

“Here he is… help him please!” Sarah cried.

Neno studied the boy, checked his fever and found the crack in Calvin’s arm.

“An infection has settled!” Neno cried, “I must take him! Soon… very soon! I have a friend who may help!” and Neno grabbed Calvin .

It didn’t take Edgar long to grab the boy’s heels. They followed a trail and the sun burned above them.

“This way! This way!” Neno urged, and his step quickened.

They carried him down a tunnel, alight with torches. Sarah felt the warmth against her skin.

“But how?” she wondered.

“Come on!” Neno shouted, and Sarah caught up.

They continued and the tunnel widened.

“Here…” Neno said.

He led them to a corner in the tunnel and knocked on the door.

“That’s a wooden door… Calvin… that’s a wooden door…” Sarah said, but her brother couldn’t focus.

The door creaked, “Who is there?” a voice hissed.

“You fool… open up, we need your help!” Neno barked.

“Well Neno… Why didn’t you say it was you?” the little alien defended and opened the door.

“Who else would it be?” Neno grumbled.

He and Edgar shuffled Calvin through the door.

“Who’re these strange fellows?” the alien asked.

“Sarah…” Neno answered as they lay Calvin on a cushion. “Her brother is hurt, he broke his arm and an infection settled…”

The alien was startled and looked Calvin over, “I do believe you are right, Neno…” and he hurried about his home, tossed together a concoction and administered his regime to Calvin.

“He’ll be fine…” the alien concluded.

Neno and his friend looked at their alien guests. The two bowed and Neno took the liberty, “This is Twell, my friend… And the honor is mine, welcome to Moonopolis!”

Sarah looked at Edgar in disbelief.


Moonopolis

  • ISBN: 9781370829507
  • Author: Steven Bevell
  • Published: 2017-03-27 06:35:07
  • Words: 2806
Moonopolis Moonopolis