Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thomas lay in bed watching the silhouetted shapes of cowboys and buffaloes play across the walls, the work of a rotating luminary serving as a night-light. Breaking through the white static sounds of the house he began to hear a low rumbling coming from across the hallway. Gathering his willpower, he quietly stepped out of bed and padded across the way to his younger brother’s room. The door was slightly ajar and, coming from somewhere inside, a dazzling light illuminated the adjacent wall. Thomas knocked softly before pushing open the door.

His brother, hanging halfway out of the window, was tightly gripping a fishing rod, knuckles turning white and bare feet grappling with the bottoms of his too-long pajama pants. A blinding white glow streamed in through the open window and Thomas had to struggle to keep his eyes, which were involuntarily fastening shut against the glare, open enough to see what was happening. At the end of his brother's fishing line, inches from the windowsill, was the moon- dusty, pockmarked, and looming enormous. For a few moments the two stood that way as if frozen-- Thomas still in the doorway and Steven quietly struggling with the catch at the end of his line.

“Steven, what are you doing?” Thomas whispered sharply.

“I’ve caught the moon.”

“You can’t catch the moon right now, do you know what time it is? You'll have to put it back.”

"I'm sorry. I couldn't sleep. Please don't tell mom and dad."