Sunday, August 21, 2011

Goodnight, Moon

A light colored sedan made its way slowly up the dark gravel driveway and parked next to a blue car with a girl standing by the trunk. The girl was behind a tripod, aiming her camera at the dark night sky.
"Don’t move," the first girl instructed the driver as she got out of her car. The new arrival waited until she heard the click of the camera's long exposure finish the picture. The only noise in the interim was the nonchalant flapping of the flag marking the cemetery's entrance.
The new arrival held out a lemon bar to her friend.
The photographer accepted the homemade treat and took a bite during the next thirty second wait; the flag continued to flap in the gentle night breeze.
"I was going to go in without you, but I was too freaked out by the sound of the flag," the photographer confessed to her friend as she took another picture.
The two stared at the sky for a few minutes listening to the waving of the flag behind them and the click of the camera in front of them.  Eventually they turned to face the flagpole behind them. It was on the side of an arch that acted as a mouth to the tiny cemetery. They entered eagerly, one armed with a camera and tripod, the other with a blanket and flashlight. They kept the flashlight off to preserve their night vision and did their best to make their way to the middle of the cemetery without stepping on any headstones. The flag was unaffected by their entrance into the hedged home for soulless bodies. The two breathing humans kept their voices quiet as the photographer set up her tripod and her friend laid down on the blanket. None of the permanent residents protested their visit, so the girls made themselves at home. Their conversation ebbed and flowed from the pensive to the ridiculous. 
At one brief lull the photographer slowly lifted her hand to the eastern horizon as she said, "What the hell is that?" Her voice had a hint of fear amidst confusion.
Her friend immediately sat up and turned towards the photographer's outstretched hand. She saw the massive hazy orange wedge thrusting upwards from the distant tree line on the eastern horizon.
"I - I don't know," the friend squinted to see if she could make out distinct edges to the blurry obstruction, "Could it be a fire?"
"But it's rising up, not out," the photographer countered.
"And it's rising fast."
The two watched, mesmerized as a golden glow emanating from the mysterious wedge began to obscure the light from the closest stars.
"Is it the -? Could it really be the-" the friend was almost embarrassed to finish her guess, "moon?"
They continued to stare as the wedge rose up and the bottom side rounded out to make a half circle harvest moon.
The photographer laughed first; it was a chuckle to begin with, but both girls ended laughing loudly at their original panic and confusion. The photographer adjusted the light settings on her camera to take pictures of the moon instead of the Milky Way. She and her friend continued their conversation with musings about the lunar patterns and affect of the atmosphere on the color of the moon.  After another hour of laughter and sighs the two gathered up their belongings and made their way to the opening in the hedge that would release them to the open fields and gravel lane where they were parked.
"Goodnight, moon," said the photographer as they walked out of the archway-mouth of the cemetery.
The flag continued flapping softly in the breeze.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Entry 1

Well, I'm on my way folks!
I'll be the first Texan to enter the Inter-Planetary Congress. My ship departed just moments ago, and I'll be entering hypersleep when I finish this entry. Seven years will pass in a blink after that and I'll wake up when we dock at Ekon, the host planet for the IPC.
My logs, beginning with this one, will be primarily for the benefit of the IPC to understand political relations between my young nation and our mother nation, America. It's interesting to think that the nation I'll represent will have tripled in age by the time I begin my term of service. In fact, the IPC is taking quite a risk inviting me before our nation's fifteenth birthday. That's usually the custom: wait to invite a representative until their space travel time will not double the country's age. Apparently the representative from my neighbor to the south put in more than a few good words for the stability of my nation after our successful cessation from the American Union.
I can't wait to discover what my nation is like when I get to Ekon. I know it now as a thriving and eager country excited to stand up among the other nations on earth, but I hope it will stabilize as a country known for valuing human dignity above and beyond the bureaucratic monstrosity from which we seceded. I'm also hoping that America learns from our example and begins to weed out the systematic abuse of the homeless and handicapped.
So that's the start of my journey, and I'll write again once I've checked into Congress.
God bless,
J. J.