Thursday, May 16, 2019


By Joseph J. Patchen

Nature is talented with her pallets and paints. Guided by God’s vision and blessing she is dynamic in both style and execution. No matter the canvas she is able to translate a design that is fitting for the world below.

Through the expanding universe she busies herself with decoration and utility while God allows an occasional intertwining.

Gashes of moonlight cut broad and bright patterns on the dark green wet grass below. Blocks, blotches and slivers, some stoic and still; others are thin and they flicker and dance when passed by the long cool breeze.

Extremely bright is the light, almost blinding due to the source’s dangerously close position to the world below it now besieged in sight. The craters and caverns appear as large as one’s hands and almost as easy to grasp.

The moon itself seems almost the same size as its dark counterpart and about to swallow it.

This is a novelty for a world normally cloaked in the dark. Light is not needed here; the life forms that have evolved so to accommodate and thrive in the black.

She is about seven or eight years old; the petite young girl with three long thick braids cascading off the mop of blonde hair capping her head. And her three doe like brown eyes are now viewing this spectacle on her world and the world above with wonder.

Skipping and hopping she comes into our view to stop and be bathed in one of the greater slices nature has given her so she can find a better view of the otherworldly yellow and blood red sphere.

She is mesmerized by its magnificence. She is stunned at its beauty. She is still and silent, almost in a trance as she looks over the craters and mounds that are precisely sketched by nature’s bare hands.

“Patty! Patty!” The voice is playful and male without force but yet full of love.

“Yes Daddy.” She replies as she shakes off her view to look in the direction of the voice some seventy five feet away.

“Come in to the observatory I want to show you something and we are getting ready to go home.”

One last pause and the look of awe finds itself replaced by a bright broad smile as the child turns away to run as children do to the huge building that crowns one of the largest mountains in this region.

Once inside her eyes have to adjust for a moment to the darkness of a hollow laboratory and the hive of scientists accomplishing their work. Her father, a rather tall man even for this world, some eleven or twelve feet tall, opens his arms and scoops up his child who giggles as if she were tickled.

Eyes to eyes, smile to smile, father and daughter share that basic and simple gaze recognizable universes over.

“Patty my darling would you like to look through the telescope?”

“Oh my Daddy would I!” Squirming in her father’s arms the child is placed on her feet and in one motion scampers toward the giant lens awaiting her. Squinting two eyes she focuses with her left and gazes through with an expression of her amazement in silence.

“Honey, those are the towers we placed on the dark side. They have been there for as long as anyone here can remember.”

“Did you build them Daddy?” She never breaks her gaze.

“No honey but Daddy uses them in his work. You see they have been monitoring and recording all the activity on the rock on which they have been placed as well as on its companion world below.”

“Is that the one where they have two eyes?”

“Yes my dear, that little inferior marble in the galaxy next to us.”

“Daddy…” Lifting her gaze from the telescope Patty has the look and sound of disappointment with her father.

“I know dear, but you have seen the transmissions and after all they only possess two eyes. They require light. They are, by and large, afraid of the dark. They are mercurial and ill mannered. They are quick tempered and prone to violence. They eat their own. Every time they make an advance in art or technology they take two to three steps back because of their politics.

“It’s the ‘new moon phase’ on their planet and that’s when we do our maintenance by simply removing our apparatus and the rock it’s attached to. They are none the wiser so please forgive me dear daughter but they are not very bright.”

“And they are soon to be not very alive.” Joining them is a new voice, an elderly voice of a man some seven plus feet himself; grey and wrinkled, but whose voice is still strong as if he was ninety years younger.

He is the project manager. There is no sadness in his voice; it is cold and calculated with well reasoned logic. “I know they have become pets to some of the staff but the committee has pulled the plug. They are not very interesting. They are mostly argumentative and yes, I agree with the statement: dumb.”

“So what happens?” Patty is distressed. This is too much for a child to comprehend.

The grandfatherly man lowers himself to one knee and takes the child’s hand. With a smile his words are soft as he gazes into her eyes, eyes that are starting to tear.

“Dear Patty we shouldn’t form attachments to inferior beings. It always leads to sorrow and pain, both wasted emotions. We are going to keep their moon. We will crash it in one of our deserts converting it to a mountain range. As for the people of earth they will be plunged into darkness where they will not work together but will panic and turn on one another. In a year or so there may be survivors, but honey all is okay, don’t cry it’s just business.”

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