So today is something of a gala Fiction Friday for me. Not only do I have a funny little flash fiction for you, but I also have an announcement! You heard me, O readers -- for the first time in months, I am pleased to announce that a novel-length fanfiction by Anne B. Walsh will be updated with Chapter 52, "Locked and Barred", later on today!
Why haven't I named that novel-length fanfic? Well, I'm still in the preview lines of the blog, and italics come out funny in the previews. Sort of squished-up and ugly. But now I'm out of that space, so I can say without fear that yes, you heard me right. Surpassing Danger is updating again, or it will be in about eight hours.
Why the wait? Well, I'm at work at the present moment, and while my boss kindly overlooks my using the work computer for my writing when there's nothing else going on, I don't think he'd appreciate me using it to post my fanfiction. So the chapter will have to wait until I get home. Fortunately, today's Fiction Friday post will not!
This story has several origins inside my head: a momentary fancy by the heroine of Jane of Lantern Hill, by L.M. Montgomery, also the author of Anne of Green Gables; the name of this time of month in the lunar calendar, used for the title of this post; and a silly pop-culture reference. Blend these with my twisted imagination, and...
Well, why don't you just see for yourself. Happy Fiction Friday, in more ways than one, and please don't forget to comment here and review once the chapter's posted!
My name is Lena, and my job is very important. I help to polish the Moon.
What's that you say? You didn't know the moon needed polishing? You thought the way it grows and shrinks in the nighttime sky was because of the different amounts of its light and dark sides that you can see from your pretty Earth, because of the way that my lovely Moon and the glorious Sun are situated through different parts of the month? Well, of course you did! That's what we wanted you to think. If you knew what we do up here, we'd never get a moment's rest!
But getting back to reality, instead of those silly stories they teach you in school. (Shadows and rotations indeed.) There are precisely one thousand, seven hundred, and twenty-four Moon polishers currently active on our roster. Two hundred eighty-one are on vacation or recovering from injuries, and four hundred sixty-four young ones are in training. Every day, we have a certain sector of Moon we need to wash, dry, and polish to a high gloss, so that it will reflect the Sun's light to your pretty Earth that coming night.
You know, if you really thought about it, you'd know this already. It's in your language, even. Don't you call the time when the Moon is growing fat and round and full the "waxing quarter"? And what does that mean, I ask you, if it isn't that we're out with our cloths and brushes and our tubs of wax, making sure the Moon is every bit as shiny as you're used to seeing it?
But the job's not all spit and polish, oh, my goodness, no. There are some terrible creatures who live here on the Moon, along with us polishers. We call them the defilers. Some of us have to fight them while the others get on with the work, and sad to say, sometimes we lose that fight. That's when the Moon grows pale and wan and thin in your sight on Earth, when the defilers have their way and the Moon-dust comes drifting down in thick clumps to cover up all our good work.
Your astronauts, when they came to visit us, happened to land in a spot we hadn't been able to visit for a while, and that's why there was so much dust on it. We've left it alone since then, too, because whatever would you think if you came back for another visit and the footprints and flag and all of that weren't there?
But we always strike back at the defilers eventually, and what's more, we always win. The Moon grows clean and shiny again every month, doesn't she? And she always will, as long as we have anything to say about it. Our work keeps us well in training for fighting, after all. Or haven't you heard the saying about how hard work teaches you to fight? I think it must have migrated somehow...
"Wax on, wax off."