Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Mermaid On the Moon, a bedtime story

Iris lived with her mother, father, and sister in the Sea of Tranquility, which is an ocean on the moon. Sometimes, her sister would play computer games with her, but mostly, her family all worked too much to play with her, so Iris was bored and lonely a lot of the time. One of her favorite things to do was to stare up into the sky, at the Earth, far away. She would look through a telescope, and she could see this one light, but she didn't know what it was. She imagined all sorts of things--maybe it was a giant, glowing animal or a great jewel.

One day, Iris thought of a plan. She asked her dad if she could ride to work with him in the family submarine.
"I don't know," he said. "What will you do all day?"
Iris' sister worked near where their father worked, so Iris said she'd swim over to meet up with her sister.
"I guess," Iris' father said. Actually, he was glad to be able to spend some time with her. He missed her because he had to work so much, but there wasn't anything he could do about it.

All during the trip to his office, Iris paid attention to how her dad drove the sub. When they got there, she left her door unlocked and swam in with him.

"Just wait right here for your sister," he said as he left her in the lobby.

But Iris didn't wait. She swam back to the submarine and went in through the door she'd left open. Then, she drove it! She drove it up and up to the top of the Sea of Tranquility, and as she drove it, she went faster and faster, until it shot right out of the top of the water, all the way across the sky, and straight to the Earth. It floated through the atmosphere and plunged straight into the ocean.

Iris steered the submarine toward the light, wondering what she'd find. Eventually, she came to a little house by the beach. She parked the submarine, popped the hatch open, and swam to the edge of the water. Then she crawled onto the sand and to the house.

She could see the light through a window, and when she looked inside, she saw a little girl's room, just like her room back on the moon. There were toys and there was a bed with a little girl sleeping in it--except, she wasn't sleeping. She was playing on the bed. Iris knocked on the window, and the little girl jumped up and then hid behind the bed. Iris waved when the little girl poked her head up, and the little girl came and opened the window.

"Who are you?" the little girl asked.
"I'm Iris. Who are you?"
"Jenny," the little girl said. "Do you want to come in?"
"Okay," Iris said.

At first, they kind of sat there, awkwardly, not really knowing what to say, but eventually Jenny asked why Iris was there, and Iris told the story of seeing her nightlight.

"Oh!" Jenny said. She motioned for Iris to follow and ran over to a telescope. "I like to look at the moon!" Jenny said.

Iris looked and she could see a little, faint light on the moon, in the Sea of Tranquility.

"That's my house!" Iris said. "That's MY nightlight!"

* * *
Iris and Jenny played a long time until they were both so tired they couldn't play anymore, and then Iris put the submarine on autopilot and headed back to her father's office. He came out just in time to find her sleeping in the backseat, so he drove her home. She woke up when he was carrying her inside the house.

"Did you have a good time with your sister?" he asked.

Iris was quiet for a moment because she was still sleepy, but then she realized what he was talking about. "It was great," she said, and when he put her to bed, she snuggled into the covers. She looked up into the sky and could see a tiny light, far, far away. It made her feel like she wasn't lonely anymore, and she drifted off to sleep.

-CL Bledsoe

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