Thursday, August 26, 2010

The World in Miniature: Babysat by the Man in the Moon

by Matthew Rush
The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment

Babysat by the Man in the Moon

Mom drove. Dad navigated. They let me sit in the way back of our funny Peugeot Station Wagon. I sat and watched the grey river below and the green walls above fall away like the world was collapsing in upon itself.

It felt funny when we stopped. Then the entire world rushed back at me as if to say hello. It sort of felt like falling up and made my tummy tickle.

We stopped for Dungeoness Crab at a fancy restaurant with white tablecloths and waiters dressed up like penguins. I loved watching the alien monsters crawl all over each other in the tank. Pincers, eyes and antennae; they clicked against the glass lethargically but I imagined they were ancient warriors of an elder race who fought for honor among the crustacean tribes.

Later my dad cracked them open and I ate their legs. Mom said they were liquid inside until someone cooked them. That was gross but they tasted good with warm butter like runny egg yolk.

We drove into the Horse Heaven Hills for the Eclipse. Suddenly I was on the moon, the furthest reaches of space within my grasp. I reached out and caught hold of a distant star in the palm of my little hand. I was the Eater of Worlds! So I plucked a white dwarf down from Heaven and placed it lovingly into my mouth.

On the way home I tried to watch the grey river flow away below us, but it was dark and I was sleepy.

I yawned, laid back and watched the moon as he chased us across the sky. He looked cold and distant, like grandpa after he got sick, but still he looked down on me and never fell behind no matter how fast or how far we drove. His light was weak and thin outside but when it melted through the window it poured over my face like cool alpine mist. Delightful.

I relaxed as I listened to the tires sing a lullaby against the asphalt. Soothing.

I fell asleep watching that silly old man's face as he followed us across the world, never quite catching up but always watching over and enveloping me in a blanket of silver comfort. Dreaming.


Ted Cross said...

Delightful, Matt!

Matthew MacNish said...

Ack! There's an extra "in" in the third paragraph! Can you take that out when you get a chance Bryan?

Thanks so much for putting this up here, it's an honor to be featured on your blog.

Thanks Ted!

Hannah said...

Wow! That was fantastic. I loved it. I was completely engaged the whole time and left wanting which is always a good thing! Always.

Old Kitty said...

It's a very sweet very touching piece of a child's viewpoint of a trip to the moon and back! Or one that felt like it. I like the hint of a little darkness as they ate the crabs. :-)

Thanks for sharing

Take care

Ishta Mercurio said...

This was my favorite line:
"His light was weak and thin outside but when it melted through the window it poured over my face like cool alpine mist."

So evocative. Thank you for sharing this, Matt, and for posting this, Brian.

Unknown said...

Beautiful. Reminds me of my own day dreaming when I went places as a kid.

LTM said...

That was so amazing. I think something writers share are the little things we remember--how looking upside down out the back car window makes your stomach feel funny; seeing the moon "chasing" you...

I watched my little girl staring out the car window the other night and wondered which memories she was collecting.

EXCELLENT flash~ super work, Matt! :o)

Lenny Lee said...

mr matthew..
this is real nice and i like it a lot. for me it sounds sorta grown up for just a kid telling the story. i hope its ok i said that.
...from lenny

Matthew MacNish said...

It's totally okay you said that Lenny! Honesty is the best policy! And you're right, it's supposed to be a kid's memory, but told from adults point of view, which gets a little muddy at times. Thanks for reading though!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

So sweet and restful. What I would give to be a kid again sometimes. Such a vivid voice, Matthew. Nicely done.

Arlee Bird said...

Nice piece that effectively captures a child's worldview. I can remember it and your story evoked those memories all the more.

Tossing It Out

Bryan Russell said...

Thanks for checking in, everyone. And thanks, Matt, for submitting!

vic caswell said...

matt! this was really, really good! everything was just so pretty... you really gave us a feel for the character's viewpoint. loved the bit of humor at dinner... the liquid leg thing IS gross!!! lovely piece!! :)

Matthew MacNish said...

Thanks everybody! Especially Bryan, you sir ... rule.

Christina Lee said...

Nicely done, Matt! I like you moon metaphors!

Karen Baldwin said...

And last, but not least . . . amazing! You're a great storyteller.

Jessica Bell said...

This was just stunning. You captured the essence of a child travelling in a car brilliantly. It's exactly how I felt as a child. How wonderful. Matt, you never post anything on your blog. Why not? I had no idea you were so AWESOME. I love your style. You ever get published, I'm purchasing your book in a flash.

Thanks for sharing, both of you!

And Bryan, I'm trying to follow you, but blogger is being nutcase again. Will come back again tomorrow :o)

Mira said...

Matthew, this has a sweetness to it. I felt very cozy and safe riding along with the child, dozing off while the moon watched. That made me smile.

Also, made me remember how much I loved the moon as a child.

angelarene said...

Very nice work Matt! I would love to hear more from this little guy! Keep up the great writing :)

MBW aka Olleymae said...

Love this! It totally brings back some similar childhood memories. Great imagery.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I love your words Matt! Not just the individual ones, but the little strings of them together:

waiters dressed up like penguins

honor among the crustacean tribes

tires sing a lullaby against the asphalt

And I just realized it's your personifications that I adore. Bravo!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Very nice. I love the description of the lobsters, eating their legs. Lots to admire in such a short piece.

The moon rose full and orange two nights ago here and the shadows on it formed the face of a pumpkin. It was beautiful. This made me think of that.

Christina Lee said...

AWW, Loved this: " I reached out and caught hold of a distant star in the palm of my little hand. I was the Eater of Worlds! So I plucked a white dwarf down from Heaven and placed it lovingly into my mouth."