Write about a day moon.
January 5 prompt, “A Writer’s Book of Days”
“The moon! She be somewhere!”
Evelyn looked at Danny as if he were a madman, a werewolf.
“I saw that,” said Danny. Her eye rolls. Evelyn rolled her eyes a lot when it concerned him.
“Listen,” said Evelyn, taking command of the situation. “If we don’t find the way out, we’re gonna die here. Do you GET that? Does it REGISTER in that thick wood noggin of a head?” She tapped the sides of her skull.
“I GET it, Evelyn!” He snapped. “I’m NOT stupid!”
She rolled her eyes again.
“I saw that!” he shouted.
“Whatever,” she exhaled under her breath. “Now, Mr. Astronomer, which way did you say is west?”
Danny tilted his head skyward and scanned. Saw nothing new. Was presented the same scenery they’d been looking at for the past 7 hours.
“Wellllllllllll,” he hawed.
Another eye roll, this one dramatically pronounced. Her entire head rolled too.
“Goddamn it, Danny!”
Her abrupt sharp irritation caused him to lose a breath.
“Let me get this through your thick skull one last time! We. Are. Going. To. Die. Out. Here. Die! You know, D-I-E. Do you get that?! No water. No food. For days and days!” Fear and anger drenched her voice.
“We’ll be found a year from now! Some poor lost soul like us will stumble on us. Two bodies carpeted by ants and flies and whatever other insects are out here! Flesh gone! Dried up and eaten by vultures and god knows what else. Our eyes pecked out …”
“OKAY! That’s enough! I get it!” yelled Danny.
“Soo,” said his sister, hand set over thumping heart to calm and compose herself. “So you see, it’s really really REALLY important that you lead the way.”
The two stood in a desert 15 miles south of Palm Springs. Evelyn rued the moment she’d agreed to park her Toyota Celica and “explore.”
“I’ve got a good sense of direction,” Danny reminded her. Couldn’t argue that.
“We won’t get lost.” Even with his strong internal mapping and study of night skies, Evelyn wasn’t thrilled with the idea.
“Okay, just for 10 or 15 minutes,” she relented. What harm could come of it? They were in the middle of nowhere. Nuthin’ out here. Her blue Celica could be spotted a mile away!
They exited her vehicle, she with underlying trepidation, he with exuberance, and began walking.
“Look! Look!” he pointed. Like a boy discovering gumball after lollipop in a candy store, Danny leaped from cactus to cactus, rock to rock, hole to hole dug by a reptile or rodent. Such things fascinated him. All things of nature captivated the young man of 22 who for his mental retardation had the mind of a 6-year-old.
Evelyn, on the other hand, was bored out of hers.
She watched him scamper off, this way, then that, like a dog chasing a rabbit. He got away from her. Too fast.
“Danny! Danny!” Evelyn shouted. His strong gangly legs carried him along the desert wind. Hers, on the other hand, were like sodden logs after a monsoon.
“DANNY!!! DAAAAAAANNY! STOP! STOPPPP! DANNYYYYYY!”
Evelyn gave chase. It was futile. Her short leaden legs were no match for his gazelle. Her only choice was for him to him to run out of steam — which he would — and catch up to him then.
Danny did and Evelyn did. By then, her blue Celica was nowhere to be seen.
“SHIIIIIT, Danny!!!” exhaled the 25-year-old, folded over, hands on knees, drawing in deep breaths. “Where’d you learn to run like that?!” She always knew he was fast. Just not THAT fast. And very near tireless.
Glee radiated from his eyes like sun rays. “Look what I found!”
He opened both palms to display four rocks. Each the color of the sand surrounding them. Each bland. Each like the millions of rocks in the vast landscape.
“There’s more in my pockets!” he patted. There certainly were. They bulged.
Evelyn rolled her eyes.
Months passed until the bodies of Evelyn and Danny were found. Not by a lost soul like she’d predicted, rather a pilot in a crop plane headed to California’s farming region.
The blue Celica was retrieved too.
On the day they were found, the moon was as it was that day they got lost. Nowhere to be seen. A new moon, nigh invisible to the human eye, its presence revealed only by the faintest shimmer in the dark of night.
The siblings were buried side by side in a moving service that gutted the parents and left friends and family weeping for days. They were laid to rest under a moon blazing bright and full, guiding them onward so that they might never lose their way again.