Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Pink Moon

(Departure from the questing travelers. While in Jacksonmississississississippi, niece Hannah reminded me of this story I wrote for her eleven years ago.)

Hannah Hill was a beautiful young girl who lived in the country with her mother, father, two brothers, younger sister, and their wizard dog Tessa. Very few people knew that Tessa was in fact a wizard, but Hannah did. Mainly because Tessa had told her so. Now, Tessa had actually told everyone in the family that she was a wizard, but Hannah Hill was the only one in the Hill Household who spoke Dog. Woof!

Because of her name, it should come as no surprise to you that Hannah and her family lived high on top of a hill that let you see for miles around—all the way to the blue herons on the lake, all the way to the mountains of Tennessee (on a clear day, mind you), and even half way to the planet where the wizard Tessa came from. Or so Tessa said. When Hannah told her mom, Mother Julee was not so sure.

“You know Tessa,” said Mother Julee, rolling her eyes at the thought that a dog of hers could talk. That she came from another planet was something Mother Julee had known all along. Oh, had she known it!

Beside the beautiful country home in which they lived was a forest of lovely tall pine trees that would whisper to Hannah every night as she was going to bed.

“Did you do your homework tonight, Hannah?” Mildred would say, a thin tree who wore tiny glasses. Mildred felt very strongly about education. She needn’t have worried. Hannah ALWAYS did her homework, without anyone even asking!

“Brush your teeth tonight?” That would be Elbert, a very smelly old tree who, oddly enough, looked an awful lot like Hannah’s dentist Mr. BoomBoom. Though Hannah was always very nice to Mr. BoomBoom, she did not really like going to see him. For a dentist, he had very bad breath, not unlike smelly old Elbert. Hannah always made sure she brushed her teeth, the better to stay away from Mr. BoomBoom!

Well, anyway, you get the picture. There were lots of chatty trees whispering in through the window every night, asking Hannah if she had done her chores, put out her clothes, cleaned up after her sister, turned off the TV, fed the goldfish (she didn’t even have goldfish!!), put the top back on her fingernail polishes . . . Sometimes, Hannah wondered if Mother Julee and Father Billy didn’t pay the trees to keep after her about all the chatty little nonsense.

But, it really didn’t matter, because of one very important thing.

Every night, just as the curtains of her eyelids were almost all the way down, Hannah would hear a very magical whisper that she knew was talking to her, but try as she might, she could never quite hear what this magical voice had to say.

Until the night of her 7th birthday. Then, the voice came to her loud and clear.

“What a beautiful pink moon there is out tonight, Hannah Hill!” said the magical voice.

Now, you have to understand one thing about Hannah Hill. She was a very bright girl, and as we know from her talks with the wizard Tessa, she was also a bit of a magician herself. So, she knew a lot of things that other people didn’t know, because she had very special eyes and ears.

BUT: she also knew this: THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS A PINK MOON. As she very firmly told the silvery voice outside her window.

“There is no such thing as a pink moon,” said Hannah Hill, in a voice she would hear her mother use whenever the wizard Tessa decided it was time to redecorate the kitchen.“I beg your pardon, Hannah Hill,” said the voice outside the window, “but, if you would just take a look –"

“I don’t have to take a look, because there is no such thing as a pink moon.” This time Hannah used the voice her mother used whenever her sister Karen was climbing the shelves inside her closet.

“Well, if you insist,” said the magical voice, a bit sadly. There were no more words after that, just a great many titterings and whisperings and then SUDDENLY A HUGE PINK GLOW LIT UP HANNAH’S ROOM AND BEFORE YOU KNEW IT A GIANT PINK MOON FILLED HER ENTIRE WINDOW!!!

"Oh, my!!” said Hannah Hill. She looked over at Karen’s bed to see if her sister was seeing the same thing, but Karen was just snoring away like always."

"Where did you come from?,” asked Hannah, very politely now, as she could see that the pink moon was smiling and very friendly.

The pink moon glowed and smiled even more at the young girl’s question. “Why, from your dreams, little one,” said the moon in a voice very like the one her mother had used when she sang to her in the dark as a baby.

“But, I’ve been dreaming of you since I was very little,” said Hannah. “Why come to me now?”

“The answer to that is very simple, my dear. Because now you are 7. You know, Hannah, the world is full of magic. You and Tessa know this more than many people. But, sadly, many children your age begin to forget about the magic when they turn 7. I am the fairies’ gift to you because you remember. If ever you find yourself doubting the magic, just look outside your window: I will always be there for you. Now, come, my child and give me a kiss: I must return to the sky for all those other children that know me.”

Hannah felt a very big heart thumping in her chest as she slipped out of bed and walked to the window. Her whole body turned warm and pink in the midnight glow of the moon. As she kissed the moon, she felt her heart grow twice as big and she heard a whole choir of fairies singing in her ear.

The pink moon smiled her beautiful angel smile into the night sky as she began to lift up like the giant balloons on the Fourth of July. Hannah felt a sadness in her heart and tears in the corners of her eyes.

“No need for tears or sadness,” called the pink moon across the sky. “I, like Tessa, will always be with you, my dear. Just look for me, on even the cloudiest of nights.”


Like any person who has had a new and wonderful experience, Hannah Hill woke up the next morning wanting to talk about what she had seen. She felt sure all the others in her family would have seen the pink moon, too. All except snoring Karen, but Hannah was pretty sure Karen would have seen the pink moon at some point in her life.

Mother Julee was in the living room doing a double reversed upside down triangle yoga pose when Hannah walked in to talk. The wizard Tessa was supervising.

“Mom,” said Hannah, “you’ve seen the pink moon at night, right?”

“Ahhh,” said Mother Julee. She felt her wings about ready to take flight. Everything was lining up nicely and she was still standing! “What was that, Hannah?”

“The pink moon, Mom. You’ve seen it at night, right?”

A tiny little frown began to form in the middle of Mother Julee’s forehead. She also began to feel like she was about to – OOPS!!!

Mother Julee was now sitting on the living room floor.

“Hannah Hill, I have 15 more poses to learn before my next yoga class. I can assure you that pink moon pose is not one of them.”

“But, Mom, the pink moon isn’t –“

“Hannah Catherine, another time, dear. You can show me pink moon pose after lunch.” This was said as Mother Julee nimbly put herself into a pineapple upside down cake caterpillar pose.

The wizard Tessa gave Hannah a knowing look.

“Go see your Dad, honey,” said Tessa under her breath. “Your Mom’s just a little busy right now.”

Father Billy was out in the back yard singing to the birds with his new guitar. His face broke into a big smile when he saw his daughter’s approach.”

“Hey, Baby! Wassup!”

Hannah smiled back. It was hard not to when her Dad was strumming his guitar.

“Daddy, do you know the pink moon that shines at night?”

Father Billy stopped his strumming for a moment. He, too, got a few lines in the middle of his forehead – not a frown exactly. He liked to call them his thinking lines. He used them for concentrating.

“Hmmm,” he said. “‘The Pink Moon That Shines At Night.’” He strummed a few times on his guitar and then stopped. This time he had 6 thinking lines in the middle of his forehead. “You know, Hannah, I think I used to know that song, but I seem to have completely forgotten it. Could you hum a few bars?”

“Daddy!!!! It’s not a song, it’s a real—”

“You know, sweet Baby, I’m going to have to go look through all my old sheet music and see if I can find that song. It’s a good one, I remember that.”

And with that, Father Billy walked off to his office, slowly singing the words, “Oh, the pink moon that shines at midnight / always came and gave my sister a terrible fright…”

“Hrrumph,” said Hannah Hill.

The screen door slammed behind her.

“Try Dustin,” said the wizard, licking her hand. A most unwizardly thing to do. Sometimes Tessa forgot and actually thought she was a dog. Like when she redecorated Mother Julee’s kitchen. That was no wizard job. Indeed not.

“Dustin?” said Hannah. “Are you kidding? All he thinks of these days is girls!”

“Exactly,” replied the wizard. “He’s always MOONING around in front of the mirror, right?”

“Good point, wizard!” said Hannah, her smile coming back. With that, she was off to knock on the door of what was known around the house as Dustin’s Dungeon. He liked to keep it dark in there. For the dragon he kept to nibble on nosey little sisters, he said. Little did he know that Hannah and Karen fed his dragon, and had even named her Muriel. Muriel had forgotten to inform Dustin that she was not a he.

To Hannah’s surprise, all the lights were on in Dustin’s room when she knocked and went in. He was in front of his mirror, right up close to it, brushing his hair back and forth across the top of his head.

Oh good, thought Hannah. He’s mooning all over himself again. Now’s my chance!

“Dustin, I was wondering, have you –”

“Well?” said Dustin, stepping back from the mirror.

“Well what?” said Hannah.

"Which do you like?”

“Which WHAT do I like?”

“Which part, Hannah. I’m trying to figure out which way to part my hair for the dance this Friday. So, which do you like best: right or left?”

“Well, to tell you the truth—”

“Yes. Please do.”

“Well, to really tell you the truth, I didn’t come in here to give out fashion tips. But, I’d keep it in the middle, if I were you.”

“I haven’t parted it in the middle since –“

“Since Rebecca,” said Hannah. “I know. And you haven’t had a steady girlfriend since Rebecca either.”

Dustin stared back into the mirror, a little embarrassed. He’d wanted fashion tips, not TRUTH.

Reading her older brother’s mind, as both she and the wizard Tessa were capable of doing, Hannah said, “Sometimes truth is a fashion tip, Dustin.”

Even the wizard Tessa would be shocked by what followed next. Dustin sat down on his bed and roughed up his hair just like he used to in the old daze. The old Rebecca daze, thought Hannah. Using her long sight, she could see another girlfriend just around the corner.

Hannah wasn’t sure just how long the golden glow in her brother's face would last, so she quickly shifted back to the topic at hand.

“Dustin,” she said, “have you ever seen the pink moon—”

Brother Dustin’s face broke into a big bright sun. “Pink Moon! Oh, they are THE COOLEST BAND!!! Meredith’s got all their videos on tape! I think my favorite – wait, Hannah, where are you going???”

Hannah gently closed her brother’s bedroom door and sat down in the cool dark hallway. Tessa was already there waiting.

“I don’t think I want to hear it, Tessa,” said Hannah, somewhat sadly, and just a little angry, too.

Tessa just stared into her fellow wizard’s face.

“Don’t lick me, Tessa. When you stare like that, you usually forget you’re not a dog.”

Tessa pulled her tongue back into her mouth and kept staring.

“Brandon, right? Go ask Brandon. Is that your wizardly advice? Oh, for heaven’s sake, Tessa, stop wagging your tail. You look just like a dog. It isn’t dignified.”

Hannah wasn’t happy with what she was about to do, but she couldn’t come up with a better idea, so she went to talk to Brandon’s ankles. If you wanted to talk to Brandon, you had to talk to his ankles, because the rest of him was always up under one of the family cars.

In her more amused moments, Hannah always painted little smiley faces on each of her brother’s ankles when she talked to him. Needless to say, she did not feel like painting today.

“Is that you, Mom?” said Brandon from under the car. He liked to think he could always tell who someone was just by the sound of their footsteps. In four years of car repair, he’d not guessed right yet.

“No,” said Hannah.

“Dustin?” You’d think the voice would give it away. In Brandon’s case, it didn’t.


“Do I sound like Billy?” said Hannah, not the least bit amused now.

“Oh, Tessa! What can I do for you?”

Hannah very calmly kneeled down and tied her brother’s two shoes together and then left.

“Tessa? Tessa?”

“Don’t follow me,” said Hannah to Tessa as she started to do so.

It was three hours later when Karen found her big sister sitting way up on the topmost part of their hill, so high a cloud was covering up part of her body.

Karen shooed the cloud away and sat down next to Hannah.

“They don’t know any better,” said Karen to Hannah’s wet face. She wasn’t sure the wetness was from tears or the cloud she just sent away.

“And I suppose you do,” said Hannah in a very snippy voice. She was not exactly happy to be entertaining guests on top of the hill. Poor thing. She’d had a rough day. She didn’t think her little sister could make it any better.

"What are you getting your feathers all ruffled for, Sis? She told you very few people still see her.”

“She? She who? Tessa? Tessa said no such—”

“Tessa?” said Karen. “That foolish thing? Oh my dear, no. No, no, no, no, no. Not Tessa. The moon, Hannah.”

As we’ve already said, Hannah Hill had had a very rough day. She just stared at her little sister. She wasn’t going to say it for her.

Karen smiled her big smile. “The pink moon, Hannah.”

Hannah just kept staring. It could, after all, just be another trick of the wizard Tessa’s. Give baby sister a quarter –

“Believe me, Hannah, it’d cost that foolish dog a lot more than a quarter to get me to play a trick for her,” said Karen. Apparently Hannah was not the only Hill who could read people’s minds.

Karen continued. “That’s right, Hannah. The pink moon. The one that’s been following you around ever since last night. The one that’s right behind your head right now.”

Hannah Hill whirled around and nearly bumped noses with the glowing moon.

“You mean? But, how come? If you were right there in the room with me, how come they couldn’t—”

The pink moon smiled most lovingly upon her young friend. “I know, Hannah. It is sad. But, that’s why Karen sent me to you.”

“Karen? Sent? You to me?” Hannah Hill was clearly flustered. She looked at her sister. “Since when have you—”

The pink moon stepped in for Karen. “Dear Hannah,” she said, “your sister has seen us ever since she was born.”

“Us?” said Hannah.

“Why, all of us. There are hundreds of moons, all different colors. As a present to you, Karen wanted to start you out with pink because she knew it was your favorite color. But, if you want to, you’re welcome to see us all.”

With that, Karen began spinning round and round like a top. Out of her spinning hands flew hundreds of moons filling the entire afternoon sky.

Hannah’s heart filled with joy. But, she was just a little bit sad, too. “If I can see you, why can’t—”

“All in good time, my dear,” said the pink moon as she began to rise up into the sky with all her sister moons. “That’s why Karen needed a sister’s help. She’ll tell you the rest of the plan. Bye now.”

Hannah looked over at her sister, all crazysilly from spinning. Her face was bright and shiny and her eyes were filled with stars. Little did Hannah know that hers were, too.

“So, what’s next?” said Hannah.

There were shooting stars in Karen’s eyes now. She snapped her fingers and two magic wands appeared. “One for me and one for you,” she said. “Now, listen. This is what we do . . .”

And with that, the two little wizards went off into the REST of the story.

Well, almost the rest: Tessa wanted to know where her magic wand was.



Blogger Dee Martin said...

Well professor...I think you have a secret calling here :)

You need to get your beautiful wife to create some amazing illustrations and publish!

I bet Hannah was tickled pink...

4:37 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: It did cross me mind . . .

And she was.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Yeah. Movie deals, no more being on the dole. Pink Moon wizarding games with your license. Good stuff. I really like it.

11:21 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

T: Dig the movie deals. You out there near the epicenter, you're the agent, girl.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Not me. I have no patience for schmoozing with the bigwigs. I do have a few friends, but it's hard to say... I think your style would be more low-budget, indie film for Sundance and the other festivals that would then break into the mainstream and smack the moguls upside the head.

1:07 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

T: Understood. One call to Redford? You're still in on the cut.

1:54 PM  

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