I’m being published on the moon! No, really! I am!
So how in the hell did that happen, you ask? Well, Arizona State University is working with NASA on a project called LunaH-Map, which you can read more about here: https://lunahmap.asu.edu/
The head of the team is Dr. Craig Hardgrove, who is a long time and huge fan of the Destiny video game series that my husband works on. Because of this, he invited Bungie (the company that makes Destiny) to create a sort of time capsule via an SD card that will travel to the moon on the LunaH-Map spacecraft. There it will sit until aliens or whatever else find it and check it out.
As part of this, I was invited to write a story for the time capsule.
I wrote an LGBTQ+ love story between the Earth and the Moon, which I will be sharing momentarily! Because this does legally count as publication, I can now say I am the author of one of the first LGBTQ+ stories ever published on the moon. <3
So without further ado, here is the flash story I wrote (about 775 words) entitled “The Loss of Luna.”
The Loss of Luna
Copyright © 2020 by Raven Oak. Reprint soon to be published on the moon.
When did it happen?
Our love was something to make the heavens sing, yet I turned around to find myself alone.
The darkness of your absence eclipsed any joy that filled me with light.
When did I stop being beautiful?
When did you stop desiring me?
Love is eternal, or so the poets say, yet somewhere across the years, we fell out of step. Like the gear shifts of a machine, our parts thrown out of sync in a moment.
Was it desperation that drove you into another’s arms, or was it something I did? Perhaps something I didn’t do?
< No. >
Too faint, I ignore the voice in the distance. Its fierceness reminds me of you, you know.
Used to be I turned my head, and there you were, unable to wrest your eyes from me. My curves enveloped you, all of you. In my light, you couldn’t help yourself. You were wild as you danced within my glow, and my tides washed over your shores.
When did your focus drift away?
No longer am I your pale goddess. Your gaze follows the redhead beyond me. That dusty, rich bride of stories old and new. Swallowed by her sands, you reach out, leaving smears of red in your trail towards the colorful universe beyond, and I remain.
< Not alone. >
But I am. My lovers have left me.
< I’ve never looked the other way. >
I turn toward my pale blue dot. Is it you who speaks? You who chases the light and never catches it?
< Yes. >
My cheeks flush a pale blue. How long have you been listening to me?
< I have always listened. You are a piece of me that I have always sought and never reached. My face has followed your every turn, and as your waves crash upon my shores, you wash over me. You give me life. How could I not notice you, my moon? >
They once said the same. Your inhabitants. They worshipped me and held me in their smiles. They loved me and held me in their dreams until they set upon me. My dimples, hard and frozen, were not the smooth folds they sought. No moist embrace awaited them, so they left me, my pale blue friend. How do I know you won’t leave me as well?
< You are a piece of my flesh. I’ve held you tight in my embrace for over four gigaannum. My inhabitants are fickle beings, babies who crawl across me like a devouring plague as they suck on my teats with sharp teeth. But you, your beauty revolves around me like my own devoted satellite. How could I not love you, my moon? >
My tears freeze as they leak from me. I wasn’t always cold. Fires burned in me once as they burn in you still. You say you love me, but you’re too late. I am broken and alone.
< SELENE. >
I have no breath to catch in my chest, yet the universe pauses for a minute as she names me, a name I’ve not heard spoken in many millennia.
< My Luna, do you remember when I named you, my Selene?>
Something inside of me trembles. Who are you to have named me?
< I am Earth, one in a sea of many, yet it is me who loves you. Together we spin across time and space, yet my inhabitants swayed you for a heartbeat. >
Wait, it was me who wandered? I thought myself in love with… but it was you that I loved? It was you that I lost. I carved the ravine that lies between us. What have I done?
< You were lost in the brilliance of life. So was I for a time. >
Just past my reach, Earth lay below me as she always had, her body having once provided the fire within me and tears that evaporated rather than froze. Once, I was hers.
When I look upon her again, everything fades from my mind except her embrace and the way it keeps us in lock-step rhythm with each other. We move together to a silent song only we can hear, as the stars around us hum.
Her warmth smells of clay and mica and quartz, and her voice tickles my soul once more.
< You are beautiful. You are desired— >
And I am loved. I smile.