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The Moon Man

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Tinted auburn from the rust of previous affairs, the shovel makes its umpteenth plunge into the cool, fresh soil beneath its holder’s bare feet.  He jerks his head to an upright position, and lets his eyes scope out the area in a militant fashion while his toes work their way under the earth he stands on.  

The shadows dubiously morphed from one shape to the next.  A client to the moon, he began to dig deeper and quicker.  It wasn’t a hobby nor a request nor an occupation but a lifestyle.  Burying, that is. 

He stuck the shovel down its respective puncture and estimated about three feet down.  And he couldn’t help but cringe when he saw just the slightest strip of orange over the trees.  The site horrid and the idea gut-wrenching, to walk the streets and do as one would during daylight hours: time of chaos and noise.  The very thoughts set his stomach banging at his body to flea.  How awful it must be to roam the world only to be defeated by time, the sun’s departing, he thought to himself.  He could see perfectly well under the moon.  Since he seems not to have an alias, he shall be addressed as the Moon Man.

The Moon Man snatched his bag from the park’s decrepit bench and let his hand search through it until: ah! there it is.  He turned it round in his hand and let the effects sink in.  How he’d miss it, as he misses other items, but this must be done, he reassured himself.  

The small object was wrapped in foil to protect from scratches should it come in contact with rougher gravel or other sediments while underground.  He forced his lips onto the odd thing as to say goodbye, and ever so carefully placed it down the earth puncture.  Now minutes left, he made haste in the process of replacing this missing chunk of earth removed from the ground.  The Moon Man saw that the small orange strip had become a hefty, wide strip and was expanding.  He fell to his knees and pushed the dirt into the hole with his bare hands.  The Moon Man brought his hand down on the dirt several times as to tighten it up, came off of the ground, shook the debris off himself and went on his way down the narrow, cracked path of Emerald Park.

The morning was peculiar but even more so was the park the Moon Man inhabited.  He thought and thought and now tried to remember where other items were in the park, but drew a blank.  At this, he smiled.  In the burier’s lifestyle, it is customary to forget all details of items and articles buried.  Just the same with whatever he has placed in the earth now, or before.  Naturally, it brought the Moon Man delight to have already forgotten where the scroll had been placed, as with the watch, and the pendant, and--the letter?  Well, the letter...

A man approached him on the street corner, he tapped the Moon Man, but continued to walk, so he followed the man.  The Moon Man was excited by curiosity and occupationally followed this opportunity. 

The Moon Man understood who the stranger in front of him was after he led the him to the park where no other would go lest they themselves were part of some awful organization or plan.  Emerald Park was slowly dying.  The grass left years ago and in its place stood that unusually fresh soil the Moon Man enjoyed so much.  So much that while the man walked along the path where once was a sidewalk, his black shiny shoes scraping up dust and such, the Moon Man remained adjacent, in peace.

The man stopped and turned around, yet revealed no face; he wore a shadow by hat.  As the secretive frequently do, he silently removed a soft manila envelope from under his overcoat’s heart.  One could only assume, remember his face: shadowed, that he was staring at the envelope as he flipped it open to peer inside.  So suddenly that the Moon Man flinched, the man before him seemed to have picked a shovel out of the foggy air surrounding them.  Even more sudden,  he placed both the shovel and envelope on the path and was in sight no more.  

It was always someone different who brought an item to the Moon Man.  That’s how he knew.  No other would be mad enough to approach the site of Emerald Park lest they seek him (or perhaps are part of some secret organization.)  But that Envelope Man was different.  The Moon Man recalled rushing over to the two items across from him that night.  None had ever before supplied him with the shovel for burying.  Nor had one ever before gave him words to bury; it was a letter he slipped out of the envelope, enclosed in another envelope, smaller and black.  Not by burn, but was simply a black envelope.

The Moon Man’s eyes widened as he turned the envelope in hand.  The back read something peculiar, indeed.  He didn’t understand.  The Moon Man's true name, the envelope read in a silvery ink.  The Moon Man was still in shock but this time was able to shake his head in slight to show it, letting his chocolate hair sway for a jiffy.

The Moon Man frowned at the letter and tossed it to the soil.  He twitched nervously at the idea he conjured out of what had just occurred.  Would he have to leave Emerald Park his home?  A tear warmed his cheek in the calm darkness.  The Moon Man could not recall the last time he felt tears on his face.  So odd is crying, he realized, and like that he stopped.  He picked up his envelope and then searched the park for an unused breach in the ground.  There was one just meters beyond him, to where he inched his way over.  

He looked inside.  Excuse the bugs and roots, it was empty.  One of his smaller voids, he collected.  He lay prostrate and parallel to it and blankly let his eyes situate straight ahead of him to the sky, to the moon.  But not for long, the moon wasn’t for staring at.  The moon was only an associate, not to be toyed with.  The Moon Man’s lanky arm received the letter from atop his lap, he ritually pressed his lips on it, where the silvery ink was, and said goodbye to a different life.

The Moon Man’s reminiscing took him to a far place for the sky was quite orange and the sun would arrive soon.  He took his bag of belongings and swiftly dove into the woods.



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