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Moondoll This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   While Maggie was reading the Sunday paper, her mind began to wander. Looking out the window of her apartment, she remembered the days when she lived in her own perfect house along the water. She wondered what it would have been like if she hadn't had to move away because of the threat of the polluted water affecting her and her daughter. Outside she could hardly see the cars below because of the thickness of the air. She looked over at her three-year-old daughter playing with her moondolls and felt helpless and devastated that she couldn't give her a better life; one like her grandmother used to tell her about when she was young and they didn't have to worry about recycling or saving water. She thought, if only they did. When she went back to reading, her daughter Abby got up from playing and came over to her. "Watcha readin', Ma?" she said, with a voice so quiet that Maggie could barely hear her.

Maggie picked up her daughter, putting her on her lap. "I'm reading a story about a place far from here."

"Is that where Daddy is?"

"No, Daddy wouldn't want to be at this place. This is the place where everything that we don't want, everything that we throw away, goes."

"Do you mean the moon?"

"No, the moon is already full and over-polluted as it is. They've now starting using Venus to unload the trash, since Saturn's rings are full now too. They may have found a place for our trash, but they still haven't found anywhere that can sustain any lifeforms healthfully."

"So, where's Daddy?"

"Daddy's in a happy place now where no humans can be harmed because it's unknown to them. It's the only place that's safe anymore."

"Will we ever see him again?"

Maggie picked up her daughter and brought her close to the window, carefully avoiding the dying plants on the windowsill.

"I'm sure we'll be seeing him soon. We can't stay here much longer; no one can."

Together they looked out the window and watched the cars pass and saw the outline of people walking, dodging the paper and garbage in the streets, covering their mouths with their handkerchiefs to try to avoid the unavoidable. Maggie thought to herself, if only we had started sooner, if only I could change the world for Abby. She looked down at her precious daughter, hugged her tight, and whispered to her, "What are we going to do?" n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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