Sunday, 20 March 2011

Episode 74

Teatime crouched anxiously in Moon’s garbage bin, keeping as still as possible. This was not easy, as he seemed to be sitting in a disgusting-smelling plastic meal tray, complete with popcorn-sized lumps of a decidedly squishy substance still adhering to it. As the sounds of Moon moving about in the kitchen came to him inside the malodorous receptacle (a bowl of cereal and a glass of water seemed to be in order), Teatime’s initial relief at having hidden himself so quickly disappeared like so much melting snow, to be replaced by an exasperated questioning in his mind of the wisdom of hiding in a place from which there was no possibility of escape if discovered.

For his part, Moon was a little puzzled: as he’d made his way across the living room with a view to fixing himself a little snack (the macaroni cheese ready meal had been as unsatisfying as it had been unappetising), he’d been sure he’d heard a noise coming from the kitchen, but when he’d arrived and flipped on the light, all had been still and quiet - apart from one thing. The cutlery drawer had been slightly open. Now Moon was sure he’d left it properly closed. Nothing else was amiss though, so he dismissed the noise as a product of the imagination of a half-asleep brain.

As he dipped his spoon into the cereal and munched, he thought about the possible new chapter in his life that looked to be opening up. The message he’d received earlier that day had been most promising, but on no account was he going to get his hopes up too much – that way lay disappointment. Still, so long as his informant hadn’t been painting too rosy a picture of things, there was much to hope for.

Moon paused for a moment to give silent thanks for the wanderlust that had taken him on that trip to Europe. It had almost cleaned out his then meagre bank account, but it had been so worth it to have run purely by chance into his uncle in Switzerland. And what a momentous meeting it had turned out to be. They’d met on a climb and had hit it off almost immediately. It had taken them both some time to realise they were related, but by then they were fast friends anyway. Once back home, Moon had found a job in OGS more-or-less waiting for him. Everything had been going along very nicely after that - until Moon had got a call telling him his uncle had been injured in a climbing accident. As the last of the cereal disappeared, revealing the ridiculous hearts-and-flowers motif at the bottom of the bowl, Moon felt more hopeful than he had at any time since then. If things worked out, after tomorrow, everybody would have to sit up and take notice: not just OGS, with its internal politics and adherence to the old ways, but eventually the whole world.

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