Welcome to the Spot Writers. The prompt for this month is to write a scene involving the moon. Today’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie. She welcomes you to visit her website at www.writingwicket.wordpress.com
Fly With Me
Geraldine glanced around the room before listening at the door. Not hearing anything, she opened the window and inserted the nail file against the edge of the screen. She had tried previously to remove the screen to no avail though she had managed to loosen it from the frame. After several thrusts, the screen moved enough that she could curl her fingers around it.
“Drat,” she mumbled, when she yanked too hard and the screen ricocheted into the air. She stuck her head out the third-floor window. The screen was nowhere in sight, not that she’d be able to retrieve it if she did see it.
Seconds after she had straightened up, Alice entered the room. “Geraldine, close that window. Now!”
Geraldine bit her lower lip, revealing yellowed crooked teeth that complemented the once-white frayed collar of her dress. “I need to see,” she finally said. “It’s so beautiful out there. The stars. And the man in the moon peering down, watching, seeing. Do you know that he’s a nice man, that man in the moon? He’s very handsome.”
The older woman waited for Alice to yell again. Instead, Alice’s voice remained calm. “It’s not dark yet. You can’t see the stars or the moon.”
Geraldine scratched her nose and puckered her mouth into a perfect circle. “Oooh, I don’t mean now. I mean other nights, when it is dark and you can see night things.” She lowered her voice. “The sky is so peaceful, not like here.”
Alice rolled her eyes and grunted. “It could be peaceful here if you’d all behave. Come on, you’re late for dinner.”
When Geraldine didn’t move, Alice grasped the other woman’s arm. “That’s a good girl. Come along.”
Geraldine took two small steps and stopped. She looked back at the window where the flowered curtains swayed. Though the evening was warm, she shivered.
Alice glared. “You can’t be cold. It’s hot and stuffy in here.”
Geraldine scanned the woman’s face. Was she making fun of her, laughing at her?
“Don’t shiver if you’re not cold. It makes you look crazier than you are.”
“Crazy like this?” Geraldine inserted her index fingers into her mouth and stretched her mouth toward her ears. She stuck out her tongue and waggled it at Alice, just as Alice waggled fingers at her.
Alice ignored the antics and yanked her arm. “Come on down for dinner.”
Geraldine sighed and followed Alice to the dining room. After sitting at the table for several minutes, she feigned illness and returned to her room. She was thankful Alice had forgotten about the open window, for Geraldine would incur the caregiver’s wrath had she noticed the missing screen.
After bedtime rounds, Geraldine slipped from bed and stared into the darkness. She watched the sparkling stars, wondering if she should make a wish. The moon stared back. She smiled and patted her growling stomach. Though she was hungry, she had done the right thing by not eating. “Yes, I did,” she mumbled. “I surely did.”
Geraldine had suffered eating disorders in the past. Recently, she had decided she’d love to fly but knew she was too heavy and lumpy. By not eating dinner, she had morphed into a svelte and beautiful woman, and for the first time, she had a man swooning after her. Warmth spread through her veins when the man in the moon twinkled as if he had stars for eyes.
She would soon meet her prospective lover. And fly!
The breeze still jostled the curtains and blew the fabric across her arm. She stuck her head out the window, hoping again to locate the screen, but realized it was futile in the dark.
“No matter,” she said. “They’ll find it when they mow the grass.”
Pressing her dress against her leg, she contemplated changing into her favourite polyester slacks, until she realized the dress would aid flight. She pushed the wooden chair to the window. As were all windows on the second and third floors, the narrow window stretched tall, like a headstone reaching to heaven. In the daylight, the glass shimmered in the sun; when darkness fell, night lights peeped from several windows, camouflaging lives existing behind hollow shadows.
She climbed onto the wider-than-normal ledge, which was a feat at her fifty-nine years, and almost toppled trying to swing her leg up and over. She steadied herself by grabbing the window jamb. Once the other leg dangled over the ledge, she searched the sky. Stars beckoned. The moon gazed.
Geraldine pictured herself soaring through the air, her arms outstretched like wings; her stiff legs would mimic an airplane’s tail, while her billowing grey dress would resemble the hulky hull. She smiled at the image and even felt the winds caressing her like a silk glove.
Geraldine managed to stand on the ledge though she had to stoop a few inches. Leaning against the window frame, she felt safe. She waved at the moon, certain she saw lust in his eyes. And a bold voice whispered in her ears, I want you…
She contemplated taking off, soaring like an eagle up to the moon. He’d be so happy to see her, and they’d live happily ever after. She’d succeed in flight, unlike those poor victims of the Twin Towers on 9-11 who had failed when they flapped their arms.
The sudden rush of air bombarded her before she realized she had fallen. Even had she wanted to flap her arms, there was no time. She hit the ground within seconds but not before glimpsing the missing window screen wedged between low-lying branches.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie