A Moonlight Tale



Luna’s days hazed into each other. She wasn’t aware of anything much, except for all the phone calls, people offering condolences. Uncle Sam took care of most of them. He made arrangements for the funeral and tried to make her eat. Sometimes she did eat for him, her hunger had left her, but she couldn’t bear the despair on his face. She had to run to the bathroom and throw up quietly for fear or worrying him more.

Her small family appeared for the funeral. Her uncles, Edgar and Alan, her Granny Lucy, and Granny Lucy’s ex-husband, Jack. The funeral at least seemed to soothe their estrangement that had lasted longer than Luna herself had lived.

She stood between Granny Lucy and Uncle Sam, endured shaking people’s hands, occasionally having to hug, and the most often used, least tolerable phrase on the planet.

“It was a lovely service.”

“Thank you,” she gave a watery smile and accepted a hug, while every bone in her body was screaming, “It wasn’t a lovely service, you fucking moron! I just cremated my parents! They’re dead! They’re never coming back! A few nice words from a minister won’t change a god-damned thing!”

More hugs, drinks at the house, neighbours donating food, flowers all over the house. When she couldn’t take anymore, Luna excused herself and went into her room.

She was angry. Shaking with anger. She was angry at her parents for dying. She was angry at all the people in her house that wouldn’t go away. She was angry at the stupid things they kept saying. She was angry with every single person who looked at her with pity and asked if she was ok. She was angry because she wanted to yell at the top of her lungs, “No I’m fucking not ok! Would you be?”

She was angry at herself for all of these feelings.

She was sick of crying. She was tired of throwing up after she ate. She just wanted to have her family back.

Someone knocked on her door.

If that’s one more blasted person asking if I’m alright, I’ll…

“Everybody’s leaving. It’ll be safe to come down soon.” Edgar Frog stood at her door.

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” she said.

“I won’t ask you how you are,” he replied. “What I will tell is how proud we all are of you. You’re very brave.”

“I don’t feel brave.” She didn’t look him in the eye, she didn’t want anyone to see her red eyes.

“It gets easier.”

“What do you know?” she spat out. “Did you lose your parents when you were sixteen?”

“No. I was fifteen.” His face, as usual, was expressionless.

“Oh. I’m sorry, I didn’t know.” She felt guilty, but felt better at the same time. Knowing her uncles could get through it made her feel stronger.

“It does get easier.” He left without further comment.

After the funeral came the sorting out. Not the will, that wouldn’t happen for another month or so. She and Sam had to sort out her parents’ belongings, deciding which to keep, and which to send to goodwill.

She steeled herself to go into their bedroom. It would be the first time since… well, since. Uncle Sam had offered, but she had remembered Edgar’s words, and decided to prove to herself that she was as brave as they thought.

For awhile she just sat on their bed, thinking of her childhood, and then her adolescence, and the things her parents would never get to do with her. They would never meet her boyfriend, she had never had one so far, and now she would never know if her father was as scary as some of the dads on TV. She would never rush up to her mother and whisper that she was in love.

And years from now, she would not rush home to show her parents a shiny diamond ring.

They wouldn’t be present to see her stand next to the man she loved, and watch as he added another ring next to it.

They would never see sonograms, and make jokes about being old.

They would never be grandparents.

They would never do anything ever again.

She bit back the tears that threatened to fall and forced herself to start sorting things. There was a box by the door for the goodwill items. She opened her mother’s bedside drawer, it was stuffed full, tissues, cotton wool, a romance novel, so well-read that the spine was cracked and pages were loose.

Beneath that, some incense sticks, a complimentary book of matches from a restaurant, film stubs, Luna’s report card from three years ago, a few photos. Some hair clips. A lipstick so old its package had been revamped three times since. A fairy story book. A picture of Laddie.

Nothing for goodwill. Luna lit a couple of incense sticks. The scent reminded her of her Mom.

She went to her father’s side and repeated the process. Nothing much, unlike her Mom, he didn’t fill his drawer up. A cologne, still in its box, an unwanted Christmas gift obviously. A Doors tape. His emergency pack of cigarettes, for when work was too stressful. A silver Zippo lighter, with the words ‘Yours always, Star’ engraved on, and a baby photo of herself.

She slipped the tape on for company, and moved on to the closet.

She forced herself to be strong when it came to the clothes, making sure she only kept her favourites. Dad’s leather jacket, Mom’s gypsy skirts, the suits could go to goodwill. The jeans would fit her, she could keep them… but she had enough jeans. She tossed them in the box.

Dad’s sweaters? Not her style. They joined the jeans in the box. Uncle Sam could go through it later, see if he wanted anything.

She moved onto shoes, almost everything went in the box, except for the few pairs of boots or sandals that might suit her. She was feeling quite proud of herself for making these decisions with minimal tears.

She reached deeper into the bottom of the closet and jammed her fingers hard against something. She winced and drew back, sucking on her fingers to take away the tingling.

When the soreness stopped she reached into the closet once more, and drew out the box that she’d stubbed her fingers against. It was old, dusty and had that pulpy feel that cardboard gets when it’s been around awhile.

She opened the box and was surprised to see it filled with dozens of books. Many of them plain, some had patterns on, but all had one thing in common. They had the year written down the spines in silver marker in her mother’s girlish scrawl. Some of them had ‘Star’s Secrets’ or ‘Star’s Journal’ written on, the more recent ones did not.

“Mom’s journals,” she said, settling down to take a closer look.

Second owner of the site, after Sammy handed it over. Lost Boys fan since the early 90s, owned this site since 2001. A bit nerdy. Fan of Marko. Wish I owned Star's skirt.