A RANDOM CREATION STORY
I wrote this for April
Fools Day, 1999. It was fun. :-) I then posted it to the wall beside the door
of my college dorm, and various people from the floor wrote stuff on it in pencil--comments
about the author's sanity along with the occasional circled bit with a label
like 'WTF?' For what it is, I think it holds up quite well.
“Just a minute, honey,”
shouted the bear with a tricycle on its mouth. He was a relic, an
amusement, a bonafide house oddity. His name was Isaac. We
liked to ride the tricycle when we we and the bear were younger, but then
the bear started to eat us, so we stopped. I lost three sisters that
the jar of honey which had evolved into an intelligent life form after
being left in the freezer for five months.
“Why in such
a hurry?” shouted the bear.
moon stew is boiling over.”
of Jesus!” cursed the bear as he smacked himself on the tricycle.
I snickered as he ran into the kitchen and stirred the moon.
an honor student at the local middle school, came in, having smelled the
moon. “Hey!” she exclaimed jubilantly. “Moon stew! How
do you do it, Uncle Tyler?”
She was addressing
me, since she did not know I was her father. However, my friend Tyler
was visiting, and since he believed my name was Godfrey for some strange
reason I could never figure out, he assumed she was talking to him.
“Well,” he lied, having no idea how to make moon stew, “I get the moons
from the freshest mountaintops on Thursday spring evenings. Then
I sprinkle them with powdered cheese and sing them to sleep. Then
I crush them and mix them with flour and milk.”
“I wasn’t talking
to you, stupid. I was talking to Uncle Tyler.” And she pointed
name is Godfrey, and he’s your father! And furthermore, he’s mute!
How do you expect him to answer you?”
“I don’t. I only ask him questions to tease him.”
I smiled ominously.
My daughter trembled.
“Is it true that
you’re my father?” she asked. Then she broke out into a laugh.
“Ha, ha, can’t answer.”
I yanked a copy
of her birth certificate out of my pocket, handed it to her, and walked
into the kitchen. Tyler laughed.
The bear was
eating the honey savagely, and its screams filled the room. “What
are you doing, Isaac?” I asked, since my muteness had all been a cover
for a secret Albanian plot.
“Revenge is sweet!”
he screamed. I shrugged and peeked into the pot. The moon stew
had entirely evaporated.
I said. The moon’s gone. Should I go get another?”
“Go ahead,” he
said with his mouth full of honey. I walked out the back door.
I only saw one
moon in the sky, so I grabbed it. Predictably, my neighbor, Nadine
Rufus, shrieked with disgust. “That’s the last one! Didn’t
your mother ever teach you to share?”
I pulled a copy
of her birth certificate out of my pocket, handed it to her, and went inside.
Actually, the bit with the birth certificate is something I do with all
females. That’s why I’m forced to live in an isolated part of Alaska
and only allowed out on holidays. Fortunately, this was Labor Day,
which counted as a holiday for me, so I was staying with my grandfather
When I got back
inside, the honey was dead. “Sheesh,” I said, “can’t you go a day
without eating someone? First my sisters, then my father, then the
milkman, and now this!”
“This is the last moon. Let’s make it count.”
“The last moon?”
rasped my grandfather, who had just come in carrying a bag of plastic straws.
“That’s a shame. That means several thousand lunar-centric religions
will be extinguished soon.”
I said. “I know too many people who believe in that junk. Maybe
they’ll convert to Rastafarianism now.”
“Why would you
want that?” asked my grandfather.
I was just saying,” I mumbled. I began mixing up a new batch of moon
stew when Tyler and my daughter came in.
“So your name is Tyler too,”
“Why didn’t you tell me?
I thought it was Godfrey!”
“And what is
this unsightly mess! Isaac, have you been eating honey again?”
The bear nodded,
knocking his tricycle against the table and breaking a salt shaker.
said my daughter, and she got a rag to wipe up the salt.
The moon stew
was bubbling away, so I turned down the heat and covered the pot.
My grandfather, who inexplicably had no name, sniffed the air in anticipation.
“Ah, the world’s last bowl of moon stew. To think that my family
should have the honor of eating it.”
“Did you ever
doubt?” asked my daughter with joy in her voice.
I never dreamed of it. I thought the moons would last forever.”
“Maybe we should
have put some of them in a museum or something,” said Tyler. “Now
my only children will never see the moon. They’ll look up into the
summer night sky and see only stars and blackness.” He sniffed.
“Too bad we can’t
reach the stars, or they’d make a good meal,” said Isaac.
I stared at the
bear. “Can’t you ever think of anything but food?”
Tyler. “You can talk!”
“Oops,” I said.
“Yeah, I guess I can.”
“You were lying
to me all that time!”
“I figured that
if everyone thought I was mute, women would stay away from me, and then
I wouldn’t have to do that thing with the birth certificate so much.
I know how it bothers people.”
Tears came to
his eyes. “Oh, Tyler. You’re so sweet.” He hugged me
rang. I grinned. “Well, now that the cat’s out of the bag,
I guess I might as well answer it.”
good-naturedly toward the phone. I picked it up.
I answered, giving the finger to my grandfather for changing the family
name. He was stirring the stew and didn’t notice.
“We know what
you’re up to. We’ll contact the United States government unless you
return to Albania immediately.”
With a clatter I fell to the floor. Fortunately, no part of me was
“Who turned down
the thermostat?” demanded my grandfather in his rough voice. “You
all know Tyler doesn’t take well to that!”
“I did,” said
Isaac. “It was so hot my tricycle was melting.”
what happens when you make moon stew, boy! It gets hot! If
you couldn’t take it, you should have left!”
Isaac rose to
his hind legs and challenged my grandfather with his gaze. In the
meantime, my daughter picked up the phone. “Is anyone still there?”
Tyler was good
enough to turn the thermostat back up. I stood. “Give me the
She stood in
a defiant pose and shook her head, her ear plastered to the receiver.
After a moment, a look of puzzlement passed over her face, followed by
shock. “You mean, he’s a spy??”
Everyone in the
room looked at me.
It’s true. I am a spy.”
my friend. “How could you! Don’t you love your country?”
“Of course I
do,” I answered coldly. “I love it so much that I want to protect
it from itself. I had to come here to—“
said my daughter. “The phone seems to be plastered to my ear.
Can someone help me get it off?
This had happened before. “Isaac, do you think you can help?”
“Sure,” the bear
said. He went over to my daughter, killed her, and began to eat her
I slapped my
head. “That’s not the kind of help I meant, Isaac.”
“Anyway, as I
was saying, I came to America so that it would not destroy itself with
greed. I wanted to show it that the answer to conflict sometimes
lies in making peace, not in making harsh demands.”
“I can agree
with that,” said my grandfather.
“And to that
end, I pretended to be mute so that I could get into the higher circles
and listen to national secrets without anyone being afraid that I would
spill the beans. But now,” I added, growling at myself, “now that
“So what will
you do now?” asked Tyler.
“I have only
one option. I will forget about the whole thing. Anyone for
some moon stew?”
“Aw,” said my
father, “the stew was ruined when Isaac turned down the thermostat.
It’s probably still frozen.”
I checked the
pot. He was right. I emptied out the lump of stew onto the
table, which broke because it was made of plaster. All the furniture
was made of plaster, in fact, which was probably why the phone had been
plastered. But I would think about that later.
my grandfather mourned. “Nothing for it but to throw it away.”
Tyler, his free hand batting idly at Isaac’s tricycle. “Maybe this
is what we’ve been looking for!”
“What?” I exclaimed.
“The nature of
moon stew is that if you freeze it and then thaw it right away and then
take it outside and throw it, it travels a huge distance and grows a millionfold!
We could throw it out into space and make a new moon that no one would
ever get at!”
Since he was
clearly making this up for no reason, I threw a chair at him. But
his interesting comments had made me wonder about something. I began
to contemplate what he had said. And then it hit me. I threw
it back at him again and thought some more. Then it hit me again.
Enraged, I turned
the pot upside-down and stood on it so that I would seem taller.
“By all that’s wonderful, Tyler, why do you keep throwing that despicable
plaster chair all over the place?”
“I’m trying to
learn to juggle,” he explained amicably. He picked up a paperweight
and hurled it at me. “Whoops, I’m not very good at this yet.”
He threw a table at me.
down and come outside.” I set the example by walking outside with
the frozen moon stew. Nadine had gone inside, so I lost no time in
screaming out my anger to the world. When I was finished Tyler hurled
the moon into the sky, and as it grew a millionfold, it stuck there.
There!” I said. “Now we’ll always have a moon.” And that was
how the moon came to be.
Isaac came out
of the house with a transistor radio. “I’ve just invented the transistor
radio!” he said. And that was how the transistor radio came to be.
“Good for you,
Isaac,” I said.
The elated bear
bounded over to me and began to roll his tricycle around on the ground.
I stepped gingerly over him and went inside.
“Did you have
a nice swim?” asked my grandfather, who had gone senile.
I answered, following my principle of always lying to senile people.
“Would you like one too? I’ve got one in my knapsack.”
He frowned at
me. “Tyler, my boy, it’s time I told you something about your poor
dead mother, bless her soul.”
“Yes, it certainly
We fell silent.
“What about her?”
“She was named
“Now that’s just
stupid,” I said, which was also a lie because I actually didn’t care.
“I know,” he
said. “I thought it was time you knew.”
I staggered out
the door and wandered aimlessly, struck with indifference at this uninteresting
news. I noticed Isaac sitting on a rock and chewing on Tyler’s dead
body. It didn’t bother me because at least that was one less Tyler
to get confused about. “How have you been, Isaac?” I asked.
He began to blubber.
“I’m sad. I’m sad because I’m ugly. I’ve got a tricycle stuck
on my mouth.”
said. “No you don’t.”
face brightened. “Thanks, Tyler.”
Pleased at a
good day’s work, I went to bed. That night, I dreamed that the moon
Tyler and I had put into the sky had always been there, shining as a mysterious
beacon to be admired by all the peoples of the world. I dreamed that
in every corner of the globe, parents taught their children about the moon’s
eternal majesty and explained in beautiful terms exactly what its presence
meant in their unique and fulfilling worldview. I dreamed that the
moon was a true part of history.
I woke up with
tears on my pillow. My grandfather had been peeling onions in my