The Boy Who Broke The Moon
My name is Lenny Nii Lartey, and this is the story of how I broke the moon. Not the most dramatic of introductions, but trust me when I tell you that this story is going to piss you off.
It all began one Friday morning, three days before my twelfth birthday. While my mother was at work and I was home playing video games, a blinding white light suddenly flooded my room. I squinted, shielding my eyes. By the time the light vanished, a small pink creature barely bigger than my palm flew in my face.
“We meet again, Lenny.”
I froze as the bright green eyes of the miniature creature gazed at me.
“Samerid.” I clenched my jaws. “You need to leave. Now.”
Now, why would I be mean to the adorable fairy? Um, first of all, that was no fairy, I assure you. That was a doomer. I made that name up after I learned what doomers were capable of. Wherever they went, doom followed. I would know. My life always became a doomsday movie whenever Samerid showed up.
The doomer first appeared to me when I was only two years old. And yes, little old me thought that was a tooth fairy. Can you blame me? Samerid was small and pink with tiny white wings and the most adorable smile. Besides, he said he wanted to be my friend. Two-year-old me got to be friends with the tooth fairy. How many people can brag about that?
Short story even shorter, our friendship lasted for the whole of one hour until Samerid told me my first dooming prophecy.
“Your father will be leaving,” said he.
“Leaving?” I asked. “You mean to work?”
“No, Lenny. Your father will be leaving. Forever.”
Samerid never answered my question. Before I could say anything, the tiny creature disappeared.
Less than a week later, my father and mother had their biggest fight ever. It was the noisiest our house had ever been with all that screaming contest. The next day was a stark contrast; the house was almost too peaceful. Something wasn’t right. My father was nowhere in sight. So I asked Ma about it.
“I’m sorry, Nii,” Ma said. “But your father is gone.”
I didn’t understand what dying meant. But I knew from TV that those who died never came back. I didn’t want that to happen to my father. Before Ma could explain anything to me, hot tears streamed down my face.
“I don’t want Da to die.” I sobbed. Soon, I was bawling my eyes out.
Ma just watched me with a smile. “Nii,” she hugged me, “Your father left us because of another woman. He’s not dead.” Quietly she added, “Unfortunately.”
I was confused for a while until I remembered what Samerid had said about my father leaving forever. This wasn’t something tooth fairies did. I should have had my doubts when he never once asked about my teeth.
Samerid appeared to me again three days before my fifth birthday.
“Lenny, you will never have siblings,” he said.
I narrowed my eyes. That didn’t sound too bad to me. I loved being an only child.
As you may have already guessed, the little devil was referring to something more devious. I learned about it the hard way a month later. Returning home after playing with my neighborhood friends, I found my mother crawling on the floor of the living room, blood dripping all over her legs, and tears all over her face. There was so much blood and tears that I feared she would drown in it.
With my mother’s direction, I called the ambulance. Later at the hospital, I overheard the doctor telling her that she would be in great danger if she tried to have any more children.
Samerid came to mind. This creature was not just saying nonsense. He was revealing the worst of the future. A doomer.
And now, almost seven years later, here he was again. What prophecy did he have in mind this time? I clenched my fists by my side as my heart pounded in anger.
“Why are you still here? I told you to leave”
“Aw, Lenny, why the hostility?”
I sprung to my feet and swatted at Samerid like I would an annoying fly. But the tiny creature was faster.
“You took my father away.” Venting was the only thing I could do. “And you caused my mother’s miscarriage.”
“I didn’t, Lenny. I merely told you what would happen.” The creature actually had the audacity to look hurt.
“I can’t. Not until I’ve delivered my news .”
“No, don’t – “
“Sorry, that’s my job.”
“Please, Samerid. No more.”
But the green creature only smiled mischievously, like he knew something no one else did. Well, he did know the future. I sighed. I might as well get it over with. Samerid would never leave until he delivered his prophecy.
“Fine,” I said, resigning into my chair. “What is it this time?”
“Well, Lenny. I have bad news.”
“Don’t you always.” My heart hammered in my chest. What doom was Samerid going to prophesy now?
“You are going to break the moon.”
I froze, not completely sure I had heard him right.
“I said you are going –”
“I heard what you said. How am I even going to do that? Is this some kind of joke?”
“You think my prophecies are jokes?” Samerid flew close to my face, his hands resting on his hips like my mother usually did when I was getting on her last nerves.
I chewed on my lower lip. “No. I don’t think they are jokes.”
Even if I didn’t want to admit it, I knew Samerid was telling the truth. He had never lied to me before, no matter how vague his truths were. Still, it was strange hearing that I was going to break the moon. That was just impossible. It sounded like something a superhero would do. Well, not really a superhero; why would a superhero break the moon, right? But it still sounded like something a superhero could do. I was no superhero. This was just ridiculous.
“What do you mean I’m going to break the moon?” I asked. “Is that a metaphor or something?”
“Well, yeah. I learned that in English class. It’s a literary de–”
“I know what a metaphor is, Lenny, and this isn’t one. You are going to break the moon.”
My mind raced. From my experience, Samerid always vanished a few moments after delivering the prophecy. It would be better if I gathered as much information as possible.
“So when will I break the moon?” I asked.
“On the 28th of August. Exactly 7:33 pm.”
I gaped. “But that’s only two weeks from now.” I paced the room, which suddenly felt too small. I halted, narrowing my eyes. “How will I break the moon?”
“You just break it.”
“But I can’t just break the moon. How am I even going to do that?”
“Well, Lenny. I guess you’ll have to find out on the 28th. See you.”
“No, wait, wait.” But it was too late. The doomer was already gone.
For seven days, I could not eat, sleep, or even play games. It was a nightmare. All I could think about was how I was going to cause a whole apocalypse in a few days. I didn’t know how I would break the moon, but I knew it was going to happen because Samerid said so. What would even happen if I broke the moon? Would it affect the earth? Oh my god, our lovely planet, god rest her soul.
In the days that passed, I researched lots of articles about what would happen if the moon was suddenly destroyed. Most of these articles had big scientific words to describe the cosmic catastrophe. But the main point I gathered from all of them was that humanity was collectively fucked. Yes, I know I’m too young to be saying the F-word, but I was going to cause a mass extinction of the human race in a few days, so why the fuck not?
Out of fear, I refused to go out. Maybe If I stayed indoors until the 28th passed, nothing would happen. I couldn’t break the moon if I never went out. Right?
Wrong. Very wrong.
Ma and I were very close. We would often talk about everything whenever she came back from the hospital. Although her job as a nurse was very demanding, she always had time to talk to me when she came home. But after Samerid told me about the future, I could not bring myself to talk to my mother. It scared me to think that my mother and everyone might die because of me.
Perhaps, getting worried about my sudden seclusion, Ma would often come to my room to check up on me. Every single time, she would check my temperature. She thought I was sick or something because we hadn’t talked for more than a week. But I told her not to worry. I was simply working on a project. I knew she knew I was lying. She had this look in her brown eyes when she knew I was hiding something. But for the first time in my life, I did not care what Ma thought. We were all going to die anyway.
28 hours until the moon breaks
My mother was tired of my endless silence and deathly pale complexion. She refused to leave my room until I gave her answers.
“What project are you working on?” she asked, looking up at me expectantly.
I faked a smile. “The solar system.”
“The solar system. Interesting.” She nodded. “I’m happy you’re passionate about something, Nii. But you should really eat and rest, you know.”
“Ma,” I said weakly.
“Hmm. What’s wrong?” My mother smiled at me and for a moment, I almost forgot about the apocalypse I would soon cause. “Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t look too well.”
“I…” I was this close to telling her everything, but I just couldn’t. Instead, I said, “Is it possible for anyone to break the moon?”
“Break the moon?”
I nodded, suddenly feeling very foolish for asking this question. But I had to know. “Can someone break the moon?”
My mother sat beside me on my bed. “That sounds impossible.”
“But what if it’s possible? What if someone can actually break the moon?”
“Nii,” my mother took my hand, “no one is going to break the moon. I don’t think that’s possible.”
She didn’t understand. And I couldn’t explain it. How do I tell her that a tiny green creature with the power to see the future said that I was going to break the moon? There was no way I could tell her that. She might probably let me see that old psychiatrist at her hospital. I’m twelve, not crazy. But why would I be seeing strange creatures if I weren’t crazy?
“Nii, you shouldn’t worry about the moon, alright?”
I nodded, not feeling satisfied. But I felt a lot better now that I had talked to my mother about what was on my mind.
“By the way,” my mother said, “you know I haven’t forgotten your birthday gift, right? I was thinking of the best gift for you. I think I know what to get you.”
I managed a small smile. I had completely forgotten about my birthday. Gifts may not mean anything if the world was going to end tomorrow, but it was nice to hear that my mother had plans for my birthday.
A few minutes until the moon breaks
No longer interested in worrying about the impending doomsday anymore, I decided to enjoy the remainder of my short life. I played games all day, drank coffee for the first time, and texted hi to my crush on WhatsApp. She sent a hi back, but I panicked and sent her you’re welcome. Real smooth. It was a good thing the world was going to end.
At exactly 7:25 pm, eight minutes until the apocalypse, I heard my mother’s car outside. I knew the exact time because I kept glancing at the clock every three milliseconds. I rushed out of my room and ran downstairs to meet her. She was in her white nurse uniform, holding a large brown box.
“Oh, there you are, Nii,” she said, setting the box on the table. “Come, come.” She used her hands a lot when she was excited.
I grinned. “What is it?”
“Go ahead and open it.” She pushed the box towards me. Suddenly, I knew what this was all about. It was the birthday gift she had promised. Slowly, I opened the box, my heart beating with anticipation. My eyes widened, and I opened my mouth when I saw the perfect gift.
“I thought you’d like this,” said my mother, “for your project.” This was amazing. I never had any interest in the solar system until two weeks ago. But this was still great. “I think you’re going to have a lot of fun with it”
“Thank you, thank you,” I nodded continuously like a lizard. “Wow, look at the sun.” I took out the large red star. It felt cool and hard to touch.
The blue ball with the shapes of the continents painted on its surface caught my eye. I knew that was Earth. I put the sun back and tried to take the earth, but suddenly, my muscles seemed to have a mind of their own. My right leg slammed against the table, I dropped the box, and down came the planets.
I clenched my teeth as the sound of metal pierced my eardrums.
“Oh, my god.” My mother ran to my side. “Nii, are you okay?”
I nodded, my eyes not leaving the planets scattered across the tiled floor. I went down to pick them up. “I’m sorry, Ma.” I looked up at my mother. She seemed relieved that I was okay.
With an assuring smile, she squatted next to me and helped me pick up the scattered planets. “Oh no,” I heard her whisper. I turned to look at her.
She took a small gray ball cracked at several angles. “I think you broke the moon,” she said.
My eyes darkened in horror as they remained fixated on the broken moon. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. I took a quick look at my wristwatch.
It was 7:33 pm.
I closed my eyes and exhaled. Samerid, that tiny bastard.