‘Though I have the strength to move a hill, I can hardly leave my room, So I sit perfectly still And I’ll listen for a tune, While my mind is on the moon, So if I stumble, and If I fall, And if I slip now, and loose it all, And if I can’t be, all that I could be, Will you? Will you wait for me? And wait for me, And wait for me, And wait for me, Won’t you wait for me? And wait for me, Please wait for me, Please wait for me, Won’t you wait for me?’ Wait by Alexi Murdoch
When I was small my mother used to tell me stories about the man in the moon. The man had grown tired of living in the cruel world filled with sad people. He wanted to live in a place filled with bright light and big spaces. He wanted to be free of the bad people who hunted the sad people and made them go far away.
One day the man being very smart, decided to build a huge rocket. This rocket was made up of all his family treasures. It was his photo albums, children’s drawings, trees he planted in the backyard with his dad, flowers his mother planted in the garden, blanket he was wrapped in as a baby, the weddings photos, and his memories of all those he loved in the cruel world.
He made sure the rocket was nice and big so it could lift him high up to the bright circle he saw in the sky at nighttime. The only time he ever saw light in the darkness was when the big circle would come out and shine up the cruel world.
When the day came for the man to get in his rocket and fly far away, he was happy. He knew that he was going someplace good. He knew that the big bright circle in the night sky would welcome him like an old friend. The light in the darkness would protect him from the hunters who wanted all the sad people to go away.
The man had no more family since the hunters took them all away to the bad place. He had what was left of them in his rocket, around his rocket, and all that made up his rocket to take with him to the bright light. Now everyone thought the man was crazy since no one ever thought to make a homemade rocket and fly to the moon.
My mother told me the man made it to the moon with his family treasures, and he stays there to this very day. Whenever you are feeling really sad or lost you can look up at the night sky, and the man will turn the light on extra bright so it will guide your way.
Justice always felt like there was some kind of conspiracy when it came to the hunters. The journalist father had supposedly been hot on their trail, and about to break into some big story before he died. For this reason, Justice would obsess over the idea that his father did not commit the illegal act of suicide. He knew there was something huge that the hunters were hiding about themselves, and he planned to finish what his father started.
The ongoing theory about the hunters is that they were cops who had a hard time after the uprising. However, Justice figured out that they were here before the uprising since they were the ones who captured the dark-hair lady (if she exists) and brought her to the bad place.
The other theory is that the hunters are wanderers who sold out their own to save themselves, and that is why they are so good at finding us. They know all of our hiding places, and they know all of our signs. That is why it is so hard to blend in, and not get caught when you are out to escape the bad place.
The truth is no one really knows why or how the hunters came to be. All we know is that they are soulless and scary. They seem to be hellbent on stealing as many of us as they can and bringing us to their version of judgement. They will not rest until we are all in the bad place.
An even scarier theory is one that Autumn brought up one night in the factory, that we all become hunters once we have our souls sucked out. We are just mindless, soulless, killing machines that will go out into the world and hunt down the lost, broken, and wandering.
Wait For Me
My weary body can take no more travel tonight. I am resting my back on an ancient rock, and staring up at the man in the moon. I am recalling my mother’s sweet stories she shared with me. I am trying to hold onto something sweet, so that my tormented mind can have some relief.
My mother used to say the one phrase over and over to my sister and I ‘Will You Wait For Me?’ when we would go on about things. We would talk about wanting to go someplace good, or get away from The Keepers, or how to outsmart the hunters, or how to destroy the bad place, or how to find the dark-hair lady. Mother would just smile that gentle soft smile of hers that put sparkles in her green eyes. The only thing she would ask is ‘Will You Wait For Me?’
I never understood that until I found myself on this endless road. In fact, I never really grasped it until I looked up at the moon and remembered mother’s man in the moon story. It is interesting what our mind hides in a dark room to protect until it is needed to come out into the light of memory. Much of my mother was locked up in a dark room for safe keeping, and I wouldn’t let it surface out of fear it would be snatched away.
I am finding my sister is coming to the surface too the more I am on this road. It is a terrifying place to find yourself in the vivid light of memory. You cannot outrun it or slam the door to lock it back up again. It all just comes rushing out like a wave.
Out of surprise the tips of my fingers touched my cheeks and they were wet. My eyes had been crying and my mind was flooding. I was breaking down at this rock that had been here on the side of the road for ages. It was time for me to have this moment. The moment I let it all out. It had to be here, alone, with just the man in the moon to watch me. Maybe my mother and sister were watching me too. At that very thought my body shook with tear-soaked sobs as I pulled my legs to my chest and held myself.
Friends For Life
It has been a long time since anyone saw Sasha. The boys are getting on my nerves. We were walking and laughing about Justice being a know-it-all on this adventure. One moment we turn to get Sasha’s opinion on the subject, and just like that she vanished. We have not seen or heard from her since.
It would be nice if I was not forced to be the stand-in leader of this quest. I really don’t know much about being a leader. We have been camped out in the woods for what seems like 100 years. Justice is talking even more crazy than usual now. He keeps going on and on about the hunters killing his dad and making it all look like a suicide since they are the only ones who know the true meaning of everything.
Felix’s stutter has gotten a lot worse and the fear in his eyes has intensified to the point where I imagine his eyes bugging out of his head. I need to be the sane one in this group. I need to get us to the place we need to be, but to be honest I am completely lost.
All I want to do is go back to the factory and take my chances with the guards. I miss my little piece of hell. At least it was familiar, and I knew my place in it. Out here is scary and open. There is all this … this… quiet. I don’t understand what to do with silence.
If I don’t get back to Sasha soon and she gains control of the group I fear, we are all going to lose this … whatever this is. This fight? This quest? This experiment?
Justice wants us to go on without Sasha to find the realm of the dark-hair lady. He thinks if we find the true story, and better yet if we find the dark-hair lady all will be well. Maybe she can cause another uprising and save us again for a few years. Maybe just put another band aid on the world for a decade or so until it is someone else’s problem. That is what superheroes do right? They fight the bad guy of the week, and then disappear until it is time for someone else to be the hero of the hour.
Felix just wants to go to the bad place and be done with it. He is a nervous wreck the poor guy. I don’t blame him at all. For 11 years the factory was all we knew. Before that our family was all we knew. Now all we know is this big unknown. We really need Sasha to come back.
I felt something warm on my back as I cried into my legs. When I lifted my sobbing face to the warmth I realized I was right back where I was intrigued and horrified to be. I was in the valley again. I was in that valley again. The valley of dried up ancient blood and screeching monsters. The valley that I did not ever want to see again.
‘WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME????’ I shouted as loud as I could into the empty bloody valley. I shouted it to whatever unseen force kept taking me to this place. I shouted it to the hunters. I shouted it to The Keepers. I shouted it to the bad place. I shouted it to the dark-hair lady. I shouted it to my friends. I shouted it to my mother and sister. I shouted that question to anyone and everyone in my life.
There was no reply. Just the warm sunny valley. Just the black cloak exactly where I had left it. Just the quiet. At least there was quiet.
I rubbed my eyes with my sleeves and slowly raised up from the grassy hill. I took the black cloak from the ground and with a shrug wrapped it around my shoulders. It was a strange feeling to have this fabric around my shoulders.
With a heavy sigh that made my ribs ache I looked around for that brilliant white horse. I bit my bottom lip in disappointment when I did not see or hear the majestic animal. I even wondered if I had somehow upset the creature by refusing to stay the first time.
Sitting back down on the soft green grass I allowed my hands to play with the silky black fabric as I waited for whatever reply was to come. I knew at some point something needed to happen. I knew I would see or hear something that would get me on my feet again. For now, I just heard my mother’s words in the light of memory ‘Will You Wait For Me?’