40% Black on the Moon / Chapter 2: Am I awake?

Read Black on the Moon - Chapter 2 online

Chapter 2: Am I awake?

Akim's eyes opened. His cellphone alarm was blaring loudly on his nightstand. A frown etched his face, he wasn't in the mood to be awake right now.

The soft cream covers were beguiling him to stay, to never leave their comfort. The phone screamed again, this time to the tune of a pop song he didn't even know was on his phone. He glared at the stupid thing, it was vibrating in circles by his watch on the nightstand.

"I hate you." Hatefully, he sat up from the comfort that was his bed and grabbed the offending noisemaker. The alarm off, he stormed to the kitchen. His mother had left him some side dishes for the week to eat. He wasn't in the mood to fight with the stove for breakfast, he would settle for pickled vegetables and leftover rice.

Boof! Boof!

It seems he wasn't the only one woken up by his dastardly alarm. He got down on one knee and waited with open arms for his beloved terror of a dog. The St. Bernard came bounding into his arms, nearly tackling him down.

Juniper was a retired rescue dog, the one his father used to go with when they were on searches in the mountain. He smiled sadly at the big dog. She was always so cute but she always came with the memory of his late father.

"C'mon, girl. Let's go have breakfast." She barked happily at him, she kept close even as he walked into the kitchen. The third cupboard to the right of the sink, Juniper's special food cupboard, was ajar when he got there.


He stepped in front of it peaked inside. The big bag of dog food was leaning on the door and nearly dropped over his face as he pried the door further. He caught it with one hand, the other trying to keep Juniper from getting at the whole bag. She was trying so lightly to push him into the counter so he would drop the treats.

"You're so naughty, Juniper. You know you're on a diet!" He giggled, she was such a cute dog. She acts the same way she did when she was a puppy, as if she was still the tiny runt that could barely fit in his hands when he was a child.

"That's 'cause you spoil her with treats." He turned to the breakfast bar where his brother Jo was sat on.

"Well, I can't help it! How could I deny my sweet, sweet girl!" He pours the food into her bowl and pats her head as she starts to eat. She was always such a joy.

A deep sigh resounds from his brother. He was always so mature, even now that he has dyed his hair a vibrant teal and was wearing only a pair of pajama pants with pink dinosaurs on it.

Jo's face was sunken from all the late nights he's been having recently. His baby brother was working so hard to get his degree, it made him so proud. There parents would have been ecstatic is if they were here.

"Have you had a chance to sleep?" Worry laced his voice. Jo wasn't taking good care of himself and as much as he tries, his brother was way too independent. He'd get scoffed and laughed at before the bluenette let his older brother take care of him.

"I'll sleep after breakfast. I've called a delivery. Since you're awake, go wait for it. I'm gonna proofread my paper." Jo stalks back into the dark cave he calls his room. "Call me when it gets here."

"Okay. Okay." His hands raised in surrender. He walks over to the couch. It was a good thing his brother knew to always order for both of them when they call a delivery, else he'd be starving before 10 a.m.. Pickled radish and rice could only get him so far.

Grabbing the remote, he put his legs on the table and turned on the TV. Weekend cartoons are always the best when you had nothing to do. He sat and watched the colorful figures march about to find some hidden ball or other.

"Bitch, it's Mal, pick up!" His phone blared. Mal must have set her ringtone to this loud monstrosity. He picked up and slouched further into the couch.

"Akim, can you pick me up in about an hour and a half? I got a lot of stuff to work on and my boss let me take home a few boxes of references." Her voice sounded oddly distant.

"Yeah, sure. So about..." His head searches for the clock in the room and he frowns. They don't own a clock, Mal was supposed to get one when they moved. That was about 8 months ago. He sighed and checked the time on his phone. "9:30 sound good?"

"Yeah, that's perfect."

"Okay, see-" The tone cut off. That little...she really needed to get some manners.


"Jo, the food is here." He got to the door and opened it.



He stepped outside and wondered why he never wore slippers. His toenails were getting sand under them and he hated the thought. A grimace formed on his face, the white sand was horrible.

"#@)#)£,©{¥¥{=¢€××€¶~¶" His head shot up, what was that?

Did she speak to him?

He looked ahead. She was still sat on her lotus and she was still too far into the water for him to reach.

What did she just say? He couldn't make out any words.

"Did you say something?" His voice boomed much louder than he expected, his hands going straight to his mouth to cover it.

She did not respond. She sat on her lotus, swaying with the waves of the pond.

The deep navy water reflected space like glass. Was the water deep? Or was it a shallow pool that merely reflected the darkness of what was above?

He took a step and then another. Icy cold water lapped at his feet, miraculously he was walking on top of the surface, like a water bug or a religious figure. Each step took him closer until he was only a few steps away.

"Hi, my name is Akim. What's your name?" He took the last step closer...


But there was no step there. His whole body submerged into the now tepid water and he couldn't get a foothold or grab unto anything. He struggled trying to keep his head above water. His vision was blurry and he could see he was making waves that made the lotus frantically sway but she did not look back.

How was he drowning? He was a varsity swimmer, he should have been able to handle this. He flapped his arms but he struggled to to stay above water.

"Help me! Help me! I'm drowning!" Each word was said with a gulp of water, he struggled ad yet, nothing was helping.

Arms fatigued and failing, he closed his eyes. This was how he died. He would drown. He tried to get his limbs to move but the water pressed against him, keeping him immobile. He struggled against lead heavy eyelids to try to see one last thing.


It was amazing...

A sea where the water was so heavy you could not move but it was illuminated by stars all around him. He tried to follow with his eyes, the only thing he could move and then he felt it.

The air was gone.

One last gulp, maybe instead of water, it would be air.




Akim pulled his head out of the water from between his knees. The old yellowed tub was filled only about a foot but it was a good way to practice holding his breath.

"Akim, stop that! You'll drown if you keep trying that!" He looked to his mother. Heavily pregnant as she is, she still took time to help him bathe.

"But mom, I need to practice holding my breath?" He whined in his high child voice.

"Whatever do you need that for?" She smiled at him. "If you keep doing that, we'll send you to grandpa and grandma's. Then you'll never get to see your new baby sister before you get back to school." He was aghast!

How could they do that to him? They knew how he waited for a new sister! The one he already had was always so mean to him.

"You can't do that! I want to meet baby Jo!"

"Well, if you keep trying to play under the water again, you'll never get to meet Joana!" He pouted. This was so unfair! Didn't mom know that he needed to learn to hold his breath underwater?

It was important that he does...

Why was it important...?




Oh, that's right!

Because the woman on the moon was surrounded by water! If he fell in, he would need to hold his breath...






Wait, how did he get on the moon?

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