When Holliday broke apart her fortune cookie, she stretched out a tiny slip of paper with unusual words on it. Big words her six-year-old head couldn’t grasp yet. She shook the fortune back and forth in her mom’s face while she was one bite deep into a crunchy egg roll.
“Talk to the moon and you will have everything,” Mom read. She shook her head, finishing the last of dinner. “That’s an unusual fortune,” she handed it back. Holliday inspected the paper again.
“What’s it mean, mama?”
“I’m not sure, honey. Maybe it’s a joke?” Mom kissed the top of Holliday’s head and went on collecting plates and cutlery to feed the dishwasher, “come on, finish up, it’ll be bedtime before you know it.”
Holliday watched her mom squeeze the bridge of her nose and anticipated another headache. Her sleep deprived eyes struggled to stay open, and her face sagged into its usual grimace. Her mom’s aches and pains didn’t exist when her dad was around. Holliday longed for those days; now, they only lived in photographs and dreams.
Moments afterward, Holliday put the fortune under her pillow for safekeeping after she dressed for bed. Since the Tooth Fairy came for teeth, perhaps the Moon would come to talk. Then she could make her wishes. Assuming she’d have three of them, the first wish she’d ask for was to stop her mom’s headaches. It was simple, and she had nothing to lose. To prepare herself, Holliday swapped her pajamas out for everyday clothes again and arranged her backpack full of little toys and a flashlight. She even whipped up a cup of chocolate milk and stored it in the fridge ahead of time. This was an adventure she wanted to be prepared for.
A little after o’dark thirty, a mysterious blue-black sky met Holliday when she parted the curtains. It was earlier than normal and she couldn’t smell coffee, the usual sign her mother was awake. Since she wasn’t, this meant it was late enough for the moon to still hang around.
“Where are you, moon?” Holliday asked. She pressed her forehead into the window, searching for it.
She flung the backpack over her shoulder, tiptoed as secretly as she could down the stairs, and retrieved the chocolate milk. She scurried out the back door where the black and spotted yellow half-moon hovered above the lush lawn, waiting.
“Greetings Holliday, sorry I’m late. The other half of me had to keep the sky lit. Do you forgive me?”
“Yes!” she clutched her backpack straps tight and hopped up and down.
“Climb aboard!” the moon exclaimed. “Is that chocolate milk?”
“Yeah!” Holliday offered the cup, raised high above her head. “Here, have some, I made it myself.”
The moon drank the gooey substance. Its yellow spots shined brighter than ever in response to the sweet liquid bliss. “I love it, thank you.” Moon replied.
Holliday leaped up and down, stunned the moon drank her chocolate milk, prepared with mostly chocolate which gave the moon a matching mustache. “That used to happen to my dad, he always had a chocolate mustache after he drank it too.”
“Some things never change,” the way the moon lit up intrigued Holliday, as if she had known it all her life. “I missed you so much, so very much…” Moon said.
“What the… Michael? Is that you?”
Mom called from the distance. Holliday looked at her mom. Her mouth was open wide and long enough to catch fireflies. Confused, Holliday looked back to the moon and leaned forward for a closer look.
“I’m home.” The moon revealed to them both. Mom sank to her knees in the grass, holding her head in her palms, bawling. Holliday gripped the moon tight with no intention to let go.
Mom bolted across the lawn and vaulted toward the moon, settled beside their daughter. Her smile was the brightest Holliday had seen in months.
“You have everything now.” Michael assured them both.
Bound by magic and great fortune, the restored family took off into the glittering landscape together forever.
Featured Image: Kirsten Curcio
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