Gripping the Mist

~ For the Replica Competition.


8. Moon Boots

 "Newton!" Was the first thing that I said as I entered the dream. He was waiting for me there above the earth.

 "Newton?" He asked, confused, but he was grinning at my excitement.

 "What do you think?" I ask.

 "As a name?"

"Yeah!" I was proud of this name for some reason. In the waking world, I had finally finished my book and out of all the names, I like that one the best.

 "Okay, explain," He asked eagerly.

 "Ever heard of Isaac Newton?" I ask.

 "Mmhmm," He replies.

 "Yeah!" I look at him expectantly. All that is returned is a look of confusion.

 "So...?" He waits for an explanation that I don't have.

 "You don't like the name?" I ask, shying away slightly, starting to feel humiliated for thinking it was a good name. If he didn't like it then I didn't like it.

 "No no!" He protested, "It's brilliant. But why pick a name for me after him?"

 "I thought you were kind of like him... Well, at least from how he was described in the book." I said. A smile appeared on his face. Was this good or bad?

 "Which book?" He asked quietly as he looked down at the earth glowing big and blue.

 "Cosmos: By Carl Sagan."

 "Ah, mighty smart man he was! I was just beginning to hear about him during my time," He said...

 "You're time?" I was a little confused. "You're like what? Eighteen? That means he must had died before you were born," I stated. He didn't answer, just looked down at the earth with an empty expression. I watched his gaze when it finally flashed up at mine, his distant yet familiar gray eyes staring deep into mine.

 "It's time to go, Nimbus," He said.

 I woke up with a smile spread across my face. That was the first time anyone had called me that and it sounded so nice in a formal sentence. Much better than Ember.



 At school I didn't suffer but took the pain, drifting through the day like no problems would arise when I didn't pay attention. I made it through the classes by rerunning my last dream through my head. Short it was, but one of my favourites so far. And what really filled me up was the use of my new name. Nimbus. I had set it in my mind so deeply that people that called me by one of my other names throughout the day would have to do so twice to grab my attention, shaking me back into reality. 

 I was sitting in socials, wondering when the bell would ring but not caring enough to look over at the clock. The wall must had been much more interesting. In my day dream it was like an empty canvas where I could paint my thoughts. My memories danced in a beautiful charade inside my mind as I pictured his face, illuminated by the reflections from the earth below. But the joys in my mind did not last as I replayed him looking back up at me before his final words, and then I focused on his eyes. Those big gray eyes. They tore another image from my mind like a snare. I couldn't control it. Without trying, the countless images rolled before my eyes. The people, the streets, the shops and the faces. The voices, the cries, the shouts and the screeching. The crowds, the shock and the hat blowing up to my feet. All triggered by the same wide, gray eyes I witnessed staring up from that intersection.

 The blast of the school bell woke me from my trans. I jumped, choking back a cry when the horrible flash backs left me like a flock of birds leaving a tree. The shuffling and rustling of the students as they packed up to leave had drowned out my action and left me thankful that no one noticed. I was sure that they already thought that I was turning strange, I didn't need that to speed the process to the stage of a complete loon.



 "You're dead!" I exclaimed as I landed down next to Newton on the moons surface. He sat casually in the sand, drawing pictures in the ground with his fingers.

"Well spotted," He said without looking up at me, seeming a little disappointed when the cloud of dust I made when I landed scattered over his picture.

 "Wait, you actually are?" I asked, a bit astounded considering that I was almost always wrong and that he actually agreed with me.

"Didn't you just say that?" He looked up at me, eyebrows furrowing questioningly.

 "So you are?" I wanted a straight answer.

 "Yes, Nimbus. I am," He said simply, fixing his drawing of what looked like an eye. I felt a flutter of joy at the use of my name, but shooed it away. Instead I took a seat next to him on the moon.

 "When were you born?" I picked the first question that came to mind.

 "October 26th, 1942," He replied without a care. Well that answered more than one of my questions.

 "Then why are you here?" I asked. "Shouldn't you be in heaven?"

 He laughed, causing him to mess up as he flaked thin eyelashes into the strange soil. "There's no such thing," He said, "Sorry to destroy any beliefs you may have had, but it never was..." I didn't know exactly what to think as we sat for a moment in silence.

 "Then where does everyone else go after they die...? Why are you the only one?" I asked. He paused in his drawing and looked up into the distance, his facial expression obviously told me that he was thinking hard.

 "I don't know," He finally answered, "They all just left somewhere, out there I assumed." I looked out in the directed that he nodded. It was just deep space. I wanted to ask a question about this, but another when escaped my lips first.

 "Why can I visit out here? I'm still alive." This only screwed his facial expression more in thought.

 "I wish I could answer that, Nimbus. But I  can't" He stared off to the side where I didn't sit, both of us hanging in a silence.

 "Want to see something cool?" He suddenly asked.

"Always," I replied.

 "Follow me."

 He lead the way as we bounded across the moon. With each step we would sail a great distance before landing once again. I was having such a great time that I barely noticed just how close I was to ramming into Newton's back as I leaped into the air.

 "Where are we going?" I asked as I found a safe path by his side.

 "You'll see. I thought I might show you. It will help you stay motivated for you project on the Apollo missions."

 "Wait-" I interrupted, coming to a halt on the ground, he did the same. "How do you know about that?"

 "What, you think you're the only one that can travel the worlds?" He said with a smile.

 "You mean you're..." I trailed off, but he finished my sentence.

 "With you in the waking world? Yeah, most the time. Don't you worry, I don't invade your privacy, but I just happened to be in your socials class." He told me.

"Why- where," I tried to ask.

 "You can't see me. Or hear me. No one else can. I'm like a ghost, well- I suppose I kind of am," He frowned. I truly felt very sorry for him, about to move forward and comfort him but he interrupted my plans.

 "This is it," He told me as he swept a hand in the direction of the ground at our sides. I gazed down in amazement as I quickly realized what it was- just like the picture! In the moon soil, the print of a special boot was marked. The first foot print made by Neil Armstrong...


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