Our moon is jealous and ugly

Our planet used to have seven more moons. Each shone a different colour, each represented one-seventh of the rainbow, and each was worshipped by the people of Earth. Our current moon, then called the gray moon, had no worshippers of her own. She was dull and boring; she had no colours to be worshipped. She only reflected the sun, a cruel, tormentous fire. The gray moon desperately wanted to be loved, to be prayed to. But in order to do so, she had to become the only colour in the sky. She had to bring down the much more resplendent celestialities.

As they were all worshipped, each colour moon had a year devoted to them. Each celebratory year began with a lunar festival, during which the entirety of Earth was painted the colour of a particular moon. The gray moon had to look at this man-made unsightliness, until at the end of a seven year-cycle, her envy and hatred for the other colour moons had grown so cosmically, she decided she had enough. This contempt, this burst of emotion, flickered briefly on her surface; she briefly shone silver before returning to an ugly gray.

The gray moon manipulated her seven meteorite brothers to crash into her despisals. They, too, were ugly. But unlike their sister, they were also unnoticed. They would never earn the eye of Earth, and so laid down their unimportant lives for the gray moon. During the lunar festivals that followed, shortly after the Earth had been fully painted, one of her brothers would crash into a colour moon.

For seven years, at the start of each year, the Earth’s sky filled with a bang, followed by a ruinous shower of rainbowish chunks. The Earth people were shocked – how could the colour moons hurt them so much on the day they loved them the most! Fueled by vengeance, they built machines capable of destroying the colour moons. These devices were powered by the intense, scorching light of the sun. As they kept getting betrayed, humans rid the heavens of more and more colour moons until they were no more. The gray moon finally had her worshippers, or so she thought.

The machines the humans built were, after all, powered by the sun, who had thusly proven himself to be powerful, reliable and, most importantly, warm. He, who at first was feared for being fire, became Earth’s solely-worshipped celestiality. The humans did not even consider the last remaining moon. The still unworshipped gray moon, now without family and truly alone, started weeping. She has not stopped crying since. She shines an ugly, sad silver.

Our planet has but one sky

Our planet has but one sky. When we look up at night, barely removed from the safety of our homes, we see more stars than there are houses in our village. The stars form shapes – supposedly, seven stars in particular represent an ancient hunter. The main square is designed with this legend in mind. Funnily enough, no one has ever cared to call it anything else than ‘The Square’; no one knows what the hunter’s name was. Our whole village is laid out like that, shaped like things we are familiar and comfortable with. The way houses seemingly slither up the hill where the mayor has their residence, I wonder what the astronomers opposite the sky would call it. We just call it ‘serpentous’.

Our houses are all shaped differently. The shape of my house is familiar and comfortable to me. It’s a place I enjoy to return to. It doesn’t have a roof, nor does anyone else’s. We are all astronomers here, you see. Everyone is an astronomer – how can you not be when the sky is above you and beautiful? We think of our favourite shape, then go to sleep. While we sleep, we dream of our favourite shape. Those in the village who find their perfect shape, become that shape. These are what we call houses. My house is shaped like love.

The sky is filled with one planet by day. We share the same sky with the astronomers living there, but they are a bigger part of our sky than we are of theirs. What they do up there, we can all see from here. When they leave the house, which all have roofs, they don’t rush to the top of the hill like we do. For astronomers, they don’t seem to be interested in looking at the sky much! They wear strange headgear and walk in chaotic streaks. They don’t say hello and tell one another what their favourite shape is when they pass each other on the street – streets that are all shapeless. Nothing they do has a shape, nothing they do has any real meaning.

During the day, we go to the mayor’s residence on top of the hill and use their many telescopes to look at the sky. We’re supposed to look at the stars to find new shapes to dream of, but I often look at the shapeless astronomers. I peer at their covered heads and nauseating movements. How unpatternedly they walk. Fooling me into thinking they can move in a straight line before twisting and churning their blotty bodies to avoid colliding with another. I imagine their speech is burbled and terrifying.

They speak in seventy-five different tones per minute and cannot think about anything but repulsion. Their astronomy is slamming a pencil onto paper and scratching crude approximations of circles into their own skin. They are shapeless in every sense of the word. The mayor tells me nothing good can ever come of them. The mayor is right. They visited us once.

I was young when the astronomers opposite the sky came to us. They came in something we had never seen before. No shape we knew compared to it; it was vulgar and nauseating. Some of them emerged from that migrainous stain and started doing things to the village. Those actions in particular truly had no shape to them. People simply fell over.

The other astronomers turned them into something none of us had ever been before: shapeless. My mother held me close as one of them walked up to us. The way she held me, it reminded me of my favourite shape – love – so I went to sleep. When I woke up, the astronomers and their formless vessel had disappeared. I also had a house to call my own.