I’m writing a short story a month, this is day 11. Most of my prompts have come off of reddit, including this one.
So they decided to write on the moon. Offices opened all over the world and were filled with computers and patient, unambitious people to read the various suggestions that came in.This had a lot of potential for many individuals and groups, so each group got together and tried to come up with something.
The hardcore environmentalists, unsurprisingly, wanted nothing written on the moon.
The evangelical christians wanted “Jesus Saves” put up there, but realized that putting this on a rock devoid of life was probably a little off, and plus it brought up the whole Galileo thing with the perfect celestial bodies, so they went for the less controversial, but more menacing “WWJD.”
The Jews wanted “Tikkun Olam”–an idea about fixing the world–put up there, but then others wanted “Shalom” and still others wanted “Next Year in Jerusalem” written, and none of that was really about the moon, except for the first one. Besides, no one could agree on the spelling in English.
The environmentalists couldn’t even begin to agree on which issue was more important–nuclear, no nuclear, clean energy, environmental justice, water justice, rainforests. They went for “sustainability and justice,” which is a bit vague.
The more cynical of them started to get together and agree on some version of “we’re fucked,” but then decided not to even bother. The more optimist got really excited about “Peace, Love, and Understanding,” or “love everyone,” but again couldn’t come up with anything that wasn’t unsatisfyingly vague. They finally had a chance to tell the whole world something, and there was definitely something to say, but no word was big enough.
Some people just wanted to write “This is Earth” as an introduction to the rest of space, but realized that they would be writing on the dark side of the moon, and besides, any life out there probably couldn’t read English or any language.
A bunch of funny scientists wanted to write “sorry about the tides,” and the absurdist-leaning wanted to write “I am cheese.” The more dire wanted to write a warning about what happens when a planet runs out of water, but nobody thought that they were much fun.
A bunch of corporations submitted beautiful art and quotes from Gandhi, Edison, Jane Goodall, but they all included their logos on the bottom corner, and everyone thought that was bad idea.
The favorite idea, after years of selection, was a painting of the lifecycle that changed with the phases of the moon, vague enough to be either a monkey or a baby on the waxing crescent moon, a young man or homo habilis on the waxing quarter, and an able-bodied man on the full moon.
The only problem with this idea, though beautiful and universally applicable, is the implication of the new moon in this lifecycle–after all this was an image that was going to represent and confront every person individually and as a planet.
Some suggested just scrapping the project, but money had already been invested.
Besides, they underestimated how much it would cost to write on the moon, and while it was a really good idea at the beginning, there were practical concerns now, and some of those companies they’d previously dismissed were offering good money…