Approx 15-20 Minute Read
Hello, and welcome to Fiction Friday where I share some of my writing. This week’s post is a response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver 116- The Moon .
“Come on!” He urged. She winced from the feedback in her headphones.
“Do you know what time it is?” She asked, exasperated. The time read: 2:14am.
“Chrissy, come on, I know you’ll love it,” Justin pushed. He paused for a few moments before saying, “How about this: I’ll come get you?”
She sighed, realizing how badly Justin wanted her to come out. His offer was a major game changer. As tired as she was, as comfortable as her bed was, Justin’s offer to come and get her had major appeal.
Chrissy glared as him as best as she could through the camera on FaceTime. She shuffled around in bed before grunting her approval.
“Yes!” Justin yelled, dropping his phone from his excitement. She laughed. “It’s a bit chilly so dress warmly. I’ll be there in like 10-15.” He ended the FaceTime call.
Throwing the covers off, she pulled her headphones out and went over to her closet. Chrissy pulled on some fuzzy blue socks, thick sweatpants, a black long sleeve shirt, and a pull over blue sweater that matched her socks. She slid her feet in to her slides, popped her headphones back in, put some classical music on, propped herself up in her papasan and waited for Justin to show.
Just as she was falling asleep, Justin did his signature tap on the window and opened the patio doors, poking his head inside. When their eyes met, she smiled, and he stood his full 6’6, chest heaving.
Chrissy glanced at the time and looked at him. “This must be a record. It took you about what, seven minutes to sprint here?” He lived a little less than two miles away.
Justin smirked, shifting from foot to foot catching his breath. “Time sensitive thing,” he got out, stretching his long frame.
Once Justin caught his breath, he grinned wide. “It’s finished Chris, and this is the perfect night to use it. Come on,” he motioned, walking towards her.
She rolled her eyes and put her phone and headphones in her pocket. Justin squatted down in front, his back towards her, and held his arms out to his sides. Chrissy pushed her legs forward along either side of him and wrapped her arms around his neck. He stood, toting her on his back, and they left her room.
It still amazed Chrissy how quiet Justin could be, especially for his size and to always be toting her around.
Justin followed the cracked square pathway that wound from her door, through their garden, around huge rose bushes in the backyard, that ended where the woods started and her backyard ended.
He didn’t pause as he crossed the threshold and went from traversing a set path to covering rough terrain. Justin readjusted her on his back and began controlling his breathing.
For as long as she could remember her family had had a tiny shack-like house that they never really used. Their property line extended for a couple of acres into the woods that no one dared enter, for it was dangerous and unpredictable. While exploring as a child she had found herself in these woods more often than not, sometimes in sticky situation.
It was as a wild, adventurous child that she had met Justin, who if you could believe it was 100 times more wild, adventurous, and daring than her. At first, they were rivals constantly trying to one-up each other. Eventually, they had become friends after a truce that their parents had had to force.
Expertly, Justin hiked through the woods, following the path from memory. Chrissy’s eyes searched the darkness, the noises of the night, the cracking twigs, branches, and brush under Justin’s footsteps were relaxing and comforting. Being in the woods felt more at home to her than laying in her own bed.
After about 15 minutes, the pathway leveled out and the tiny shack-like house started to come in to view. One of the best things about being around Justin was that any silence they fell in to was comfortable. For as long as they had known each other there was never any awkwardness between them.
“What time is it?” Justin breathed as they came upon the house. Chrissy pulled out her phone and checked: 2:35am. She relayed that info to Justin and he whistled. “It’s going to be a close one,” He mumbled.
“What is?” she asked him. He shook his head and proceeded forward. Chrissy flashed back to earlier when he had said it was finished and tonight was the perfect time to use it.
Justin sauntered towards the shack, opened the door, and flipped the light on. His shoes kicked up ever-present dust and stood in front of their contraption/invention. Justin leaned forward and she reached past him to pull the sheet off. Beneath it lay their monster invention that Chrissy had been sure would never work.
A couple of weeks ago they had been exploring a junk yard and had found some vital mechanical parts for their latest idea. With Justin being more knowledgeable about stuff like this, he had really become project manager and her his assistant. The last couple of days she had been swamped with school, her business, and life’s daily drama. Chrissy hadn’t had the time to come out here.
Apparently, it had been a focus of Justin’s for before her the damn thing was done, even painted in their favorite colors.
“Sneaky,” she said to him, smiling. She began to jump down but he tightened his arms around her legs.
“Dust,” he said, walking to the side of the buggy and setting her in on the passenger side. “Wouldn’t want you to get your pretty socks dirty.” He shot her one of his signature smirks, jumping in to the seat beside her.
For a couple of minutes they just sat there, Chrissy asking Justin questions about the dune buggy that supposedly was supped up like a Mustang with 580 horsepower. Now that she was actually sitting in this potentially life-ending contraption her nerves started to run.
Justin reached over and began to strap and buckle her in. Once he was finished with her, he did the same thing to his person. He took a deep breath.
“Do you trust me?” He asked her, all joking and laughter gone. It was rare that Justin was ever serious, which was another thing she loved about him.
“Do you trust me?” She countered.
“With everything,” Justin responded without hesitation, to her surprise. He cocked his head to the side, waiting for her answer.
Chrissy smiled at him, reached over, and squeezed his hand. “Probably more than I should, but yes, I trust you.” Her answer calmed him, for he seemed to settle back into himself.
Justin reached up to the top of the frame and pushed a button. The garage door in front of them began to open. He reached in to his shirt and pulled out two chains, each with a key on it. He stuck one in the ignition and handed one to her. Chrissy put it around her neck and tucked it inside her hoodie.
He started the buggy and it roared to life, vibrating every ounce of her being. She held onto the side, looking around at all of the parts and tiny details Justin had added, like a place to clamp down cups, a stash spot, and crazily enough some side mirrors that went in and out of the ride.
She looked over at him watching her. “Ready?” He asked her. No longer was she tired or even sleepy, but wired and vibrating along with the buggy.
Chrissy nodded.”Kick it,” She said, excitement creeping into her voice.
Justin floored it and they took off. They flew out of the garage and slightly down a hill between two large oak trees. A cry escaped Chrissy’s lips as they raced through the woods, the shock absorbers assisting in smoothing out their ride. Justin shifted and steered them trough some brush towards where she knew was a steep cliff.
She looked over at him and she could see that he was peering at her out of the corner of his eye. This must have been why he has asked her if she trusted him. He sped towards the cliff, a grin on his face.
100 feet, 75 feet, 35 feet…and just before they went off the cliff he cut the wheel hard and pulled the emergency break. Chrissy screamed but didn’t close her eyes. The buggy slid, flipped, and spun off the cliff in circles.
And landed with all four wheels on the ground, jumping twice before coming to a stop. They sat there for a few moments. Chrissy tried to wrap her mind around what Justin had just done. She turned and looked at him.
Justin’s hands were gripped tightly around the wheel, breathing heavy and hard. He met her eyes and said, “What luck that turned out to be.”
Chrissy put her hand over her fluttering heart, muttering, “Indeed.” Justin shifted and continued forward. For the last couple of months they had discussed scaling down the cliff. Apparently he’d found a better way to do that.
“That was pretty fucking amazing Just,” Chrissy said, wondering just how in the hell he had figured out how to do that.
Justin beamed from ear to ear. “I’m glad you enjoyed it, Chris, but I have more planned.”
“More than defying death and speeding off of a cliff?”
His booming laugh echoed through the woods. He veered off of the worn path onto some rugged terrain. Chrissy released her death-grip on the frame of the buggy and pulled out her phone, putting on some music.
It was 15 minutes past three when they somehow made it out of the woods back to asphalt and concrete. As fast as they were going the buggy’s engine was a quiet purring tiger. Justin maneuvered them through the streets, past cars, houses, schools, stores, till they entered a familiar gated community through a hole in the fence.
Justin finally stopped and parked outside a house.
“We made it for the time sensitive thing?” Chrissy asked. He nodded.
“A couple of minutes early, actually. I factored in we might have some issues flipping off the cliff.” Chrissy laughed hard.
Before Chrissy could say anything, Justin turned to her. “I never tried that before.”
“You didn’t do a damn test run?” She yelled.
“Honestly? I thought I’d die without you in the car. You’re a lucky charm remember?”
She rolled her eyes and blew air out of her nostrils. Just because whenever she was around she got them out of trouble doesn’t mean she could also help them survive dangerous shit like this.
“Look,” He pointed, tapping her arm. She followed his pointed hand to see the moon peaking above the nightly clouds, lighting up the top of the sky. The moon really seemed shining and illuminated because they were in such a dark neighborhood. Justin knew Chrissy had a slight obsession with the moon.
She couldn’t take her eyes off of it. “Worth it, Just, definitely.”
“Anything for my favorite lady,” He said. She looked over at him, her smile uneasy.
“Favorite lady? Come on, Just. With all the girls flitting around you I doubt that.”
He took her hand into his. “You’re the only one I see Chris. I wouldn’t build something like this, risk our lives, and bring you to see one of your favorite things of all time. I’ll live by your side, I’ll die by your side. That should be obvious, considering.”
Chrissy was taken aback, nervous, perspiring. An hour and some change ago she had been laying in her bed FaceTiming her bestfriend who usually kept her up late at night. Now she was sitting next to her best friend who was telling her he had feelings for her, who wanted to live and die by her side.
Part of her had expected this, but because of all the girls always around Justin she never thought to pursue anything because he was so well-entertained, or so she had thought.
Chrissy found herself staring up at the moon. Who else would do this for her? Her gut told her no one, that deep down she lived for shit like this, that she felt so comfortable around him because she knew him so well and it would take decades to develop what she already had with Justin.
She turned her head to look at him. He, too, had been staring at the moon with her.
“Thank you for the moon.” She reached up and touched his face.
“You’re welcome, Chris, always.” He kept her hand on his cheek, and leaned down. Electricity raced through her as their lips touched, the moon highlighting their picture perfect moment.