The Musical Moonmen
by Michael Lawrence
Jane sat quaintly on the two cubic foot bale of alfalfa as she gloomily clenched a dried blade of grass between her two thumbs. She pressed her thumbs to her lips, but the blade cut it sending a single droplet of blood down her chin. The meandering livestock of different species and breed shifted their snouts to the Northeast as a medical doctor approached, who was standing on one leg upon a flying rooster.
"Gracious golly! Good thing I came right away!" exclaimed the doctor, clad in a white paper gown and stethoscope, while still floating on the rooster. "How did you cut your lip?"
Jane got up and stood on the bale of alfalfa. She stared at the moon, which looked exceptionally curious today. It appeared to be growing larger.
"Did you hear me?" said the doctor. "How did you cut your lip?"
Jane shook her head and the moon quickly retreated.
"What?" asked Jane, she seized all eye contact with the moon. She dipped her index finger on her bottom lip breaking the bead of blood.
"What was it that cut your lip?" repeated the doctor. "Animal, vegetable, or mineral?"
Jane looked back at the sky. The moon, which was now merely a speck, stopped receding and began to return. She continued to stare.
"Music," said Jane halfheartedly. "It was music that cut my lip."
"Why that's preposterous! Music! Impossible, inconceivable, infeasible!" exclaimed the doctor. Foamy wads of spit flew from his mouth. "Music is not an object! Music is not a physical thing! Music has no point! No edge! How could it have possibly cut your lip?!"
The surface of moon was only five feet above Jane. She jumped. The moon's gravity caught Jane and she daintily landed on the soft, low-gravity lunar landscape.
"Greetings," said a green moonman who was strumming a ukulele. It was a pleasant, bouncy tune. Jane stood upright and brushed herself off of the gray moondust. She was nearly three feet higher than the moonman.
"Hi," responded Jane. She extended her hand to shake the moonman's but he wouldn't quit strumming the ukulele. As Jane listened to its high-pitched chords, she could hear a faint approaching trumpet that complemented its tune perfectly.
An identical green moonman appeared from inside a crater. He had the mouth of a trumpet sticking out of his belly button as he bounced his fingers off the keys.
"Greetings," said the green moonman.
"Hi there," responded Jane. "That's quite an interesting tune you're playing. What's it called?"
"It is the song of our people," said the green moonman with the ukulele.
"It doesn't have a name," added the green moonman with the trumpet.
As she listened to this duet, Jane suddenly became aware of more sounds - a symphony in the distance. A large, self-moving object emerged from out of a large crater. It was another green moonman playing a pipe organ. Following behind him were three dozen other moonmen with violins, violas, cellos, and snare drums. They were, too, playing the same song. A couple children popped out of a lunar manhole skipping and were playing kazoos. Their alleged parents with French horns, oboes, flutes, and a set of glockenspiels followed. This continued until on until there were thousands of moonmen and thousands of instruments.
Then, a conflicting noise began to emerge in the distance as if there was a different symphony going on someplace else. All the violins surrounding Jane began a tremolo, the horn section got a little more dramatic, but the same tune was still being played. A couple bugles called out above the crowd sending the herd of green moonmen running toward the noise. Jane didn't know what to do so she followed. She only had to keep a walking pace to keep up with them.
The green moonmen approached the edge of a lunar canyon and stopped. At the other side, there were thousands of purple moonmen playing a completely different symphony but with instruments much like the green moonmen's. A bugle called out on each side, playing a different battle cry. Both sides ran inside the canyon. Jane followed. Each side's ranks intermingled with each other as they extensively increased the volume of their instruments. What resulted was something so forcefully loud and ugly that Jane was shot out of the crowd by an invisible column of ugly noise. She could see the individual dots of the purple and green moonman, but as she flew higher, they soon merged into an ugly brown color. Jane couldn't distinguish one moonman from another. Their instruments grew quieter, but it sounded to Jane like a traffic jam where every angry motorist was pressing their horns. Jane felt a bizarre fifteen seconds of complete weightlessness, and then she slowly began to descend. She landed in a lunar cattle field beside a lunar milk cow. It was quiet except for the hollow metallic ding of the cow's bell. This simple sound, thought Jane, was an utter relief.
She stretched out on the ground to rest until, suddenly, when she heard a very loud chord of harmonica. She looked up and saw a short moonman with a green head and a purple body playing a harmonica with his belly button. The tune he played was completely unlike either of the green or purple troops; his was very dissonant, somewhat unorganized, but strangely beautiful and enchanting.
"Greetings," he said. "My name is Al."
Jane rose and brushed herself off. "Hi, my name is Jane."
"Say, would you care to help me with something?" Al asked.
"Um... Okay," Jane said wondering what this little man had in store for her.
"Okay, thanks," he responded, still playing the harmonica. "Follow me." He turned around and his little legs quickly started walking. Jane followed, but her pace was more leisurely.
It wasn't too long before Jane heard the faint, ugly sound of the convened green and purple moonmen. As Al and Jane approached, the disgusting noise grew louder and uglier. When the noise grew unbearable, Jane covered her ears. They approached the canyon, and the moonmen appeared to be angrier than ever. It looked as if they were trying to convince each other to play their people's tune. Al and Jane walked to the center of the group. He took the harmonica out of his belly button.
"Hold this, will ya?" he said handing Jane the harmonica. Jane, who was intensely pressing her two forefingers through her ear canal, gave a rather frustrated look, but quickly removed her left finger out, grabbed the harmonica, and then quickly replaced her finger.
The upper half of Al's body twisted around, as his lower half stayed put. About where his backside should be, he undid two buttons. A flap of thick purple skin folded down revealing a dark cavity. He removed small piece of cardboard and waved it around. It eventually inflated into an elevated podium. He then removed a tuxedo collar and bow tie, and as if it were a simple routine, and put it on. Finally, he removed a thick stick that resembled a piece of chalk. He pulled at the tip of it to reveal a 12-inch director's baton.
Al calmly stepped on top of the elevated podium (even then, he was easily one foot shorter than Jane) and rapped the conductor's baton a couple times on the podium. However, that was hardly audible through all the noise these moonmen were creating. Al made little circles with the baton for about fifteen seconds. Through all that dreadful noise, Jane could make out the low but unified bass instruments playing long and calm notes amongst the ruckus. Al, apparently satisfied, moved his rotating baton to a different location. After about fifteen seconds, the tenor instruments slowly started playing a single but different and complementary note from the bass sound. He then moved his twirling baton to a different location and the alto instruments calmed down and started playing its own unique note. Next, Al moved his baton to yet another location bringing the soprano instruments in tune. Jane removed her fingers from her ears because it was now pretty quiet even though the various percussion instruments were still way out of whack. Al stopped rotating his baton and started moving it up and down making short peaks. Sure enough the percussion instruments began to beat quietly in unison. Jane smiled.
Then Al stretched his arms as far as they could go and the instruments dramatically got louder and the cymbals were popping. Al then waved his baton and his other hand all over the place as if he were a true professional. The music these moonmen played were radically different from the tunes they played earlier; it was the same dissonant song that Jane heard Al playing on his harmonica. It was unusual but beautiful and Jane liked it.
After several hours of absorbing this beautiful music, Jane noticed that the place started to glow blue. She looked up to the lunar sky and saw that the Earth was slowly approaching. In about five minutes, the surface of the Earth was close enough so she jumped up and landed back onto the Earth's soil.
Jane could still hear the symphony as the moon slowly sailed away. She cheerfully smiled and picked out a fresh blade of grass from the ground. She put it to her lips and happily played along with the music until she could hear it no more.