The moon was very fond of eating the dark. It found a perverse pleasure in devouring large chunks of it whole but there was a case to be made for savouring each bite of blackness. Both ways of eating had their own pros and cons and, as it was, the moon felt slightly torn between the two forms of consumption. If it were to suck in a huge amount of shadows, pulling them forcefully away from the larger body of darkness, and stuff them into its crater of a mouth, there was a sudden burst of inky flavour that, though fleeting, gave the moon a few seconds of sensory overload that was a true delight. It would feel a fresh, cool sensation inside its core that was thoroughly refreshing but, alas, lasted only as long as it took for the shadows to be digested. On the other hand, if a smaller part of the body of shadows was carefully pulled away and laid to rest on the white craggy surface of the main crater, the moon could taste a much less sensually robust, but much longer lasting burst of darkness that did not have to be swallowed immediately into the core since it was much smaller and did not occlude the moon’s
major crater. Also, as the shadows slowly decompose inside the crater, they yielded more edge in their flavour since, as every culinarily skilled moon knows, a shadow is most tenebrous at its deepest layers. The moon loved the sudden but brief intoxication brought about by stuffing its crater but it had a certain fondness for the more leisurely escalation of sensory stimulation that was brought about by eating shadows in a more methodical and refined way. It was akin to the difference between plain whiskey and fine wine. Due to its resultant indecision, the moon preferred to alternate in between the two. The uninhibited, earthy cramming of shadows into the crater took only a short time to run its course; about one cycle around the sun. The more elegant, deliberate devouring of darkness took quite a bit longer. The eating of darkness was
the moon’s favourite hobby (of which the moon had admittedly very few of). One day, when the moon had just recently deposited a small amount of shadows into its main crater (the ends of which were still restless after being torn away from the larger collection), a small dirigible came and landed gently onto its surface. This had become a common occurrence of late, though the first time it had happened the moon had thought the ship was a more peculiar kind of shadow and tried to suck it in. It found to its surprise that the tiny thing with its angular sides and blazing red back moved too fast to be sucked in and contained within itself a company of miniscule beings that liked to jump around the moon and tour its surface, which amused it very much.
When that particular airship landed and it’s coterie of tiny beings finally came outside to frolic, they saw the darkness collected in the main crater and walked towards it. The moon had never observed anything mixing with its shadow samples before and was fascinated by the permutations of what was about to happen. If the shadows were lost, it would be very easy for it to replace them as this was a fairly new batch and had not decomposed down enough to be much of a waste of consumable darkness. The humans approached and, immediately, the loose tendrils of shadow that had been ripped apart from the greater assemblage of darkness made a grab for them and pulled them into the small sampling of shadow. It took a moment for it to collect all of the tiny beings in this way as some of them tried to run away on their adorably small lower appendages. However, none could escape and the moon was enraptured. A sun-cycle later when some of the flavour of the sample became ingestible by the core, the moon was left flabbergasted by the richness of the combination of tiny-being and shadow. It was
incredible and an entirely new delicacy. The moon had never before been on such a high. From that point on, whenever the moon saw the top of an airship become visible against the surface of the Earth, it made sure to prepare a sampling of shadow for the tiny beings to be able to see.
And inevitably approach.
Adil Rahim Hyder blogs at eyethebest