Originally written in May of 2010…
There’s no one still alive that witnessed the catastrophic event that took away our planet’s moon. Believe me, plenty of the witnesses died that very day. The rest went on to lead normal lives and die of old age. Well, it was as normal as things could have gotten after such an apocalyptic tragedy.
I’ve seen pictures of what the moon once looked like. Full, round, bright, and scarred with craters. I’m sure to most of the people at the time, staring up into the night sky and finding the moon staring back at them was just a commonplace thing. I’m sure people took it for granted that their nights would be lit up by that pale glow I’m sure they took for granted that the oceans’ tides would continue to rise and fall with the lunar cycle.
The truth of what happened so long ago is lost to us now. The plain truth of the matter is that no one was prepared for what happened. The old ones still tell the stories that have been passed down, but even they don’t know all the facts. They can’t possibly know all the facts. Even they are generations removed from the event.
But they say something collided with the moon. They say that whatever it was was so large and so powerful that it shattered the moon upon impact. They say that large pieces of the lunar surface eventually rained down on the earth. The panic that set in was immediate. The people ran for shelter from the storm or lunar rocks, but still, they knew it was futile. Cities, even entire nations, were utterly destroyed, either by the debris or by the numerous tsunami caused by the impacts in the water.
Over time, the handful of people that survived picked up the pieces. Civilization started over again, at first, clinging to the remnants of what had gone before. But, eventually, the early survivors realized that that, too, was futile.
I’m just a kid who wanders from village to village. I was born into a family of explorers. Like my fathers before me, I search for evidence of the past. I search for pieces of a puzzle, trying to determine exactly what life was like on this planet before the moon was destroyed.
At night, as I walk along our broken roads, I look up at the darkened sky. I see the stars. I see the cloud of dust and debris that encircles our world in the orbit that was once traveled by the moon. I wonder how different my life would be today if that orb still hung there silently shedding its pale light.