If “To the Moon” were a novel…



Chapter 1

Knock, knock.

No one answered.

It was windy atop of the cliff. Especially so, considering it hanged just above the ocean. The sun has long set; a chilly air stream has started to rush in, colliding with the quaint little house that stood near the edge of its suspended platform.

At its door were two white-coated figures. They weren’t wearing uniforms — it just so happened that they wore the exact same white overcoats on that very awkward workday. The one in the front raised her arm again, brushing the badge that read “Dr. Eva Rosalene” resting against her chest.

Knock, knock.

It was barely audible from the outside through the crashing waves a hundred feet below, but someone must’ve heard it this time. The faint piano music from inside the house ceased, and a call was heard.

“Ma, they’re here!”

It was the voice of a child, and that bothered Dr. Rosalene. Not because she disliked children, but because she knew that there also happened to be a dying man inside.

In fact, it has been a while since she knocked on the door of a house that didn’t have a dying man inside. Three weeks, to be exact. Three weeks ago, it was a dying woman.

She never came to save them.

“We should wear cloaks and carry scyths,” her colleague often joked. At least she hoped it was a joke.

And on this particular occasion, this co-worker happened to be standing right next to her, carrying the equipments that made their jobs possible. His name was Neil Watts. Or, as he prefered it: Dr. Watts. It gave the ring of a mad scientist or a super villain, only neither mad nor super, and not even remotely witty.

He sneezed and pushed up his glasses.

Dr. Watts liked his glasses. More specifically, he liked how they shielded his eyes from the curious glances of nosy strangers. When the clerks from the glasses shop offered him anti-reflexive coatings for his lens, he raised an eyebrow and marked them crazy.

“How much would it cost to add an extra-reflexive coating?” he had answered in a matter-of-fact tone. In the end, he walked out happily wearing a pair of one-way mirrors. They were heavier than usual and slipped down quite often, but they were worth it.

He pushed up his glasses again.

“Not a bad place to retire at, huh?” Dr. Rosalene remarked, tapping her feet. Not that she genuinely felt like having a conversation; it was just a nice relief to hear something apart from the monotonous on-goings of the crashing waves and whistling wind.

“I could do better.” Dr. Watts gave a quick glance and shrugged. “Nightshifts: love ‘em or hate ‘em?”

“You know the answer, you stupid owl.” She knocked on the door again impatiently. The chill was starting to settle in by now; she stepped closer to the house, shielding herself from the wind with its walls.

“It’s probably going to be an all-nighter, y’know.”

“I know.” She scowled. He was teasing her and she knew it. If he does it one more time, she told herself, she was going to tell him to shut up.

The wind continued to howl, and the door they waited on remained unbudged. If there were any aproaching footsteps to be heard, they would’ve been drowned out by the loud roars and clashes from the tides down below.

“. . . And I doubt they’d have any coffee–”

“Shut up.”

She began tapping her foot again as she briefly eyed the light leaking out of the second-floor windows.

“. . . And the ocean will sing lullabies. . .”

“Not through your blathering they won’t.”

Just then, there was a flash of shadow beneath the doorframe. They turned as the door clicked from inside and opened, pouring out a warm spectrum of light. A woman and two young children stood at its door way.

“Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts, I presume?”

“. . . I didn’t pay for this name tag to be presumed.” Dr. Watts muttered under his breath.

A screenshot from the scene

A screenshot from the scene

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