The Moon and The Fish (Story by Risa Peris)

He would encircle me in his arms and heft me up near shoulders.

“The moon,” I would yell.

It seemed so large, full, and alive. A glowing orb.

“It’s a full moon. You’ll likely be able to see it tomorrow in the day time.”

“The moon in the day?”

“Oh, yes. Sometimes the light of the moon does not disappear.:

“You are the moon. So bright. You’ll never disappear.”

My Dad chuckled and I hugged him tighter and felt at rest. Nothing could ruffle the lake of my soul. There was one fish in the lake and it was my dad and, in my dreams, he swam ahead guiding my boat.

That night, I slept between my mom and dad. Mom didn’t like it, but I wanted to feel the heat of my dad. There was a storm brewing in my lake. There was something about to happen and I needed to be near him.

I was awoken by my mother screaming. Dad was seizing. Convulsing. I was scared. I tried to hold his hand like the frightened child I was, however, it was clear he was in pain and did not register my touch. The paramedics came and drove my father off to the hospital. Mom went with him. The neighbors across the street came out. One put her arm around me.

“I have some cake,” she said. Cake? I looked wildly about the sky.

“Where is the moon? Where? It was full and high earlier.” Then I felt a knife-sharp pain in my side. Dad was gone. I knew he had died. Goodbye moon. It would never shine so brightly again. Goodbye fish in my lake soul. It will never guide me again. I began to cry. It’s a sad state feeling so lonely at eight.