The moon orbited. It had been orbiting for as long as it could remember. Sometimes, people came to visit it and it had the feeling of always being watched but otherwise it had been just basically orbiting. This had never really bothered The Moon; it had some fine craters and liked the shape the sunlight made on it. However, tonight it had a problem.
The Moon's memoirs had been out for a while now. When the memoirs had been completed and released under the title 'Let's Go Round Again: Loony Lunar Tales', The Moon had been delighted. It had dreamed of talk shows, TV rights and a major Hollywood movie. However, sales had been sluggish and the reviews had been cutting.
The Moon was therefore trying to think of ways of getting people to notice the book and to buy it in their droves. It had contacted its Literary Agent, who had feigned being unconsciousness following a nasty reaction to a Brussels Sprout to avoid speaking to him. It had tried to call in a few favours from songwriters and poets who now mysteriously could not remember its part in their success. It had tried to dye its North Pole in order to reveal an edgier side and to appear more three dimensional. It was a sign of its level of distraction that the Moon had chosen the dark side to dye. Of course, it was clear that attempting to go to a fashionable party in Walsall had been a huge and catastrophic mistake. It had left, ashamed and with a legal action for repairing a sea-water damaged carpet pending.
Still, it had no idea about how to make people buy the memoirs. Then-inspiration! It would publish it for free on a blog! No-one else had thought of that and international recognition and fame and fortune would surely follow just as night follows that dreadful light part of the diurnal period that no-one liked and The Moon refused to mention by name.
Thus, exalted and excited, The Moon sank below the horizon, already planning how to redesign his memoirs to be released as a blog. Behind it, in the gloomy remnants of the night, an owl shook its head pityingly. There was nothing you could tell the owl about publishing; it knew The Moon was doomed to failure. With a world-weary sigh, the owl returned to penning its own current writing project- a thriller about a family of voles stalked by a dangerous yet handsome killer.
Meanwhile, oblivious to all this natural literary activity, Josiah, Cecily and the heron stood in a silence that was so awkward it fell over its own feet. It blundered around some more, upsetting a small coffee table (that sobbed loudly all night) before leaving the room, jarring its shoulder nastily on the door frame.
"You're romantically attached to a...a...." Josiah's voice tailed off.
Shamefacedly, he bustled over to some bookshelves. There he flicked through the books, running his fingers along the spines and checking the titles. At last, he found a small book called 'The Misleading Bumper Book of Birds'. Leafing through, he found the entry he was after. He replaced the book with care in order to check the filing system remained pristine.
Having completed this research, he strode back to the centre of the room.
"You're romantically attached to a guillemot!" he blustered.
"Hardy is a heron," Cecily told him coolly. "You really need to get a new bird book. And re-read the last chapter. You identified it correctly then. Why do you bluster so? Are you shocked that I am in love with another? ”
“But he’s a bird!” Josiah hissed.
“He’s kind, he’s gentle, he’s generous. Maybe it doesn’t matter which species he is!”
“I think that legally it does. What do you mean generous?”
Cecily glowed with pride.
“I have a whole bucket full of plump frogs outside,” she boasted.
Josiah stepped towards her, taking her elbow firmly in his hand. The great grey bird stretched its neck up high and fluttered its feathers, fixing the man with a glaring and angry stare. Josiah took a nervous step backwards, narrowly avoiding a piece of cake I left there on the carpet so he would stand in it. But he hasn’t, so that was a waste of time.
Holding up his hands in a placatory manner, Josiah motioned awkwardly to the vexed wader that he just wanted a quiet word with Cecily. Leaving the bird behind, they went into the kitchen. Josiah strode angrily around the room whilst Cecily leaned against the sink, sulking inspecting her nails, anticipating a tirade.
“I just don’t get it,” he scolded her. “What on earth are you playing at, young lady?”
Cecily mumbled something in reply.
“It’s, it’s just a phase, that’s all,” he chuntered on.
Her eyes ablaze, her voice strident, Cecily stood tall and proud. Banging her fist on the table to emphasise the main points, she told him why it wasn’t a phase. It was like the attack from an extremely angry goldfish. Yeah, well, you’re just not imagining an angry enough goldfish. Try harder, you slackers. In the face of her tirade, Josiah wilted like a dandelion that had been picked 3 hours and 9 minutes ago. He reeled as she revealed; it certainly cheered him up to do a bit of Highland dancing. Her voice echoed as she told him of her frustration with him, her passion and her desire to be loved.
“But he’s a bird!” Josiah explained patiently. “People will talk!”
“Then they must talk,” she said, simply, “I have done nothing wrong.”
Josiah sighed and slumped onto a hard kitchen chair. It was the sigh of a defeated man; Josiah had won it from him in a game of cards. His life had seemed like it was getting better and that he would get a chance to be with the woman he had such deep feelings for. But, now that Hardy was on the scene, he realised that fulfilling his heart’s desire was as far away as ever. Something was nagging at him. Reaching over, with scarcely a conscious thought, he switched off the I-Nag that had come through the post in a brown paper parcel the week before. Impulse purchasing is a national crisis, folks. At the end of this chapter, there is a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy the all-new DigiMiser, your electronic aid to thrift. Don’t delay, buy today! Ooh, nice irony, thanks to the IroBot for inserting that little beauty in there. They won’t call it a waste of money now!
The two people sat in a troubled silence. This was broken by a tap at the door. Hardy’s unmistakeably pointed beak poked through the gap and the door swung open just a little. Entering cautiously, Hardy blinked and cleared his throat.
“If I might just chip in, I think I could be of some help in sorting this mess out,” he said.