Here’s a short extract from a children’s novel I’m working on, based on the moon, space archaeology, space junk and climate change (and space mice!)
Chapter One: Footprints on the Moon
There’s a photo on the moon.
Solar radiation has made it a little blurry.
There’s a human family living on the moon, locked in time in a blurry photo.
A mum in a smart blue coat with a short, smart haircut; a dad wearing a white shirt and tie; a blonde boy in a smart shirt and striped tie, one hand casually stuffed into a trouser pocket; a boy in a red polo shirt and smart trousers: Smiling at the camera. They’re sitting on the moon, staring out into space and the great blue-green earth spiralling around them.
There’s a plastic bag on the moon, that houses a family locked in time in a blurry photo.
If you look up at the moon tonight, the family will be looking back at you, smiling from inside their translucent, plastic home. You could wave at them, if you like.
The photograph sits lightly on the dusty surface.
It casts its own shadow.
There’s a footprint near the photo, made by the man who took the photo to the moon. The footprint has been there as long as the photo has.
A tyre track curves past the photograph, there is no wind to blow it away.
The photograph, the footprint, the tyre tracks: they remain where man once stood.
That is not all humans left behind on the moon.
Humans left vehicles, flags and telescopes, cameras and bags of poo. Humans are clever and stupid: Clever to fly from their home planet and explore their neighbouring rocks; clever to forge metal and make engines that can withstand the pressure of the Earth’s atmosphere and the chill vacuum of dark-space. Stupid to wreck other cosmic rocks with their debris and disorder; stupid to leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Clever and stupid and oh-so-human.
Those astronauts might return to the moon someday, to search for their left-behind things, their lost and forgotten things. They’ll say it was all an experiment, to see how materials fare on the moon, in the glare of the sun. They’ll say they had no other choice, that things needed leaving behind so they could make their way home.
They can say what they like, they’ll never find those things.
Well, they will find the photograph in its plastic bag.
[End of excerpt]
Thank you for taking the time to read this.. and if you do have any curious 8-12 year olds in your life, please share this excerpt with them and add their comments below.
Thanks in advance!
Here’s a link to the earlier post about Moon Base Odin: https://annalieseaman.com/2019/12/09/writing-for-children/
My husband Jo has been creating some sketches for the illustrations for Moon Base Odin, I think they’re great.. will you let us know what you think about them?