Lunar Eclipse by Gary J. Oakes

Lunar Eclipse 2014-Reuters/Gene BlevinsIt was midnight again, the time of day Trevor hated the most. Since Val died, every single night he just could not get off to sleep yet if he got out of bed he felt so tired, his body ached but in bed he just lay there thinking: thinking of the past; thinking of Val; thinking of how empty and pointless his life was now. Generally Sunday wasn’t so bad as at least they played music he liked on Radio 2 until midnight when that awful woman came on!

Sometimes he would give up trying to get to sleep and go out into the road and walk about – it was better doing that at night as his neighbours were not out there then. None of them spoke to Trevor anymore as, when Val was ill, he had not been able to look after the garden and that made him public enemy number one in the little close of bungalows where he lived.

And so it was, at 3am that night he got dressed and went out into the road. To his amazement, he found that he was not alone as, standing in his garden in his dressing gown, was the young father at Number 28. Val used to talk to his wife, so she knew his name and referred to him as “Ginger Pete”.

Seeing Trevor, Ginger Pete spoke. “What an incredible sight,” he said, pointing up at the sky.

Trevor looked. Where the moon usually was, there was a large dark red object, it looked like something from a Hollywood film in which another planet comes and crashes into the earth.

“It’s an eclipse,” explained Ginger Pete. “The shadow of the earth is over the moon making it look like that.”

At that point the Colemans at Number 26 came out also. They did not speak to Trevor!

“Anybody fancy a glass of Chardonnay?” offered Ginger Pete: “I’ve got a bottle in the chiller, and I think we should all have a glass to celebrate this once in a lifetime moment.”

Trevor quickly accepted the offer; after a moment’s hesitation Mrs. Coleman said that she and her husband would have just a drop in the bottom of a glass each to toast the occasion. After drinking some Chardonnay, Mrs. Coleman did finally speak to Trevor just to say that she had been sorry to hear the news about Val, and Mr. Coleman nodded his head in agreement. Twenty minutes later Trevor returned to his bed and went straight off to sleep.

The following night at 7.30pm, Trevor was looking out of his front window and he saw Ginger Pete arriving home from work in his car. He put his shoes on and hurried out. When he got to Number 28, the Colemans had also come out to speak to their next door neighbour.

“Hello everybody,” said Trevor eagerly, “wasn’t that just an amazing sight last night?”

The Colemans ignored Trevor; they acted as if they were deaf, and he was invisible. After briefly speaking to Ginger Pete they went back into their house to the accompanying sound of a slamming door.

Ginger Pete did speak. “Look old chap, my kid goes to bed at eight and I don’t get much quality time with him in the week so no time for small talk – yeah!” he said in a semi-aggressive manner. And, with that, he too vanished behind a slamming door.

Trevor looked up at the sky: tonight the moon looked like it usually did and so did the soulless cul-de-sac beneath it.

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