The Red Moon

Written By: Maximilian Motz

“We’re going to the beach tonight. Let’s go now!” I told my father. He had promised my brother and I that we would take a night stroll on the beach after we pestered him over and over about how we should go on the night of a full moon. However, to our dismay, the night we were supposed to go was cloudy and the night after that our dad was in a drowsy state. Determined not to let the moon wane anymore before our walk, we were ready to go as soon as we could persuade our lethargic caretaker. Thankfully, since he often encourages us to get outside, he agreed and we took the short drive to Indian Wells Beach.
As our vehicle approached the dark light plane of sand, we were greeted by a very noisy cicada, standing atop a blade of grass and making himself known to everyone and everything in the vicinity. As the three of us closed the doors of our car and let our feet touch the beige soft carpet of the beach, I noticed that there was not a soul on the beach other than a few people gathered around a glimmering flame losing a battle against the void of darkness that surrounded us. As we descended toward the point at which the sea taps the sand, we started walking toward the Atlantic Beach. Although the sky was clear as ever and all the stars sparkled like we hoped, there was something missing. The moon was absent, as if it was just cut out of the night sky entirely. Despite this annoyance, we continued to trudge through the moist sand down the shoreline, laughing and joking around with an air of flippancy.
It was dark, but bright enough that we could see everything that came into our vision. We walked, ran, jumped, skipped, and danced our way from one beach to the next. On our journey, many beach flies and fireflies tickled our feet and flashed their lights as encouragement. One firefly in particular, who sadly got critically injured by the liquid beast adjacent to us, dedicated his last and final glow upon the grainy surface to our expedition before he was consumed.
As we approached the Atlantic Beach, my dad noticed a red light peeking out from in between some ominous sea mist. We all paused our movement and tried to determine the source of this illumination. A ship? An UFO? As we continued to guess, the mysterious light source rose above the mist and revealed itself. The moon! Awe struck at this strange spectacle, we observed the red sphere move farther up into the starry infinity. Eager to get a good picture of this on my phone, I slipped it out of my pocket and opened the camera app. I attempted to capture this foreign spectacle and share it with all of my friends, however the phone only presented this magical moment as a blurry red dot with a plain black background. Unsatisfied with the quality that belittled the red deity, I decided this moment was best just experienced. As we moved closer to the crater filled cinnamon jawbreaker, the salty expanse that it looked down upon massaged our feet with surprisingly warm water crashing upon our feet.
By the time we reached the Atlantic Beach, the dominant red moon changed to a more mellow orange color as it climbed up the semi-sphere of space before me. Bowing upon us, as if honored to have our acquaintance this night, it cast a reflection upon the water, asserting itself in the hierarchy of nature. Seeing this lavish illumination granted to us by the levitating orange ball, I was given the inspiration to attempt to take a photo yet again. Despite the bad quality, I was eager to snap the photo anyway, but as if I did not get the message from fate before, my phone died. Although I was slightly disappointed, I was content in watching the moon with my own spheres. Making our way back from where we came, I saw a shadow figure standing on the beach ahead of us. This four legged creature stood motionless as if it had noticed us and was awaiting our arrival. However, as we looked at this deceptive shadow from another angle, we could see it was just two people, silently staring up at the mesmerizing tangerine.
Once we successfully completed from Indian Wells Beach to Atlantic Beach and back, the moon was now yellow, completing the color palette of a fire. As we ascended the dune, we gave the lemon gumball one last look of parting, as we climbed into the car and zoomed off into the distance. When we reached our house, I went into our backyard and saw the now white waning gibbous just over my neighbor’s roof. Now, the moon that I was familiar with had reached a height which it towered over all people, buildings, trees, mountains, everything in all of Amagansett, everything in all of the Hamptons, everything in all of New York State, every single stretch of land that is considered part of the Eastern Standard Time zone. Feeling a state of content having watched the moon’s journey to the top of the sky, I walked towards the light of my home and left the moon in all its pride and glory.