Midnight Sun

I stepped out beyond my father, my house, my yard into a brave new world. Charlie grabbed my hand and smiled, bright white pearls. “Let’s go!”

We meandered through moonlit prairie paths, wildlife outnumbering us a thousand to two  in the brazen fields. The deer gave little notice to us — young, beautiful, prancing beneath their hallowed moonlight. They did not even notice — or care — about us being there. This was their night and their time to wander out of their hollows — just like us two. The crickets, frogs, and owls all squeaked and strung their symphony beneath the milky mists and moon-limelight. I squeezed his hand.

We meandered through moonlit prairie paths, wildlife outnumbering us a thousand to two  in the brazen fields. The deer did not even offer an ear twitch. I felt we were the wild animals, outnumbered, wild-eyed.

Around people I’m actually comfortable. I’m actually outgoing and also enjoy a good book. However, I felt vulnerable — exposed in this new situation, to the midnight wild beasts. I looked at Charlie and I perceived he felt the same and brave. It made me like him a little more and love that we were out here, exposed, together.

A buck looked up from his grazing and met eyes with Charlie and I. I’m not sure if he meant myself or Charlie. He paused chewing for a moment, examined us, and continued his late night dinner. His head dropped and he continued.

We journeyed to the knolls where a rabbit stood on hind legs. The rabbit wriggled his rabbit nose, and he ran off behind a rock. A giggle burst out my mouth. He squeezed my hand and smiled from his kind, gray blue eyes.

I was beside myself. I forgot what being clammed in felt like for a few moments, out here on these fields. I was smitten. I was happy. I was beside myself.

“What’s up, Katie?” His smile fell for a moment. It wasn’t that it fell fell — it was still there, in his eyes. “You OK?”

“I barely go out.” The hot summer winds gently caressed rustling grasses. It was quite the noise — unsettling at first, but the longer I listened the longer I realized these unthreatening reeds offered a meditative, calming rustling. “Going out means doctors. Ever since my first bad burn, when I was seven.”

He held my hand with both hands. “I’m sorry to hear.”

His voice betrayed genuine care. By now, the crickets had almost all but silenced in these fields. Even those night owls took to sleep. “I want to stay up with you, Charlie.” A field mouse ran across the path. I looked east. “…but.”

The moon began its descending course. A slight lifting of the dark night canvass spread over the eastern horizon. “You’re pretty brave, Katie. You said you never saw an owl before, in person. But you didn’t flinch!”

“I want to stay.” I said. “I like it.”

Charlie opened his mouth, and hesitated. He breathed out his nostrils. “It’s like what my grandfather used to say.” He cleared his throat and mimicked. “‘You’ve got to take baby steps, son! Soon enough, you’ll one day be a hundred miles beyond — even before you realize it.’” He nodded, sage-like. “Baby steps. We all must take them. “Sonny.”

I laughed.

I reluctantly returned. We were talking quietly and laughing. As we approached the front porch, my guitar and case lay next to the bench. On the bench — my father, asleep.

Charlie and I said goodnight. I silently put my guitar away and went inside. White lights wrapped around the porch columns. I let these stay lit in case he woke up before dawn.


The above I wrote for a Wattpad writing contest #MidnightSun. The contest revolves around a movie named, well, Midnight Sun. Waoh.

This may make a bit more sense reading the premise.

Hope you enjoy.