As the moon began to rust

As the moon began to rust

By:  Sima Moussavian  Ongoing
Language: English
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In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Helen wakes up one morning with an atomized heart. A week later, she throws herself off a cliff. What caused her heart to self-destruct? Her on-and-off relationship with the odd Tom? The circumstances of a global crisis? Or the alleged accident that killed her neighbour Paul a few days ago?

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13 chapters
Prologue
Life is dead. They don’t know that, yet, but the bridges have been burning for a year. Soon they will disintegrate to ashes. For it to blame is something out there. It first befell the flesh and afterwards: the hearts. Left is nothing, only fear. Of each other and of oneself: of all the things they might have to do, may want to do, are doing to one another. It's a year of longing. Every inch of the body yearns for something more. The limbs are caught in restless tremble, and soft sighs linger on desperate lovers’ lips. Like on Helen’s. In her life, she has loved many things, mostly trivia. Black coffee in the morning, smiling strangers in the park, and the sense of freedom that crashing waves on stormy shores would wash into your heart. What she’s always loved most: lost things that the rest of the world overlooks. Empty snai
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HER
It was the early morning of a freshly hatched winter’s day when it happened in the thick cloak of fog. Perhaps it would have been visible, if anyone had been beside her. With her, between blankets that smelled of loneliness, and suddenly damp of tears that kept dripping from her lashes, as if waking were the most horrible dream. Her heart was still beating when she opened her eyes. But how? She could feel it fade. It didn't fall apart like rotting branches, or splinter like bones that are weak. Instead, it atomised like a bomb in an explosion. Prior to this day, it had broken in every possible way. Slowly. Suddenly. Violently. Bluntly. Into two pieces and into ten, hundreds, thousands of them. Oftentimes it broke on its own, other times it had been shattered: through carelessness or cruelty, and thrown against the wall, it had left stains, alm
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Chapter I: Her circumstances
It all went wrong. Even weeks before a cold winter’s day atomised Helen’s heart, nothing was right. The streets looked dreary. Empty, depressing and gray. Not even ants where squares used to be busy. Silence where laughter used to waft from open windows, and in the centers, every third door was sealed. All of a sudden, cities were ghost towns. It felt like  there was nothing and no one left in the world. Everywhere everyone was suddenly alone: lonely all the time, and it wasn't the kind of loneliness that you choose in order to find yourself. It was of the forced, commanded, unbearable sort, which you got lost in, as you couldn't leave it even when you desperately needed someone. Chosen solitude is a luxury. Very different from this one: a reclusion that held you captive in sarney
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Chapter II: Her burdens
Two days after Helen’s heart atomised in a cold February night, its splinters felt ever heavier in her chest. She hadn’t really gotten sleep. At dawn, she had trudged past muddy hoofprints in empty donkey pastures.For the second day in a row, she was in front of the Brandtner house now, where the children were still playing in the garden. Where the blond widow was still empty-eyed: unlike yesterday, not on the patio, but in the spacious kitchen, next to water that kept boiling on the cooker and fogged up the window panes.It was cold. The firm grip of dawn kept shaking Helen’s limbs. Shivering, she'd been standing there for an hour, and was almost frozen to the spot. Not even her breath was warm any longer. Maybe she was no longer breathing at all, but only waiting to collapse beneath the first rays of the sun like a thawing snowman.Read more
Chapter III: Her straw
It was eight in the morning when Helen's doorbell screeched. The roads were covered in snow and the pointed peaks of the mountain tops on the far horizon looked like rolled in icing sugar overnight.In front of the house, clunky shoes had pushed down the snow, leaving slickness. The cold morning light reflected upon it, and with each passing second the way out became more dangerous.When the doorbell rings at eight, you are anticipating the worst. At this time only messengers would ring. Either to deliver parcels, or - if you haven’t ordered anything - bad news. Such as the policemen Helen suddenly came face to face with.‘We have a few questions about the night of the 25th.’They were wearing green masks and uniforms in the same color: as green as Anni
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HIM
How did you damage your car? What happened to your face? Did you have an accident? Where were you at 3 am on Sunday morning? Were you under the influence? Drugs or alcohol? Have you ever been to Master Alley before?Flies took off. In breach of social distancing regulations and speed limits, they crashed in front of the tarnished windows. A fatal accident right above Tom’s window sill. Seconds later they were hailing down, dead, and Tom was wondering why no one cared about it. Neither one of the policemen outside his open door. Wouldn’t that be their job? Weren’t they supposed to take care of misfortunes? Such as the flies that had suddenly stopped flying?Tom didn't like change: not even the smallest. Disappointed, he kept staring at their suddenly useless wings, as silent as the gr
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Chapter IV: His circumstances
The past year shrunk the world. In the hot wash, and to be honest, washing it had been a bad idea, all along. It should have gotten trashed, instead, given the dirt it had accumulated.Especially Tom's world. It had been feeling rotten for as long as he could think, and it wasn't due to the rank kitchen, not to empty bottles in the hall, and neither to the floors that a cat which didn’t live for long had at some stage peed upon. It was due to himself.Sundays which were actually Mondays. Tuesdays which would feel like Fridays, and Wednesdays that could have just as well been Saturdays. They were all the same. Except for Thursdays. Thursday was usually different, because he would sometimes take responsibility then, and see his son.Except for that, nothing ever happened in his world. Only unimportant things tha
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Chapter V: His burdens
 What the news would say in the morning every day. Everything that would be talked about on the open road out loud. What his family had seen of it: divorces, deaths, and everything that strangers drowned in brown whiskey around 3 am. Tom hadn’t heard much more than this about the world. He’d hardly seen more of it than what was visible from right where he was at, and none of what he had seen had ever made him want to discover any more.To be honest, the world sounded terrible. Maybe even worse than hell. At least, by the time you go there, you're already dead.‘It's a pile of shit, this world,’ his father used to tell him when he was growing up, and his mother would only nod. ‘A stinking swamp, and if you're not careful it will swallow a baby like you in one piece.’S
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Chapter VI: His straw
Actually, she should be screaming now. Just like she always would when she came by, and then he’d wish she’d stop, but until just now he’d had no idea how much worse her silence felt, and - Jesus Christ - the sheer horror that was deforming her face, like age, a butt.Maybe Tom shouldn't have told her any of it. Usually he waited for things to work themselves out. Even this thing now could still go away. By a phone call, welcoming him on reality TV, through a comet that puts the world to ashes, or by a UFO landing on his roof. Given the way his ex kept looking into his eyes, he’d have preferred the latter. She wasn’t as beautiful as he remembered her. Now she didn't look like anyone he would ever love, and certainly not like someone who had ever loved him.Like a disaster movie put on silent. The suspense is still there, and so is
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THE OTHERS
“Tom Roehn confessed.’Annika looks at the policemen in silence. After those words, it’s perfectly quiet. On the opposite side of the fence, the snowdrift has stopped its drift, and is now only snow: white, and cold. She feels guilty. For not responding, and letting the officers down. To her, they look disappointed.Should she fling her arms around their necks? Shake their cold hands? Perhaps shower them with kisses? Even a ‘thank you’ would sound strange, because the truth isn’t a gift. Annika has never asked for it, and might be better off now, if they had kept it to themselves.What do you do with the truth? Does it have a purpose? Or do you merely receive it, take it to the attic, and bury it underneath old photos, in the creaking drawer of a dusty shelf, where you forget it u
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