I couldn't get "Feeling Groovy by Simon and Garfunkel out of my head. It is right up there with "love is all around you" (The Troggs) for making me feel good. So this is the story it generated. I hope the song sticks in your head too!
“Slow down you move to fast, you have to make the morning last.”
Mira chuckled at the old song lyrics, they made her smile. She wasn’t exactly “feeling groovy. Not when night was still two weeks away. Right now most of this godforsaken asteroid was in daylight. It was daylight almost all the time. She liked the daylight…it made her work easier.
Night time…well, she had funny weird dreams when the asteroid went dark. Not scary dreams. Just…well, weird. Like someone was there with her. Someone that wanted to talk. Someone that just wanted to hang out for a while. An old friend, or friendly ghost type feeling would creep over her when it was Night Time. She could imagine sitting across from whatever it was, sipping her coffee and asking it about its day. Like an old married couple late in life might do.
She found herself looking forward to the next “night time” set of dreams. During the daylight weeks…she worked all day gathering water for the tankers. She would go back to the ship to sleep. Turning off all the lights in the interior was not the same as “night time” outside. Sure it was dark enough, but the dreams, feelings, and comfort that came with actual “night time” on this rock in the middle of nowhere…those didn’t come. Just ordinary fragments of the day twisted by the mind to clear itself of the monotony of her existence happened in sleep time on the ship. The same simple kinds of dreams she would have back at the Station.
But “night time”, real night, on this rock…well, those dreams were different. They weren’t vivid in the sense of sharper than reality. They were real though. Real feelings, real connections, real softened emotions. “Night time” took away all the loneliness she felt during Daylight. She had been here for months, with still a year and some change left to go. The water she brought to the Station would make her rich.
Not that she cared. She was already rich. One load of water had seen to that. She had brought in more than forty loads since then.
She had the best ship money could buy, she also had a knack for finding water filled asteroids like this one. This one was different though. Never had she experienced anything like the dreams…if that is what they were…that she had when it was “night time” on this rock. She continued working as she hummed the old song:
“Hello lampost, how you feeling? Just stopped by to see your flowers growing….”
Night time was coming.
She couldn’t work at night. It was to dangerous. Water in daylight was ice at night. Ice could kill. It was sharp. It was ragged. It was slippery. One false move and your suit would tear itself on a shard letting your air…and your life…out in one long puff of goodbye. No one worked “night time” on the Rocks. Night time on this rock was four weeks long, just like daylight. Night time was coming in just a few hours. She was looking forward to it. To the dreams. To the mood. To finally finding out what made her feel so safe and comfortable when it was “night time.”
She wakened in the dark. It took a moment for her to realize she was awake. Someone, or some thing…was in the Galley. The green glow coming out of the door to the galley was inviting…as was the smell of coffee. Part of her wondered why she felt no fear. None. She just got up smiling, slipped on her bunny slippers (A gift from her Mom back on Mars) pulled the zipper up on her jump suit and padded down the hallway to investigate.
At the doorway she stopped. She leaned up against the bulkhead with her arms crossed, bemused at what she saw. He was green, glowing, and busy making: coffee, toast, and (strangely enough)tea. His arms seemed a little longer than they should be, his head a little larger that it should be- everything else looked just about right. He had his back to her as he hummed “Feeling Groovy” while he worked. That just deepened her smile - and her trust.
“May I ask what you are doing on my ship?”
A slight smile played across her lips as she waited for an answer.
He turned in a flowing fluid motion, not surprised or jerky, just a safe half circle, one hand holding a knife, the other a piece of half buttered toast. He was pretty in a “boy next door” kind of way. Cute, but not handsome. Strong, but not bulky. Confident, but not cocky. She liked him right away.
“Oh. I heard you calling last night cycle. So…I came. It took me all daylight to build this form from the call you gave me.”
She was curiously not afraid, just curious.
“This isn’t your true form?”
The laugh he gave was one that only people with a shared past could share. It as like laughter as a hug. It made her cuddle in her mind with the words he was saying.
“Oh my no. I am not Human!”
They both laughed. Again.
“Well, what do you look like when you don’t look like this?”
She waved in a motion that included his entire green glowing body.
“Oh, nothing really. I don’t need a body. So I don’t really have a shape in the physical world. But your calls are so strong…well, I had a pretty good idea you would like this one. So I built it during daylight while you were busy working.”
She moved closer as he motioned her to sit at the table that could easily seat two people. Until today it had only seated one person. Maybe it still did. For what was he? He put toast with butter in front of her, along with coffee (two sugars, one cream), set a cup of tea and some toast on the other side of the table for himself. He slid in his side with the grace of a dancer. She noted it. He noted her noting it and smiled.
“I copied the way I move from watching you.”
She lifted her cup to her lips with both hands, taking a small sip of the still hot coffee, blowing a little wind across its surface before speaking:
“You think I move with that kind of grace?”
Her eyes twinkled as she looked over at him. His green glow not the least bit distracting as he too blew across his still hot tea before tea answered:
“Oh, I know you do. I have been watching you every daylight period since you got here. I like the way you move.”
“Well, I know this sounds strange, but do you have a name?”
This time, he blushed.
“I was hoping you would name me. My kind has no need for names. We know who we are…and are not.”
She was enthralled. Never had she seen anyone blush a deep green, not red. It made him even more enduring…even more attractive.
The name just popped out of her mouth. Not a single moment of thought.
He said the name out loud:
“Emerald. I like that. What does it mean?”
“Back on Earth, where my family originated from before colonizing Mars, Emeralds were a precious stone, a gem we called them- and they are a beautiful deep green…like you.”
“Oh. I like that. Emerald. Thank you.”
That’s how it went for all of “night time”. Just two people getting to know each other, two people who already knew they would be together for ever. Delighting in each new experience, each new piece of their past, each new hope for the future. By the middle of “night time” they were certain of their future. Together.
Daylight was coming. He had told her that he couldn’t hold the body during daylight. She had accepted that. What he didn’t tell her, because he wanted to surprise her, was that he could be with her during daylight.
The daylight broke, as it always did on this rock, with no warning, no sunrise, just instant daylight, like a switch had been clicked on. One minute he was sitting across from her watching her put on her drilling suit, the coffee, toast, and tea, all done with. The next, he was gone.
It made her sad. Until…
She stepped down the ramp to pick up the portable drill. Melancholy was trying to push out the glow she felt from a month in “night time” with Emerald. As soon as she touched the rock surface with her suit's boots she heard his voice:
“Slow down, you move to fast. You have to make the morning last.”
A smile as wide as the Universe spread across her face…she joined in:
“Just kicking down cobblestones looking for fun, and feeling groovy.”
They sang as she worked. It wasn’t long before she realized she was indeed… feeling groovy.