Chapter 4

Alice stood silent against the lush blue lavender fields feeling the breeze current through the atmosphere. The lavenders were sleeping; not bloomed. Inhale – and all the cool air went into her lungs. She felt refreshed. Exhale – and all the hot air left her. She felt released. It was a month after Ed's death. Alice felt alone in the world.

The moon was round today. They call it full moon. Full moons were the day when wolves howl to the moon. There were no wolves left. That was history. Wolves were not productive. Well, they were productive to a certain extent but their productivity simply could not exceed that of cats', dogs' and hamsters. So wolves were annihilated. I wonder how it looks like when wolves howl to the moon.

Alice was wondering the same question too. Then, she had a brilliant idea. She sat down on the fields and opened her mouth.

'HOWL!!!' Alice howled and just stared at the moon.

For reasons she could not explain, tears started welling in her eyes. Like a piece of china, the singular tear fell to the ground. It did not break into million pieces but instead, got absorbed into the soil. More tears fells. Alice cried a pool which could drown her if she were small. The soil just kept absorbing the tears.

The damn that was built in Alice broke and the torrent of emotions just overwhelmed her. Tears are a form of release. When one cries, they let go of the negative emotions bottled up in them. The negativity is washed away by the tears.

The tears seeped deep into the soil. Slowly, they found their way up the roots of the many lavenders and up to the petals.

And they bloomed.

The whole field of lavender opened their tightly shut petals. An entire field of lush blue lavenders! Ah, the smell was enticing. Strong smell that stayed in your nose for a long long time.

Alice finally cried. She felt released.

And a miracle happened.

***

The earth controller called up the moon controller and asked him out for a cup of efoc. The moon controller was another rare soul that could stand the bitter sweet taste of efoc. Stange! Only prominent leaders seem to be able to tolerate the bitterness and enjoy the sweetness.

'WE FOUND A MOON STICKER IN A MURDER CASE.' The earth controller looked at the moon controller grimly and delivered the message with utmost sobriety. The response was simply received with a nervous chuckle from the moon controller.

'MOON STICKER? ARE YOU INSINUATING THAT ONE OF MY MEN MURDERED YOUR MEN?' The moon controller appeared to be almost in shock. He looked at the earth controller and spat on the floor.

'WE MAY BE DESPERATE FOR POWER BUT WE DO NOT RESORT TO SUCH UNDERHAND METHODS. WHY WOULD WE KILL AN EARTHLING? DO YOU REALLY THINK WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO? COME ON, MY PLANET IS DOING SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOURS. I HAVE TO SPEND MORE TIME TO BETTER MY PLANET AND BEAT YOU HANDS DOWN. WE WOULD NOT HAVE WASTED TIME TO COME TO EARTH AND MURDER SOMEONE. IT IS NOT AS IF THE TIME HERE IS MESSED UP. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS ACCUSATION.' The moon controller uttered a long statement in defence for his people.

The earth controller looked the moon controller, sighed, finished his cup of efoc, stood up, and walked away like a walking zombie.

When the earth controller was gone, the moon controller let out a sigh of relief, took out his phone and dialled to his main office.

'MARY, SCHELDULE AN EMERGENCY MEETING IMMEDIATELY. THERE IS SOMETHING URGENT WHICH I NEED TO DISCUSS. GET ALL THE HEAD OF DEPARTMENTS TO ATTEND THIS.'

With that, the moon controller put back his phone, finished his cup of efoc, stood up, and bounced away like a spring ball.

***

The moon controller scrambled into the meeting room. He unloaded the thick files onto the tables. There is a look of anxiousness on his face. He closed all the windows and pulled all the curtains.

The moon controller started distributing all the files to everyone in the room.

'FLIPPED IT THROUGH! FLIPPED IT THROUGH!'

The files were not thin but with the excellent time management in moon, the head of departments only took five seconds to rummage through them.

'AITROK JUET GOSSUM ICKTICKINY?'

'Eee'se lioah! Aitrok juet gossum icktickiny' The head of departments muttered in cohesion.

'EEE'SE LIOAH!' The moon controller screamed back, beaming. 'NOW LET'S GET BACK TO WORK.' And he started the meeting formal.

***

Meanwhile, the earth controller walked into his office and declared a state of emergency. The whole planet trembled with fear. They did not want to be in this state for their lives are threatened. They disliked the fear of a constant reminder that they might be killed. They hated the idea of living in trepidation. And time did not help either. When people dreaded, time moved extremely slowly and this was no exception. From the earth controller's entrance into the office to his announcement of the situation, only a terrifying minute had passed.

No, time was indeed not on their side.

What can they do? Time was not their element. They could not simply get a pack of scientists to invent a machine to speed up time. No. Not even the most productive herd of scientists could invent a time machine. But scientists could invent a fire machine. Or a water machine. Or an air machine. Or an earth machine. But all these machines were useless. All these elements were useless. People did not need warmth or water when they could manoeuvre time. With that stupid machine, the flowers in the fields can continue to sway happily and freely and gaily with no worries in their mind for the machine would make them productive.

No wonder the Moonians are so much more productive than us. The earth controller thought forbiddingly to himself. It is of no surprise.

Ed's death may seem like an everyday thing but when Alice discovered the moon sticker, everything changed. The white marble coffin got dug up from six feet under and transport to the danger museum. It was a place where all the past victims from moon were placed. Though called a museum, it was not open to the public. Instead, this was a highly secure, secretive area where only the highest militants could enter. Not even the loved ones nor the closed ones could enter this place.

The government did a good job of this. They dug the coffin out and brought it away. Then they put the earth back into its original position to give the impression that nothing had happened. The loved ones and the closed ones would never know. They would continue to come back and stare at the patch of soil without realising that the coffin is no longer there.

Wickedly clever!

The earth controller decided to take his own special walk into the danger museum. What a funny name it is, I tell you, it almost makes the place sound treacherous. But both you and I (okay, I lie, only I) know that that place is the safest place on earth. There were twenty five billion guards safeguarding the museum. Nobody – not even a fly – would be able to enter that place.

The earth controller reached the front doors of the danger museum and was stopped by the twenty million guards.

'Sorry earth controller but you cannot go it.'

'WHAT! THE! HELL! I AM THE EARTH CONTROLLER IF YOU HAVE NOT REALISED.' The earth controller was fuming. How dare these stupid soldiers try to stop him?

'Yes earth controller, I do realise that you are the earth controller. I just addressed you. But that is besides the point sir. We are not allowing you to enter this place now because there seem to be some kind of a crisis. A coffin was stolen from the danger museum and we are trying to figure out who did it. So, earth controller, I am afraid you cannot enter this place yet.'

'WHAT COFFIN?' The earth controller demanded.

'It was a white marble coffin. It was a coffin of someone called Ed Thomas. That coffin just arrived today and now it is missing.'

'WHAT! ED THOMAS'S COFFIN IS MISSING!'

Now, this is big news. The planet is no longer in the state of emergency. The planet is in code hyper red now.