“This is insane! It is just not possible!” exclaimed the female journalist on top of a tower that was still work-in-progress.
Dooku the builder gasped, quickly put a finger on his mouth and said, “Shhhh! That is treason!”, as though someone would hear them talking. But in this evening, there were only Dooku and the girl, an interview that took place in this tall, tall tower.
No one in this isolated island remembered how long the war had lasted. Or for what course. The north and the south had fought. One day, they stopped. Instead, they agreed to build a high wall from east to west dividing the island into two. Tired of the war, they had become. Coexistence was a bitter compromise. It was tolerable so long as they did not see each other.
The wall was so high that the people from either side called it Cliff of Impenetrable. For years, no one knew how the other side was doing. But that did not fool Dooku. At night, Dooku could see an orange hue of light from the south painted onto the sky encroaching onto his northern part of the pitch black atmosphere The buzzing of music, the laughter, and the noise. The southern noise! Dooku and his fellow northern inhabitants hardly had the time to think of anything else other than their basic needs. Such as food, work, water, and more work.
“You honestly think that we can build a tower and reach the Moon from Earth? On this very land we stand?” asked the girl.
Dooku pondered. The question was not whether or not this was the best space exploration program the government had come up with in order to compete with the south. The question was, without this tower, a lot of people including Dooku would have to find another job. So what if it was the stupidest idea to build the lousiest tower that would absolutely be useless? People were kept productive. Their lives became meaningful. Routines tended to numb people’s mind brainwashing all sorts of ideals down the drain. People needed routines.
Dooku also knew that the girl had a story to write, one that might inspire. So he replied, “You see the full moon over there?” The girl nodded.
“I have been working here for quite some time. Each night before I call it a day, I spend some time admiring the skyline, admiring the progress from the south. I don’t think people in the south really want to leave their homes and the good life they have. But life in the north is different. We hardly have enough to eat! This is an island. We have nowhere else to go. We hang our hope onto the moon and wish for a better future.
You know. At times I feel as though the moon is getting bigger and bigger. Maybe she is coming closer to us. Or maybe our tower strategy is really working.”
The mood was lightened. The girl giggled and added, “Or perhaps all our combined hope weights the moon down just a little. And she dips down just a little?”
As the night fell, the air was chilly. It was an hour long descend for the journalist, or more. As for Dooku the builder, his temporary shelter had always been one level below the top of the tower. There was used to be plenty of builders. But as the tower gradually raised from the ground, its circumference became smaller and smaller. Now, it could only fit one.
* * * * *
A month later, the female journalist revisited the tower at night. She spoke the first question that came into her mind.
“If you are the only builder working on this tower, what do the rest of the people do?”
Dooku replied almost immediately, “We invent new tasks! Some are looking for cracks to repair. Some are reinforcing the tower. Some are even decorating the tower! Many are pretending to work. But right now, that is not a question of importance.”
“It is not?”
“No. Come. You see the full moon over there?”
“What do you see?”
“A … moon?”
“Yes. But what else?” asked Dooku with an infectious enthusiasm.
“A full moon?”
“Look how close the moon is this time round!”
The girl took and deep breath and exhaled, “It does look bigger than last month! Much bigger!”
“… which means closer! A lot closer! Come back next month, would you?” proposed Dooku.
* * * * *
Another month had passed and the female journalist returned to the top of an even taller tower as promised. Something was not right in this very evening. The wind was exceptionally strong. The sound was almost deafening. Underneath them, Dooku and the girl could sense the rage of the ocean. As though something was upsetting the sea and it pounded the shore relentlessly with bigger and bigger wave. Panic was felt across the people from either side of the wall. The island might be divided. But fear united them all.
“You see the full moon over there?” Dooku shouted through the wind.
The girl shouted back, “Yes, the moon is hanging low, really low! And she is coming to our direction!”
The chaos on the ground intensified as the moon approached the island. The water broke free and flooded the ground. To the south, all hope was lost. It was a doomsday scenario. To the north, everyone was looking upon the tower as a beacon of hope. Out of nowhere, a mysterious white rabbit made a dash to the tower and started the climb. That little sign amassed the northerners. Soon, everyone from the north headed to the tower as the water level raised higher and higher.
The mysterious white rabbit did not stop. It went up and up and just when the rabbit reached the top of the tower, the gigantic moon swung by low, almost came in contact with the tower. A deep humming sound emitted from the orbiting moon. The sight was mesmerizing to look at. The rabbit made a leap and landed onto the moon! The girl delighted by what she saw too made a leap and landed safely. The northerners needed no further encouragement. Life was lousy from where they stayed. One by one, they made a leap of hope believing that whatever lied ahead could not be worse.
“Jump! Come to us!” exclaimed the girl frantically waving one hand with another holding the mysterious white rabbit close to her chest.
Dooku waited till the last northerner landed onto the moon making sure that no one was left behind. He took a last look at his island below that was no longer divided for the wall was brought down by the force of nature. Dooku thought to himself, “Should I stay or should I go? Would the moon come that close ever again? Would I have a second chance?”
If Dooku was a risk taker, he would not have chosen to be a builder. Dooku took a deep breath and joined his people on the moon. The female journalist smiled and exclaimed, “This is insane! It is just not possible!”