The Ladder To The Moon

The Ladder To The Moon

The Ladder To The Moon

Stanley Ink lived in a yellow house, at the corner of Labor Street. Behind the house was a large backyard where his dog Tiberious was playing with a small bone it had found earlier in the backyard.

Since morning Stanley was feeling a little different. He tried to brush it off thinking that it may be the onset of flu but the strange sensation within him kept growing.

His thoughts were broken by the noise the workmen were making inside the house. It was the crack of dawn, and Ink thought his neighbours wouldn’t at all be pleased with the noise. Sitting on the porch in his backyard, hands folded, he caught sight of a ladder. Then he remembered and it all came back to him.

It was Saturday evening and Ink was sitting on the porch watching the workers who were working in his house. He had just purchased this old house recently and the workers were fixing it up.

Sitting on the porch he was looking at the same ladder and a thought just occurred to him whether the ladder was tall enough to climb to the moon. He suddenly shook his head at the ridiculous thought that came in his mind.

“Why would I think that the ladder would take me to the moon” he thought. “That time of me going to the moon has long gone” he said to himself sadly.

He was still in his thoughts and didn’t even realise that one of the workers came to remove the ladder from the porch. 

“Hey, you the owner?” asked Jordon.

“Yep, listen can you suggest the builders to keep down the noise, my neighbours will be stomping into my front door any second.”

“Yeah, that I’ll do. We are just packing up for the day. Hey, bud, you look like something’s on your mind, what’s up?”

“It’s nothing.” said Ink, taking another step away.

“Ok. Aren’t you the famous astronaut or something” asked Jordon

“Oh God No. I have a similar face so people get confused a lot” said Ink

“Ok” shrugged Jordon “We are leaving now and will be back on Monday morning” said Jordon as he walked into the house with the ladder.

Ink just stood there not realizing that an hour had passed by. As the sun set and the moon came into view. Just then the door bell rang breaking him from his stupor. He walked to the door and opened it.

“I brought some food for you and Tiby” said Gloria his sister. She was in her usual self with the half moon spectacles perched on her nose and emerald green robe over her dress.

She walked in and put the casserole on the dining table in the kitchen. “So, when do you think the house will be finished”

“Around next week” replied Ink

“What’s wrong, why are looking sad” asked Gloria. “Ok, let me guess. Still thinking about going to the moon” she enquired.

“You know I cannot now” replied Stanley dejectedly. “After the accident, I am considered not fit to travel in space”

“I am sorry little brother. I know it was a life long dream for you. You trained so hard to be an astronaut” said Gloria patting Stanley’s back. “You should be up there along with the rest”

There was a silence in the room.

Finally, Gloria said “You take care little brother, I will see you on Monday. I have to put the kids to bed”. Then she kissed him on the forehead and walked out of the door leaving Stanley behind alone in the kitchen.

Stanley walked into the small reading room that came with the house. It was one the reasons why Stanley brought this house. The reading room was small but filled with books, some of them looked centuries old. The old owners must have been quite a collector.

After the accident Gloria suggested that Stanley move closer to her family and within a day this house was on the market. The price was quite reasonable and the only condition that came with the house was that the reading room and its books not be sold or destroyed.

Stanley was ok with the same, he was an avid reader and loved books. 

As he looked around the reading room, he saw the same ladder which was in his backyard. “The workers must have put it here by mistake” he thought.

He sat on the old arm chair and took a look at the stack of books in the room. He eyes fell on a dusty hard bound book at the corner. Stanley got up from the chair and picked up the book. He wiped the grime and dust off its cover. The title gave him a jolt.

“The ladder to the moon” it read. He turned the book around but there was no name for the author.

Stanley opened the book and saw a foreword written in it

“For all those who follow their dream”

As soon as Stanley turned the page, the entire room started to swirl around first slowly and then quickly. The ceiling of the room opened up and Stanley saw himself looking at the stars and the moon. He then felt something rising next to him and was spellbound to see that the ladder next to him was growing tall as if it wanted to reach the stars.

Stanley was amazed to see the ladder growing tall so high that he couldn’t see the end of it. Stanley reached to the ladder and instinctively started climbing up the ladder. He climbed and climbed not sure of the time trying to reach the top. After sometime when Stanley looked down he saw Earth as a blue ball below him. He started climbing faster and eventually found himself on the surface of the moon.

Stanley didn’t know what to do. He looked around and saw himself standing alone on the surface of the moon or at least that what it felt. There were huge craters around him and he saw the beautiful earth in front of him. He walked around or rather jumped around the surface feeling a unique sensation running through his body.

Eventually he sat on a rock facing the earth and saw the stars around him.

Stanley woke up with the sound of the door bell. He walked towards the door and opened it. In front of him was Jordon.

“I thought you guys were coming on Monday” said Stanley moving aside.

“It is Monday” replied Jordon as he and his crew walked inside the house with their equipment.

Stanley went back to the reading room and looked around, trying to find the book. He removed all the books trying to find it. But he couldn’t find it again.

Dejectedly he sat on the arm chair and remembered the foreword.

“For all those who follow their dream”

By Ayaan Chettiar

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The Ladder To The Moon

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