“I know,” I answer with a smile up at him. “Gran told me.”
That was before the world stopped spinning, of course. It had baffled scientists and everybody who knew—who thought they knew—how the world worked. The very stopping should have shattered everything. And then, by all rights, half the world should have roasted and the other half should have froze solid. There shouldn’t have been air, let alone anything else.
But none of that happened. Sure, the days were now a year long, meaning everywhere got six months of daylight and six months of night, and that caused a huge upheaval of everything. Sure, a lotta people and things died before we all adjusted, or so Gran says. But other than that--
Well. The world stopped, but people didn’t. We went on. And now father and I, among many, many others, pull the tides in on a regular schedule, to keep things growing and shifting properly, and to rock the world enough to keep it well, same as you would a newborn baby, hungry for touch as much as milk.
And when we pull in the tide and release it with our hooks, our bells ring sweetly, which pleases our tired moon and the creatures that live within it. They came out when the world stopped spinning, and best as anyone can tell, they’re the reason there’s any life still on Earth.
All they ask is for music in return. Song is the new currency, instruments more valued than gold or even food ever was, bards, musicians, and singers the lifeblood of society everywhere, dancers made holy. We keep the Moon’s beings happy and entertained, and they keep us alive and well.
Gran says there were a lot of wars and other terrible things, before the Great Stillness. There isn’t anymore. We keep going, with our bells and whistles and music for the heavens and the creatures who love it so.
It’s not a bad new world, to be sure.
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