Glen Horn believed his mother was a portal for interstellar travel.

When she requested he remove his dirty socks from the rug or wash behind his ears in the tub, he could almost visualize the wormhole stretching from her tongue, threatening to crush him in her steadily collapsing words. He never argued with her. He feared she might accidentally transport him into a void of frigid space and dead stars.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said politely, but always kept a careful eye fixed on her every move.

On Saturday, he helped her make homemade chocolate moon pies. It was a weekly ritual they both enjoyed.

“You’re like addicted to them,” he mumbled and voraciously licked the rubber spatula clean.

“It’s the reason I stayed on this planet,” she confessed. “Our people love marshmallow.”

“You do know you sound crazy, right?”

Her red hair was layered in flour and cocoa powder.

“Only on this side of Orion’s Belt,” she chuckled and slapped her hands together.

As she was persistently peculiar, Glen attempted to switch gears.

“Can I have twenty dollars for the movies, mom?” He wanted to meet his best friend, Carlos in front of the theater.

“Paper money won’t do you any good.” There was a flash of light and the kitchen seemed to momentarily ebb from existence.

“It won’t?” He was perplexed and somewhat disoriented.

“No, son. A second ago it would have, but not in this new galaxy.” She stared at him, tight-lipped, rapidly blinking her eyes.

He scratched his chin and swallowed hard. “Well, I was really hoping to buy some popcorn and a soda while I was there.”

“Here,” she replied and dropped white sugar cubes into his cupped hands. “This will provide you entrance into the cinema and sufficient funds for nourishment.” She turned her back to him and began to wash the dishes.

He nervously slipped them into his jacket pocket and ran out the back door of the kitchen.

At first, he thought she had finally gone off the deep end. But later, when Carlos pushed a plastic bag full of brown sugar under the ticket booth window and used it to pay admission for both of their movie tickets, he was unquestionably spooked.

“Carlos?” He asked and took hold of the boy’s arm. “Have we always used sugar to pay for things?”

Carlos balled up his face like a paper bag. “Nooooooooooooo,” he said sarcastically and pounded his chest. “We cavemen used to use rocks and dry twigs.” He flicked Glen’s ear. “Weirdo!”

Maybe it’s not my mother after all, he thought. But it can’t be me, could it?

The answer came to fruition on Monday morning when the family car wouldn’t start. His mother calmly sat behind the steering wheel and whistled.

“I guess it’s time for plan B,” she said happily.

“Great! Now I’m going to be late for school.” Glen was stressed and didn’t know what she was talking about. He rubbed the bridge of his nose and slid his body down the length of the passenger seat. “And of course, mid-terms start today of all days.”

“Relax, son.” She took hold of his face, parted her lips and pressed them above his eyebrows. “I’m going to make it all better.” The gentle framework of her cosmos dripped over his head like warm honey. In less than a nanosecond, he materialized before the entrance of his high school in a completely parallel universe. Up ahead, a group of blue-skinned adolescent girls giggled and waved hello with their glimmering white wings.

He stood there dumbfounded, not realizing it was the chalky surface of the moon he wiped from his damp forehead, and not his mother’s parting kiss.

"Moon Pie"

Copyright: © 2011 Angel Zapata


Angel Zapata was born on Earth. His horror short story collection, The Man of Shadows is available in paperback or eBook through Panic Press. Visit


  1. As always, Angel leaves us floating in wonder. Odd, almost sad and mystical. "...a void of frigid space and dead stars" - poetry.

  2. I think the entrance to high school is about as close as one can get to "a void of frigid space and dead stars." I liked that too, along with all the great odd details you include in your work, details that stick behind my curious smile.
    Excellent stuff, Angel!

  3. Great story Angel. I love how effortlessly you blend the surreal with the mundane horrors of high-school and "getting along with mom".

    The imagery here is just stellar as well.

  4. I'll be thinking about this the next time I bite into a moon pie. The last sentence is just as compelling and gorgeous as the first.

    “Only on this side of Orion’s Belt,” will we find this kind of surreal Zapata tale.

  5. That was all kinds of awesome!

    I like Erin's comment about high school. Very true, in my experience.

  6. I love this. A somehow plausible bizarreness. The time lapse transition from his unlikely paranoia to its hallucinatory reality works really well. =)