Monday, November 2, 2009

The Blinking Moon

The full moon stares at him. It seems larger than normal, its glow filling even his peripheral vision. He could be imagining things, fighting sleep as he is, lying on his back in the middle of some forgotten wood. Crickets vibrate their song in music halls among the trees, their melody a calming tune under a chilly breeze. This could be paradise, except that he is alone. He has no lover to steal an apple from a tree, not that there were any apple trees around. Just a beautiful moon and noisy crickets and sounds of a nearby river. Perhaps, in retrospect, that's why his back is wet. He knows it hadn't been raining and hadn't rained for some time, but his shirt bunches uncomfortably on his back the way wet clothes do. Is he on the riverbank? No, the sounds of water are too far away and he can't feel the bites of any mosquitoes. He can't feel or hear any bugs, save the crickets, for that matter. He is alone. Otherwise, this could be paradise.

***

It stares at the moon, so far away, with eyes of hate. If the moon were closer, it would knock it out of the sky. Pitch black was its domain, and light - the moon in particular - irritates it. Its prey had split up, irritating it further, and it chased the one with the stronger scent. Proud of itself, it prepares the body of the dead female for preservation, for it would not eat tonight. The Winter will be cold, it knows, for the wind had told it so. No water had fallen from the sky for many days and nights, but it knows that the wet was up there in the sky, just waiting. The wet would come down softly and brightly, which would infuriate it, but at least there would be something to drink through the frozen season. It licks its claws clean, tasting two different shades of blood. Had it struck the other? Memory is not its strongest suit, but one of the tastes clearly does not belong to the female. Dragging her back to its lair, it reminds itself that the hunt is not yet over.

***

He hadn't been alone, or so he is thinking. Wasn't she with him just a few hours ago? He closes his eyes, his gaze no longer transfixed on the moon that seemed to be watching over him. In its place he sees her smile, that special smile that somehow glowed in the dark. Yes, yes. She had definitely been with him. But where did she go? His mind is sluggish and he struggles to force it to remember what has happened since the Sun went down beyond the trees and the horizon. It was all planned out... the camping trip, the wine, the seduction... everything was going according to plan until she informed him that she was on her period. She had been embarrassed, but this was supposed to be their first time, and he wanted to go through with it anyway. Still, she hesitated, despite his aggressive advances and gentle embraces. He tried to blame it on her perfume, his lack of control. Yes, that was it. She was wearing too much perfume. The scent distracted him. Distracted him from protecting her.

***

Satisfied with the storage of the female's body, it heads back out into the woods, creeping more closely to the ground than it usually would do. It has lived long enough to know that the bright moon casts its shadow far enough to warn its prey of its approach. This is only one of the myriad of reasons that it hates the moon. Darkness is a comforting blanket to it, and the freedom that lack of light affords it is a drug that only primal instinct appreciates properly. With its nose to the ground, and then to the air, it decides to head to where the wet races the ground.

***

The moon is so giving, and yet asks nothing, only to watch as events below unfold in all their insignificant glory. He briefly considers a staring contest with it, wondering if the moon ever blinks. Laughing to himself, he shakes off his childish wonder and returns to listening to the crickets and the running water. But something isn't right... the water continues to rush, but where were the crickets? Reflexively, he turns his head to the side, hoping to spy some of the elusive insects, and sees nothing but the puddle of water he is lying in. More childish wonder as he ponders why the white moonlight makes the puddle appear red. This time, he laughs aloud, and decides to have that staring contest after all. He gazes intently, determined to prove once and for all that the moon does indeed blink. To his surprise, it does. The bright mirror of light replaced by a foul stench and two glowing, inhuman eyes. The celebration of victory that begins never finishes, as his Adam's apple is torn from his throat.

But at least he was not alone.

22 comments:

Alan Burnett said...

The quality of prose shines through like the full moon on an otherwise dark night.

Wings said...

Interesting take on a classic tale. 'Bout time the wolf won out.

Brian Miller said...

oh, i really like this one...beautifully told...just what i was looking for with the theme...

Tom said...

ooh yeah--even the evil aren't safe tonight.

Yodood said...

Taking the apple back is a crowning touch. Wonderful read.

Lilwave said...

I love a good werewolf tale. This was nicely done. Exciting!

Bitsy said...

Not my favorite genre, but O.K. Wolves den. They don't have lairs.

Cinnamon said...

ooh creepy! Very well told- gave me shivers!

Not For Jellyfish said...

Some grammar/tense/structure stuff going on in the first paragraph... Great story and vibe though. I like the back and forth.

kathew said...

ooooo it's time for a good creepy read with fall just around the corner!

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful writing, tale well told and I like the passing back and forth between the prey and the predator's thoughts.

Elizabeth

Tumblewords: said...

Chilling read. I can see this happening, the tension is wonderfully split between the predator and victims.

Tess Kincaid said...

Shivers!!! I wondered where the apple was going to come into play!
I really like "his shirt bunches uncomfortably on his back the way wet clothes do".

Too much perfume does have that effect, by the way.

ninotaziz said...

Horrifying.

Claudia said...

that gave me shivers - so well written - wow!

here's my magpie

emily wierenga said...

the moon is so giving yet asks nothing... brilliant.

NanU said...

Very creepy and full of tension. The switching of tenses makes things unclear, however, especially in the second sentence. Clean that up and this will really be great!

PattiKen said...

Very creepy. The back-and-forth works very well.

Austin said...

Really enjoyed how you brought it all together with the moon.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Sounds as though 'it' keeps a tally. -J

Megan said...

A girl doesn't go out when she has her period! Especially not into the forest!!!

Marcheline said...

Megan: You should have said "a smart girl". Additionally, a true outdoors girl would never wear perfume on a camping trip. And keep those cheese 'n crackers swinging high in a tree after dark.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...