Hello, Nyctophiliacs and Selenophiles!
It’s a beautiful night, don’t you think? I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always loved the moon. There’s just something magical about it. Do you think it’s special too? I think it’s time you share your fascination for the moon, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
When The Moon Rises
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
Ah, the moon. We put so much significance on this beautiful little celestial body, whether it’s horoscopes, witchcraft, or person-to-dog-monster mutations.
These are even some ideas that can be explored in this prompt. Perhaps you show us your take on a classic case of someone turning into a werewolf, or even just someone diagnosed with lycanthropy. They’re completely normal during the day, sure, but as soon as they see that little white ball in the sky, their whole world shifts. Maybe you take the route of the witch who needs to perform a ritual or spell, but it has to be done at a certain time on a specific night in the lunar cycle for it to have any effect. What repercussions do they face if this isn’t done to the specifications required? Are there repercussions at all… or do they discover something new? Perhaps they even do this spell under the full moon when it was supposed to be done with the light from the sun. Maybe a child is unable to sleep, and so they just stare out the window as the sun sets. But as the moon illuminates the land, a whole other world opens up to them. What do they see? What wonders does the moonlight reveal? Perhaps the pond is actually a door to another land. Perhaps the flowers in the garden are home to moonlight fairies.
Of course, not everything has to be mystical and magical. Perhaps you are kept awake by the noises in the night. Noises created by your four-legged furbaby who has claimed 1:48 am as their marathon running time. Or maybe you have more than one pet, and they’ve claimed the night time hours as the perfect time to play tag, regardless of the fact that you have a meeting at 8:00 am sharp. Perhaps you’ve been sluggish all day, barely keeping yourself awake and just waiting to fall into bed at the end of the day… only to get a second wave of energy as night falls. You could even explore the world of a child sneaking out of bed after hours, with no light but the moon through the window to help them navigate their way to the cookie jar.
The moon holds many secrets. We stare at it and wonder so many things, whether we’re adults or children. There’s just a magic about that little ball floating so far away from us. It borrows light from the sun, yet shines so beautifully and brightly as though that light is its own.
So go forth and dance along the moonbeams as you weave your tale with stardust. We’ll be here with our telescopes to see what wonders you create.
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
Tune into the stream this Saturday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!
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“Beneath a Fae Moon”
The clouds above Francis lifted. As the oppressive darkness of night receded, the Moon illuminated the landscape. Francis cautiously approached the fallen body before him, his revolver ready. The monster before him writhed, denying its own mortality in vain, but stilled, its bestial face contorting into an all too human expression of fear as its corpse atrophied and disintegrated in the breeze.
As it withered away, Francis felt yet more eyes upon him. He turned, and met the gaze of another creature, tall and fair, its humanesque features radiant in the moonlight. A retinue attended it, ready to tend its needs.
“We thank you, Man, for relieving our woods of this wayward spirit.” It spoke with words that flowed like a stream of silk over polished stone.
Francis glared. “We don’t accept thanks from fallen Angels.”
“We prefer ‘Fae,’ if you will.”
“I don’t.” He brushed off his coat. “Furthermore, these woods were neither made by you nor for you. They aren’t yours. They are God’s gift to His children, whom you were made to serve.”
“The vision revealed to us-”
“Was the Truth which you denied. You did not side with Satan, but you agreed with him. Whatever meager assistance you have offered will not absolve you.” The Fae looked at one another warily. “We tolerate you, because it would waste our time to hunt you. When the day comes that the demons and monsters of this world are all cast screaming into the fires of damnation, your time will also come.” He removed his hat. “It will not be me, so willing to parley, but God Himself, to judge and sentence you. You may run, and hide in the deepest corners of the wilds, but He will find you, and rip up the entire Earth in His might.”
Francis turned away. “Until then, we have no quarrel. Praise be the holy Name of Jesus Christ.”
One Fae responded, “Now and forever,” and went lame, its body returning to dust.
“He has the right idea.” Francis said with a smirk. “Go willingly to the Father, before He finds you.”
A Mysterious Letter
by ???? (Handsome Johanson)
If you have received this letter, it is because of your undying loyalty, determination, and initiative with the cause. This has been noted by the supreme council, who have been watching you progress with the organization. Last night, we convened and have formally designated you as the next acolyte to undergo the transformation.
I know this may come as a shock to you. You’ve only been with us for a few months. But, your sheer acts of brilliance when it came to the police raid, your undying willingness to support other members in the organization, and your complete lack of hesitation during the great sacrifice earns you not undue accolades from us. We are proud to call you our own, and we are proud to welcome you into the ranks of the blessed.
To be granted the goddess’s boon, you must first travel on your own and in secret to the graveyard of Lentton on the day before the night of the full moon. There, you must follow the instructions of St. Michael. He will point your way to the rituals location. Once you have arrived at the holy grounds, you must wait til dusk. We will be there then, and we shall go through the rites of the fanged ones.
These ancient holy rites hold the true secrets behind our order. You will become a sacred guardian and a holy activist for the ancient goddess. Upon learning the holy mysteries, the moon shall rise from below and grant you your full unlocked potential. You will learn what it truly means to be a god among men. You will take your rightful place beside the goddess and the council as protectors of our true natures and the holders of the true will.
Upon receiving your gift, you will become very weak. You will need some time to recover, alone. Be sure to prepare your loved ones and family members for this. They must never know of your true power until they are ready.
We’ll see you soon, child of the moon.
Moonlight on Flowers
“Rikuto, come on!” Elincia grabbed his hand, pulling him forward.
With a sigh of resignation, Rikuto followed after her. They were wandering away from camp, and twilight had set in.
“Where are we going, anyway?” Rikuto asked.
“I saw something I want to harvest.”
“But it’s dark out.”
“Yes, but there should be a full moon tonight,” Elincia said. Rikuto could see her grin in the dim light. “That’s the perfect time to harvest these.”
Rikuto glanced back in the direction of the camp. “Do you think they’ll be alright while we’re gone?”
“Rikuto, it will be fine. Our friends will survive without us for an hour or two.” There was a long pause. “Well, Ririn is mature enough to keep the other two from misbehaving.”
Rikuto continued after Elincia, his hand still in hers. It was only days since she had confessed her feelings to him, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. Having friends was still a new experience for him. Having someone infatuated with him was completely unfamiliar.
They broke through the woods to a wide meadow, covered in budding flowers, their purple petals tightly closed into bulbs.
“These look like cosmos,” Rikuto said. “But why haven’t they opened yet?”
“These are moonlight cosmos. The blossoms can be brewed into a tea to help treat rheumatoid inflammation.” Elincia gently squeezed Rikuto’s hand.
Rikuto glanced at the red moon as it crept up from the horizon. “When do you want to harvest them?”
“They have to bloom first,” Elincia patiently said.
“And when will that be?”
As the moon climbed into the sky and shifted from red to white, the flower petals started to unfurl, stretching from the center. As they did so, the centers began to shine in the moonlight, creating a starfield in the meadow to match the one in the sky.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Elincia asked, the sparkling from the flowers shining on her tanned skin.
Rikuto looked at her and nodded.
Elincia reached into her bag and withdrew a sickle. “I guess we should get to work.”
By Jesse Fisher; Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
A dust covered bot wandered over the lost land of this world, it took this long for it to see the unlit sky. It was the first time it noticed it had lights on its body, a bright yellow that seemed to cut the inky darkness even as the blazing sun remind to it’s back. The scorched earth crunched under its feet as the world stood silent as the wind died down. The bot could not recall how long it traveled or where it came from or when it was coming to.
From the stale air a melodic sound began to float in the air, a triangle of light began to move from left to right in the darkness. In search of a source it seemed to grow louder but not a thing could be seen.
Maybe it might be the wind from beyond the mountains that it just noticed as the light traveled into the darkness. Yet the melody kept going, either coming closer or farther, it could not judge distance from the lack of light.
It did not know how long it was but another light began to shine slowly as another light came up from another direction. It was dimmer than the blazing sun and lacked the warmth the bot had known. And yet that whistling kept moving from one way to another.
“I see the bad moon a-rising,” The words came out of its speakers as it began to shake. “I see trouble on the way.”
The melodic whistle seemed to follow along with it, growing louder.
“I see bad times today. Don’t go around tonight, well it’s bound to take your life. There’s a bad moon on the rise.”
The whistle came closer as the speaker played, until a jingling of some type echoed it. Turning to see what caused it, horrified the bot. The shape was so like many robots it had seen but the outer covering was far too soft and the ensemble was like that of skeletons.
It’s eyes looked sunken in and had a strange orifice below it’s eyes.
Those Beasts Who Lurk
By L. L. Marco
Dread flooded through me. It started as a buzzing in my toes that quickly fluttered up to swarm around behind my eyes. It was dark. It hadn’t been moments before but that’s how the sunset came on in the mountains. Gradually, and then all at once.
Shadows grew long and toothy across the forest floor. Insects called out from the branches above as My feet instinctively started pulling me home. one shaky step, and then another, until suddenly I was sprinting through the trees. Their branches clawed at me, slashing my sun-kissed skin. My heart throbbed in my ears. Just get home. I just need to get home–
Silence. The wave of nothing hit me so suddenly that it stopped me dead in my tracks. Hairs on the back of my neck rose; I struggled to see anything within the growing darkness. The memory of my mothers voice echoed in the back of my head, scolding me for staying out past dark, for venturing too far into the woods.. And warning me of what lurked there.
I couldn’t shake the sense of unease the silent forest gave me. It was unnatural. Even the bugs grew still. I remembered, too late, the rules my mother had taught me and what they were to protect me from. I knew what the silence meant.
It was already here.
My head shot up, reacting to the noise instinctively. My mothers voice called from deep in the woods, the opposite direction from my home. It called my name. I took a step forward.
“If you hear your name, no you didn’t.” I reminded myself of the most important rule and hesitantly turned away.
The voice grew insistent and with each step it became more angry and distorted. But I kept onward until, slowly, the voice faded into nothingness. When it finally stopped, the breath I’d been holding burst free.
My head jerked upwards, catching the faintest glimpse of the moon behind shaking branches. I basked in its beauty until, suddenly, a dark form eclipsed it. The voice called my name once more.
Relief from Grief’s Poison
by Lunabear (Please, do not read on stream)
Reina’s tattered cloak fluttered in the muggy wind.
The blood–it was a siren song, and her binding. Her fangs tried to force their way through her gums, but she gritted her teeth.
She grasped herself around her lower torso. The kneading in her gut was becoming worse than the blood burn and the unbearable thirst.
If only animals were enough.
The moon’s glow weighed on her. Nearly incinerated her unyielding flesh.
Not until its zenith. She had precious little time before sleep conquered her.
That sweet tang, the Bloodsong, trounced her fear of the pain to come. She’d scented it from miles away. She CRAVED it.
‘What am I to do, Mother?’
An animal’s dying gasp burbled from her.
“Foolish idiot. Mother is dead.”
Fire ants gnawed on her vocal cords.
Skin chipped beneath her eyes. Skewered cracks for the tears she’d never be able to shed.
Reina’s reflection in a nearby stream mocked her. Haggard. Stringy black strands. Crimson-violet eyes housing the expression of a feral, wounded beast.
How unkempt. How…disgusting.
The riverbend brought her to a secluded shack. Smoke wafted from the stone chimney.
His scent was strongest here. He?
Reina filled her nostrils once more on a shudder. He.
Her fangs broke free, and venom coated her mouth. She swallowed it back.
Reina’s bare feet scraped across the rocky field.
She shielded her fist with her cloak before pounding on the patterned wood.
Snores ended on a deep grunt.
A jolted heartbeat.
Squeaking bed springs. Crinkling papers. Scuffling feet.
She hid her face when the lock disengaged.
The door squealed open. His scent invaded her head. Swirled and danced within her chest. Lavender oil and sweet spirits.
“Can I help you?” His mossy green eyes didn’t leave her face.
Reina touched two fingers to his forehead.
He felt rugged, cozy, and–
“Let me in.”
His vision glossed over, and he stepped back.
Crossing the threshold, she pounced on him.
Reina’s tongue traced his neck’s vein.
One small whimper.
A heated ocean wave crashed through her.
Black Moon, Pink Russian
By Larissa (Lari B. Haven)
Haven scanned the room. It would be filled with patrons soon. She drank some courage before she worked.
“A black moon, please.”
“On the way,” the barman responded, grabbing the spirits to mix.
“I think you’re more of a gin and tonic gal, sweetie…” A warm feminine voice laughed behind her. “A black moon only fits old, boring rabbits…”
She took the drink and turned to her speaker. “I believe you are Miss Dove…”
Haven let her eyes run into the platinum blond, with a pixie cut and bird mask.
“In the flesh.” She smiled and extended her hand. “Nice to meet you, dear.”
They shook hands and Dove ordered a “Pink Russian” for herself. Which was also her codename inside the cabaret. Everyone that worked there had a beverage corresponding to their codename. So if any problem arose, we could send a signal and fix it before the patrons could notice.
Miss Dove’s work was to look for patrons that could cause harm to others, and Haven would now help her with that.
“You are his protege, aren’t you?” She grinned and took a long sip.
Dove leaned against the bar table with her glass in hand and puckered her lips. Her eyes fixed on Haven, to the point of making her uncomfortable. Her relationship with the cabaret’s owner was something he asked to keep vague. But somehow Dove saw right through it.
“Something like that.” Haven gave a shy smile. Something in Dove’s demeanor had her feeling naked. “H-he is my mentor, yes.”
“That asshole didn’t even name a drink for you, yet?” She closed her fists with a rehearsal rage and tied her arm around Haven’s. “If he thinks he can treat you like any other fool, he is wrong! Let’s fix this right now; think of a name, dear.”
Dove signaled to the barman, and he swiped the drinks from their hands as they walked to the man with the rabbit mask.
The thought of something so trivial, like naming a beverage, filled her with excitement.
Maybe Dove wasn’t that bad after all.
By Hemming Sebastian Bane
There is a fundamental truth to this world of werewolves and witches, demons and gods, haunts and haints, monsters and men: the moon means something different to all of us. To us werewolves, the moon represents the tie to Great Goddess Asena and the protection the Firstborn provide from the Ancient Evil. To men and witches, it is a tide weaver and omen giver.
But to gods, demons, haunts, haints and monsters, the moon is a foul thing. It is a barricade that would separate them from their dark master. That is why they are most active on nights when the moon is new. They wish to bring about a horrid effigy and mockery of what we werewolves hold dear. For years, they have twisted her, broken her and rebuilt her. They call her the Second Moon.
The demons sow the fear of us wolves and reap zealotry for this false god in the human heart. Those in her cult, the Silver Order, believe that her apotheosis would put them on equal grounds as us. This is false; the Second Moon’s godhood would break the seal between our world and the Ancient Evil. And with the seal broken, everything living and not would be eradicated.
Now there may be some among you that say that the ritual that bestows godhood has been long corrupted and there is nothing to fear. How foolish! Even with the ritual sundered of its complete power, the dark simulacrum of deities they form are just as frightening and powerful. Think upon the Blood Nexus and the hundreds of werewolves, thousands of humans and tens of thousands of animals drained of blood to sate it. And even now, do we not deal with unbelievably strong creatures that spawn from its slumbering body?
What is even more unsettling is the probability of the creation of werewolf-like abominations. Humans associate us with the moon, and with a false moon god, such creatures could manifest. We do not need false wolves. We must crush this ritual posthaste. I implore you, join the hunt! She cannot be allowed to live.
Clair de Lune
(Cirque du Chuchote)
The moon has many faces.
It’s why Clair chose it as her stage name.
To the Audience, she is Clair de Lune, decadent Spiritualist of the Cirque du Chuchote, Mistress of tarot and crystal. Her tent is the color of the midnight sky, and to enter is to spin your own fate.
To the Performers, she is the Seamstress, a fixer of problems, Mistress of stitches. She’s been here the longest, outside one obvious exception, and they look to her for answers. She sees the way the circus sinks into those that stay. It pushes itself through the holes in them, ties it’s knots and pulls them closed. Often performers want more than a costume patch job.
To Enmity the Magician, she’s Clair, shoulder to cry on and constant enabler. The circus is not what he expected when he joined. He wants adoration, acknowledgment, attention beyond what anyone can offer. More than that, he wants Clair to say it. If she says it, it must be true, and he wants to be better.
Better than anyone.
Better than Malice.
To Malice, she is Luna, co-conspirator and, bizarrely, friend. Malice understands the need for different faces. Grinning clown and Mistress of ceremonies, the Cirque du Chuchote’s ringmaster and servant. She is a guide to soon-to-be performers, leading them on a tour of themselves that ends always at the hall of mirrors, a true reflection and a given name.
But Clair chose her own.
Malice has long dropped the pretense of being Clair’s guide. Clair has long stopped twisting Malice to suit her needs. They’ve settled into something genial and knowing, evenly matched.
Because Malice knows, of course.
To Clair, the hall of mirrors was full of stars, an infinite field of possibilities, hers to explore if she was willing to take it.
And she was.
Some things she won’t part with. If the Cirque du Chuchote wants her true name, it’s going to have to find it. Clair sincerely wishes it luck.
The moon, after all, has many faces.
Operation Head: Zhagar Volden
Mission objective: To Destroy the Effigy Which Holds an Extra-Dimensional Rift Open
Methodology: 4 Strike teams attacking from all cardinal directions
Log, written by Operation Head, Zhagar Volden:
The four strike teams were dubbed Leviathan, Tyrant, Roc, and Conqueror. Leviathan came from the south, Tyrant came from the west, Roc came from the north, and Conqueror came from the east. The plan was a simple search and destroy mission, allowing for high flexibility among teams. Each team had a mage with them to counter the negative effects of the Daemons coming out of the portal. They were also given B-Class Mental Fortitude pills before the operation began.
The operation began when the moon had risen. Leviathan and Roc pushed in from their positions while Tyrant and Conqueror secured their part of the perimeter to ensure no one escaped. Roc came into contact with the enemy first. They quickly took out cultists putting the finishing touches on the ritual’s perimeter. It was at this moment that Leviathan’s mage began to report the influence of daemons on the squad. No other squad reported such effects.
Roc pushed through and into a circle around the portal. Roc’s mage struggled to stop the majority of influence from the daemons and cultists’ psionic and magical attacks. Leviathan team met opposition as some of the cultists ran into their position to escape the fighting. These cultists acted as walking time bombs for the daemons as they exploded out in a surprise attack against Leviathan. Tyrant and Conqueror reported no activity.
Roc pushed to the center of the area and planted explosive charges on the effigy that kept the portal open. Some of Roc’s team were succumbing to the influence of the daemons and the mage was nearly killed on multiple occasions. As operation head, I take full responsibility for detonating the charges when they were armed and for the deaths of all of Strike Team Roc.
After the effigy was destroyed, Leviathan recovered from the previous assault. Leviathan discovered that Tyrant and Conqueror had all self-terminated due to daemonic influence.
Solar Garden (Glass Spires Verse)
By all the calculations he had, he was almost to the magnetic south pole of this grimy little planet. The scavenger huffed, pulling his ragged cloak back on. Away from the massive desert around the equator, he didn’t need the face wrap half as much; but it was a comfort, the mask and goggles.
The ground here was mossy and gritty, and the air strangely still. There was one glass spire, but it had clearly been moved here instead of forming here.
He was learning to be wary of the lightning glass.
The dirt shifted underfoot, tiny claylike particles clinging to his boots as he walked through the braided stone arches. Whoever had lived here and left these ruins were master craftsmen. Pity that architecture didn’t sell. He wouldn’t be able to transport it anyways.
Hunger gnawed at his gut.
He had found an overgrown patch of root vegetables down here, but they were unfulling and gone too quick.
He glanced up, spotting five pale specks in the sky. All but one moon was visible. That—that might mean something. Those automaton were obsessed with timekeeping and celestial positions. With good reason, either magic was real or some of the planet’s people had much more advanced technology, able to generate storms on command seemingly by doodling in sand.
He reached a door, heavy carved stone like the rest of this place. A good few shoves convinced the hinges to give.
Beyond was another ritual room. Eight masks, one broken on the ground, lined the walls around a pit of dyed sand. The dye was almost green in color, with circles of light from the tiny round windows lining up with etchings in the sand. The brass tags burned red in the sun. There was also a strange tree made of twisted wire and mirrors, and he could see a moon in all but one—
He backed up very quickly. If he was right, the largest and closest moon should be rising soon, and he did not want to be in that room when whatever it was set up to do happened.
Both Moonlit and Sunlit Picnic
by Carrie (Glaceon373)
“So, this is the ‘secret little clearing’ I’ve heard so much about?” Theodora chuckled.
“Yup!” Martin grinned, pulling the low-hanging branches out of the way.
The clearing was small, but not exactly secretive. Not far behind the enclosing branches, children laughed and screamed on the park’s playground. Theodora could even distinguish their faces from here.
Martin dramatically flicked out the checkered picnic blanket and laid it on the grass. Theodora gently placed down the picnic basket she’d brought.
They both sat down and began to unpack their lunch.
“Hey, what’s in this?” Martin asked, holding up a warm thermos.
“It’s that tea you said you liked! Brewed it before coming here. I even brought mugs—oh.”
Theodora pulled two ceramic mugs from the basket, one blue and the other one green. The blue one had a long thin crack running down the side. “I forgot the blue one was cracked.”
“It should still hold liquid, right?” Martin adjusted his canvas sunhat. “Here, I’ll take it.”
“No, no, I brought the tea for you, after all.” Theodora filled both mugs, handing over the green one with a soft smile.
Martin sighed and accepted the non-cracked mug.
They nibbled on hummus and crackers in silence for a bit before Theodora asked, “So, why this place?”
Martin bounced excitedly. “It’s the perfect place to see the moonrise!”
“…It’s early afternoon?”
“Moonrise and sunrise are completely separate. That’s why you sometimes see the moon during the day. In fact,” he glanced at his watch, “a waxing gibbous will be breaking the horizon in about a minute.”
Theodora took a sip of tea, remembering the “majoring in astronomy” part of Martin’s online profile. “Where will it be rising from?”
Martin pointed between a nearby tree and the slightly further away playground, where a small chunk of horizon was clearly visible. “Right there.”
“You know what? I take back all judgments against this clearing. I see why you chose it now.”
Martin laughed. “Thanks.”
For a first date, it really wasn’t half bad.
The First Night
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)
A lyrical cacophony of rasps and clicks emerges as the world turns dark. It is mere days after the travesty that stole the soul of the world, but here there is singing and dancing, mating. The world seeking balance in billions of simple ways.
This world is robbed of its people, of their contradictions and views, their limitations and beliefs. No more their miracles, paid or giving. No more their songs and dances. No more their souls or gods.
The dogs turn feral first. They attack the young of other species. No more rats for them, unless they are truly hungry. They snarl and bray in pleasureful pain.
The guineas, so suited to being feral, turn wild first. They scream and call as cocks fan their luscious tailfeathers. They watch the moon’s ascent and think they might be alone in the world, before returning to more avian thought patterns.
Beneath them, in empty temples built for now-dead gods, huddle two figures left behind. They will be adamic and evesque in time, but now they are hurting from their sudden separation from their fellows and senses. The world makes no sense to them in this dark temple.
Him holding her, she clutching him; they sit in their darknesses. Him despondent, she blind. They are alone together, mourning different faces of the same thing. Humanity, society, family.
How absurd it is to stay when no one else does. How absurd the stoicism of the only survivors. Depression is the thing of rats left alone in a hole, existential depression the thing of souls. They longed for a single miracle each, but the age of miracles is dead. They feel naked to the nature of the world, the balance of the great experiment. The clatter of small claws and squeaks, the echoing procreation of life in the dead city; these are things that torment them in the dark. These are what keep them awake, like their drowsy olden emperors.
Then like a beam of hope, a ray of moonlight ripples across the floor. The moon still rises. He pulls her close, offering comfort.
The Wolves of Youdic
by Astrid Jones
The humans believe that when the moon turns red, it means a wolf has bitten her and made her bleed. If they make enough noise, they can scare the giant hunter off. If only it were that simple. My brethren and I know better.
When a bloodmoon rises, the creatures of Youdic may cross into the world of men. Yannigs, nains, bochánacs, and other terrible beings normally locked away seize their chance to hunt for their favorite prey. Making a racket only helps them find it that much faster.
I am one of the guardians of Youdic. My kin and I constantly patrol its edge, keeping an eye out for lost travelers who have wandered too close. Usually just the sight of us will scare them away. Sometimes we must escort the particularly dense back to the more well-traveled pathways. If they linger near the border too long, they may be dragged into the pit. There is nothing we can do for them after that.
But on nights when the moon rises red, we are less concerned with keeping humans out. Instead, we are concentrating our efforts on keeping the creatures of Youdic in. If a human is foolish enough to be wandering the forest on a bloodmoon night, he deserves whatever fate might befall him.
Of course, we are not as numerous as the residents of Youdic. Some will slip by us. It is the job of those who still have ties to the humans to hunt these creatures down and return them to the pit. They cannot be allowed to run amok in the world of men.
It is wise to stay quiet and inside on nights such as these. Wolves are near, but it is not the moon they’re after.
A Bittersweet Sight
By Constellasphere (Formerly Inky)
“Do you grow lonely during the night?”
He could hear the whispery sound of the being’s feathers shifting as Sova tilted his head to the right, giving a soft hum as he pondered the question. Yule, despite knowing it was rude and could break his concentration, couldn’t help but look at the Avian as he thought. Though his eyes were shaped like a human’s, they were that of obsidian, completely black. While they had unnerved him a bit when this being first appeared, Yule now found himself mesmerized by them.
Many of the visitors who stayed at his inn would tell him stories of monsters who’s eyes were shadowed by hate, the colour missing from the lack of a soul. But yet, this being – Sova – no one could convince Yule that he lacked what humans paraded around. His eyes may have been dark, but they shimmered alive when they conversed; twinkled brightly when night came and he was free to roam without the fear of being hunted.
In the moment, as Sova was still contemplating the best answer, his eyes were lit alight by the rising moon.
The sound of his feathers alerted Yule; he quickly removed his round glasses and pretended to clean them in a poor attempt to not be caught.
“I think I do. Having lived in the solitude of the night, I never realized just how much being on my lonesome hurt. Not until I arrived here.”
Yule gave a silent nod.
“What about you?”
His lavender eyes widened, not expecting the question to be returned. The man raised his head and put his glasses back on, the open window in front of him coming back into focus.
“When the moon rises, it’s bittersweet.” He murmured, adjusting his scarf so it was covering his flushed face. It was the chill of the winter, is what he told himself.
Sova blinked. “How so, if I may ask?”
The breeze rustling the trees seemed louder as the Avian patiently waited for a response. He didn’t realize he was holding his breath until Yule inhaled softly, having found an answer.
“Because you leave when the moon is highest.”
A Faraway Mother (Willowvine’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis
When people speak of the Moon, I hear many unusual and curious things about it.
Some are of a rational, scientific perspective. They see a shining celestial body in the sky, and think little beyond what they can see with their eyes, limited though they are. The most educated of their ilk learn to link the Moon to the tides, at most. An understandable perspective, but a simple one.
Others choose to fear it. They see it shining in the darkness, and shrink away from the light it offers, declaring it to be unholy and maddening. The ‘unholy’ part is laughably short-sighted of course, but ‘maddening’ is another story. I have felt the wild energies in the air that come with the moon at its fullest. I have heard the song it leaves in the depths of people’s minds. I have seen living bodies become twisted and overgrown upon exposure to that light. They are right to fear the Moon.
The most curious perspective of all that I hear though, is from those that assign a degree of femininity to it. These ones speak of opposition to the masculine Sun, of the cycles within their bodies that resonate with the Moon’s swelling and fading light, and of the unique and feminine magic it possesses. Even my earth-mother spoke of it in this way. Maybe they are even right. Maybe the Moon is a form of celestial mother to them, perhaps even to all life upon this world.
But the Moon is not my mother. My body is not chained to its cycles. And it is not what I look for when I gaze into the sky at the dead of night.
I look for a single star instead. Bright and high, shining emerald green. The star that only I can see, once I open all my eyes. The star that my sky-mother left for me, so that I knew I was never alone.
I look up towards it, and sing the song I have known ever since I was born. And as I sing, the Eye of Shar-Galaynna sings back.
One Wish For a Love (A Tiefling Tale)
C. M. Weller
Lord Kormwind Whitekeep IX learned he was engaged at the age of ten, in a bare sentence that described his father having made a choice “for the future of the line”. He didn’t know a thing about her. Well. He knew one thing. There was a lady out there, somewhere, who was dreaming about her groom. She had no idea she was marrying a monster.
She expected wealth and position. He could provide that. She also expected a handsome HUMAN heir. He could not provide that. He could fight to be all the things everyone said he was not; yet, he could not be anything else but a Tiefling.
He could imagine her reaction to him when they met. Seeing all of him for the first time. It was clear he was a monster, and he was starting to have nightmares filled with her screams at his truth.
What he could be was devoted to her. If there was one thing he could wish for her, it would be an ease to her slumber that he did not possess.
A wish had to have a name, so that it would find her. He didn’t have that, Earl Valiant never replied to any letter Kormwind sent. Therefore, he had to find one and hope it worked. One found in a song filled with yearning. Elisa.
The moon shone on the world. There was a goddess of love who lived in it. The moon that shone on Zemnia would shine on his bride. As the moon rose above the darkening world, he thought about all of that. He thought about the love to give his poor doomed bride when they met, and his own want to have love returned.
He took a deep breath, a preparation for the meditation that should work to replace sleep and remove dreams. He looked up to the moon, readying his wish. “Good night, my Elisa,” he whispered, even though nobody could hear him. “Wherever you are.”
Maybe it wouldn’t work. He could only hope that it helped to put his own troubled heart at ease.