the wolf moon

I. New

They tell me I’m a new moon, but there’s nothing new about me. They say I have power, that we’re powerful, when we’re all aligned as we are in this moment. But I feel no strength in the sloping curves of my body, and there’s nothing robust about my slow pilgrimage round and round and round my brother. I simply follow him, fixated on a single point without reason or understanding. I tumble through the sky with no beginning or end.

All the while, I feel my sister watching me. She holds her breath, waiting to see if I will say something worthwhile as we traverse across these inky skies. But I cannot see her. I only feel her heat radiating towards me, imprinting on all bodies, illuminated our surfaces with soft, coppery light. She says I belong to my brother.

A brother who only looks inward, obsessed with the quiet lisping of his waters and the glittering metals hidden within his mountains. Somehow, he rests at the center of my existence, dragging me along through dusty star fields like a pouting child, clinging to his legs.

He tells me that my strength pulses into him, pulling his tides in like a fisherman, tugging his nets. But I don’t feel it, any of it. And before this, I remember nothing. I only know that I’m held against his boundaries: a new and circling moon. They tell me nothing else.

II. Waxing

As my shadow grows, I feel the stars pressing in on me. They watch from their vantage points, marking my path with fixed images that burn into my memory. My brother tells me they’ve been with me since the beginning. I keep quiet, pretending not to hear him although I’m more awake now than ever before. I’m sharper.

He turns away from me. I cling to the silence between us, but the sound still rises. Everything waxing.

III. Full

I hear their prayers as they chase after me, tirelessly rushing along the waters while their boats rise with the tide. Their pleading haunts me, but I can’t do anything about it. Instead, my body inflates with their begging. Trembling prayers of fertility and harvest and navigation fill me. I am ripe with their worship.

My sister tells me to accept this praise.

“Let it adorn you like jewelry. Let it fill you. The same way I fill the skies with light.”

But I blanch at the idea of swelling to her volume. Her heat suffocates. And my light is only borrowed.

IV. Waning

I can’t stop following-chasing-shuffling behind him. And I don’t know where we’re going, my brother and I, as we carve this path across the sky. I ask my brother about this as I trail him, unable to stop my words or body. He only tells me that we continue, as we always have, and that I won’t know him when I wake.

“You’ll have no memory.”

But I’ll be new again. An empty vessel. He tells me that my birthright is to repeat this cycle each month. I ask him what a month is.

“It’s a measurement of time.”

I ask him what time is. He sighs and looks away, as if my questions are too much. I recede into the safety of the darkness, contemplating whether this fate brings me freedom or if in the end, it only makes me a slave.

Either way, I am powerless. And in this moment of clarity, I understand that they’ve trapped me. That my body is only a husk. And now, I feel myself disappearing. My breath rises and falls. It becomes the only sound in the universe. It rises and my heart falls. I try to rise again. I only fall.

I become a new moon.

networking

Cynthia shook the computer with both hands, popping her gum while grumbling to herself in frustration.

“Damn thing, why won’t you connect to the internet?” she gripped the top of the computer so hard that the casing squeaked beneath her maniacal hold. She had spent the last thirty minutes trying to connect, but was still unsuccessful. She tried everything she could think of after following the directions to a tee: hook this doo-dad up to that thingy, connect that thingy to my what’s it called, enter in a password from the box, yada, yada, yada. But it didn’t work.

Cynthia slapped the top of the computer like she was trying to knock some sense into it.

“I should have bought the laptop, instead…” she mumbled.

Then, in a fit of complete anger, she shoved the cardboard boxes off the side of the desk in one fell swoop. Shwoosh went cisco, Fwump fell Dell. Cynthia felt in control, finally. She looked at the packaging that now lay scattered across the office floor, a sea of high-tech flotsam and jetsam.
Continue reading

rewriting the script

The first time I was arrested, I was sixteen, drunk, and propped against the back tire of someone’s truck. My head lolled from side to side and I spit up cheap Jack Daniels into the dirt beside me. I was very stupid.

When the police officer finally found me, he slung my arm over his shoulders and we stumbled towards his car together, bumbling through the yard in choppy, halting steps. I spat curse words into his face.

“Hey, fuck you!”

“Oh yeah?” He didn’t even raise his voice. He was already bored with me, just like my friends.

“Yeah, fuck you, you dirty pig.” I enunciated this last bit as slowly as I could, thinking I was very cool, very counter-culture.

The police officer sighed and ducked under my arm, letting my body slump against the passenger door of his cruiser. All that annunciation left me tired and ready to puke, which I promptly did, dribbling warm booze down my front like a child.

I wasted the next year of my life like this, repeating scenes of an amateur drama like some B-list movie star. Continue reading

into the cave

Joseph walked into the cave, squinting and blinking his eyelids as he adjusted to the darkness. A sweet, musky smell hung in the air, revealing the depth of the cave. Joseph knew he should have thought to bring a flashlight with him as he rushed out of the house that morning, but he hadn’t thought of it at the time. Now, he stumbled through the darkness, tripping on roots and rocks that littered the ground. He shivered as he pressed on, further and further into the blackness.

cave opening by Susan Rudat

cave opening by Susan Rudat

She couldn’t have gotten very far… he thought. He found her note early that morning, laying atop the kitchen counter like a breakfast pasty: folded and crisp, waiting for him. Joseph almost missed it, too, in his pre-caffeinated morning state. He held it up to the light, deciphering her messy handwriting:

Joseph,

I’m leaving for the cave without you. I need to find a way out of this mess, alone.

Becka

Joseph crumpled the note in his hand and leaned forward until his forehead rested against the cabinets. He tried to stay calm, tried to take long, deep breaths to slow his heart rate down despite his building anger.

This is bullshit. He slammed his fist into the cabinet door, splintering the wood. They were supposed to be a team. She was the one who had first suggested the partnership. Why would she attempt the capture without him?

Joseph dressed as quickly as he could while he tried to work out her reasoning.

To be continued


I promise to keep this going as soon as I can!