Were

This is one for the full moon child, for the wolf in all of us that wants to run beneath the stars and howl at the moon.

 

Were. JR Manawa.

“Look at her watching. Can you feel it?” Jenny asked.

“Who?” Brian grunted, not bothering to look up from the television.

“The moon. She is watching.” Jenny said with certainty, one hand on the window pane against the eerie blue and grey night, the other twisting fingers absently through the folds of the net curtain that she had pushed aside. The pale, lidless orb, pockmarked with the wear and tear of time hovered like a ghost over the surface of the earth so near Jenny could have reached into the sky and taken it in her hands. “Always watching,” she whispered, entranced. Try as she might, she could not tear her eyes away, the moon held her gaze relentlessly.

This time Brian looked up, “You alright love?” he said rather quickly, with one raised brow. But his eyes were already wandering back to the screen. He pushed a few buttons on the controller in quick succession, before swearing under his breath and swivelling rather quickly back to the bright light of the television.

Jenny didn’t bother to answer him. “She won’t leave me alone. I knew it. Every year, every night, she gets closer.” Captivated at the window, her voice was afraid, yet enthralled, such a contradiction of tones that she seemed indifferent. The wind rustled in the trees just outside the window, their long wintery fingers tickling the sky. “I am so tired of running,” she added with a sigh.

“Sounds like a storm tonight then,” Brian said, trying to remain engaged with the game and the girl.

“Of course there is.” Jenny snapped, as the clouds shifted. Her back straightening and she turned her attention to the blob on the couch with the swath of greasy blond hair that was Brian. Gunshots rang out, loud and sharp through the surround sound. The volley of button smashing and swearing, and bang-bang, pow-pow that followed somehow dulled her anger into resignation. She knew there was no point. Instead she turned back to the window.

“Always watching and staring, following me, calling without words,” she murmured, her voice a smooth, rhythmical incantation. Her eyes wide and round, her lips red, full and parted as the heat of her breath and body smeared the window with white haze. On the other side of the glass the clouds shrouded the moon for a moment. But the moon did not move, and neither did Jenny. The moment held long and the hairs on her arms and neck prickled with anticipation.

Stop it,” she begged. More white haze on the glass.

She opened the window and leaned out, inhaling the night. The clouds moved away and the pale white light shone down again, glowing cold embers in her eyes. Everything was blue and grey, and somewhere just faintly the nose of a child’s music box broke the silence. The clouds danced, and the trees danced with them; the wind their wild partner.

Bang-bang. “Die! Die!” more explicit words followed, and a clenched fist of victory. Brian’s eyes glittered with the multi-coloured flashing lights of the square box.

Jenny gasped and then muttered an exclamation of pain, sucking in a sharp breath. Blood on her tongue. She’d bit her lip too hard.

Bowing her head for a moment she exhaled a long breath.

Brian dumped the controller down. Words of success flashed up on the screen, followed by a sigh of mingled relief and accomplishment from his mouth.

Jenny stood up and stepped back from the window sill. She turned and crossed the space between the window and the couch silently.

“You alright love?” Brian asked, sensing her behind him though he did not turn.

She leaned forward and kissed him on the back of his head and murmured, “I’m going out for a run,”

He didn’t notice, a new stage had begun.

She closed the door behind her.

Written by JR Manawa

Photos credits Siqourney Juneau
“She won’t leave me alone, she’s always watching.” (Photo credits Sigourney Juneau)
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