Moon Girl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Written on a contemplative october after reading poe under a full orange moon.

Submitted: August 31, 2013

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Submitted: August 31, 2013

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With the slam of a door and a heavy footstep down each brick step, an "I've got to lose some weight,"  resolution echoed into late January day under each breath. She jogged past regular lines of dimly glowing rectangles, little clicks of lit cigarettes, and plates placed too firmly on the table that whispered behind right angled intervals. Downbeats of rushing metal ruffled her hair and blinded her for a half seconds where she could hear the regular pounding of her own footsteps. Each car charged past in a crescendo was run past in measured breaths.Woosh, thump, thump. Woosh, thump thump. "It's going to get dark soon." She mused, but the thought was pushed aside in the late January dim by bright upcoming headlights. Her feet pounded the earth, secular musings pounded away into the dim of the night, by the instinctive turning away from the car.This mile was always the worst. The flow of traffic running by to get to their own homes graduated from routine 9-5 shift rush hour to game day drunk and frantic to drive as fast as possible without getting a speeding ticket. She hugged the ditch where shadows hid the tree branches. They had been pushed in carelessly for the convenience of cars rushing by too fast to manage them properly so they wouldn't get tangled up under the tires and no one would have an accident; always reaching out like fingers to tangle in her shoelaces and trip her up. The girl turned on her daily route, past the corner, footsteps guiding her without conscience.  The night grew dimmer and dimmer. An orange moon was rising, huge, dissolving the twilight. The girl turned the street corner out of her neighbourhood. As always, she ran to the cemetery. The feet pounded on the fine white line, illuminated now only by the occasional spears of headlights rushing in and out of the edge of her vision, and the rising orange moon. The blue lively twilight sky had been bleached pale yellow, punctuated by black silhouettes of tree arms hugging the cemetery and the orange moon that filled the girls' pupils. It brought her alive, drawing her towards the cemetery, and away from day thoughts that came and went with the sun, like deadlines that rose every morning and goals that set at night. Cars now only shivered past, ephemeral beyond the old oaks that guarded the cemetery quiet. The break point in the girl's run, she stretched, her arms silhouettes in the night in front of a moon that shivered, spellbound in January. A spotlight highlighted a grey head.
The girl kneeled down, as routine, on a grave unmarked, and kissed it. Another blessing for one without memory.The thoughts of losing weight and things to do and deadlines to meet now dead, buried whence she stepped foot in the graveyard. The orange moon rose more, gracing the tree branches, illuminating the quiet turning point. The girl did not feel cold touching her skin nor the wind off the cars on the highway ruffling her hair when she turned back. Her run nearly over, only a little ways from home now. A cemetery receded behind her, every grey head in its rank lifting up to watch the moon rise, all the black fingers scraping up, vainly attempting to reach for the cars rushing by.
A dog barked, punctuating each footstep up the drive, a cacophony to the man's ears, where he sat in in his too quiet home. The man shivered, the January night air was dark, and it was cold. It was the hour to wait for her to get home, like a silent vigil. He stepped outside, the dog barking as he reached for the door. "Alright, alright, you can go." The dog pulled furiously on its leash, scraping the black asphalt vigorously, trying to run as the man snapped back with a firm tug "No girl, no, stay-" A car zoomed by "No girl, stay, stay away from the car." The girls feet ran up the hill where she could see her father. She carried herself up to him, in the black night, "Come see the moon" she huffed breathlessly. The dog tugged forward, following the pounding footsteps in the night. The girl ran up to the corner, where the moon held her captivated in its orange grasp. "Come on!" She shouted into the night air. "Come see the moon, it's huge!" The man shivered as he walked forward with the dog, which still pulled on its leash. He stood still on the corner, blinking as each car passed, his hand wincing gently each time on the leash. "No girl, don't go towards the cars." He gazed at black night, which complemented the cold January air now still and dead without a car in sight. The man's gaze flickered dimly to where the moon should have been. But the night was cloudy and dark, as dead as the cemetery which he could just see down the road. The man resigned and pulled the dog back in the direction towards the house"Come on girl, I guess there's no moon tonight." 


© Copyright 2019 Anne Miller. All rights reserved.

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