By Larissa Morshed
Posted on June 1, 2023
Cover Image Title: Nestling under Moonlight
Cover Image by: Mirai Matsui
Classification: Photomontage created from Adobe Stock Images
Specifications: Digital, 1920 x 1080
“Goodnight,” Mummy whispered, as the click of the light switch echoed in the midnight’s silence. I listened and counted her retreating steps, the faint groan of the bedroom door, and the muted sound of the door lock sliding into place. I craned my head to the left and let my gaze peruse up the mud walls of the hut, out beyond the window. I got out from under the thick quilt, warm from my own body, despite the grunts of protest deep within my marrow. The shack shivered as my foot tapped the cold clay floor beneath my sleeping mat.
I had an unobstructed, complete view of the outside now. The full moon seduced the whole village and created the most enrapturing aura. Something came to mind right then. A quote. It went:
“When the sun shines you cannot see the moon. But when the sun is gone—ah, when the sun is gone.”
I treaded like a marionette to the naked window. In an instant, my body propelled itself through the narrow rectangular passage, launching me into the embrace of the outside world. As my bare feet made contact with the grass, an involuntary gasp escaped my lips, followed by a faint whimper. Yet, propelled by an unseen force, my legs continued onward, guided by the tickling sensation of dew-drenched blades beneath my feet.
My senses came alive, as if before then, I had lived my whole life in a semi-comatose state. My lungs expanded, taking in every last drop of the sweet floral perfume that licked the air. I watched as I floated like pollen in the air, towards the forest at the edge of the village.
How ridiculously foolish this is, I thought.
How ridiculously dangerous this is, my thoughts warned.
How deliciously dangerous this is, the angel and the devil on my shoulder said in unison.
The distant blurry rack of trees became sharper until I was within them.
Before my mind could determine where I was going, my heart knew. I found myself sitting on the shaggy soil, by the pond that seemed to hold molten silver as the moonlight bounced blindingly off of it. The air hung heavy with the scent of damp soil, but the effect was muted by the chill which crystalised the fragrance in the air.
Only then was I conscious of the goosebumps that beaded my exposed arms. I curled myself up into an embryonic ball. My eyes scoured the night landscape, which was silent save for the hum of nocturnal insects. Between the ashy colour of the dimly illuminated trees and the brilliant glowing pond, there was a striking contrast. As the moonlight wrapped around me, I looked up to see the very same contrast between the radiant speckles of stars and the pitch-black sky. I had a queer instinct to taste the moon beam. As I stuck out my tongue I tasted distant dreams, melodious hymns, and the ethereal flavour of heaven.
By the light of the moon, I was complete.
[ * The End * ]
[Writing Editor: Paul Shannon]