Two moons over, p.1
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       Two Moons Over, p.1

           Levi Shipley
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Two Moons Over
Two Moons Over

  Foreword

  Dreams are amazing, free, and usually uncontrollable. I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit as far as imagination goes. At least, when we are conscious we don’t. But in the untamed realms of our sleeping minds, imagination is reality. The limits melt away, and we are free from the boundaries we create.

  He is young, fifteen to be exact. And he neglected to cut roasting sticks for a bonfire he was hosting, a mistake that would lead him into quite an adventure. Now he must do so in the dark, and at this point he is still rather awkward. In his attempt to gather small limbs, he drops his electric lantern.

  The First Night

  One

  "I know I dropped it here." Cecil whispered in search of his lantern. It was a warm night in Appalachia. The forest creatures stirred with vigor as was routine. Yet something was out of place, askew. Cecil could feel a presence in his midst. A sentient one but not malign. He then stumbled over his lamp.

  The presence grew closer. It couldn't be a thief. They would have struck by now. He switched on the lamp and shone its light into the blackness. Then a figure stepped from the sylvan shroud, but still it was out of the reach of his light.

  Cecil was able to see a silver sheen but was unable to discern what made it. Someone was here, but he dared not come closer. A part of him wanted to see the face, but a greater part held him in place with caution. Cecil had almost broken his nerve and fled. That is when she spoke.

  “Life is never easy, is it?” A power emanated from the soft voice. A power so great that Cecil nearly lost his footing, but he remained upright and awake. He did not, however, have the strength to reply. “But there are ways to lessen the load. I’m sure you know of a few yourself,” she paused but seemed to know he wouldn’t speak “wouldn’t you like to have another way?”

  Now he was on the spot. Of this he was positive. She wanted a reply, and he better give it. The silver gleam now formed a lengthy dagger in his mind. He thought that later he might feel ashamed for fearing the soft voice of a woman, but later he found that he was justified. He replied, “I would like to lessen life’s burdens. Yes.”

  “Then would you accept our power? Will you leave your humanity to walk a different road?”

  At this point he became certain that he would be attacked, but he also knew his best defense would be to stay calm and play along. After all, this was familiar ground to him. There were no disadvantages for him, except of course not having a weapon. That was a rather great disadvantage. “I already walk a separate path. I’m not sure what you’re asking for.” He looked upward just briefly.

  She began to laugh, “I couldn’t ask you to give up your faith. No, this isn’t a matter that should concern you in such a way.” A breeze came through and bent the overhead branches. For a moment he saw her face reflected in the moonlight. Cecil saw a wolf. “Will you accept?”

  He was shaken by what he’d seen but dismissed it as his nerves acting up. “I accept.” This was the only response he thought would be safe, but he saw her lurch forward. He braced for that glint that surely was a stiletto of some sort. It did not come, but she did.

  Pain shot through his whole body as she ran her claws down his shoulder. Then the pain stopped, as his body was shocked. He saw no movement come from her. The speed was just too much for his eyes to comprehend. There was no dagger, no thief, but there was a werewolf. She released him and stepped back.

  He turned to look at his torn shoulder, but the brutal wound was but a scratch, only deep enough to draw a trace of blood to well above the surface. But that pain was something that he would not soon dismiss like the scratch. The pain was inflicted upon his soul.

  She spoke once she saw that his senses were flooding back, “Three days from now you shall become one of us, an immortal being. Forget the chains that bind you as a mortal such as sleep and food. You will no longer need them. The fear of injury shall pass, for nor fire nor sword can touch you. Or even bullet or bomb. These things harm that which is mortal, a category you will no longer fit.”

  "Ok, what about the full moon and silver?" --Cecil dropped his lantern. He fumbled a bit in retrieving it once more. He picked it up and wiped it of dirt. He switched the power back on, returning the light to pushing away darkness. "The full moon . . . ." He muttered as he stared into blank nothingness. She disappeared. "Ahh well, I better get back home before they start worrying."

  Two

  He was home, in fact morning had passed already. Cecil awoke with crust in his eyes and a headache. He'd been having rather vivid and unusual dreams of late. Quite like the one he had last night with the werewolf. As he looked back now, he could see himself scratching his shoulder on a thorn branch. Oh, how the mind can play tricks.

  "Cecil, you better get ready to go to Cathrine's house!" His mother broke the quiet arising. She had a way of doing that which no other could match.

  Cecil never enjoyed being woken up, especially in summer, or even when he was technically awake already. He managed to clear a congested throat, "Alright, Ma." He threw on a few old clothes that were lying about the floor and made his way downstairs. He was greeted by the dark gray of stone and curtained windows. Deer heads decorated the walls and cast shadows of their twisting antlers along the staircase. He passed up the living room, which reeked of an aerosol spray, and into the kitchen.

  He ate a small breakfast consisting of a single bowl of cereal and some soda. He never enjoyed breakfast foods, and he would never make Cathrine wait for him. A shower, then he'd be off. Not as simple as he would have it. He was only fifteen, meaning he needed an adult to drive him.

  After an eternity of thirty minutes, she too was ready to go. They boarded his mother's pick-up truck. Her truck seemed to sit on stilts, so Cecil jumped. He sat down and cleared his throat, spitting phlegm outside the door. His mother got in, equipped her seat belt, and started up the engine. They embarked for the valley and town.

  They arrived at Cathrine's duplex. She, her siblings, and parents resided on the base floor. A hermit Cecil only knew as Steven, lived in the second story. The building as a whole was elaborate and artistic. Well cared for flower beds in the backyard, mahogany shudders and glass sliding doors were among the most noticeable hints of wealth. It was the little things that made it unique. The engravings and gold trim on all the railing, Cuckoo clocks were nestled upon the walls, and even the dogs had automatic feeders.

  None of this mattered to Cecil. He was here for Cathrine. They'd been dating for a year, since an Independence Day party at the town hall where Cecil accidentally spilled punch on her dress. By nature he tended to be shy, and he was overcome with terror of rejection. It took a moment of courage, or perhaps stupidity, to convince him to talk to her (also a fair bit of conviction about the dress he ruined). Now he was glad that the moment came. Maybe he was too young to really feel love, but he knew in his heart that someday he would marry this girl. Just being around Cathrine gave him comfort. They were perfect for each other, and people caught that enough that they even told him so.

  He rang the doorbell which played some classical music Cecil did not recognize, very eccentric. Her father met Cecil and extended his hand, "Ahh, there you are. Come in, please." Even her father liked Cecil. He had no reason not to. Cecil had a reputation as being old fashioned. Adults loved that, but teenagers butted heads with him for it. "She's in the living room." He then vanished into the kitchen.

  Cecil sat down next to Cathrine on a large, padded couch. "I brought your favorite movie."

  "Did you?" She moved her silky brunette hair from her face and met his blue eyes with her green.

  "Yeah, I had to dig through ha
lf a ton of rubble to find it, you know.”

  She laughed, "Yeah, so?"

  "Well, if it weren't one of my favorites, I'd have more to say." He grinned and leaned back in the couch. A crime show was playing on an enormous television set.

  Some time passed, and they began watching the movie. A good evening. Cecil couldn't be happier. The movie finally ended with ten minutes before Cecil's mother would arrive. Some couples would make the most of this time especially since the entirety of her family left for ice cream in the middle of the movie, and the thought passed through his mind more than once. But he resisted, as he always did. And not because he wanted to, but because the dread of offending her kept him from trying such a route.

  Her cellphone rang. Picking it off the coffee table, she took it into the kitchen. Cecil couldn't hear but instead readied his DVD and made sure not to leave anything else behind.

  Then, as Cecil snatched his jacket, Cathrine placed a hand on his shoulder. "I have to tell you something." her voice felt empty as it crept into Cecil's eardrums.

  "Yes?" Cecil gave her a goofy smile.

  “I know what you did with Holly, you bastard.” She gave him a hard shove, “Get out of my house!”

  Cecil was frozen. She didn't say that, "Huh? You're joking, right?"

  "I don’t know

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