You don’t know what you are till you come under the moon. Fur and fangs? Scales and a tail? Spidery legs and spiny hair? Come under our spell.
For what you see is not reality. Open your eyes. Open your mind. Come alive.
Fear the revelation!
Children of the moon
A roar goes out in the night.
The wind carries the ferocity of it from the mountain. It washes down the layers of confused rock that the mountain consists of, down through the hardy, suffering shrubs scattered around the big foundational stones in ugly bunches, through the tall cracking grasses spread over the horizon, bent and begging, the roar makes its way to the mud burrows.
It doesn’t stop.
The roar not losing any of its wildness, sweeps over the burrows seeking out adits where it may deliver its message. It menaces through the cold night, borne by a frosty blue breeze, diving into pits and telling.
Heed the call.
And the beasts arise. A hand, then another, then another, then another, gripping the mouths of the slimy holes they make home. Intoxicated with the gases of the swamp, their yellow eyes glow like cursed orbs in the darkness from which they emerge. They draw themselves out, a horrible mass of black fur and limbs, wailing to the moon.
The night sky has been punctured by the first cry. The second one. The third. The thousandth. Innumerable cries, the same vote of devotion. It is time for prayer, the priest has called.
The children of the moon emerge from their homes as one nation. Slowly. Their glazed eyes find the mountain and their fangs are bared in supplication, their hands are lifted in anticipation, of a miracle. They worship as they meditate on the fire burning atop the mountain. A sacrifice.
The priest leads with freakish song after song and they clap their hands on and on into the night, bringing the swamp to life. They pray to the moon, that the sun would never have their night.
A prayer unnecessary.
They dance and worship, their tongues clicking with the roofs of their mouth. Some of them are lost to an ecstasy, the others watch in awe. There are others again who just watch, laughing at the madness of it all, their laughter hidden in the night, blended with the choruses.
And when the fire begins to lose its power to the great fire in the sky, they all run to hide. They all run back to the burrows, back to holes from which they climbed out and bury themselves deep inside.
Remember the communal village church. The tall tower. It holds a bell that summons all and sundry to service.
The black feathers rushed at me from the stained sky.
It was at first a pair, then three, then the whole black cloud of them, cawing a multiplied melee, which grew painful as it grew louder. Nearer. I blocked my ears and crumbled to my knees and yellow tears began to fall. Mine.
I had to block out their punishment as best as I could, but the agony was winning. It coursed through every receptor in my brain, killing my other senses and taking authority. My hands felt wet with blood pouring from my ears.
Soon most of my being was alive only to the foul smelling robe of black feathers and piercing sound needles that surrounded me. I could not take it anymore.
I gave up.
I backed out of the river, the ends of my own feathers dripping wet. I was not far in yet but I could not go in further. Not with this pain.
They glided above the water and escorted me to the bank, how they hated water! They would hurt me on dry land. I knew. I had known before I’d left my flock and tried to wash myself, only to see what being clean felt like.
The daemons tore at me baring venomous claws and fangs with a righteousness; my brothers, my sisters, my friends, my enemies, strangers.
They hurt me in indignant unison, only because I’d tried to be cleaner, to be different. I lay in the bloody mud smiling at the new white clean feathers among the ones I had never washed forever.
“Fuck the flock!”
The man maverick and the vengeful society.
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