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Wolf and the Moon (Short Story)

Wolf and the Moon

My pen whips across the page. Black ink creates tendrils of long silver-gray hair. My pen moves across the page, creating the curves of her face, her jaw, her nose, her cheeks. Those eyes, they captivate me. Her smile screams happy, but her eyes tell me she’s hollow… numb.

I can’t get this girl’s face out of my mind. I don’t know who she is, but I’ve been seeing her in my dreams for months now. She’s always upset, a frown pulling her lips down into a gloomy expression. I’ve tried to reach out for her, but something keeps me from touching to her. The hurt so clearly displayed on her face pins her to my mind in a never-ending loop of questioning.

I want to know more about her to know if she’s real or if I can help her.

Looking down at my sketchbook, I find my drawing complete. The woman’s long silver hair whips around as if air lifts it. Her eyes stare straight up at me, silently begging for help.

“I don’t know how!” I want to scream. The anxiety claws at my stomach. I feel like I need to do something, but again, I don’t even know if she’s real. This could be my imagination soaking up the soda I constantly drink. Is she real? Is she in some kind of trouble?

Sighing, I flip through the pages of my sketchbook. There have to be at least twenty drawings of this mystery girl. Each is a little different. Some are of her sitting down. Some are standing up. There’s one that’s really close up on her face and another that is really far away. There are a few of her crying, too.

My favorite, though, is the rare portrait where she’s smiling. I’ve never seen her smile in my dreams, but I wanted to, so I constructed the image.

Setting my sketchbook on my bedside table, I flop back onto my bed. I let my eyes fall closed and slow my breathing. Lately, I’ve been trying to go to sleep sooner so that maybe I’ll have more time with her.

** ** ** ** **

“Hello?” I call into the unending darkness. A light flashes somewhere in the distance, catching my attention. It beams again, so I cover my eyes at the sudden illumination and slowly remove my hand as my eyes adjust.

Standing there, in the brilliant, shimmering light, is the girl, her lithe body silhouetted by the warm glow coming from behind her. The world around me melts away and transforms into a lush green field with a massive willow tree swaying in the wind. The sky reflects the gloomy gray of the woman’s expression as she rests against the trunk of the tree.

Her long white dress billows around her legs, a stark contrast to the vivid green of the grass, while her silvery, moonlit hair hangs in curls to her waist.

“Hey!” I call out, and the girl freezes.

“Can you hear me?” The girl shifts, lifting her head. She’s at least twenty feet away from me, so I head towards her. I walk slowly, not wanting to scare her if I, somehow, can make it to her. For all I know, this could be another dream where she’s unattainable.

Usually, there’s an invisible wall or the walkway never seems to end. This time, I actually seem to come closer. I’m about five feet away when she looks up, letting me see her bright oceanic eyes that stop me in my place for a moment before I step closer.

“Wh-who are you?” Her voice is soft and churning with worry. Her eyebrows scrunch together in confusion. “I’ve never seen you here before.”

Smiling, I lower to the grass, my heart hammering in my chest as I settle before her. I don’t get too close because she still watches me, her eyes moving up and down my frame. Who wouldn’t? To break the silence, I hold out my hand. “My name is Michael. This might sound crazy, but I’ve been here before. You’ve never been able to hear me or see me,” I tell her. She stares at my hand and bites her lip, her sad blue eyes flickering to mine.

“Really?” I nod. She reaches out and tenderly places her hand in mine. “I’m Luna.” Luna. Finally, I know her name. She continues to watch me with confused, yet curious eyes when I don’t release her hand. Jeez. Creep much, Mike?

“How did you get here?” Luna asks, glancing around. Her eyes scan the surrounding area again, as if she’s looking for something. She looks in the direction I came from and narrows her eyes. I take this time to look around as well. Everything is sky or land that stretches for miles and miles, and there’s nothing else around except this droopy tree.

“I’m pretty sure I’m dreaming,” I answer, and she peers at me again. “How did you get here?” Luna’s eyes widen, and she turns her face down, causing her hair to fall and cover her like a curtain. She says nothing.

Reaching forward, I gently tuck her hair behind her ear. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

Luna looks up through her eyelashes, and that same sadness from my drawings turns my stomach. She shakes her head. “It’s something no one can help me with,” she whispers while her body simultaneously slumps against the tree, her eyes falling closed. “I’ll never leaving here.”

“Why not? How did you get here? Are you stuck?” I fire off my questions. Anger, confusion, and desperation churn a tempest in my stomach. My hands curl into fists.

“My mother used to tell me stories of the moon,” she explains, her words pulling me in. “She told me one day I would have to take the moon’s place in the sky. She said that it would die, and when it did, I would be the one to save it,” Luna says, building more confusion in me. The moon would die? I wanted to ask how that was possible, but she continues with her explanation.

“I’ve been stuck here for a hundred and eighteen years. I stay so that the moon can live because it feeds off of my eternal energy,” she says, just as a tear escapes. The glowing drop trails down her cheek, and I reach up, catching it with a brush of my thumb. She sniffles and offers a small smile, saying, “Mother told me one day a man would visit when no one else could.”

Shaking my head, I take her hand in mine. “Why?” She smiles, slips her fingers through mine, and laces them together. “She said you would be my lifeline, my soulmate.”

Her soulmate?

What the heck? Is this some kind of joke?

I’m dreaming, that has to be it. This is all in my head, and when I wake up, nothing will have changed. She’s not real, and there’s no such thing as soulmates. This is just my brain to playing tricks on me. Maybe I should cut out sugar from my diet.

“You don’t believe me,” she murmurs, her body deflating as she squeezes my hand. I look up at her and shake my head.

“How could I? I’m supposed to be asleep right now,” I scoff. “Who’s to say I’m not dreaming all of this and making it up?” My voice rises as the panic swelling in my chest builds to an insurmountable jumble of emotions. Luna tilts her head to the side, a pained expression forming on her face.

“You don’t think I’m real?”

I shrug, let go of her hand, drop my face into my hands, and sigh. “I don’t know what’s real anymore. When I’m awake, all I can think about is you, and apparently, when I’m asleep, all I can see is you.”

Luna smiles and cups my cheeks in her palms, tenderly lifting my eyes to hers. “That’s our bond reaching through the dimensions,” she tells me. I say nothing; I just look at her. Luna is clearly the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. She consumes my mind day and night.

What if she’s telling the truth?

What if she’s real, and she’s being kept here?

“So, what am I supposed to do about this?”

Luna bites her lip, worrying it between her teeth. “I’m not sure, but you’re the only one who can travel back and forth from your world to mine,” she replies, looking more pale than a moment ago. Worry slams into my chest like a sledgehammer to concrete. “I can’t leave.”

“Why not? You can come with me,” I tell her, but she shakes her head. Defeat courses through me. I may not have chosen this, but I don’t want to leave her. Thinking about her here, alone and sad, makes my chest tighten.

“I can make it to where you can come to me forever, though.”

I raise an eyebrow, “How?”

Luna stands, not answering my question. She motions for me to stand as well, so I do. I don’t ask what she’s doing; I just wait. With a flick of her wrist, a pulse of light shoots through me like a wave, piercing and biting.

Pain stabs at my body, shoving me to my knees. I groan as my body jolts and twists, my bones cracking. I scream. Agony spikes everywhere throughout my limbs. Hair sprouts from my skin as my arms and legs change. My face lengthens, making me growl. My yells and screams no longer human; instead, howls echo through the air.

“What- did you- do?” I growl, huffing with great effort. My body snaps, and I fall to the ground. The change courses through me, and finally, the pain subsides. Everything around us fades away for a second before vivid colors seep into the flowers and trees.

I blink a few times, raising on all fours.

Looking down, I growl. My hands are no longer there; in their place, I find gray paws tipped with shiny black claws. My eyes dart around, and I see a pond not far away. Clumsily, I try to run over, stumbling over my new limbs as I go. When I finally reach the water’s edge, I peer into the clear water.

My eyes connect with the eyes of a shaggy gray wolf with ice-blue eyes.

“I made you immortal,” Luna speaks from next to me, startling me and making me look up.

“I’m a wolf now!” I yell, but it comes out in a series of huffs and growls. Luna smiles and pets my head.

“I know, but you’re immortal now. We can be together forever,” she replies. I tilt my head to the side.

“I didn’t want to leave you alone, but this is too much, too quickly!”

“Well, you can change back. I wouldn’t make you stay in this form forever.”

“How?”

“Think of your human form; you know, your hands, feet, and body; then, you’ll change back,” she instructs, stepping away from my wolf form. I do as she says and think of my body. I push thoughts of myself standing, running, dancing, drawing, and completing human tasks through my mind, and a second later, my body shifts. This time, it’s not as painful and it’s much quicker.

My bones break and then re-mend themselves into that of a human form. The fur on my body recedes into my skin, revealing my pale, freckled limbs. The snout on my face shrinks back into my normal nose while my fangs retreat to my normal human teeth.

Once I’m human again, I turn to Luna.

“I’m a wolf?”

“Yes, now, we can be together.”

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Romance, Sci Fi, Young Adult (YA)

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