Carriers of the Moon (Short Story)
  • *Hey again! Finished a new story and figured I would post it due to the good feedback on the last one. Read it!*

    My leg was twisted completely around. I sat there in the dark beneath the tree, breathing quietly and evenly, trying my best to ease the pain. My left leg stretched out like usual, but the right...my right foot was buried into the ground, toes-first. The lump of inverted kneecap grabbed at me from the turfed grass, the sight of it making me sick. I leaned to the side and threw up.

    What the hell had I been doing? I was sleeping. Then I wake up hitting the ground, my limb torn from its usual position like a turkey leg at Thanksgiving. I looked around me, trying to choke down more bile. Where was I? Nothing but dark green grass flushing from beneath me in every direction, and one big maple tree directly behind me. Had I somehow sleepwalked out into this field and climbed a tree? Does that even happen?

    The pain was chasing its tail up from the top of my spine to the tips of my toes. My clothes had little rips along the seams, as though I had began to grown out of them. I pulled my broken leg loose from the soil, then dug my fingers in, crawling to the tree so I might lean on it. It seemed like hours before I reached the tree, thudding my back into the spiked bark with some force. Then, I did what my mind had been telling me to do since I had woken up – I screamed for help. When my vocal chords were stretched to their limit, I stopped, and listened as my own scream rang back in an echo.

    I quickly felt my pockets, but there was no phone to be found. I tried to shout again, but my voice hadn't recuperated from the previous effort. I could feel a knot bobbing in my stomach, and knew the pain might make me sick again. I racked my brain, searching for an explanation to this disaster, but I got even less of an answer than when I had called for help.

    Then I saw the moon. It looked larger than usual tonight, like it was falling from the sky. It made my head hurt, which was really not conducive to feeling any better. I closed my eyes and tilted my head back into the tree. The smell of blood was unreal. Was I bleeding and just now realizing it?

    “Hey,” came a voice from behind the tree. I was startled, but my leg didn't let me show it very well. He was a tall, handsome guy with long hair pulled back in a ponytail, but his bangs were loose and hanging in his eyes. I didn't recognize him at all. “You're looking a little rough,” he said.

    “No, I'm fine,” I said sarcastically. He raised his eyebrows at me, like I was expecting him to believe me. “Who are you?” He walked a bit away, staring up at the moon, before he turned back to me.

    “Yeah, it's a good one tonight.” He took a lot of air into his lungs, smiling as he let it go. “So, how bad are you hurt?” He came closer to me, stepping back when he saw my leg. “Woof! That is rough. Okay, let me see what I can do.” He started digging through a bag strapped on his shoulder, whistling as he did so. “Okay,” he said, pulling out a roll of bandages. “Give me a second and I'll get a sturdy branch down here so we can stint you up.”

    “Wait, who are you?” I tried to force the issue, but felt like I shouldn't push my luck. He was helping me, after all. I watched as he leaped impressively high. His fingertips caught onto the jagged bark, and he scampered up quickly. I couldn't move or shift myself, so I had to watch the whole thing upside down. There was a loud crack, and he landed next to me holding a branch almost the length of my leg.

    “I don't think we're going to be able to set it. It's, uh, a lot more broken than it looks.” But he just shook his head at me.

    “Nonsense, I just need to straighten it out.” He placed both hands on my leg and I began shouting in protest, but his mind was made up. With a sickening twist, my leg was now in the correct position, but it was a clean break all the way through. He laid the stick parallel to my leg and tied them together, before slinging my arm around his neck and dragging me to my feet. I choked in pain, but he ignored it.

    “It's alright, just breathe. The first time is always difficult like that. It never goes all the way through and it's common to end up hurt.” We were moving slowly through the field.

    “What are you talking about?” I asked. “Who are you? Please just answer me.”

    I heard him snicker to himself. “Do you not recognize me? We've met before.” I looked him over, but between the pain and my confusion, I could barely even focus.

    “No, I'm sorry, I don't.” My leg was hurting less, and I figured I was going in shock and becoming numb. Though I wondered why it hadn't happened already. “Where are you taking me?”

    “I have a little camp in the woods up ahead.” His voice was slowly becoming familiar. “How's the leg?”

    “It's numb,” I said sadly. “How do you know who I am? Where have we met?” I noticed how easily he was helping me along.

    “I was at the bar the other night,” he said. I remembered almost nothing about that night. “You and I really hit it off. I played wingman, got you that chick's number.” I did wake up the next morning with a number written on my hand in sharpie. I was remembering, but the memory certainly wasn't hurrying. “Did you ever call her?” he asked.

    “No,” I laughed lightly. “I was afraid of who'd answer.” He laughed too, loudly. The laugh! I recognized that. Suddenly, he stopped.

    “Alright, let's see,” he said and he let go. I shouted in panic, but didn't fall. I looked at him, confused, and then down at my leg. It was fine. Healed.

    “What-” I was definitely in shock now, but not physically. He untied the branch and it fell to the ground. I didn't. I was standing. Perfectly fine. Not a hint of pain either. I noticed the smell again. “How is this possible?” I asked.

    “What do you remember about the other night?”

    “I don't know,” I said. Memories were forming slowly. “I remember us talking, now. And the girl. She was pretty, I think.” He laughed at that. “We left together, didn't we?” He nodded.

    “We did! Do you remember anything else?” I shook my head, no. “Ah well,” he tilted his head toward the woods. “Let's keep going.” My leg was better, I didn't need to follow him. But I liked him, and he helped me. With caution, I took a step with my fixed leg. After I tested it out, we continued walking.

    “Like I was saying, the first time is always really hard. Things don't form properly. Your body's just not used to it yet.”

    “I don't understand,” I said, puzzled. The moon was so big. It felt like I was being pulled toward it.

    “Say, what's that on your arm?” he asked casually. I examined my arm and saw the bite wound. I figured I had been bitten by a dog on the way home from the bar. It wasn't completely unlike me to do something stupid while I was drunk. Like taunt a dog. It looked a lot better now though, like it had been healing.

    We entered the woods and I immediately saw a small campsite. A small fire fought with the air, and some animal was skewered over it being cooked. It smelled delicious. Then I jolted up.

    “The alleyway. We went down an alley and...and you bit me.” I felt scared. He smiled brightly and nodded his head.

    “Ding ding, we have a winner!” He sat on one of the logs surrounding the fire. He rubbed his hands together in excitement, and then pulled the animal off the flames. With a savage motion, he tore through the meat. “I was going to cook some for you, but thought it'd be too much babying. I will help you hunt something though,” he said with a mouthful.

    “What is going on?” I asked. He held up a finger and then waved toward his mouth, signaling he was chewing. Then he pointed upward and mumbled 'moon' through his chomping. Then he swallowed with an exaggerated 'ahhh.'

    “Do you believe in monsters?” He asked with a grin. I shook my head, very confused. He stood up. “Okay, I'll show you.” He stretched, twisting his back left and then right. Then he exhaled with focus.

    He held a hand up, and surely it was a trick of the light, but his fingernails were growing. They became thick and black and very sharp. Brown fur was blooming from his skin in patches. Loud pops and cracks, and his spine was extending and curving into a question mark shape. His ankles grew until his legs were that of an animal. Teeth feel from his mouth in small groups, with long, pointed teeth replacing them. His eyes rolled upward, and then back down with different color. And then his face contorted, with a snout bursting forward from his face. The fur had filled in fully. I found myself staring at a wolf that was taller than I was, standing on two feet like a human would.

    “Ta-da,” came the man's voice from the beast. Why wasn't I running? Somehow I was feeling...comfortable with what I was seeing. The way his bones bent and popped, it was sort of familiar. What had he said? 'The first time is always difficult like that. It never goes all the way through and it's common to end up hurt.' The moon was so alluring. The smell of meat was so damn strong. Were my teeth more pointy than usual? I swear the wolf was smiling at me.

    And it howled at the moon.
  • ...... What the fuck.....
  • I honestly wasn't going to read it until I seen Chip's comment haha.

    I haven't read any books/stories in years. I'm glad I took the time to read this though. Although it was pretty obvious what was going on, I enjoyed it.
  • Awesome, I enjoyed it. Your very descriptive. :)

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