Week 11: Moon Sickness (Prompt: A story set during the full moon)

The moon on Dhaegar rose once every one hundred and seventy days, and every time it did, it left chaos in its wake.

The science people used words like “elliptical,” “irregular orbit,” and “large gravitational influence,” but it was a long time before I understood them, and even when I did, it didn’t make a difference, because moonrise on Dhaegar was terrifying.

We could feel it coming for days before hand, a kind of tugging in your heart, a rumbling in the earth. It would get worse and worse, pressure building in the head, the thundering of blood moving to a beat not quite yours, until the whole world would begin to shake and the great moon would labor over the horizon, so close you knew this time it would fall and destroy everything.

The world would shiver and shake and try to tear itself apart as the great ball rolled across the sky, an excruciating few hours, before it would vanish again and the pull would slowly lessen.

There was no way to fight it, no way to protect yourself. The pain in the head was enough to send most people insane, and those hours were full of wailing, shouting, destruction as people sought to distract themselves. Sometimes it took days before people were able to live normally again, picking up the pieces they had destroyed.

We left as refugees to the Marble Planet when I was still a child, and to this day, I remember how afraid I was to know that the moon rose only every twenty eight days. How could such a place be a sanctuary? I begged and begged not to go, but it wasn’t my decision.

The first full moon on the Marble Planet, we watched together. We held our breath as the tiny little silver ball pulled its way from the horizon. Our blood was tingling, but not throbbing, and suddenly we were laughing and crying in relief.

Our new neighbors never quite understood, and neither did my new family, why every full moon, I looked up at the sky and began to laugh.

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