Hero’s Moon

“red moon during nighttime” by Nick Owuor (astro_nic) on Unsplash

From planet Holm’s surface, the moon appears as a pale disc flattened against a darkened sky. A star’s mirror, a hazy halo of illumination surrounds the moon. Black pinpricks thread through it in a weave of craters.

The Holmians cherish this moon; when it reveals itself in full glory, it is a good omen. A popular saying goes: “Fortune rises with the full moon.” Holmians call it Hero’s Moon.

On the surface of Hero’s Moon, one uncovers the truth of its shape. It’s not as smooth as it appears but is lumpy with rounded curves. Its off-white color remains the same; bone tinged with grime and stardust. The craters are eye sockets and nose holes and the eternal space formed when the lower half of a jaw is removed.

The Hero’s Moon is comprised of millions of skulls affixed to each other in a jigsaw bound together by adhesive, cables and gravity. The skulls are remnants of invading forces who sought to conquer Holm over three thousand years. Each time, the Holmians successfully repelled imperial attempts to absorb their resources and culture. They sing songs of heroic feats of valor, unity and self-sacrifice.

The Hero’s Moon orbits around Holm like a medal of honor presented to the inhabitants thrice a year until the end of time.

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