It is the eve of a new moon.
The sky is dark, and all is quiet. Everybody, except for yourself, sleeps soundly. You unzip the tent, trying desperately to be as quiet as possible. Your friend mumbles drowsily in their sleep, and for a moment you freeze, wondering if you could have somehow awakened them. You know how they hate to miss their "well earned" rest, especially this early in the morning.
Your friend begins to snore, arms and legs stretched out a ridiculous angle. You can't help but grin, wishing you had a camera.
Quickly stepping out onto the grass, you shiver, the crisp chill of the morning making itself noticeable as a rush of cold air hits you square in the face.
You hop on one foot, wanting to crawl back into the warm tent. It's tempting, but you're competitive. You know, all too well, that you'll never forgive yourself if you give up too soon. But you also know you might chicken out if you stand here dawdling any longer, and your feet might freeze off in the process (something to really make them snigger), so you venture out, clutching your right hand with your left.
Before long, you find yourself lost. You know you should have asked for a map, but that would be pointless anyway as you realise you don't even have a torch. You squint into the shadows, hoping for one defining feature to mark the place out, to give you a clue where you are. You walk forward a couple of steps, only to realise the moonlight was blocked by the tree. A source of light. You're a total dummy, and you know it. The moon is especially bright today. It illuminates your surroundings, giving the area a 1940s detective film feel.
It is in that moment you notice where you are:
You are standing in a deserted field. The grass is brown with age and all life is long since gone. Suddenly, you are drawn to the centre. There kneel fraternal twins (as both have the same fair hair, porcelain skin, spidery limbs and bright grey eyes). You are surprised you hadn't noticed them before. The boy is dressed in a beige tunic and trousers, the girl in a strapless dress down to her ankles.
You find yourself walking over, despite your unease. They are silent. The girl carefully climbs to her feet, the boy beside her on his knees. “A- are you guys okay?” You hear yourself call, your throat dry. They lay their eyes on you. Suddenly, overwhelmed by many different emotions, you feel a tight feeling in your chest. It isn’t exactly painful, but enough to make you wince. You clutch your chest. You feel an odd chill run down your spine, and despite your nervousness, you can’t help but smile inwardly at the cliché.
The girl puts a finger to the air, as though testing for strong breezes. Her hand is webbed like a fish. She then places the finger in her mouth thoughtfully, as though tasting your surprise. Despite your fear, you edge forward a little closer. “Let me help, please.” The noise barely makes it past your lips, though you know they’ve heard. The girl laughs a wavering laugh, like running water. She gives her brother her finger to taste and he sucks on it greedily. Your eyes widen. “Please,” you repeat. She doesn’t respond, turning to look at you once again. It is in this moment, under the moonlight, you truly see her eyes. They are completely clear, like silvery marbles.
You start to quiver, backing away. The girl takes a ragged breath, revealing an uneven row of sharp, white teeth. Her smile widens unnaturally, almost reaching her cheekbones. You cry aloud, heart thumping erratically at the sight before you, as you watch her take a step towards you. You stumble and trip, landing flat on your back. Pressing your eyes shut, you hear them walk closer. You crawl into a little ball, praying for them to go away.
Suddenly, she is beside you. Leaning down, you hear her hiss. "Do you see the moon tonight? It shines brighter than ever before."
“What are you?!” you scream.
“We are you,” another voice replies, and you realise it must be the boy. “We are what is left of you.”
You shake your head violently, placing your hands over your ears. “Go away!” you hear yourself cry. The girl places a finger to your lips. Her skin is ice cold, and smoother than fish scales.
The boy is suddenly beside you, his hand surprisingly strong on your chest, keeping you rooted in place. The girl hums softly under her breath as you struggle wildly, and despite your panic, you recognize it, though you have no idea where from. After a minute, you feel your body weaken, your eyelids flickering. “Please, stop,” you murmur weakly.
"The moon halts for no one," is the swift reply.
You watch her close her eyes. "Not even for you." Your breath is drawn away, your sight is blurred, and everything begins to grow foggy. You are still technically conscious, but you cannot move, you cannot breath. All you have are your aching thoughts. You watch the boy and girl walk away with numbed senses, an animalistic scream blows with the winds.
The shining moon is bright tonight,
So do not stray away,
For if you do not heed my word,
You shall hear them say:
"Do you see the moon tonight?"
It gives me quite a horrid fright
Despite a word that might be trite
To think about it late at night.
The everlasting moon.