October 29: FULL MOON




Mary could only leave the house on a full moon.  The doctors said she had agoraphobia, but that was because they didn’t have a word for what she had.  She had always thought it rather strange—that the inside of her mind was determined by words, rather than the other way around.

The full moon made everything magic.  That was it:  she couldn’t go anywhere that wasn’t magic.  And oh, the feeling of moonlight on her bare skin!  But she knew it was for the best that she not spend more than a few minutes on each full-moon night at the window.  There was a lascivious pleasure in it that simply wasn’t decent.

The moonlight could be covered by clouds after she had seen it, and she would still feel the delight of it running along her skin, but in order to leave the house, she first had to see it.

She would bask in the rays for a few moments, turning this way and that, on tiptoe.

Then, with her eyes full of the divine light, she would shake off her skin like a rug and leave it on the bedroom floor.  Off she would go, galloping through the neighborhood, knocking on windows, climbing chimneys, trailing her fingers across car windows, leaving footprints on the rooftops, and—

She would wake in her own bed at sunrise, just as the moon set, trapped once again.

This house, she would think, every time she woke.  This terrible, terrible house.

The things that trap you, the things that keep you safe.  I don’t know–I was thinking of women horror writers like Shirley Jackson, Zenna Henderson, Joyce Carol Oates.

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