Here’s my piece for the July Writing Challenge – Moonstruck…
“Gather, children,” the old one said. “I shall tell you how Moon King learned to dance.
“Long ago, there was only all-light when Moon King brooded in the sky. And all-dark when he walked the earth, searching for something to fill the great emptiness inside him. He looked but did not see, for he looked only into that emptiness….”
The girl stood at cliff’s edge. Arms outstretched. Looking down.
The sea beckoned her. Crashing against the rocks. Hungry for her blood.
She drew one last breath.
A faint crackle sounded behind her.
A figure stepped from the shadow of the trees. A man. Hair dark as the night sky. Pale, silver skin.
The girl’s heart began to pound.
The man looked towards her. Eyes like stars.
She could not hold his gaze.
He turned. Vanished in the darkness of the wood.
The girl ran after him. Could not find him. Nor any sign of his passing.
As if he had never been.
But the girl knew who she had seen.
He had come to stop her from taking her life. To mark her as his own.
She told the others but they did not believe.
They turned from her. Whispered when she passed.
Dishonored her office but too weak to offer her life in sacrifice as she should.
The girl did not listen to whispers. Every night, she perfumed herself with rare oils. Dressed in her finest gown. And went to the cliff beside the sea.
In moonlight and moondark, she waited.
The seasons turned.
He did not come.
The others watched her comings and goings. Whispered.
Still she does not throw herself into the sea.
The whore will bring disaster on us all.
They watched her. Watched as she bathed and perfumed herself. As she dressed in her finest gown.
They followed her in the moondark.
They caught her by the cliff. Herded her to the edge. Reached to push her into the sea.
A crackle sounded behind them.
All turned to look.
A figure stepped from the shadows. A man with night-dark hair. Silver skin. Eyes like stars.
“You came for me,” the girl said.
Moon King began to turn away.
“No! I danced for you.” The girl shifted. Swayed.
Moon King breathed in the girl’s dance. He reached for her hand.
His fingers brushed salty air.
The girl fell away from him as the cliff’s edge crumbled. She fell back. Arms outstretched. Into the hungry sea.
Moon King searched the depths of the sea. Walked the earth until it cried out from the long moondark.
But he did not find his dancing maiden.
At last he returned to the sky. And began to dance.
So she could see he waited for her.
“And he dances for her still,” the old one said, “dancing from all-light to all-dark and back. Waiting for the maiden who danced for him.”
Why do you love the Moon?
There’s still a little time to join my flash fiction challenge for July. Tomorrow, I’ll post the wrap up to July’s challenge and the prompt for August’s challenge. You have until then to fire up the flash fiction magic!
Here‘s an interesting article that convinced me to write “the Moon” instead of “the moon.”
Pre-dawn Wonder by Paul Balfe, on Flickr | CC BY 2.0
Moon by Andre Roberto Doreto Santos, on Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
22 thoughts on “Moon Dance (a 500-word story)”
Wow! What a great piece. I was so disappointed she fell. You did a great job getting me to care for the character in such a short time. That’s why I can’t write shorts like this. Well done!
How do you do this! I don’t think I could create such emotions and wonderful images in only 500 words!
I seriously love your writing! Great story!
I know I couldn’t create such a connection in 500 words! Great job, Sonia. You pulled me in and I love the short one-liner way of writing. It keeps my attention.
Why DO we all like the moon so much? I think it’s because it is something so alien from the earth yet we get to see it every single day. So close, yet so far away and 99% of us will never be able to visit.
That was beautiful. I was so sad when she fell, but most legends are tragic that way. I love the moon too, though I don’t really know why. I think I love the mystical feel of the stillness of night illuminated by silver, the softness of its light yet the hint of danger in the remaining blackness. Anyway…great piece. 🙂
Sweet story, Sonia! I love the moon because it makes me consider how much there is above the petty trappings of Earth. I always wonder what it would be like to live there, looking down on the Earth from the silence of space, what one would think of what they saw, how one would judge those below them. I do not think it would be favorable.
Love the moon on the water pic btw 🙂
Quite mysterious and poetic . . and I wonder about the would-be lynch mob.
I love the Moon because it is peaceful and serene. It doesn’t glare like the Sun. I love the Sun too, but the Moon is gentle and kind.
And my story will be ready early tomorrow morning EST, I almost forgot! 🙂
I love the moon because of its changing personality and how it reminds us there are things greater than us, beyond our understanding.
Thanks for your story–very much like a Native American legend.
Great story Sonia!
Your story drew me right in. Beautiful voice. I wasn’t expecting the ending at all. Wow! Nicely done. Flash fiction is challenging.
That was beautiful. I loved the story. It sounds like an old Indian legend.
The moon, in my mind has long white hair. His bangs tide to the back of his head. Eyes deep black as night. Skin pale and cold needing the warmth of a human soul. He is dressed in a long black coat. His eye brows and his smile make you sad as you feel his loneliness.
I love him because he is feared, but he means no harm and only seeks a suitable companion, but unable to find one.
This is an incredibly evocative tale beautifuly told. You continue to astound me with your writing talent. Truly inspirational and always such a pleasure to read.
You have a touch of La Luna in your writing. Beautifully done.
Thank you all so much! You all put such a huge smile on my face with your great comments!
@Stacy: I always recommend writers who don’t think they can do flash fiction give it a try anyway. I sometimes have to do a lot of edits and rewrites to get the word count under the limit, but it’s such a thrill when it all comes together. Plus, there’s kind of an instant gratification factor…it’s much faster to write flash fic than a novel. 😀
@Alica: Seriously, I edit…a lot. I’ll usually start out with a scene and go from there. The stories almost always take a big turn on me (for example, I originally meant for Moon King and Dancing Maiden to be together, dancing in the sky but… :D). Once I’ve got something resembling a story, I start cutting brutally.
@Jennie: Awww. Thanks. 😀
@Patricia: I was experimenting a little with the shorter paragraphs. I worried I might’ve overdone the brevity a little. Glad it worked though. It is so amazing to think of the Moon out there in space. Sometimes it almost looks like you could touch it.
@Angela: I honestly meant for them to be together at the end of the story but the muse took over. I agree about the Moon having a mystical quality. It’s certainly inspired us for thousands of years.
@Gene: I often look up at the Moon and wonder what it would be like to be up there and watch an Earth-rise. Have you ever read Italo Calvino’s Distance to the Moon? So good!
@CM: Oooh! Goody! Looking forward to your story.
@Jolyse: I love the way the Moon changes too. Reminds me of all the cycles of nature.
@Scott: Thank you!
@Lynn: The ending surprised me too. I thought I knew how it was going to go until I got there. 😀
@Orlando: Oooh! I love your image of the Moon. Intriguing.
@Scribbla: Thank you! But you’re going to give me one of those swelled heads. 😀
@Selena: I’ve always felt so drawn to the Moon. I love the way it shines so brightly and how it’s ever changing. Thank you.
Oh! This is beautiful. It’s really BEAUTIFUL. The story is very simple yet it captures the reader’s attention easily. I cannot even stop reading this! I love this story.
And I love the MOON!
And your picture of the moon. It’s like the moon kissing the water! So beautiful. 🙂
@Pink: Thank you! I love the Moon and water pic too. I found it on Flickr and had a great big “squee” moment. 😀 That’s a great description of the pic, by the way “moon kissing the water.” Perfect!
Sonia, I absolutely love this – poignant, beautiful, and evocative. The moon has long been a fascination of mine. When I was in middle school I dubbed myself the ‘celestial goddess’ and called my bedroom ‘celestial haven’ (so hilarious), and around the same time I fell in love with Sarah Brightman’s “La Luna” album, which was filled with songs about the moon.
I’ve never written flash fiction before, but I may take up your August challenge!
Why do you love the Moon?
For me, I view the Moon and Oceans as part of a endless void, but not a void of emptiness but rather a void fulled with possibilities. Where the oceans end the sky’s begin. When the sky ends, outer space begins. This is imagination. This is the ‘Moon Dance’, well at least for myself. A beautiful story.