“Blue Moon” by Mary Beth Asaro

I can still smell the grass growing in the summer rain. The lights are out and all that is a glow is the silver moon spying on me through the blinds as I watch its light pour down on me from my bed. It's calling to me again. The sound of panting, paws scrapping against dirt, and the earth wrenching howl draws me up to the window. They are waiting for me outside the glass, beneath the blinds as though there were no blinds. I can't stay away. They won't let me. Those eyes of porcelain grey will not let me rest or even dream of sun again. "It is my fate," I tell myself. I must go forth into the unknown before it engulfs me by force. I stand there in my black silk gown until my bare feet instruct me to the back door and onto the chewed up, rain damaged, pine steps. The air with its warm breath caresses my body and arouses my gown into a little nightly dance. They are gone as far as my eyes can see. Nothing but drying grass and dripping pine woods in front of me.

The earth is silent for a brief moment. Then the crickets start their ten o'clock gathering of Blue Grass Music. Something makes me draw closer to the woods. Curiosity? May be or just a sense of proof that I am not dreaming. The sound of a lonely whippoorwill emerges from behind a pile of olive pine needles that automatically makes my bones jump and my mouth gasp until its beautiful dark wings flap away into the starry sky. I stare up at the silver moon for an answer and all it can give me is a simple white glow highlighting a narrow dirt path through the woods. What else can I do? I'm bone tired of fighting. I slowly follow down the muddy path letting the pine needles pick away at my skin. There's nothing left for me. My family is gone. She's got her wish. I am alone.

I reach the uneven clearing where the moon is shinning its brightest. They are waiting for me in a perfect circle; the wolves with her in the center. Her fiery hair stands out against the fold. The canines are protruding outward as her porcelain grey eyes laugh at me. "Come," her red lips urges. "You are my family now."

I move forward to the center entranced by her beautiful human skin wrapped in a white gown. "No longer shall you be lonely," she whispers in my ear. "I'll take care of you."

She takes me by a breast, tasting some of me, and then lets me fall down to the wet ground watching the moon glow blue while the deafening howls pierce the night air.