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Full moon

The forest was full of sound. I used to think it was quiet at night, but I learned it wasn’t when I moved out of the city. I thought of the dark, silent, forbidding forest, full of all the scary things that go bump in the night. I decided fairly soon after moving out of the city that I needed to deal with my fear, so a friend and I walked a fire trail into the woods, found a clearing, and just sat and listened. It isn’t as dark as I had thought. Once my eyes adjusted, I could see pretty well. We both got jumpy a few times when we heard weird noises, but we got over it. The forest at night is a very busy place.

We went out again last night. It has become a regular break for us. About once a month when the weather is nice, we’ll go sit among the trees at night and listen to the life around us. It’s a good way to calm down if the rest of life has gotten too hectic. Tonight was special; the moon was full and the whippoorwills were out.

Whippoorwills are fascinating. They lay their eggs so they will hatch before the full moon. The chicks are ready to leave the nest twenty days after hatching, so they grow fast and eat a lot. The parents use the light of the full moon as a way to get more time hunting for food for their chicks. Our timing was good; tonight was the night.

It’s loud. It’s much louder than I expected the first time we came across this. The birds’ wings are audible, and their calls, which they are named after, get almost deafening at times when so many are calling at once. We sit very still and feel the wind from their wings around our heads. It’s slightly unnerving but also incredible. We can see their silhouettes in the moonlight, darting through the night, capturing insects and taking them back to the nests.

It’s a full moon. Nothing amazing, nothing freaky, just life moving around us. Birds, insects, little creatures, all doing their thing, and we’re lucky enough to sit in the middle of it, silent, letting it all wash over us. Life is good.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Sherree gave me this prompt: Under the full moon, something happens. Is it wonderful or horrible? No cliches please!.

I gave Kurt this prompt: You lost, but you are happier than you’ve ever been before.

Midnight

He sat waiting, watching the altar at the cathedral. He knew the madman was coming soon, even if the police didn’t believe him.

“The madman is coming! The madman is coming!” He almost laughed as the refrain began going through his head. He had imagined being Paul Revere when he was a little boy, and he had loved the thought of warning everyone that the bad guys were coming. This time, he’d tried to warn everyone, but no one listened. He was alone, watching for the man who had killed at least eight people.

There was movement in the narthex, a shadow moving, becoming a tall man in dark clothes. He was carrying a cloth bag that the watcher knew held the spoils of his gruesome hobby. The watcher texted to his friend. “He’s here! Get the cops. Please.” The watcher was careful to not let the light from his phone show anywhere the murderer might be able to see. He tucked the phone away and continued his vigil.

When the murderer made it to the altar and began setting up his presentation, the watcher decided he had to act. He picked up the heavy flashlight, crept up behind the murderer, and hit him over the head. The murderer collapsed, and the work of months was finally over.

When the murderer was being taken away to the ambulance, he looked at the man who had captured him and said, “I guess I should have come earlier. You knew I always did this late at night. I should have come just as they closed. Nothing good happens after midnight.”

The watcher smiled a little. “I guess that just depends on which side you’re on. Today, something good happened after midnight.”

 
For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Michael gave me this prompt: ​”Whatever you want to do can be done before midnight…Nothing good happens after midnight.” -Vanna White.

I gave Eric Storch this prompt: The first rainfall after weeks of heat

Storytime

“…and they lived happily ever after.”

The little girl’s eyes opened.

“I thought you were asleep.” Her father smiled at her.

“Papa, it’s not the end of the story.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, they got married. Did they have babies? That’s their story, too.”

“When do you think a story ends?”

She frowned. “Maybe not until all the people who knew them die.”

“What about the people we still remember, like Mozart or Aristotle? No one is still alive who knew them, but they still have an impact on people who are alive now.”

“Their stories aren’t done yet.” She thought for a moment. “Maybe I’ll do something that means my story goes on forever.”

“Maybe so.” He kissed her forehead. “G’night, bug.”

“‘Night, papa.”

For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, Barb Black gave me this prompt: This isn’t the end of the story. and I gave Bewildered Bug this prompt: As she watched, the lizard slowly crept over his arm.