Hey everyone, I’m sorry, but I need to be super quick with this, so there’s not going to be any cute introductions to my next short story. That’s because i’m running late and got to get this in before I leave to a specific place (cryptic, I know). The only thing i’ll say is that I actually got to make use of my old course textbooks again for this one. Yay! Also, I apologize for this one. Not sure if i’m ending it like how I want it to end, but like I said, I’m on an unexpected deadline.
Prompt: Write a story that features a full moon and its effects on characters in the story.
Word Limit: 1,300
Lunacy. It was written in big bold white letters across the black board. The woman dressed in blue finished with a flourish and placed the chalk back on the ledge. She turned to face her class of over fifty young adults, and wondered how many attentive minds she could capture. She had succeeded at least once, and Leila sat in the middle of the room, Lunacy written in black ink on the top of her page.
Normally she tended to drift off during these classes. It was too early, at 8:30am, to try and understand medieval philosophy. She had aimed for a bird course; something easy to fill up her last elective credit before graduation. Unfortunately she underestimated. Medieval philosophy was mind fucking her. But for a psyche student, today’s topic seemed interesting. Maybe she’d actually be able to understand what her professor would talk about today.
“Lunacy? Like, insanity?” Her classmate whispered to her. Leila glanced over at him, took one look at his red eyes and sleepy countenance and giggled.
“And where did you end up going last night?”
“Uh you know…out.” Leila turned her attention back to their professor and suppressed a sigh. He was being weird again. Once a month, and only once a month, Justin closed off from her. Normally he delighted in telling her his antics, but this was the third month in a row, and each time it had been the night of a full moon.
“Hey Justin?” He moaned a reply, his head in his hands. His curly locks were wilder than usual today. She resisted the urge to touch a particular lock that curled cutely around his ear. Leila blushed when he peeked at her through his fingers. “N…nevermind.”
“The concept of lunacy falls right into earlier discussions of the Medieval cosmology…”
“What earlier discussions?” Justin teased. The two of them were terrible in this class. Their notes consisted of hang-men and tic-tac-toe normally, but this time, Leila was actually interested.
“Justin, hold on, I actually want to pay attention to this class.”
“Whatever. I’m swiping your notes later then.”
“…Although modern understanding of lunacy, or rather, insanity, classifies it as a mental disease, or a chemical imbalance of the brain. It is something that can be explained by analyzing the biology of the human body.” Professor got up from her chair and acknowledged the classroom. Leila stiffened when their eyes met for the briefest moment. Justin slid in his seat and cradled his head in his arms; his notebook lay unopened, partially hanging off the table.
“But during this era: lunacy, madness, ‘wandering of the wits,’ was caused by exterior influence: it was caused by the moon.”
Leila felt a slight pressure on her arm; it caused her to pen to shake and blur her word. She looked over at Justin as he slid his open cell phone under her gaze: ‘Drinks after?’
“So that was a load of bull!”
“I don’t know, I actually thought it was pretty fascinating…” Leila countered softly, looking down into her amber coloured drink. The lighting was soft and red in the pub, her blush was easily disguised. This was the first time the two of them had hung out outside of the classroom and she wasn’t quite sure how to act. She couldn’t look him in the eye. Now, they weren’t classmates, they were a boy and girl…out together…like a date.
“Well, with you being a psyche major, I guess I can get that.” Justin lifted his mug of beer and swigged his head back. She could she his slight Adam’s apple move up and down as he swallowed. He finished with a satisfied burp and she giggled. Leila turned her cup around in her hand, enjoying the sounds the glass made against the wooden table. She felt a warmth slowly make its way down her throat and into her chest and wasn’t sure if it was from the alcohol, or from the boy sitting across from her.
“It’s a little more than that though… I mean, don’t you think it’s cool that these people had such a need to explain everything? Even though they didn’t have the scientific means,” she looked up now, her conviction giving her courage to stare him in the eye. He looked back lazily, but he was smiling, and that encouraged her. “They still needed answers. I think we can all relate to that…especially me.”
“Oh really?” He leaned in over the table, and propped his head up against his hand. “And what sort of answers are you looking for?”
“How do you see me?” The words were on the tip of her tongue, “would you like me as more than a classmate?” but she felt so childish for thinking this way. Here she was, a twenty-one year old undergraduate, and she had less experience with men then a sixteen year old.
“Um, well. There is one thing I’m interested in knowing about you,” she began quietly then quickly took a big gulp of her amber ale. “Will you answer my question?”
“Depends,” he said with a smirk.
“It depends if you give me a copy of all your notes for our class.” He titled his head and widened his eyes playfully. Leila could feel her blush spreading as she pushed back thoughts of just how cute she thought he looked, and how she so badly wanted to kiss his pouting lips. She laughed instead and gently pushed his head to disrupt his balance.
“Alright you’ve got yourself a deal,” she stuck out her hand and he eagerly shook it.
“So…um…that question,” she began to fiddle with the edge of the paper beer coaster, “what actually happens to you on the night of the full moon? And don’t you dare say ‘not much!’”
“Oh.” Justin visibly changed his personality. He shrank back away from the table, and scratched the back of his head, looking uncomfortably at their leftover nacho crumbs and salsa globs left on the table.
“A deals a deal.” She reminded him softly.
“Promise me you won’t judge me.” He looked her straight in the eye. Leila felt a current jump through her. His electric blue eyes sparkled with intensity; his face was devoid of all emotion.
“When it’s a full moon, something happens to me Leila. Something I just can’t explain. Maybe what we learned today in class really isn’t bullshit…maybe that is the best explanation for it…”
“For what?” She breathed. Anxiety almost robbed her of her voice and she could feel her body unconsciously drawing closer to him. All sound seemed to fade or stop completely from the room as she focused on his face, and his eyes, and his lips…
“I’m a serial killer…you know… like that show, Dexter?”