Cursed XV~

[15] — Blue Moon Rising

In high school my friends and I met at a dilapidated, liquor store, which lied tucked between stateliness. The owner was an elderly woman, whom we were certain made moonshine in the shed behind her shop, but it was more or less a subject of interest or laughter. We’d grab the rack and drive back to Clearwater.

The playground of our old Elementary School transformed into a refuge for us, degenerates. After a few beers were forcefully thrown down, we’d come up with a game, some variation of the Olympics, only with drinking and an occasional sprint to a trashcan.

If we were lucky the cops wouldn’t show up; we’d finish the night climbing on top of the roof and crushing the rest of the cheap beer; otherwise, it was a dead sprint through the forest back to Sam’s house. The lights were always a dead giveaway. No one drove down the road unless they were cops or school administrators. They didn’t have cameras then. It had only been a few years, yet I no longer felt the spur of those midnight charades that came with adolescence. Pressure guided growth.

My growth was unexpected and dramatic, but she had done the best she could. Arrogance was her downfall, believing that every piece and parcel of life would fall into our hands as easily as everything else had. Privilege, wealth, and love had not completed me; they stayed my hand, which saved my life.

I felt guilty to have so much, and to have squandered it all, through my mind’s stubborn sadness. My family never struggled for food or the basic comforts, which Kings would have never gazed upon, in their luxurious existences. I was intelligent; I was kind—I thought—I was loved, yet misery wove itself through the fabric of my heart all-the-same. I was weak. If I had not the money for therapy; then, I would be dead. If I knew I did not have the love of my parents; then, I would be dead. I did not have enough love for myself, nor spite for the world to keep me alive.

I accepted my feelings for what that were, a gentle melancholy. Winter was harsh, cold, and sorrowfully peaceful. Pain had never brought me strength; I felt weaker now, than I ever had before. Pain brought beauty, though. A thousand, rippling shades of blue adorned my soul like flashing scales of a mermaid’s tail. The scars brought a pain to one, who never knew suffering.

If I get through this, I’ll make sure no one suffers alone. I thought, misguided in reality, but a kind sentiment. The world was too set against us, there was nothing I could do.

Stella and Alice helped, and it was only you. I wondered if my pain was not for me, but for another, who walks the same path, only further behind. We all end at the same destination, yet some paths are more treacherous than others. Some were purposely impeded, and others were slain for walking the road for the lesser and unworthy.


I saw the roof of the school flicker past as we crept through the last bit of incline before the town broke ahead. I doubt, I would ever find myself, on that vantage point again.

“I still don’t like the idea of seeing that lady.” I said breaking the silence, “She’s creepy.”

“Because a hobo told you so. I’m still on team cult.” Jason replied as he turned on the road.

“They aren’t hobos.” I retorted from the back.

“Could be the government.” Claire replied.

“Why would any of those people care about me?” I asked.

“Sacrifice.” Jason said.

“Taxes.” Claire said.

As we drove, across the Cedar River Bridge, it was clear the Autumn Festival was in full swing. Hundreds of carnival lights flickered along the bank of the Weirwood Peninsula. In the middle was a large, rickety Ferris wheel they hauled out for the past decade. The day was slightly cool as the wind lazily blew the scent of nutmeg and pine across the valley.

The summer was officially over, which I did not mind at all. A year ago, I had refused to venture outside my doors for fear of the heat finally vanquishing me. Granted, a year ago I refused to let anyone see the brutality of the marks on my arm, so sweatshirts were the way to go. Fall’s cooler climate had always made me feel cozy and snug.

Tonight, I felt neither cozy, nor snug.


With a lurch and the sound of gravel churning beneath the tires we made our way through the coned off entrance to the festival. The parking lot was the high schools soccer field. The future was always hopeless for us. If my sorrow did not take me; then, the environment would, or a slow suffocation upon microplastics. The final bloody-belch of the old regime was a gratuitous sendoff, politely spending their earnings, and dipping out before the chaos erupted. Why would we not be rowdy, or reckless, or dumb? The less we thought; the less we felt.

A lot of cars were there; however, there was no sight of Sam or his truck. I looked anxiously around us as I exited the car. Every instinct in my body told me to run. The fear had begun to inch its way nearer. I naturally patted my pocket in search for the drug. Disappointed, I pressed on with shaky nerves. I turned toward the festival and each person ahead.

Jason and Claire joined me and we made the trek across the grassy parking lot. The smell of cow shit, carnival food and gasoline wafted through the air.


We entered the festival, but it was a maze of different attractions and carnival rides. Vendors rolled carts of popcorn and cotton candy, while teenagers dressed as scarecrows walked around giving kids light up necklaces.

“Should we split up?” Jason asked.

“Fuck no.” Claire said, “I don’t like my odds of last girl with Alex here.”

“We should stick together.” I did not wish to confront Keira alone.

“Ok. It’s probably by the kid stuff. We’ll go over to the petting zoo.”

Claire and I followed Jason as he led us through the fog. The sight of the Ferris wheel loomed ahead of us. Night had sprung upon us silently. Only the last remnants of light were cast on the horizon obscured by Savage.

We walked toward the petting zoo. A haze rolled around me once more. “Is that her?” Jason asked.

“That’s just a witch costume.” It was difficult to tell. People were dressed for Halloween two weeks beforehand.

We each looked around, but could not see anything. That was when I spotted a neon light barely lit near the docks. It read, fortunes.

“Found it.” I said leading us to the tent. It was dark purple with golden tassels spanning the bottom. The runic symbol was embroidered across the fabric in a deep shade of crimson; the eye watched me as I tossed the flaps of her tent aside.


“Is it my beauty that brings you back, Little Bird?” The fortune teller asked, “Or is it just the sound of my sweet voice? It certainly is not my advice. You pay no attention to that.”

A bumble-bee, the middle of getting their fortune read, turned to us; then, back at Keira; then, without a buzz, hopped off the oversized-stool, returning to the festival. Her crystal ball sat in the center of her reading-table. The dagger lied beside it, shimmering with the sinister candlelight.

“Your advice?” I repeated, “All you did was tell me, I’m a liar.”

“Yet, you persist.” Her lips were stained purple. Tucked amongst a shelf of hand-made jewelry for sale, was an ornate pitcher, which shone the color of Euphoria. My soul voiced her woes through a yearnful shiver.

“Where did you get that?” I asked.

“You ask as if you had any right to it from the beginning.”

“As far as the government’s concerned we are both trespassers; except, one of us is a twenty, and the other one is a creepy, fortune teller.” I said.

“We’re all freaks in the eyes of the government, sister.” She giggled, “Some of us just know how to play the game.”

“You mean betray the people, who are struggling just as you did?” I asked bitterly.

“What allegiance do I owe to anyone, other than myself?” Keira asked, while she took another glass from the floor and the pitcher from the table. My eyes gazed hungrily at the drug, which I had gone so long without.

“It’s not about taking care of yourself, but whatever you and Allen gain, will be from the blood of others.”

“Everything comes at that cost. Morality is punished, and someone will do it. Why would I not save myself?”

“They’ll get you eventually.” I said as Keira slide the glass toward me. The crystal ball caught my eye once more. Images of Sam feasting upon the rotten vines spiraled across the mist.

“I’ll worry about that, if it gets there.” She said.

“What did you do to our friend?” Jason asked from behind me.

I let the glass sit undisturbed, yet temptation persisted to bother my concentration. Claire was to the side, looking through the assortment of jewelry, and other oddities.

“Nothing that wasn’t already there.” She stated malevolently.

Jason took a step toward her, but the woman took out an alarm from her keychain. “Contest my mountain, but do not threaten me in my space.” Keira spoke coldly.

Jason backed off, while Claire returned to my side.

“So, you want to load Jason up on poison; then… what? He isn’t trans. I’m pretty sure he hates me.”

“He doesn’t hate you, Alex.” Claire said, placing a hand on my shoulder.

Keira shrugged. Gold-earrings shimmered in the candle light. “I told you to abandon your fantasies. The moon is blue, but dawn will be red.” The witch giggled.

They were sicking Sam on Stella and Alice, like a drugged, hunting dog. “You told me, I was false; It was not true, so why did you say it?”

“You, Little Bird, need help. Suicidal children should steer away from the mines.”

I grabbed the cup of Euphoria, draining it in one sip to the surprise of Claire. My other hand slid the dagger behind the crystal ball, outside of Kiera’s sight’ then, as I placed the cup back on the table, pulling the blade into my jacket sleeve.

“Alex, that wasn’t a good idea.” Claire said.

The warmth rippled through my body with waves of energizing warmth. My thoughts cleared as my emotions simmered, “A little high to get me by.” I said, tipping the crystal ball to the ground. It shattered into thousands of sharpened, sinister shards, while Kiera watched unperturbed.

“More bodies.” She said as my friends and piled out of the tent, “Alex, a wise girl would run. Ghosts should be left in the past.”

The night had descended over the valley, while we wasted our time with a traitor’s tongue. The sky was awash in a bright, blue hue. Crowds remained on the festival grounds, sitting by picnic tables, grilling burgers, and passing cups of hot cider. On the mountain, I thought, I had seen a speck of white, drifting through the pines.

Our group walked shakily up the street, past the petting zoo, to the soccer field.


“So, what now?” Jason asked as he unlocked his car.

“Sam is at the mountain.” I said.

“How do you know?” Claire asked.

I did not want to bring up the visions in the crystal ball, so I said, “She drugged Sam to set him loose against Stella and Alice. She wants them to leave, or to die.”

“What the fuck did you two do, while we were at the city?” Jason moaned, “Why am I not surprised to be chasing a high-Sam through the woods.”

“Which is why I need you to be there.” I said from the backseat, “He won’t listen to me. You and Claire need to stop him.”

“Alex, that is in you head. Sam is just as much your friend as he is ours. He just needs a little more time to process everything.”

“He is going to hurt someone. We are past that phase. We can come back to it tomorrow, but for now, I just need to know you have my back.”

“Yes, Alex. We’ll get Sam, you get your hobo-girl, and we never have to worry about that mountain again.”

I dug my fingers into my wrist. I did not think it would be that easy. The meteor shower had started. From the corner of my vision I saw a streak of light hurtle past the dark silhouette of Savage.

Jason pulled out of the parking lot and sped off down the road.

[Previous Chapter] *** [Next Chapter]

2 thoughts on “Cursed XV~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s