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The Night of the Emerald Moon

Author since 2024 1Story 0 Followers
The Night of the Emerald Moon

Has anyone ever told you about the Night of the Emerald moon? It seems to be a tale passed on through generations in my hometown. Halloween originated in Ireland from our beliefs of a night that thinned the vail between our world and that of the spirits. The night of the emerald moon is known to thin the veil so finely that the more dark and deadly entities can have free reign among the town. The legend goes that the village council of Ballyfer deeply offended a lone traveller who was passing through many decades ago. This man was said to be involved in an incident at a game of poker one stormy night in Loftus Hall. Word had spread of the antics that night and it led to the villagers shunning the man. He asked the crowd if any could offer him some shelter for the night and all turned their back on him. The rain that fell that night was torrential but the man never moved from the centre of the village square. They say the people looked out their windows all night to see what he would do. His eyes boiled with rage as the hours wore on but he did not budge from the spot. When dawn broke and the square began to fill with the early morning risers, the man announced in a booming voice heard by all.

“Not one night’s peace you offered me. No one sheltered me from the storm. This coming night and for every year more. No peace be upon you until dawn.”

With that he erupted in flames, scorching the ground where he stood. He left a march in the shape of a cloven foot. A reminder of those who wronged him. That night the moon shimmered with an eerie green glow. The villagers who were away from their homes when darkness came were torn to pieces by ethereal figures resembling horrors one could only imagine. I’m telling you all this so you do not make the mistakes we did. There are forces in this world that you should not try to meddle with. Some of us have paid the ultimate price .

“It’s all just a load of Bollocks.” Liam said with a childish grin.

Liam had only moved to town a couple of years ago and his family had gone along with the tradition of staying at home on the Night of the Emerald Moon.

“It’s just a ploy by those fellas to keep the population under their control.” He added

“Who’s “They”, you bloody lunatic.” Damien said as he looked at Liam with a show of disgust.

Damien had been my friend since our first day in school. He and his family are locals from the town and abide by the rules as strictly as my own family do. Don’t under any circumstances be outside past 6pm on November the 7th. Businesses close early to ensure everyone can get home. If the date falls on a weekend, the following Monday is considered a bank holiday. They did this about 20 years ago when pubs and bars were complaining of missing out on the revenue. These people were often folks who had moved into our town as it expanded.

“Come on Steve, we’ll head over to the pub later on and have a few pints, wait it out with John.” He asked, looking in my direction.

“If you call into John anywhere near closing time and you get a punch not a pint.” I jeered.

Liam had become fond of the few pints as he called it. So fond that his wages were mostly spent that weekend in John’s pub and the greasy cheeseburger at the end of the night. With that we headed in the direction of home, passing over the supposed stone with the cloven footprint that no longer resembled anything of the sort.

My father came into my room as the night wore on, he had the same look every year. It was that of a man who searched every shadow for the “Boogey man”. His eyes scanned my window which was covered by my blind.

“Did you double check ?” he asked, he didn’t need to say anymore

“Of course, blinds down and windows locked”. I sighed “We do this every year and I have always done it like you ask”

“Look, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You know Charlie from down the road went missing last year.”

“Charlie didn’t go missing.” I said, a bit firmer than I meant to. “Charlie ran away because his wife is a nasty piece of work and he knew people would chalk it down to some urban legend.”

The town was very unsettled when Charlie disappeared. His wife said that he was in the sitting room watching a film when she went to bed and the next morning there was no sign of him. The stories circulated and grew wilder by every retelling. The longest stretch of the truth I heard was that they found the top half of him strewn across the steps of the church. No one had ever confirmed any wrongdoings so the town was left to debate what faith had become of Charlie McKenna.

As eleven o clock rolled around I received a message into our group chat. It was from Liam and it was a picture of his front door with the caption “Heading to John’s, meet ye there in 10 minutes”. Normally I would just respond with the usual jokes that came on the night of the emerald moon but something about how Liam was acting earlier made me feel uncomfortable. He couldn’t be that stupid I thought so I replied with a message to say it was nice knowing him. Damien followed suit but the messages were left unread. After some time had passed I really started to feel off. I didn’t want to be the one who fell for the joke but I just knew something wasn’t right. A light illuminated my room as my phone vibrated on the bedside locker. I looked to see an incoming call from Damien.

“Steve…. Hello Steve, Can you hear me ?” Came Damien’s voice. The call was filled with static.

“Jesus Damien, are you outside ?” I asked, dreading the response I knew was coming.

“Liam sent in another message, he really did go out. I’m on my way to your house, meet me out the back in five minutes.” He ended the call just as the static on the line became unbearable to keep to my ear. I checked my phone and saw the last message in the group chat. It was a selfie of Liam on the road between the housing estate where he lived and the centre of town. The caption read “Where them Ghouls at?”. In the background I could make out the faintest shape of a faceless man with green tinted eyes staring hungrily at Liam.

I gathered what supplies I could without alerting my father who I knew would be sitting in the living room alert to any noise that sounded out of place. I had a lighter, a flashlight and the metal pole from a dumbbell from the weights set in my room. My mind was racing, on one hand this could all be an elaborate prank by Liam to scare the wits out of Damien and I. It is something that Liam would pull on a normal day but the people who were raised in this town knew better than to try anything tonight. Deep down I knew there was something wrong with this place and I came to the realisation that a metal bar may not have any effect on what I may face out there. I rolled up the blind to expose the greenish tinge that was coming from the light of the moon. I opened the latch on my window and extended it out as carefully as I could and was met with a rush of ice-cold air. My skin was tingling as it encountered the outside world. I lowered myself out of the window and made my way to my meeting point with Damien. There was a wooded area at the back of my house. It had two main paths worn through it from years of teenagers taking the left side as a shortcut into town or taking the right path further into the forest to hang out or drink alcohol obscured from prying eyes of parents. Damien was already waiting for me.

“I thought you weren’t coming.” He said. I could hear a tremble in his voice.

“I won’t lie, I would rather be anywhere but here right now. Everything feels wrong.” I said.

“I feel like someone has been watching me the whole way here.” Damien said a quick glance over his shoulder emphasised his concern.

As we got closer to town the feeling of being watched increased with every step. By the time I was in the town centre I felt an infinite number of eyes watching me from every corner. A scream from somewhere to our right broke the silence of this cursed night.

“That’s Liam!.” Damien shouted

He started to sprint towards the commotion but his legs were pulled out from under him by a ghoulish looking woman with the bottom half missing from her face. Damien tried to kick out at her but his attempt just passed through her midsection. As he pulled his leg back she tore strips of flesh from his calf, tearing through his jeans. He screamed in agony. I froze. I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t attack her as I had already seen the result that would end in. Instincts took over and I flung the bar as hard as I could at her head. It passed through her and clattered down the street. Her form dispersed in a green mist.

“Bollocks.” I cursed I better go get that.

I helped Damien to his feet and supported his weight with my shoulders.

“how did you manage that ?” He asked through gritted teeth.

“No idea. I said truthfully. “The bar must be made of iron or something. That’s supposed to dispel spirits.”

“We should make our way to the church. It has iron gates and fencing all around.” Damien said

We set off in the direction of St Michael church of the blessed. A church which was in dire need of a lick of paint but our potential sanctuary. Damien wasn’t faring too well. He was losing a lot of blood and there was a sloshing sound with each step. As we neared the entrance, goosebumps ran up the back of my neck. I turned back to see dozens of spirits swarming on the road behind us. I pushed Damien ahead telling him to make a run for the entrance. turned and swung the bar as disfigured men, women and children swiped and clawed at me. Each time the bar passed through one of the misty remnants of the departed, they evaporated in a green mist. No matter how many i dispersed another replaced them, even more scared or disfigured. A girl who looked no more than six clawed at my thigh, causing a five fingered gash to split in my skin. The pain was immense, I lost control of my senses and started swinging blindly behind me while sprinting in the direction of the gates. Another young looking woman, her head split down the middle with her severed tongue flopping in all directions, made a grab for my wrist holding the bar. I pulled back as her touch scorched my knuckles causing me to drop the bar. I knew if I tried to retrieve it I would be another soul claimed by the curse. I put my head down and ran for my life.

The sudden impact from the ground knocked the wind out of my chest. I gasped for breath gasping and spluttering as I tried to understand what happened. I felt hands grab my collar and pull me forward. As I looked up to meet my executioner, I realised it was Damien.

“If we manage to get out of this alive, I swear we must get someone to look at that sidewalk. It’s about a foot too high.” Damien said as he closed the gates to the gothic style church.

Despite our current predicament we both laughed hysterically. Damien holding his stomach by the end. I wheezed, lungs still gasping for oxygen. As the laughter died down I could notice a constant incoherent whispering coming from the dozens of shadowing figures in front of us.The spirits stood motionless, staring with eyes burning with hatred. I couldn’t make out any words in particular but they sounded menacing. I could almost feel their malice flowing in all directions. My phone buzzed in my pocket. The screen was cracked with hundreds or splits and breaks from my sudden introduction with the gravelled path.

“It’s from Liam.” Damien announced sounding hopeful

A video played showing the stone with the cloven footprint. It stayed on this view for almost a minute. What sounded like splashing water was audible in the background. After another minute of this the camera panned around to show Liam. The left side of his face was missing, blood oozed down where his eyes used to be. His optic nerve dangled from the dark chasm that was once his eye socket. Skin was folded down by his neck, thorn and dishevelled.

“They took my eye.” Liam gargled. His voice is distorted by the pain.” They took my eye and my fucking arm.”

The camera panned down to where Liam’s left arm used to be. What remained was the top of his bicep. The brilliant white bone that protrudes out beyond what remained of his arm was fragmented and sharp. Blood poured out so furiously I knew where the splashing sound was coming from. I vomited onto the ground. It splashed up onto our trousers but we were both too shocked to acknowledge the loss of bodily fluids.

“We have to go help him.” Damien screeched.

His frenzied voice had lost all semblance of calm. I didn’t respond. I knew that Liam was beyond saving at this point but I couldn’t bring myself to say it out loud. Once it was said, it was reality. We continued to watch as Liam set the camera down to show us a landscape view of him bashing the stone with a hammer he must have brought with him. Each thump of the hammer sprayed up blood that had pooled all around him.

“I’m going to take you with me you Bastard!” Liam roared as the stone began to split.

A green glow surrounded the edge of the video as it abruptly ended.

Damien looked at me with crazed eyes.

“I’m going to help him,” he said.

I tried to stop him but he couldn’t hear me. He marched towards the gate and started to push them open. A tremor passed through the ground as it swung, but the tremor was too big to be caused by the gates. As I looked on in horror, the spirits faded away. A dense fog of green shifting away with the wind

“He must have broken the stone.” I said somberly.

We passed by the once whole relic of our town’s curse on our way home. The hammer lay a few feet away covered in Liam’s blood. The stone was drenched in a dark maroon. We didn’t speak as we made our way back to our homes. The realisation we had lost Liam was still too fresh to process. The curse seemed to have been lifted. All it took was to break the symbol of that foul night many years ago. I knew I would have to face the realities in the morning but my body ached from the wounds. The spirits may have left but their marks were a strong reminder of what we had faced tonight. Damien continued down the forest path as I turned into the back garden. Hopping through the opening in the fence. I opened the window I had left cracked for my return. I crashed onto my bed fully clothed. I looked at my broken phone and could make out it was still around two AM. I let the fatigue take me.

I woke to a chilling breeze creeping in through my window. I woke to see Liam standing over my bed. Face still torn. His arm was still dishevelled and bone protruding.His blood was splattering on my wooden floor.

“You left me Steve.” he said in a voice that was not his own.

My body stiffened. His missing eye was now replaced with two eerily green pupils.

“You Left me,” he repeated. A wicked grin across his lips. “ But I will never leave you.”

He plunged his good hand down onto my chest. His touch burned through fabric, and then flesh. I could feel my skin bubbling like a hot metal brand was seering its mark on me. His smile widened as dawn broke the horizon. The magnificent rays washed over my room. As they made contact with Liam he burst into flames. The heat was immense. I covered my eyes as the flames singed everything in the vicinity. All that remained from the encounter was a cloven footprint still smouldering on my floor.

I still haven’t spoken with Damien. I just couldn’t bring myself to reach out. I see Liam more often now though. Every night when I go to close my blinds he;s out there in my garden. His green eyes focused intently on me. Each night he’s one step closer to my window. I don’t think I will have to wait another year before we meet again.

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Aspiring author in the fantasy and horror genres. See more of my work on Reddit using the link below

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nacho.pasta avatar
nacho.pasta
13 days ago

Nice vocab but felt like the writing style was too direct, like everything was mostly just stated along with a plain adjective. Basically I couldn’t get absorbed into the world of the story. Maybe I’m too used to slow-burn stories, not an expert by any means