There has never been a connection so strong as was the bond between the Moon and the Wolf.
The Wolf, by day a man bored and lifeless, became his true self at night within the glow of its love. There were many days when he could feel its lingering presence in the bright light sky above, keeping him company through the drudgery of his average existence. Each day it would beckon him, hover about his mind and over his head, a constant reminder of joys that awaited him when the sun fell. And when it did, he felt free like no other. At the hour that the moon’s glow, faint or righteous, beamed from its starstudded throne the man would be ripped from his human-born shell and rebirthed. Amidst spilt blood and broken bone he was reborn. Fur and fang, paw and claw, this was what the Moon made him. This was what it wanted, what it desired. Not the man that the world had chosen him to be, but the beast. Stagnation was traded for passion, a mumble for a howl.
It was in this embrace that he became what he always knew he could be. This was the way the moon wanted him, and he couldn’t be more proud to please. He would gladly race through the forests and shout his love into the open sky each night for it. The moon’s influence was undeniable. He only wished for more.
For how many nights can lover influence lover from across a room before one must bridge the distance? The Wolf could feel the Moon’s push and pull, the cold, pleasant embrace of its light, but never its touch. These desires that burned in his mind as he hunted only grew hotter when he realized how lonely the Moon must feel. It gives him so much from so far away, yet all he can do is announce his appreciation for its gifts. It was unacceptable, this onesided love.
During the long days while the Wolf and Moon rested the man was hard at work. The junkyard he ran had never served a purpose so resolute before. What was once a defining factor in the meaninglessness of his life quickly became the means to an end. He worked tirelessly, ripping apart the cars and appliances that littered his property and piecing them together carefully, strategically, all the while holding in mind an image of freedom. The one thing that could unite the beast inside with the faraway Moon.
He finished building the rocket an hour before dusk. He tightened the last bolt, polished the last panel, and went about saying goodbye to the man he was. Sunlight had already begun to filter from the sky and with that came the brightening of the Moon, and the changes beneath his skin. Hair began to sprout from bare skin as he turned out the lights and locked the door to his office and his home. By the time he climbed into the rocket his ankles and snout had already begun to stretch. By liftoff he was man no more.
The Wolf took flight.
His bones rattled with the ship’s hull as they broke the sound barrier, but fear never shook him. He closed his eyes going up, up, up, and recalled the night of his first transformation. The cold, the dark, the screams. It was glorious. A welcome and familiar memory in that instant. And, much like that night, the intensity that seemed to stretch for a fleeting eternity came to a sudden end. The rocket had broken through the atmosphere. Silence followed.
Night surrounded him.
He was held captive by the stars’ warm embrace. Time passed without rush. Dawn would never come for him again; never force him back to the daytime flesh.
The Moon came upon him quickly.
The Wolf braced for impact. Storms of moon dust dispersed into thin air as rocket met ground. A trail was carved out by the nose and the hull in a slowing halt. Once settled, the Wolf opened the hatch and was greeted by grey snowfall. Many a winter had prepared him for the chill, and he found comfort in the familiar welcome. The moment passed and the air became clear, and with it the horizon. His love stretched for as far as his eyes could see. It was beautiful.
He dropped, curling his neck into the soft ground and kicking up dirt with his paws. Dust sifted through his fur and coated his mane. He tumbled and moaned like a pup in snow. He wanted to bury himself in the Moon’s bosom.
Finally, burrowed deep into the cold refreshing ground, he felt comfort. The Moon held the Wolf; the Wolf nuzzled the Moon; neither of them alone any longer in the night.
Ben Talley was raised in the humid stew of Alabama and is a pretty okay guy,
despite what the cat thinks. If you speak to his grandmother, let her know
that he eats regularly.